|Portrayed by||Gemma Ward|
|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
|Affinities||Earth/Spirit, Air, Water, Fire|
Azalaide is taller than most Cairhienins, due to her Andoran mother. She is thin, and often described as frail. She does not have much of a figure, being far too gaunt. Her skin is milk pale, which only makes her appear more fragile. Azalaide’s blond hair is just as pale; the color is so faint a yellow that it looks almost white. She prefers to leave her hair free, generally pulled away only from her temples, so that it falls down her back in loose waves.
Her face is oval shaped, with a small chin. Azalaide has a larger forehead than most, and she has wide set, pale blue eyes. Her nose is small and rounded, and her mouth is small and pouty. Azalaide is pretty, but in a striking and unusual way.
For all her fragility, Azalaide is a strong woman. She has a backbone of steel, which very few people notice. Azalaide is unassuming, and even subservient in her interactions with others. She was trained to be meek and docile as a child, and upon her arrival to the Tower, found that it was the perfect public face to hide behind. She is naturally kind and soft-spoken, and often plays up those traits to her own advantage. Azalaide knows the benefits of staying silent, in the background.
While Azalaide is clever, she deliberates and takes time to come to any decision. She does not think well on her feet, but is much better creating long-term plans. While she had a wonderful education as a child, she isn’t the bookish sort, and does not seek out learning for the sake of it. She is aware of how valuable all knowledge is, but sees it as a duty instead of a pleasure.
Azalaide has a strong sense of duty; her duty to her family has been transferred to duty to the Tower. Once she makes a promise, Azalaide will never break it. She is a courageous soul, and is not afraid to take a calculated risk.
She loves the outdoors and physical activity, which is almost inconvenient, given her sickly nature. Azalaide is happiest when she is healthy, and able to spend her time in the sun.
Azalaide’s father, a minor Cairhienin nobleman, married an Andoran’s merchant’s daughter for money and trade. By all accounts, it was not a good match for him, but the House Elsindred was on the brink of bankruptcy, and it was the best of bad choices. Bellamy, his new Andoran wife, was a pale and sickly woman, and birthed him only a daughter before dying in childbirth. In this, he counted himself lucky, and quickly married a Cairhienin noblewoman of impeccable breeding.
Azalaide was the sole product of Gregore’s unfortunate first marriage. Her younger siblings were strapping and short, and she stood out like a tall, pale weed among them. She was not a favored daughter, but was taught to be grateful for what she had. Azalaide loved and admired her family, and only wished that she was truly one of them. Her aunt, Yanette, took her under her wing, and Azalaide quickly became a proper scion of House Elsindred, in everything but her appearance. She was well spoken and well read, with a proper, demure nature. But she was trained in the game of houses, as all Cairhienins were. She was not as adept as her siblings, which was blamed on her dubious parentage.
It was because she took after her mother that Azalaide’s education was far more thorough than her siblings. She inherited her mother’s sickliness, and her various and numerous illnesses kept her inside, at the mercy of her tutors. She longed for the outdoors, and much preferred to be on horseback than in front of a desk.
Her childhood passed quickly enough, but her father had a hard time finding her a marriage once she was of age. Azalaide stuck out like a sore thumb at court in Cairhien, and her fair hair and height hurt her marriage prospects. House Eslindred was a minor house, and there would not have been many offers even if she were the picture of Cairhienin beauty.
But a husband was finally found when she was seventeen. He was a visiting nobleman from Andor, by the name of Rodrick Correngreave. Azalaide was a good choice for him; she was from as high a Cairhien house he could hope to marry into, and with Andoran features. The marriage was swift, and Azalaide bore it out of duty.
In her marriage bed, Azalaide discovered that Rodrick did not prefer her sex, and that their children would be born out of only duty as well. It was a blow to Azalaide; in her girlish heart, she had hoped for love. But she found her new Andoran home preferable to Cairhien; Rodrick kept her in the country, and out of the way of his numerous exploits. Azalaide found she rather preferred it, and spent much of her time outside. Something about Andor was kinder to her health, and Azalaide counted herself lucky.
A few months into their marriage, Rodrick hosted a fete in their country home. It was then that Azalaide made the acquaintance of an Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, from the White Tower. The woman’s piercing gaze followed her throughout the night, and Azalaide was not surprised when the woman finally approached her.
However, the Aes Sedai’s announcement that she could channel surprised her. The woman was aggressive and demanding, and proclaimed that Azalaide would come to the White Tower. It was a blow. Azalaide was finally happy, and the news that Aes Sedai would force her from her home shattered her docile exterior. For the first time in her life, Azalaide yelled. She screamed and demanded the Aes Sedai be forced from her home, and the very skies raged with her anger. The Gray sister had smirked at that, for the unnatural wind and rain was a sign of the One Power.
Azalaide had not been able to argue that, and the Gray sister took up residence in her home. She had business in Cairhien, and would take Azalaide to the White Tower on her own time. All of Azalaide’s free time when Melishade was in residence was taken up by unwanted lessons, and even Rodrick would not stand up to the dreadful woman. Melishade, the Aes Sedai who had upset her life so terribly, quickly set to work breaking what she called Azalaide’s ‘block’, for Azalaide could channel only in anger.
The woman was persistent, and clever. In only a few months, Azalaide’s block was broken. It was a painful time for Azalaide, and one she would never want to revisit. Melishade then focused on Azalaide’s apparent skill for the weather, and she found herself outside, moving clouds about with cables of saidar. Melishade was a terrible teacher, vicious with punishment. Azalaide found herself being treated as a novice in her own home, even whipped with a reed. She hardly slept, for fear of the woman.
It was because of Rodrick that Azalaide found respite. The man was determined to have an heir before his young wife was stolen out from under his nose. Azalaide conceived quickly, and Melishade’s fury at finding Azalaide pregnant and unable to channel put Azalaide’s rainy tantrum to shame. The Aes Sedai left, promising to come collect her pupil in nine months time.
Azalaide was grateful for the pregnancy, and took the time to plan. Nine months after Melishade left, she almost died in her birthing bed. Afterwards, she was little more than an invalid. But she forced herself from her bed, as weak as a newborn kitten. She was resolved; she would not be dragged to the White Tower, to bear such torment as Melishade had inflicted upon her. If she must leave her son, she would go to the Grey Tower. Her maid, a trusted servant and friend, arranged the trip. Azalaide remembered little of it, feverish and in pain inside a rickety carriage. But she safely arrived in Hama Valon, and was escorted to the infirmary immediately. The Healing was awful, perhaps even worse than her sickness had been. It took a long time to recover, and Azalaide resolved to submit to Healing as little as possible. She was told by a Yellow sister that there had been something wrong with the beating of her heart, and it was that Healing that had been so terrible. Azalaide, newly in novice white, could only laugh; she had left her son, and her heart would always be broken, Healing or no Healing.
- Novice (16 February 2015)