Name: Elyith Ishel
Place of Birth/Raising: Fal Moran
Character History Edit
“This is Elyith Ishel, born of Domire and Haline Ishel, may the light shine upon her and the mother’s last embrace welcome her home.”
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That was how Elyith’s simple childhood began; born of a simple farmer and his wife, in a small village near the great city of Fal Moran. Elyith was a simple young woman, with long, chestnut hair that flowed to her waist as water flows down a stream. She had deep ebony eyes that glimmered with awareness; her height was average, if slightly tall for a borderland woman. Elyith had a slight build, giving her a rather fragile appearance to the first glance, but on second, one came to observe that she possessed thighs and arms that were sleek and smooth muscle. This was a gift from days spent running, playing outdoors, and practicing archery with her father.
Elyith became well rehearsed at keeping emotion from her soft face, seldom allowing emotion to over run her calmness. The main contributor to Elyith’s skill of calmness was her much lacking skills of sewing and cooking. At the age of seven, Haline began to teach Elyith how to cook well and how to sew, such skills needed by a good housewife. After hours of practice each day, Haline, more often than not, sent Elyith away in despair, for Elyith possessed not an ounce of skill for either chore. Rumour of her inability spread across the small village as though riding on the wind. As wives of the village saw Elyith pass in the street, they would shake their heads and whisper in disapproving tones. As Elyith began to realise that they whispered at her un-womanly lack of common, everyday skills, desolation grew in her heart. Determined to do better, and not to allow the women to cause her distress, she began to work harder and react less to their scolds. Thus, Elyith learnt with astonishing pace to conceal and suppress her emotions.
Haline also bore two sons: Rian, four years Elyith’s elder, and Halan, one year her elder. Elyith admired both her brothers, though she came to love Rian more, as his hand more often was extended when Elyith reached out for a friend as a small child. Elyith loved the outdoors; running and playing in delight with her brothers often as alone. With the arrival of her tenth name day, Domire presented Elyith with her own bow and arrows, as well as her own horse. Irrela was the white mare’s name, and Elyith loved her. Domire proceeded to teach Elyith the skills required to handle and care for a horse in addition to archery. Elyith learnt at great speed, training her mare well and finding precision with the arrow.
Shortly following her thirteenth name day a band of trollocs raided the village. Elyith, Haline and Domire heard screams of terror from the village centre and quickly decided to slip away and take the road to Fal Moran. Haline and Elyith prepared quickly while Domire slipped out into the fields to find Halan and Rian. As Haline and Elyith reached the back door of their modest farmhouse, a sole trolloc ripped the door from its hinges and trudged inside. Elyith screamed, and Haline moved in front of her as though to shield her from their foe. The trolloc picked up Haline roughly and threw her across the room. She screamed in pain. The tortured sound rang in Elyith’s ears as her eyes darted around, searching for something to aid her and her mother, but found nothing. The gruesome creature, marked by its large snout, moved heavily across the room to where Haline lay, unable to move. With large, uncoordinated fingers, it tore Haline’s clothes from her body and threw them aside. Picking her up once more, the shadow bound creature tortured her to her death. All the while, Elyith cowered in a corner, unable to move. Her terror was beyond screaming, her emotions; beyond words. As the last strand of life faded from Haline, the trolloc turned its attentions to Elyith. A cruel grin spread across its face as it started towards Elyith. Elyith desperately tried to melt into the tight corner of the kitchen, without success.
Suddenly, a young woman burst into the room. Her unbound hair swayed as she drew a quick rein on her speed, coming to a halt just inside the doorway. Elyith was staggered by the young woman’s courage. She had just run into a house containing a trolloc in the heat of a rampage! But she carried no weapon, other than a short belt-knife, but a belt knife was worse than useless against a trolloc! This woman must be able to help her somehow, though! It came to her that the inclination of seeking comfort in the apparition of a completely defenseless woman was childish; she was about to be tortured by a Trolloc, not having a nightmare! In despair, she surrendered herself mentally, resigned to the fact that both her and the absurdly courageous woman were both about to die. Elyith wished, silently, for a miracle, anything to save them, then gasped, as her subconscious wish became reality in the blink of an eye. The Trolloc stopped dead as flame erupted around its body, flames curling around its head, licking its arms.
Elyith lost all paralysis in shock, and realised that the woman seemed to be, in some way, connected to the timely appearation. The trolloc screeched and ran for the door. Elyith could hear it rolling around outside, still fighting to rid itself of the flames. Turning her shocked gaze from the doorway, Elyith began to take in the woman’s appearance in full. On first glance, she had appeared to be a young woman, not many a year past her twentieth name day. Second glance showed her to be a woman of her middle ages. Upon proper scrutiny, Elyith could not say whether she was closer to her twentieth or fiftieth name day. Then it dawned upon her:
This is an Aes Sedai! Her face is ageless, that fire was certainly not made from anything normal, yes, even the way she holds herself shouts of the legendary Aes Sedai from the stories!
The horrid noises ceased. Elyith rose slowly, shaking with fear, and made the best attempt she could, under the circumstances, at a curtsy.
“Th-thankyou, Aes Sedai.” Elyith was proud at how smooth her voice sounded. She had expected to be barely understandable. The Aes Sedai gave her a penetrating look, as though reading her from the inside out.
“Now is not the time for idle chat, child, you are still in danger here. This trolloc may be dead, but many of them still ravage the village. Where is the remainder of your family?” Her voice sounded cool and serene. Odd, considering what had occurred only seconds before, but then, this was an Aes Sedai.
“My father and brothers are on the road to Fal Moran, Aes Sedai.” Elyith replied, respectfully.
“I shall escort you to them.” The Aes Sedai assumed acceptance on Elyith’s behalf and immediately strode through the now irreparable doorway.
Amidst a ball of flame, lay the trolloc, dead. With absolutely no desire to wait for another of the foul creatures to arrive, Elyith ran to catch up with the Aes Sedai, who had already mounted a tall, grey gelding and was walking him toward the road which would lead them to Fal Moran, the road Elyith and her mother were to meet Domire and his two sons. Elyith ran beside the Aes Sedai’s muscular mount as though one of the shadow-souled was at her back.
The Aes Sedai stopped her fast, but consistent pace just a few miles from the distraught village.
“Child, I believe you deserve some explanation before we continue. I also believe my horse will not continue at this pace for much more of a time.” The woman gave a weary smile. “My name is Espara Sedai, of the Blue Ajah. My Gaidin, Auron, saw these trollocs enter your village and I, being of the Blue, stopped in the hope of being able to save some of your fellow towns-people, and remove some of the shadow-soulled. There. That is my simple explanation. Now, I would be most pleased if you would be so kind as to provide me with some simple information. What is your name, child?” Espara Sedai asked, her voice radiating kindness and sympathy.
“Thank you, Espara Sedai. My name is Elyith Ishel. I could do nothing to repay my debt even in half to you, but what my I do to repay it in some small way?” Elyith replied, in genuine sincerity. This Aes Sedai had just proven herself to be everything Elyith could ever wish to be.
“Hmm…” the Aes Sedai mused. “I suppose I am always on a lookout for some more eyes-and-ears. You could write to me, if you like. Just to tell me what is happening where you are at any given time. What you write of has no need to be always of the impersonal nature; I have taken a liking to you, Elyith. I would not at all mind hearing of what happens in your own life. In fact, perhaps we should become friends, of a sort. There is always a bond between those who have experienced darker deeds together. Would you accept?”
“Yes, of course I would, Aes Sedai! I would be proud to repay my debt in anyway I could.” Elyith bowed her head slightly, to show her sincerity. She would be quite pleased to be one of an Aes Sedai’s eyes-and-ears and honoured to be her friend. Besides, Espara Sedai had become someone Elyith looked up to, even during the relatively short time she had known her.
The pair covered several miles before stopping, and just before dark, Domire, Halan and Rian came into view. They appeared decidedly dirty, covered in twigs and leaves, as though they had run cross-country. Elyith introduced Espara Sedai to her family, who all bowed, awestruck. Espara bent in her saddle to speak softly to Elyith.
“I must return to Auron. The Light protect you in Fal Moran, and don’t forget t write!” she added, with a quick smile as she straightened in her saddle and turned to ride back along the road.
Elyith turned back toward her family and shared her horrible news with them and the party grieved in silence as they made their way along the compacted, dirt road towards the city of Fal Moran.
For three years, Elyith and her family rented a small flat at the back of the manor of a wealthy merchant, named Neimray, in the outer part of the city. Domire worked for Neimray as a stable hand, earning just enough to keep the flat and feed his family. Life for Elyith continued in as close to a normal fashion as was possible, under the circumstances. Neimray’s wife, Elaya, became close to a second mother to Elyith. She tried to teach her to sew, cook and embroider. Elyith found she still had little more skill with a needle than she had whilst living in her quaint village. Her and Elaya often giggled over the matter while sipping honeyed tea.
Correspondence with Espara became more inclined to that of friendship, than of Aes Sedai and eyes-and-ears. Elyith told Espara of her life, her father’s job, their modest home and Elaya, and the Aes Sedai wrote in return each time with genuine interest in Elyith’s life in Fal Moran.
Life in Fal Moran returned to contentment for Elyith and her family, until Domire fell ill. Weakened by the sickness, Domire was unable to continue working, so Halan and Rian went out to look for work. They found nothing more than a few odd jobs, with very low pay. There was no longer enough coin to pay the rent of their flat, and Neimray put them out. Elaya pitied the family and attempted to convince her husband to let them stay, but Neimray had always been strict with his own coin, and believed he needed the extra rent money.
In this fashion, Elyith and her brothers moved from place to place, caring for their father as best they could. Nowhere in Fal Moran could they find as much as a small room to stay in to care for Domire until he recovered.
One cuttingly cold day in mid-winter Domire called Elyith to him. His round face looked gaunt and tired as he raised a bony hand to caress Elyith’s soft face.
“Elyith, I am dying,” he whispered.
“Father! Do not say such things!” Elyith exclaimed, deep ebony eyes widening.
“No, Elyith, I feel myself weaken. I will die today.” Domire’s voice was thin and sad.
“Father, I love you.”
“I love you too, my darling Elyith. Be brave. I want you and your brothers to return to the village. Start a farm again and live in peace.” His voice strained with emotion, a will for a better future for his children, a future that did not appear to include himself.
“Of course.” Elyith replied simply.
“Oh, Elyith, I feel…” his voice trailed off as strength seeped from his body.
“No! Father” Elyith cried, squeezing her beloved father’s hand. There was no response. Elyith flung herself over his chest. “Don’t leave me!”
His heart still beat; a slow and fragile sound. Elyith stayed near, watching over him through the long, cold night. Domire barely survived the through night, but Elyith retained hope and took him to the nearest wise woman in the early hours of the frozen morning. The middle-aged woman was well respected for her cures. When Elyith arrived upon her doorstep asking the woman to tend her father, she nodded in acquiesce immediately.
Elyith waited impatiently for almost an hour while the wise one tended her father’s sickness. Unallowed to enter the small room where the woman worked, Elyith sat straight-backed in one of the stout wooden chairs at the kitchen table.
After some time, the woman returned, shaking her head sadly.
“I have given him some herbs to ease his pain,” she said, “but he shan’t survive till morn’. Take him away to rest his last day in peace. I am truly sorry. There is nothing I can do.”
Elyith thanked the woman, numbly, and took Domire away. Kneeling over him, she wished there were something she could do to ease his pain. As she sat back on her heels, tears of despondence rolled down her fair cheeks. She stayed with him the day and following night, giving devotions to the Light, praying and pleading adamantly that the Creator give him the strength to regain health.
But this was not the end. Despite the wise woman’s prediction, Elyith remained steadfast, refusing to believe that nothing could save him from his fate. Finally, to the wise woman’s complete amazement, some strength returned to Domire over the following week, and he became almost well enough to care for himself entirely.
“It must have been your devotions, Elyith!” Domire proclaimed, with a wink and a smile to show he may not entirely have believed his own words. Then his voice changed, to show he was now being sincere.
“I could feel your prayer within my heart. It seemed almost as though you were surrounded by the Light. You have strength and faith, my darling. Keep that inside of you always.” Domire smiled proudly, at his last comment.
As another week passed Domire began to work again and managed to find a humble form of residence. Elyith wrote to Espara Sedai to share her father’s miraculous recovery. She wrote of the illness, how her father had been unable to work, that the wise woman had been unable to cure him, his impossibly uncanny return to health and what he had told to Elyith afterwards.
Espara wrote in reply much quicker than Elyith had expected. The letter seemed written in a different manner, in some way, to Elyith, though every time she tried to put a finger on exactly what was different, she seemed to miss the mark. Perhaps it seemed urgent, perhaps excited or concerned, and yet not so. Whatever the letter had sounded, fact was that something in Elyith’s letter had tossed a pebble into the lake; Espara was coming to visit as soon as she could hasten to arrive. Elyith did not understand entirely the reason for the Aes Sedai’s sudden visit, or perhaps she simply could not believe what she did understand.
The letter had given a vague reference to Elyith’s letter, something her father had said… nothing more, nothing less, and Elyith could make neither head nor tail of it. In any case, Elyith reported to her father that evening that Espara Sedai would be leaving the Tower in order to visit them as soon as possible and preparations for her arrival began.
Just following midday of Elyith’s sixteenth name day, Espara and her warder, Auron, arrived from the Tower. Elyith, her two brothers and Domire greeted the regal pair as they dismounted smoothly from their sleek mounts. Espara smiled at Elyith as Domire bend swiftly into an exact bow. After the greetings were exchanged, Elyith offered tea to the travel-worn pair, quickly declined by Espara, who appeared to have items of higher priority bubbling at the surface of her mind. Auron accepted politely, and Elyith began to lead him and the remainder of the party into the family’s petite back-yard cottage.
From the corner of her sharp eye, Elyith noticed Espara place a hand upon her father’s arm to stop him from following the party inside. She turned toward the Aes Sedai, a small amount of question visible upon her face.
“I really must apologise, Elyith; I know we have only just arrived. We shall have tea and chat soon, but first, I must talk with your father. In private.” The Aes Sedai added, as Elyith moved her feet to turn the remainder of the way toward the pair.
“Of course, Espara Sedai.” Elyith bowed her head quickly in acquiescence.
Elyith then turned smoothly back and moved to lead the others towards the humble kitchen for tea. Though she trusted Espara with all of her heart, Elyith could not help but wonder what kind business she could possibly have had with Domire that must be kept from she herself.
Espara and Domire returned after little more than ten minutes, although it had felt like an hour to Elyith, who’s curiosity had always gotten the better of her.
“Can I offer you some tea, Espara?” Elyith asked, politely.
“Just a little, thankyou, Elyith.” Espara replied serenely. “While you poor, we must talk.”
“Of course, Espara, what is the matter?” Elyith inquired, curiosity rising.
“Elyith, you know I have always been open with you. I have kept nothing secret from you that you wanted to know. I must not hedge around this matter. I shall, therefore, simply tell you straight. I think you may have the ability to channel, and I have hastened to come and visit so that I might find the right time to test you. I have asked your father for his blessings to take you to the White Tower for training as an Aes Sedai if you have the ability.”
“Oh.” Elyith let the small noise escape her as she attempted to process what the Aes Sedai had just told her. It seemed as though she had just been handed an entire cow to carry, and she thought she should topple under the weight. Ever since her first meeting with Espara Sedai, Elyith had lived in admiration of Aes Sedai and in awe of their power. She had wished for nothing more than the chance to become one of their number, but never had the thought crossed her mind that she may actually get this opportunity. Setting her mind, Elyith made her reply.
“What must I do, Espara Sedai?” Was all she said.
Espara pulled her hand from her belt pouch to produce a sizable, smoothed emerald.
“Elyith, using this stone, I shall be able to tell whether you have the ability to channel. Would you like to try now?”
Elyith nodded solemnly, knowing the weight of what may have happened next.
“First, we must transfer ourselves outdoors. The Sun is important in this process. Follow me.” Espara Sedai strode smoothly towards the solid door and went outside, Elyith in tow.
“Take this in your hands, like so.” The Aes Sedai directed, demonstrating as she spoke. “Good. Now, I want you to close your eyes and concentrate. Concentration is most important in this exercise, Elyith.”
Elyith obediently closed her eyes and cupped the emerald in her steady hands. She schooled her mind to stillness, thinking of nothing other than the Aes Sedai’s words.
“Empty your mind completely. No thought, no emotion, just float. Feel nothing other than the soft warmth of the Sun on your skin. Soak in its energy. Just relax. Surrender to the warmth, and the light. Let yourself be taken by it. Open yourself completely, just let go…” Espara’s voice trailed off as Elyith felt a warm light inside her. Opening her eyes to ask Espara a question she knew not how to word, Elyith glanced down at the emerald pillowed in her hands. It flickered with a soft light. As Elyith immediately felt the light inside her flail and disappear, the light coming from the ter’angreal flickered and vanished.
Elyith raised her open-mouthed gaze to the other woman’s face and saw that it shone with pure delight.
“Elyith, you did it!” Espara no longer sounded so much like an Aes Sedai as a child sharing a moment of triumph with her closest friend. “Elyith, that light was you using saidar! You can channel!”
Elyith’s mouth dropped open. She could channel! Everyone knew that an Aes Sedai could not lie, so Espara must be telling the truth. Years spent admiring Aes Sedai from afar, spent daydreaming of being Aes Sedai, and now she had a chance. A very small chance, considering all of the training a woman had to endure to become a sister, but a chance, to say the least. But how could she come to belong in such an amazing place? The Tar Valon was huge compared to any city she had seen. Tar Valon was said to be much larger than Fal Moran. The White Tower would be like a labyrinth maze to Elyith, a maze that is simply too large to find your way around, even had you been given an entire life time to do it. The thought of so many Aes Sedai all around also frightened Elyith. There were just a few too many Aes Sedai housed in the White Tower at the present time for her to manage.
Espara Sedai seemed to read her mind. Or perhaps it was her face. Elyith had always been proud of how little emotion showed upon her face, but she would need to improver her skills much further if she wanted to become Aes Sedai.
“Elyith, I know what it is you are thinking. The White Tower can be a little mind-boggling, but once you become accustomed to it, the Tower shall feel like home. If you feel unsure, I promise I will help you. I can guide you until you feel comfortable on your own. Of course, I will still keep my friendship with you once you have no further need of my assistance, but until then, I shall be here when ever I can to give you a little help.” Espara offered herself easily, as though she had no other charges to attend to at the Tower. Elyith appreciated her offer very much. She felt that it would have been impossible to settle into the Tower without some assistance, and a friendly face would be most welcome.
“Thankyou Espara! I would appreciate a little help. The Tower seems a little too large to fathom right now. When must I leave?”
“As soon as you are willing to, Elyith. I will stay here with you and your family until you feel you are prepared. Take you hours, days or weeks, I will stay and guide you there.” Espara stated simply.
“I would go tomorrow, Espara. I could leave for Tar Valon today, with your support, but I think you should spend the night here to rest. You have ridden a long way very fast, after all.” Espara nodded her head, and the pair stepped back inside for tea.
The next morning Espara, Auron and Elyith lead their horses to the front of the cottage. Elyith paused before mounting to bid her father fare well.
“Go, my dearest daughter.” Domire bent his head down to kiss Elyith lightly on the forehead. “Go. Good luck.”
Elyith mounted her roan mare, having said her last goodbyes, and took one last look back as she rode around a bend in the road and out of sight. The road took its first turn in exact timing with the turn of direction in her life and as she rode on down her path, she prepared herself mentally for the road ahead.