Character Name: Nyssa Deschain
Former Division: White Tower
Age: 16 when she arrives at the White Tower, 156 when she leaves the White Tower.
Place of Birth/Raising: She was born and raised in Mayene, mostly in and around the court.
Physical Description: Nyssa is a tall and slender young woman. Everything about her is a little waiflike and willowy. She borders on skinny, but she doesn’t look unhealthy, even though her complexion is very pale. Her hair is pure black and it falls straight down her back in a v-shaped cut. Her eyes are a very dark brown and slightly slanted. Her own favorite feature is her hands. She has long and delicate fingers. Nyssa has become more womanly over the years, but she is still willowy and slender. She stands taller than the average woman at 6 ft, but her delicate build keeps her from being an overwhelmingly tall person.
Nyssa was born on a cold winter night in a back chamber of the great palace of Mayene. Her mother, Saviene Deschain tried to keep her hidden from the world as long as possible. As an illegitimate child of one of the seconds of Mayene, her future would have looked bleak, if not for her mother’s persuasive skills. Her mother had worked long and hard to come where she was now, and she would not let that be ruined by the birth of her child. The first year of her life Nyssa lived in secrecy, well away from court life. It was only after her father had officially accepted Saviene as his mistress that Nyssa was introduced to the ways of royalty. Her mother birthed four more children from the second, and all were given a fine education, and as much respect from the other royals as a bastard child could expect.
When she was old enough to wander around unguarded, her mother set Nyssa out to spy on the members of the royal house of Mayene, and more importantly, the other mistresses and the wife of her father. Nyssa was very estranged from her father, as he had never officially recognised her as his child. Nyssa took a great deal of pleasure out of figuring out what everyone was up to. She soon learned what to tell her mother and what to keep to herself, and at the age of thirteen she was already quite skilled at politics. That is why her first meeting with an Aes Sedai shook her so. The First of Mayene had one regular advisor, but due to the difference in status, Nyssa had never seen this advisor before. The great presence of this woman fascinated the young girl, and inspired her as well. In the following year, Nyssa spoke to the Aes Sedai often, telling her of what she learnt of the movements in the palace.
When it was time for the Aes Sedai to report back to the tower she took Nyssa with her, after having tested her for the ability to channel. With the potency to channel, and the skills she acquired in spying and politics, the Aes Sedai believed that the young woman would be a worthy asset to the tower.
Nyssa learned swiftly in the White Tower, while applying the other skills she had learnt during her childhood to find out as much as she could about the Aes Sedai, Accepted, and her fellow novices. After 6 years, Nyssa was allowed to go through the arches, which she did successfully. Her first year as an accepted was hard, as she struggled with what she had seen in her arches, and struggled with her renewed responsibility. This didn’t make her a slow student though. After 7 years she was tested, and found ready to take the oath. She chose the Gray Ajah, the Ajah she had been groomed for by her mentor. It was the Ajah that could use her skills most.
Though Nyssa was not a harsh negotiator, she had her way of making things happen the way she wanted them. People were careless about their secrets, and she always found something about a person with which she could turn that person in the right direction. Her skills and her tactics did not go by unnoticed by all. Nyssa’s hidden agenda led her to take risks that she would not have taken, if she had been less ambitious. The night after her actions caused the death of a minor noble and his family, Nyssa was approached by a friend of the Dark, who revealed to her that he knew her heart was darker than she cared to admit.
Upon her return to the White Tower, Nyssa was contacted by a member of the Black Ajah. Knowing full well that someone with her lack of morality would never survive under the light, Nyssa took the only obvious option, forswearing her oaths to the White Tower and the Light, and taking up new oaths to the Great Lord of the Dark instead. In his service she worked hard, laying doubt at the heart of the White Tower.
Years after her change of loyalties, Nyssa sought out the Amyrlin Seat, Lanfir Leah Marithsen. Applying her skills in manipulation on her ‘Mother’, Nyssa wormed her way into Lanfir’s trust, gaining much information about the inner workings of the White Tower. It was perhaps this influence that forced the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah to acknowledge her talents. Due to a void in it’s occupation, Nyssa was made a member of the Supreme Council. She didn’t have much time to enjoy this position, as a conflict between a powerful Dreadlord and the White Tower reached it’s peak.
This Dreadlord invaded the White Tower, killing the Keeper, and causing the Amyrlin Seat to be burnt out. Nyssa’s hard work was laid to waste, but she had her revenge when the Dreadlord was killed by the former Amyrlin Seat. Nyssa skimmed to the top of Kinslayer’s dagger with Lanfir, abandoning her there with the words: “If the creator exists, he will come to the aide of his most favoured child. If not… then you’ll be dead, and I will have been right all along.” Faced with the choice of returning to the White Tower and being forced to rebuild her circle of influence, or turning to the Fortress instead, Nyssa chose the latter. She felt that, with the death of Lanfir, her work there was done. Others could work at the centre of power under the Light, while Nyssa seeks to establish herself at the centre of power under the Dark.
Note: Nyssa discovered that she had the dreamwalking talent after being pulled into a dream by the Chosen Lanfear. During the past few years Nyssa has worked for Lanfear, both in Tel’aran’rhiod and in the waking world. Recently she has set her sights on other goals though, and she finds herself drawn to Be`lal, the Netweaver.