Ever since the Breaking, there have been hidden groups of women that could channel that did not reside in the White Tower…
The Kin was created to provide sanctuary for such women. Runaways, those put out of the Tower for whatever reason, and wilders that somehow missed the system all eventually find their way towards the Kin. Their headquarters in Ebou Dar and the Knitting Circle will find new lives for them, away from the eyes of Tar Valon.
In fact, the White Tower is aware of the Kin. After the War of a Hundred Years, it gave the Kin the privacy and space to develop into what it is now; a safe haven for those women that the White Tower could not help. They are the Kin, because of their shared kinship of the One Power. Guided by the Eldest and the Knitting Circle, all female channellers that do not want to be detected by the Tower live hidden lives, protecting and teaching each other that they may continue that freedom.
Naturally, as with any governing body, there will be clashes of opinion and heated debates. Some remain conservative, holding to the views of the past and that they should remain hidden. They believe detection by the White Tower would lead to the destruction of the Kin. Others are more liberal, believing that they have to move with the times and that channelling should be outwardly used for the greater good, employing Kin members as Wisdoms and Wise Women across the continent. And then there are the militants, that would see a much more active involvement from the Kin in both world politics and battles alike. Laws and Guidelines As one would expect from a society that needs to stay hidden, the disciplinary system is stricter than that of the White Tower. The Kin’s very survival depends on how well its members avoid detection. Any abuse of the One Power will result in stilling, and the Kin member will go into exile at one of the ‘retreats’ to serve a twofold purpose: to remind other Kin members of the penalty of inappropriate actions, and to look after those that need to escape the world for a while. The Circle Leader will decide the level of infringement of Kin Law that merits stilling. Examples include: bonding someone against their will and killing or irreversibly maiming someone with the One Power except in self-defence. Up until a hundred years ago Kin members were not allowed to marry. Some of the older members still refuse to marry on the grounds of tradition and the belief that it interferes with the Kin’s work, but younger members now, at least, have the choice. A married Kin member would have to explain her absences and actions in such a way her husband would not find out and relationships with that level of distrust are usually turbulent. Some work, however. It is down to individual cases.
The Kin are widely spread over all the countries in the mainland. At the time this document was written the Kin number 3283 members who are of varying strengths from barely able to make a ball of light to those who are fully capable and dangerous Channellers. These women are spread over thirteen countries. Often the main circle of a country resides on a location similar to the farm near Ebou Dar. The countries where the Kin may be found are:
Altara, Amadicia**, Andor, Illian, Kandor, Murandy, Arad Doman, Arafel, Cairhien, Ghealdan, Saldaea, Shienar, Tarabon, Tear
- The Kin of Amadicia do not have a single safe house but instead travel around in merchant caravans searching for others of their kind to send out of the country to a safe house elsewhere. This country has no rep within the Knitting Circle due to how few Kin are there.
Some of the regions are less populated with Kin than others. Tairen Kin has to be wary of detection at all times, while Andoran Kin is relatively free to channel if they wish, with only the White Tower to be wary of. There are Kin roaming through Amadicia but due to the ever-present Children of the Light, they are always on the move. These brave souls pretend to be merchants and their ilk, always searching for young girls who have the spark hoping to find them before the Whitecloaks do.
A member of the Kin may live her entire life without knowing that there are other circles in existence. The leaders of the minor circles are very close mouthed even to those close to them, knowing that the less some people know, the less they can betray to those who would seek to harm the Kin.
Safe Houses and Retreats
The Kin have many safe houses all over the mainland. No location of Kin holds fewer than 13 channelling women at any given time. The main location of the Knitting Circle is a farm, which is located several miles northeast of Ebou Dar’s city limits. To the rest of the world this location is known as The Retreat, a place for woman to visit who have experienced high amounts of stress and need a more peaceful atmosphere and (occasionally) for young women who have been hounded by too many suitors¦ ironically much as the Tower itself does. In truth The Retreat serves as a cover for the Kin coming and going from Ebou Dar when dealing with The Knitting Circle. Much like the White Tower does with its rebellious members, when a member of the Kin breaks a rule, she is sent to do penance (farm work) at The Retreat. Ebou Dar - The Retreat. There is a farm several miles north east of Ebou Dar, north of the Rhannon Hills. It is said to be a retreat for women, but it is actually run by the Kin. Women of all stations in life reside there. The knitting circle is established in Ebou Dar itself, even if they don’t all reside in the city. Those from the Kin who pose as Wise Women wear distinctive red belts. Their knowledge of herbs and healing is legendary.
Andor - There is a farm located on the edges of the Braem wood, two hundred miles north of Caemlyn, and a days ride from the main road between Tar Valon and Caemlyn. From that farm onwards in the eastern direction, towards the River Erinin and the border of Cairhien, members of the Kin, as well as their relatives also inhabit several smaller farmsteads. This is often one of the first places that young Tower runaways find themselves taken in at. The Thread – the Kin’s Means of Communication Communication is essential among the Kin. They are being led from the farm at Ebou Dar, which means that most of their communication originates from that location. Pigeons are sent to the thirteen main farms, and from there on pigeons are sent to the other circles. The communication system of the Kin is called The Thread. People involved in the communication are called the pieces of the thread. The system is about as elaborate as the Eyes and Ears system the White Tower has, even if is not used for the same purpose. None of the farms the Kin use are closer than a days ride from main roads and towns Aes Sedai might visit. There are people loyal to the Kin living in those locations though, sending warnings to the farms when Aes Sedai come close, or when a reject or runaway from the White Tower comes their way. The coded messages often have something to do with either knitting and threads, or birds. No member of the Kin travels a main road without first consulting the Thread to see if the road is clear from all danger.
Leadership Among the Kin Edit
Rank among the Kin is established by age. The thirteen oldest of The Kin (who are interested leading The Kin) reside within the city of Ebou Dar, Altara & are referred to as the Knitting Circle. These thirteen lead all the Kin all around the globe. Every member of the Knitting Circle is responsible for the Kin in a given Region. If a member of the Knitting Circle dies, the older member from the Region she was responsible for replaces her. The oldest member of the Knitting Circle is known as The Eldest. It is possible that, while the oldest member of the Knitting Circle is its leader, that there are older members of the Kin in other in other locations who simply do not wish to participate in the group’s daily operations & leadership and so have declined seats in the Knitting Circle.
There are lesser circles, also consisting of 13 women in each, who have control over certain areas within a given region and report regularly to their Knitting Circle representative about important/regional issues. In the case of an emergency, the Kin of a given area send word to the eldest among them in the Region. This woman will then communicate with all the circles in her region spreading the information as necessary via The Thread.
Relations with the White Tower Edit
The Kin believe that their existence is unknown to the Aes Sedai, but this is not true. The Aes Sedai do know of their existence, even though it is not something that is commonly talked about by the Sisters of the White Tower. The White Tower has long, secretly, depended upon on the Kin to help catch and return runaways who had true potential to obtain the rank of Aes Sedai. The Kin only return a runaway if the girl is likely to betray their existence to Aes Sedai, or other forces that can threaten. A runaway that absolutely does not want to return to the White Tower is kept hidden from the world for a long time (often decades) or at least until The Kin, through their networks of eyes and ears, are certain the search for her has stopped.
The Forgotten, the Forsaken, & the Fallen Edit
Burnt Out, Stilled, or Exiled members of the White Tower who have found themselves in the vicinity of The Kin after their exodus from the White Tower have been cautiously welcomed into the fold on rare occasions in the past. This usually only occurs after a member of The Kin has observed the wretched soul (often directionless and destitute for their lack of ability to function in the real world) for some time and then represented their plight to the Knitting Circle. The matter of whether or not the former Sister presents a risk to The Kin is weighed and measured before first contact is made with the Forgotten/Forsaken/Fallen One.
In the interest of security, the Kin who performs this analysis will forego any contact with her fellow Kin members. Should the forgotten/forsaken/fallen one prove too much of a risk to add to The Kin, the Kin who has contacted/befriended her will one night simply disappear from the Channeller’s life and relocate to another country to avoid detection or unnecessary risk to her fellow Kin in the city. Should the woman prove to be worthy of risk in the eyes of her Assessor, the Knitting Circle again comes together to discuss the findings of the assessor and decide once and for all if the Channeller should be included into the Kin. At this time, the Channeller is confronted and must swear oaths (as the Kin know an Aes Sedai’s word is her bond via the Three Oaths) to not betray the Kin’s location, secrets, or security to anyone, ever.
It is former Tower members alone who are asked to say such oaths. The Oath: Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow never to betray The Kin to those they deem as adversaries through communication or deed except in the last extremity of defending my life. Beginning Life with the Kin
For starters, every new member to the Kin will have to have an interview with the Eldest. This will give the Eldest a chance to assess the direction the new arrival would like to progress in first and to see if there is anything useful they can learn. News is always welcome to the Kin, particularly from the Tower, and a new Kin member will learn about the rules and regulations and what is expected from her.
Progression Within the Kin Edit
Healing: Obviously while within the Kin you will want to learn how to use the One Power for better protection (unless you are an Amadician or Tairen Kin member, in which case you will have to leave the country to learn) or for a position such as a Wise Woman or Wisdom. In order to learn you must have your character become an apprentice to a more experienced Kin member. These will take the form of herbal healing lessons and anatomy, before finally progressing to using the One Power for healing as a last resort.
Taking part in this lesson will increase your skill by one point.
Protection: Your character will also learn basic protection weaves such as a Wall of Air to prevent attackers from assaulting them, and the basics of passive protection to use the attacker’s force against them. This will also increase your skill by one point.
Useful Weaves: Your character will learn useful weaves that could come in handy for preserving the secrecy of the Kin such as eavesdropping, as well as menial weaves with fire to help with day to day life. Again, this will increase your skill by one point.
As channellers in the White Tower receive more training in the One Power than the Kin will, this is the limit for skill increases from lessons. A character’s skill level will increase if they take part in a major event such as a large linking or battle, but these must be pre-approved by the Division Leader beforehand.
There are other, more important things that a member of the Kin will have to learn. These include, and will be taken into consideration when appointing a Knitting Circle for a specific region:
Geography: Learning about the different countries within the continent to ensure the safe passage of Kin members through areas affected by troubles or wars will greatly improve your character’s necessity. It will usually be in the form of a lesson, but the same thing could be learnt from a messenger arriving with news of the continent in general. This could have personal news for your character to give a reason for a more developed role-play.
Disguise: The art of camouflage in urban surroundings. Blending into a village or community is more than just adopting a new name and a new life. Learn a new skill or two, and some basic people skills to deftly manage gossip, and you’ll be well on your way to fitting into your new life.
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