Ellian din Során Wild Wave
|Ellian din Során Wild Wave
|Ell-EE-ahn din Soh-RAHN W-eye-ld Wayv
|The Grey Tower
Standing at just over five feet tall, Ellian din Során Wild Wave developed a personality that brooked no nonsense from her crewmates when she was first starting her life as a deckhand. Her dark eyes and rich, full lips made her a beauty among the shorebound. Even among her people, her looks were above average, and she learned to wrap herself in the confidence of being beautiful—using her face as a tool whenever she needed. Normally topless with loose trousers when out of sight from the shore, she owns only one or two blouses to wear when in port. Upon discovering she could learn to channel, Ellian began developing this need for more and more power. She worked diligently as an apprentice windfinder, not just because she wanted to please her mistress but because she wanted to learn how to use Saidar to further her own goals.
After all, during her first year of apprenticeship, Ellian swore that she would become Windfinder to the Mistress of the Ships. She discovered an insatiable desire for power and prestige, which for a Windfinder meant election to that position. Thus, she developed self-assurance and command, navigating the deep currents of Windfinder politics. She rose far in her clan, finding herself the Windfinder on a major trading vessel—calling the winds for his sails as he sailed from Tremalking to Shara.
Yet all of that would change when Ellian’s ship encountered the ribbed sails of the Seanchan. She fought hard to keep him out of the hands of the Seanchan and their damane, but in the end he sank with most of her crew. She was fished from the wreckage and collared. Thus, all of her self-possession, her confidence, and her defiance was slowly leeched from her by the sul’dam and their effective training. She became Ellie, the ever-happy and pleasing damane. In her descent to damane, Ellian lost her plans for power, and she struggled with understanding how the Creator could shelter her. Her trust in the Light faltered as she lost herself in the sul’dam’s conditioning.
Now, free from the collar, she wants so desperately to return to the kennels as a damane. However, a small flame of the woman she once was burns inside of her, gathering strength before purifying Ellian from the Seanchan influence. As a captive of Grey Tower Asha’man, she has been taken to Hama Valon and put in the capable hands of the Mistress of Novices with the intent of finding the woman buried in her time as a damane. That flame burns still, though feebly, and is waiting for the fuel the Grey Tower might give it.
Ellian din Során Wild Wave wanted to clap her hands happily when the Windfinder on her ship said that she could learn to channel. Instead, she bowed—hand to heart—and murmured, “I will serve my ship and his desks as you say, if it pleases the Light.” She placed fingers to lips as if sealing a bargain, and so her training began.
The feel of Saidar in Ellian was nothing short of remarkable. She could feel the grain of the wood beneath her feet. She felt the wind more keenly. She could make out the detail of the fibers in the sails. Each sound of the seawater around her played like several instruments in her head. “Find the flows, apprentice,” barked her teacher, and she jumped to obey. She was the ship being carried by the sea. By submitting, she directed the flows of Water and Air to call the winds for her ship and his sails. For once, her teacher had no reproof, choosing instead to sniff at the work Ellian had done. That was as much of a compliment as anything, and Ellian released the Source in anticipation of her next lesson.
Ellian stood on the deck of her ship, his sails full with the winds she had called for him. On the corners of her mind, she could feel the winds changing however. It was something she had realized he could do as she trained as an apprentice. Her Windfinder mistress had said that her ability came from Saidar, and Ellian took this special talent and learned everything she could about it. Now, she knew to recognize the feel of the coming storm. It was a foreboding on the horizon, and normally she could see dark clouds forming off in the distance whenever she felt a storm approaching.
Instead, searching the horizon as she stood on the deck, Ellian frowned in puzzlement. The skies were clear all around them. The Sea of Storms, however, was aptly named, and storm clouds could appear from nowhere, strong gales pulling them towards her ship quickly. Embracing Saidar, she weaved thick strands of Air and Water, setting the rudder she had placed in the winds anew. As it was, the winds were on course. The ship’s sails would remain full as they sailed up the coast to Bandar Eban. With a cargo hold full of items from Shara, Mayene, and Tear, the Cargomaster was looking forward to trading in the Domani capital.
“Ribbed sails!” came the cry from the bow. One of the higher ranking deckhands, Atle Nethin, stood with a spyglass in hand. Letting Saidar swell inside of her, she raced to the bow with the Sailmistress and Cargomaster. He would not have called for them if the horizon had not held a threat. With Saidar in her, she could see the sails, though not in great detail. She was given the spyglass third, and the sails jumped into her field of vision. Armor with helmets shaped like insects gleamed in the sunlight as did the silvery leash between a woman in grey and a woman in red and blue skirts. Ellian did not need to see the forked lightning to know what they were facing.
“We will weather this storm, if it pleases the Light,” called Ellian’s Sailmistress Deasa. The men and women on the deck moved as she continued to issue commands. The Cargomaster moved at her command as well, but Ellian stood on the bow—staring defiantly at the vessel as it approached. Deasa would avoid a confrontation with the Seanchan if she could, but Ellian stood ready for the battle that would come.
“You will learn that what I want happens,” said Amarna, the sul’dam whose leash had been placed around Ellian’s neck, making the two complete. “Now, I want to know your name. What is it?” Ellian set her face stubbornly, refusing to answer the question. Instantly, flames danced on her skin, and Ellian threw herself to the ground in agony. She had known this was coming. Part of her had known something bad was going to happen, like the feeling she got when a storm was coming, but she hadn’t realized it until it was too late. “What is your name?” asked the sul’dam after the pain subsided.
“Ell..” said Ellian while trying to regain her breath. She hadn’t realized that she’d been screaming the whole time she’d been in pain. “Ellian din…” That was as far as she got before Amarna, the sul’dam, cut her off.
“You will be called, Ellie,” she said with finality. “Ellie will be a good damane because she has the honor of serving the Empress, may she live forever.” Amarna bent over to pet Ellie’s hair, stroking the brown locks as if the woman before her was nothing more than an animal. “After all, that is all damane are good for—serving the Empress, may she live forever.” Shuddering, Ellian resolved not to give into this woman.
Falling to the ground with the blast of the attack, Ellie the damane looked up for her sul’dam. Something felt wrong in the link from the a’dam, and she was worried that someone might try to take her from Amarna. Much time had passed since that fateful moment on the decks of that ship. Ellie was a good damane, and she loved her sul’dam Amarna. Ever since collaring her, Amarna had only worked for her good, for Ellie’s good. After all, she had needed to be collared so she could serve the Empress, may she live forever.
The black spot where Amarna had stood along with the dangling bracelet end of the a’dam confirmed to Ellie that something was indeed wrong. Hunching to the ground and prostrating herself, Ellie began to weep for her sul’dam. What would happen to Ellie? Who would rescue her and take her back to her kennel? A small flame flickered to life inside of her at the chance of her freedom, a flame that was the essence of Ellian—the woman she had once been. Ellie stomped down that flame, but it would not die—not after having stayed dormant for so long.
- Novice (5 April 2016)