“Can you answer my question, Vera? What have I written on the board?”


“I, what Vera? Answer my question.”

Vera swallowed nervously as she watched him come closer, the whip that he seemed so fond of being twirled around in his hands, almost like a threat. Staring blankly at the board, she willed her mind to understand. To answer. Sometimes, if she thought of that whip hard enough, the answer came to her. Only sometimes though.

Trembling slightly as she saw him come closer, the whip still there in his hands, she squinted hopelessly at the alien characters- perhaps something new may work. She would do anything.. anything to stop him from using that whip again. She looked frantically at the words on the board; trying once more to decipher this mysterious code they called language. Was that a C? Or maybe it was a D? The letters put together gave the word…Tac? What in the name of Light was that?! She eyed him fearfully every now and then, noticing that with every minute, the whip came a little closer to her.

“Vera,” The Whip said, voice no longer pleasant, “Answer my question. Now. What is written over there?” Vera licked her lips, by this point, absolutely terrified and yet unable to take her eyes of the Whip. She looked once more at the board, seeking an answer desperately and yet to no avail. All that she found was frustration. And fear.

“Could it be tact, maybe, Sir?” She said meekly. Suddenly, there was silence. Absolutely nothing could be heard in the room. Vera looked up, puzzled by the abrupt stillness present in the room. Pushing back the chestnut waves of hair that covered her eyes every now and then, she gave a little shriek. He stood right in front of her now and the whip was raised this time…. as if it was ready to attack.

Vera sat huddled up in a dark corner of her room, nursing her bleeding arm. Her otherwise beautiful face was tear stained and slightly coloured. However painful her wound may be, she could not afford to cry out. Mama may hear her and then, she would be so angry with her for upsetting the Master. How pleased Mama had seemed Lord Shearen had accepted her as a student. No, she would not let Mama know of this. Fear and frustration battled fiercely in her mind, bringing chaos to Vera. Fear of course, of her mother realizing how stupid her daughter was, fear that Lord Shearen would tell her Mama that she was an idiot. Frustration, because for the life of her, she simply could not understand anything that the Master tried to teach her. She just couldn’t understand it. The pronunciations just wouldn’t come to her. What had that word been anyway, since it wasn’t tac? Why, in the name of Light did she have to be so very foolish?! She was fifteen for Light’s sake, and yet she couldn’t even spell! That was when Vera lost all self control and she began to whimper softly. Soon, Mama would come and see this mess she’d made. No. That wouldn’t happen. She wouldn’t let her see. Wiping the tears from her face, she stood up suddenly. She decided that she would paint for a while.

Vera Cadsanome, as you may have realized, is not a very happy fifteen year old. And why should she be? A considerably attractive young girl with her fine-looking almond shaped grey eyes, her shoulder length wavy chestnut hair and feminine figure, she was fortunate and yet there was so much that she couldn’t do. Like speak properly for example, or spell, or write, or read…. truly speaking, she couldn’t do anything that required words. Born dyslexic, Vera has great difficulty communicating and sadly has no clue that it is a real problem and not because of the fact that she may not be intelligent enough. An obviously quiet girl, Vera is one who is trusts easily and is also frightened very easily due to people like Lord Shearen. Although she may seem easily swayed on the outside because of lack of self-esteem, Vera’s mind is currently in deep turmoil. She has no one she can go to, not even her mother, for although she loves her deeply, her mother’s heart would break if she revealed the truth to her. An unusually brave girl for her nervous demeanor, Vera has certain phases where suddenly, language and words don’t matter. One of the rare times that she achieves this bliss is when she paints. A born artist, Vera simply needs to hold a brush in her hand and begin her work and she forgets the real world and the many pains she faces. Another time when she was completely at home was when she was with her sister, Shayna. Almost a woman at the age of sixteen, Shayna thought the world of Vera and was also the only living human who could understand her and how she felt. Communication some how was not a problem.

Daughter of Lyla Cadsonome, single mother as well as a servant to a Royal Family, Lyla and Vera have lived in the city of Cairhien since she was three years old, although where she was born, her mother has never told her.

Adding her paintbrushes and colours to her sack of clothes, Vera quietly crept out of her room. Placing a letter on their kitchen table for her mother, she looked for a few moments at her Mama, wondering sadly if she could stay for just a little longer. Firmly pushing all thoughts of staying for even another day in Cairhien, she went from their little house silently, praying that Mama would be alright and the Light would protect her. Shayna stood outside, clutching her belongings and trying to smile bravely. Vera wondered if it was selfish of her to do this, to bring Shayna with her because she knew that couldn’t live in the Shearan mansion any longer. She had told Shayna that she need not come, yet her sister just hadn’t taken no for an answer. Together, they had decided, they would go to Caemlyn, where they had heard from their mother their father lived. Perhaps over there, they would find comfort. Well, actually, she would find comfort. However, their fairy tale image of traveling was shattered when they were robbed of their money but a week after they began their journey. Shayna, who’d been suffering due to a fever from the very beginning, was steadily losing all strength she possessed and Vera with her weak communication skills and no money was losing heart. The end to their far-fetched plan came quickly and with a twist.

Here is a letter that Shayna wrote to her father, some thing she had been doing for several years by then,

Dear Papa,
Today it seems to me that Lady luck herself took our fates in her hands and brought us relief. The clouds have finally gone away from the sky and I can see the Light again. What in the name of Light am I talking about you must be asking yourself. Well, let me tell you now. Last night, on our long journey to your home these horrible men began to stalk us, throwing disgusting comments our way and threatening us in the most terrifying ways. Vera actually wanted to attack them yesterday! I would have laughed then had I not been extremely frightened by those two men. Suddenly we were running, running at speeds we’d never used before and I knew deep down that we were going to be caught soon and there was no hope for us. We were going to lose our dignity as well, I had begun to think. Everything was lost then to me and suddenly, I tripped. Horrifyingly enough, at the same point, those men reached us, laughing in this most dreadful manner. I squeezed my eyes shut and knew that this indeed was the end when abruptly, I heard the sound of approaching horses. Opening my eyes I saw watched with much awe as a tall, beautiful woman in silk stopped her horse in front of us and did...something to those men. You know of whom it is that I speak Papa, we met an Aes Sedai! She and her…Warden (I’m not sure if that is what they are called) together saved our lives, Papa! Are we not blessed? And there is more still Papa, the Aes Sedai told us today that Vera and I can channel!!! Touch Saidar and become Aes Sedai like her one day and have a handsome Warder to protect us. Oh Papa, is this not wonderful? I know you may be a little angry because I will not be able to meet you, but you must understand Papa, I have some duties to fulfill. The Aes Sedai also told us that we must make haste, for she cannot heal me Papa and I’m to be healed by something called the Yellow Ajah. Can you believe how lucky we are Papa?! Vera some how, doesn’t like this at all and just wants to go home, but me Papa, I just want to be an Aes Sedai. We are leaving for Tar Valon today. I must stop here for we are ready to set off.

Your daughter,

Sadly enough, although all that Shayna wrote was true, she did not live to see it happen for her. Her stage was too critical for her to live for very long after such an draining journey and she passed away soon after they left for Tar Valon. Vera however, much to her dismay slowly makes her way to the White Tower, once more in foreign land and absolutely miserable.

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