|Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
|The Grey Tower
She is a warrior and an Aiel. The desert and the spear have taken their toll on her body, tuning it into a dangerous tool for combat. Life beneath the red sun has given her a complexion like that of dark gold that coalesces beautifully with her fire-coloured hair and vivacious gaze. Her eyes, exceptionally emerald in colour, are large and framed by thick black eyelashes.
That was her appearance when she first reached the Tower, clad in cadin’sor.
Shortly after Deranih received the shawl and joined the Green Ajah, she went on a journey that changed a lot of her characteristics to the more severe kind. But the knife to her face brought the biggest change visible to those around her.
The recuperation was long and strenuous. The knife claimed her right eye and left a wretched wound in its place. She always wears a black eyepatch to cover the scar, and is extremely prickly when mentioning it. The long time spent recovering from her wounds has made her face permanently gaunt and slightly sinister, though her former beauty still remains, marked by her fine cheekbones and full red lips.
She always wears soft leather boots in the Aiel fashion, but in most other cases she dresses in the Wetlander style. Deranih is particularly fond of the Saldean riding dresses, and ever since receiving the stole of the Keeper of Chronicles, she dresses in all colours except for white and black.
The boiling sun was at its peak and the sky surrounding it a beautiful almost eye-splitting shade of blue. Bellow, the ground was dusty and dry, shallow cracks ran all across it as far as the eye could see.
In the distance jagged mountain tops were visible.
The mighty mountains of Dragonwall loomed threateningly at the woman approaching them, their shadows not yet touching her.
The woman, a Far Dareis Mai in cadin'sor that marked her as a Tardaad ran on, never once looking over her shoulder despite the fact that she knew she was being followed.
Short fire coloured strands of hair stuck out from beneath her shoufa which she pressed against her nose to keep her from inhaling the dust that flew up into the air for each step she took.
In one hand she carried a spear and in the other a buckler made of hide, as well as three other spears.
As the shadows of Dragonwall hit her, she came to a halt and fell on her knees, tired from the effort of running.
For several minutes she remained still as though dead, breathing jaggedly in the dry air. But suddenly, her emerald eyes darted up from the ground, and at once she was up on her feet, spear ready and shoufa donned.
The sound of horses came closer, echoing in the pass before her. She was sure she could make out people talking, not loudly or cheerfully, but not exactly as though they were trying to hide themselves. They did not know she was there.
With a tight grip on her spear she loped closer to the mountain, finding a fairly sized rock to hide behind.
The people came closer and closer, and finally she was able to see them, their large mounts obscuring the sun for a few seconds.
It was quite a large party. A handful of riders, some with a wolfish look that shouted of wariness –which made the hiding Aiel woman hold her breath– and others in fine silken clothes. She counted three women. Two with dresses and one in breeches with a sword on her hip and with a grim expression on her light face.
One of the women had raven black hair and creamy skin; her nose seemed quite similar to that of a hawk. Of course it was hard to tell as she rode ever so slowly away from the Far Dareis Mai. Her dress, a modest shade of dark grey was cut so she could ride her black horse without exposing her legs.
The other woman had hair in a pale colour of yellow, and she too wore a dress cut for riding, though hers was light blue and her horse silvery-grey.
The other members of the party were men, apart from the woman with a sword. But what they all held in common was the most obvious thing. They were all wetlanders.
With narrowing eyes the Far Dareis Mai tightened her grip on her spear and rose silently to one knee, her gaze fixed on the party riding further and further away from her. But in the corner of her eye she caught movement in the distance, close by the horizon. For just a moment she was sure she had seen a dust cloud. THEY were coming closer.
With a firmly set jaw she was up on her feet, facing three men and a woman with their swords drawn and pointed at her.
The woman with a hawk-nose made a waving motion with her hand and the others sheathed their swords, looking ever so slightly disgruntled.
A fourth man in a black coat glanced questioningly at the hawk-nosed woman but she either ignored him, or failed to notice his question.
For a moment, the woman stared at the Aiel in front of her like a predator watches its prey. Then, after what felt like an Age, she spoke in a melodious tone.
"What word does the Tardaad Aiel bring to us?" She spoke quite slowly, pronouncing each word very properly, almost as though she feared that the Far Dareis Mai would fail to understand her. The Aiel woman narrowed her wary eyes and studied the hawk-nosed woman silently over her veil before responding grimly.
"Nothing." Two of the men touched the hilts of their swords, their eyes only on the hawk-nosed woman. She on the other hand seemed not to notice anyone apart from the Far Dareis Mai in front of her.
"Are you aware of the fact that you can channel?" She said suddenly, her face blank despite the serious and touchy subject she had so unsuspectingly brought up.
"Yes." Was the Aiel woman's blunt reply. Only now did she notice that the pale-haired, snooty looking woman's face was completely ageless and emotionless. Aes Sedai.
"What is your name?" Said the hawk-nosed Aes Sedai, snapping the Aiel woman back into focus.
"Deranih." She said softly and let her gaze dart to the horizon. They were definitely coming closer.
Both Aes Sedai glanced at each other and the ageless one turned back and whispered a few words to the man in a black coat.
The other Aes Sedai remained watching Deranih before she spoke again, her tone softer now.
"Do you know how to control the One Power?" A tightening appeared in the corner of her mouth when Deranih shook her head in response.
This time, it was the man in black coat that spoke to Deranih, his voice was rough but held a striking similarity to that of the Aes Sedai.
"They can teach you how to control it. To wield saidar." Deranih furrowed her brow and stared in puzzlement at the man before understanding what he was and why he was speaking when the other men were not. An Asha'man, and the men and woman with swords were warders. Wonderful.
"Come with us." Said the hawk-nosed Aes Sedai. Deranih stared with a scandalized expression at the woman, her eyes wide-open in horror at the thought.
For the briefest moment the Aiel woman wondered just a little why the face of the hawk-nosed Aes Sedai was not ageless. She was an Aes Sedai for sure –she was wearing the Golden Great serpent ring on her finger– and every fibre of the woman called for obedience.
But to come with them? And do what, become an Aes Sedai? The thought itself was hilarious, but then, THEY were coming closer. And when they caught her, they would break her spear and shatter what had been her life like dry twigs without caring at all.
No, that could not happen.
I'll go with them and learn how to control the One Power so I don't hurt anyone again. That's all.
"Alright." Deranih answered simply and lowered her veil, exposing her face for the first time.
And so, the party of Aes Sedai, Asha'man and warders turned their horses and began riding back through Jangai Pass. It puzzled Deranih why they would turn back now. It was a long way to the wetlands. And what was the reason for their journey to the Three-fold Land in the first place?
It could not have been an important one considering they turned back just as they arrived on the other side of Dragonwall.
Nevertheless they were returning with Deranih slightly unwillingly sitting behind the hawk-nosed Aes Sedai named Felora Taioro on her horse.
Now and then, the warders would glance at the Far Dareis Mai behind the Aes Sedai, their faces unreadable.
"Where are we going?" Deranih asked gruffly and took a firmer grasp on Felora as her horse quickened its pace to some extent.
Felora glanced over her shoulder, and Deranih was sure she saw amusement in the Aes Sedai's dark eyes.
"The Grey Tower, it is far away from here, by the Mountains of Mist. I will show you a map of it at sunset when we will rest for the night." There was a hint of amusement in her voice as well. Deranih could have growled. Damn horse.
The Grey Tower.
Not Tar Valon and its white tower as she had suspected. She wasn't exactly glad by the news, nor was she sad. As long as they did not force her to become an Aes Sedai, and break her spear, Deranih would not shed any tears.
Besides, she did not want to hurt anyone ever again because she did not know how to channel.
Perhaps it was for the better.
As they rode, the Far Dareis Mai glanced back and was just a little bit aggrieved to see that they were no longer followed. She was not entirely sure why it hurt so bad to realize that they no longer sought her.
With a sigh she turned her head back, her eyes on the pass ahead of them, her mind blank.
The path before them was taking her to a new life, leaving the old behind.
"The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills."
- Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
- Captain-General of the Green Ajah
- Keeper of the Chronicles