|Portrayed by||Tessa Thompson|
|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
The daughter of one of Far Madding's most prestigious weavers, Eveayla is used to the finer things: her mother's position has raised her in relative proximity to the Counsels, whose patronage to her mother's business was often extended into invitations for her family to socialize within noble circles. While not nobility, Eveayla takes great pride in her appearance and has adapted mannerisms of the upper classes. In some ways, these manifest favorably, in the form of a young girl's understanding of the Game of Houses, political motivations, and advanced education. In other ways, Eveayla is a product of privileged upbringing: a sense of superiority, entitlement, and haughtiness is pervasive in her attitude towards others of 'lower' caste. Paired with pretty features and her mother's Domani instruction on the arts of manipulation, she's used to getting what she wants with minimal effort, and becomes frustrated when things are denied her quickly. She has a quick temper and sharp tongue, making her a delightful companion for her noble-born peers seeking to outwit and humiliate their peers in social situations.
Visually, Eveayla is pretty, with middling-brown corkscrew curls touched with gold, coppery skin that freckles over her nose and shoulders, and deep brown eyes. She can often be found with several curls twirled around her fingers - an affectation that she has been told is 'charming'. She is not lithe or tall, but is showing signs of becoming respectably curvy as she gets older.
She enjoys her plush life in Far Madding and hopes to marry into the nobility, so that she never has to work (like her mother) to maintain her high standards. The discovery that she has the innate ability to channel was a jolting shock to her reality, and it is beyond doubt that she will find the life of a novice grating and uncomfortable. Her father is hopeful that by shipping her off to the Aes Sedai, she might become a more empathetic person, and find motivation beyond her own momentary whims.
"Evvy, you must, you must!"
The delighted squeals of her companions were the final bit that Eveayla needed to push her over the edge. Poor, pudgy Drayla -- she thought she was so clever, with all her book-reading. Had she really thought that the insult to Eveayla's family lineage would stick? Having the same surname as a false Dragon -- in an ancient age, no less -- wasn't a sensitive spot for her, but one of pride. Guaire Amalasan had wreaked havoc on Far Madding, and, while not one of his direct relatives, Eveayla was going to do the same to this unsufferably pathetic page-noser.
"You're just like him -- you think you can control everyone and everything and, and, you're just a weaver's daughter. Your family makes my family's clothes. If we didn't support you, you'd probably be wearing rags," stammered Drayla, her pudgy face turned up, thick lips set into a smug, satisfied sneer. She thought she had the upper hand -- that history had granted her this valuable piece of knowledge. She'd come to a battle armed with a wooden dagger, thinking it was a heron-marked blade.
"You'd be the one wearing rags, Drayla," Eveayla said, studying her perfectly shaped nails. She glanced up sharply, surveying the other girl's dress in seconds, and the side of her mouth turned up in a satisfied smirk. "Not that it matters. Did you dress yourself in the dark this morning? Put on a dress that is a bit too small, did we?"
The girls behind her snickered. Each in her group was perfectly coiffed, curated -- the elite of the elite. They thought they had collected her, as a companion, confidante, friend. She amused them, and wouldn't let them down this time, either. It was such a pity that Drayla was such an easy mark.
"Oh, wait, I forgot," she said, voice dripping with false sympathy. "Didn't your mother issue you two new bolts yesterday for new clothes? I think I read it in our ledger. It's because you've outgrown these too, haven't you? Good thing you're such an ample size. So many of the matrons of Far Madding will be so blessed to have your hand-me-downs."
Drayla's face reddened. The girl's weight was a sore spot for her -- her mother, a prominent Council seat, was well-known for putting her daughter on extravagant eating routines. Eveayla knew for a fact that Drayla had been eating exclusively barley, greens, and broth for almost three months in hopes that she might shed a few stone. It didn't seem to be working. The girls behind Eveayla tittered delightedly at the insult. Soon, they would outgrow these petty insults and move to the Game of Houses in full. Eveayla longed for the day when she could be a part of that world, perhaps even try her hand against the Cairhienin, the best of the best. For now, though, she simply had to amuse herself with... lesser.
"Come now, girls, we don't want to keep Drayla from her books," Sabine drawled, her dark eyes twinkling. Perfect hair, perfect face, perfect life -- Sabine's mother was sister to the First Council. She would marry well in another year and preside over an expansive estate. Her choices would be vast, even beyond the city -- she was to begin a trip to Andor in a few days, where her parents might entice Andoran nobility into an advantageous match. Eveayla was beyond jealous, but not of the marriage, of the chance to leave the city. Nobody in her family ever left the city.
"Agreed. Sorry Drayla," she said, giving her victim a false smile. "We've got so much to do today, you know. It's Sabine's last day in the city, and we really must get dressed up for her going off ball."
Drayla was stammering for a retort, anything, but she wouldn't have much to say. When you went with logic and knowledge, you almost always lost against the irrational cruelty of teenage girls. She had been suffering their games since early puberty, when her weight had first started setting on. Before then, they had all played together as children -- but such was the way of it. You didn't place a bolt of scratchy wool beside silk to make it shine brighter in a shop window. Silk sold better when lined up with like luxury in an array of gleaming color. Eveayla waved a hand and the girls were off, already forgetting their fun in favor of a discussion on which ribbons and shoes to wear to the festivities.
The night was a whirlwind: a glowing gala, filled to the brim with fantastic petticoats, swirling dancers, and extravagant foods. Eveayla's mother, one of the premier weavers in Far Madding, mingled effortlessly, gliding from one Council to another and securing future business. She often called Eveayla over to demonstrate the finery her daughter had been decked in: the newest in embroidery, from the imaginative birds that graced her neckline all the way to tiny, delicate lace that adorned high collar and cuff. In blue so dark as to be black, these silvery forms glittered from every angle, catching the light of each candle in the room. This gown would only be worn once or twice before it was sold to someone of the minor nobility, of course -- Eveayla rarely got to keep the finest examples of her mother's works. To her friends, it looked like she had a constantly rotating wardrobe of the best, and the best suited her well.
"It's remarkable. Did your husband do all of the embroidery, as usual? You have the finest dress makers in all of Arad Doman, surely. It's no wonder that your silks are doing so well in Seanchen territory," one of the women remarked, reaching out to fluff the lace frill at Eveayla's cuff. Madrin Amalasan beamed with pride, and Evvy's own face glowed with the attention. "It looks just lovely on your Eveayla, as well, Madrin. She's getting prettier every day. Do you intend to send her out to meet a husband soon, or will you be negotiating inside the city for her? I should have her over to meet my Tamlin!"
Eveayla fought to keep her nose from wrinkling. Tamlin Corresand was an utterly useless man. More than normal, really, and that was saying quite a bit about men. He forgot his place ALL the time -- always speaking over his sister Amira and following them around when uninvited. Besides, if his mother had been paying any attention at all, she would know that Tamlin only had eyes for Sabine. It was just ridiculous.
"No, we've actually decided on something else," Madrin said, looking pleased. "She'll be traveling with the First Council's daughter tomorrow, but will be stopping in Murandy. The Murandian nobility is eager to see some of our more innovative styles, and have extended an invitation for us to meet with them. You know I don't leave the city, so I'll be sending Evvy along in my stead," she explained. "With an escort, of course," she added, glancing at Eveayla. This was news, and she knew it would be exciting for the seventeen-turn girl.
Eveayla wasn't listening. Her heart soared. Leaving Far Madding? What could be better -- she had never gotten to leave before. Even though Murandy would surely be dull, she was certain that Sabine's caravan would take a night or two in the city, maybe even meet with the King himself! She had heard that he had several attractive sons. The rest of the night flew by, her thoughts buoyed by the knowledge that she would be on her way come morning.
Traveling wasn't nearly as exciting as it seemed. While many nobles now leapt about with the assistance of the Aes Sedai, Far Madding nobles still frowned upon the use of the One Power, and traveled instead the old fashioned way. At least they didn't have to sit on any horses -- Eveayla would have been saddle-sore by midday, if that had been the case. Not that sitting in the shaded wagon was much better for long travel: a padded cushion did only so much to prevent a sore bottom, but she wasn't about to start walking unless Sabine decided to do the same.
Sabine and Eveayla amused themselves with games of cards and watching the countryside drift by, giggling at the handsome caravan guards, whose swords, no longer peace-bonded beyond the Caemlyn Gate, seemed suddenly thrilling and dangerous. They stopped at inns in small towns along the way, sleeping two to a room and whispering secrets through the night. These evenings, Evvy felt like Sabine's dearest friend, although in Far Madding they had been little more than acquaintances running in similar circles. This newfound taste of the higher up was like drinking from an overfilled cup for Eveayla. Sabine's world was her own for several weeks, with servants to tend to her whims and the townsfolk of these small stops catering to them as if they held their own Council seats.
It came to an end when they arrived to Murandy. Sabine's father, sent along for supervision of his daughter's journey, did not go out of his way to introduce Eveayla to the King or his sons, as she had hoped. Instead, Eveayla was granted an audience with the royal dressmakers, who fawned over the fabrics and pressed gold marks into her hand as if they thought she would be grateful for their patronage. She did her best to smile graciously and address them properly, without stooping to see them as equals. They would be beneath her, when she was able to secure her rightful place within a noble house. For now, they must be tolerated, for business. Business interests were always before her own -- her mother had instilled that into her at an early age.
Everything changed when she met the Aes Sedai. The woman had been sent as a representative of the Grey Tower's interests, to counter envoys from the White and Black Towers who already resided in the city. Eveayla was summoned early the third morning of their stay, the very morning that Sabine was to leave. She didn't get to say goodbye to her friend, instead consigned to a small audience chamber where she waited for the Aes Sedai to appear and go through the selection of linens and silks she had brought.
While waiting, she let her mind wander back to her early education, searching her brain for mentions of the Aes Sedai and Towers. It had fascinated her as a youth -- what it would be like, to have so much power at your fingertips. In Far Madding it was frowned upon -- they had the Guardians, so that none could place themselves above others without properly earning the right. Some famous Aes Sedai had come from the city, certainly, but their names were not mentioned. They were not the important part of the teachings. Aes Sedai were political meddlers, to be avoided. Wielding the One Power was irresponsible and dangerous, and it was better for them to leave Far Madding than stay within its walls, causing trouble. The Council did not long tolerate Aes Sedai visitors, and many Council members turned down advisors -- although with the Gaurdian, not many offered their services. They couldn't stand to be separated from The Source for long.
The woman who arrived was nothing like Eveayla expected. Not fearsome or imposing at all, really. She had sharp eyes that regarded every detail in the room, but her ageless face gave nothing away. If she had thoughts about the fabrics, she kept them to herself. A dark skinned man came inside with her, his color-changing cloak making him uncomfortable for Eveayla to look at for long. A Warder. Her father's brother was a Warder, for the White Tower. They didn't speak of him much. He might not even be alive.
"Yes, I think the yellow one, and maybe this gray silk, with yellow embroidery," the Aes Sedai said, waving a hand to a junior dressmaker who was attending the audience. The girl bustled about, taking notes carefully about hem and style. "Do you have this fabric, girl?"
Eveayla pulled herself from her own thoughts and noticed that the woman was gesturing to her own dress, a rust-colored linen that had a slight sheen applied to give it stiffness and drape. She had chosen the dress today since one of Murandy's princes was having a coat made in the same. Maybe he would notice it on her and ask about her, and she would advantageously meet him.
"No, it's already been purchased by the royal family, Aes Sedai," she said quickly, glancing up at the woman for a moment. Those eyes. Gray, and fierce. As if they were looking into your soul. It was disconcerting. The woman had placed a hand on her sleeve and was regarding her more directly now.
"What is your name, girl?" Her tone was cutting, to the point. The clipped accent of Cairhien was unmistakeable.
"Eveayla Amalasan, Aes Sedai. Daughter of Master Weaver Madrin Amalasan of Far Madding," she said, meeting the woman's eyes. How was she so intimidating? Eveayla hated the feeling. She much preferred to be the one doing the intimidation.
"You have a spark in you, child. Have you ever been out of Far Madding before this?"
"No Aes Sedai," she answered, growing annoyed. Did it matter? Was this woman going to buy fabric or not?
"I think you could become a fine Aes Sedai. I would have you to the Tower, to be tested. I'll take these fabrics too. If nothing else, you can sell your wares at Hama Valon, and then we shall have someone make you a gateway home. I think you'll enjoy the journey," the Aes Sedai said curtly. Her tone implied that it had all been decided, and the Warder ducked out of the room, as if making arrangements. Eveayla paled. To be tested? For Aes Sedai? How -- why -- would she ever choose to become one of those so despised in Far Madding? She was going to marry nobility! She was going to be important!
"I can't, Aes Sedai," she stammered, worried that if she didn't say something, this woman would sweep her up against her will. "I have to return home, to Far Madding, my mother --"
The Aes Sedai raised a hand to the objection. "You'll channel one way or another, girl. Your mother would rather see you properly trained than burned out from accidents on your journey, I'm sure. We shall send her an envoy. She'll be grateful for the business -- it's unlikely your wares would make it so far if not for Traveling with me. Now, I'll have some help sent down to pack up your things, and we shall head out together tomorrow." The woman nodded -- all had been decided -- and left the room.
Eveayla stood there, motionless, as the serving man her mother had sent along began gathering up the fabrics, already excited at the prospect of business in yet another city, and more gold in his own pocket for the trip. The reality didn't sink in for Eveayla until she had been swept out of the room -- her adventure had only just begun.
- Novice (29 December 2016)