TarValon.Net’s February 2021 Recap

RecapFeb2021

 

Another busy month for TarValon.Net has passed!

 

ImportantEvents2021

 

 

HiringsFeb2021

 

 

RaisingsFeb2021

 

 

BondsFeb2021

 

OpenPositionsFeb2021

 

There were quite a few positions open for hiring in February

 

Keep an eye out for the TVT Takeover for March…. When our Novices and Recruits take over the Tar Valon Times! 

No Comments

Member Spotlight: Alenya Al’Roran

Member Spotlight Alenya

 

This month, the Tar Valon Times is excited to bring you a bonus Member Spotlight, featuring our new Director of Membership, Alenya Al’Roran! Alenya is an Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah, and most recently is coming off of a successful stint as Director of Marketing. She has also served as a City Council Greeter, Social Media Manager, and member of the Outreach Activities Team
 

In real life, Alenya is married to Ken (Novice Kenith Sna’aps). They live in Central Florida with their two children, and their cat Chewy. In addition to raising children and facilitating their online schooling, Alenya describes herself as a professional volunteer. She runs Merchandising and Branding for a Star Wars costuming group; and said that when she joined TarValon.Net, she lasted all of about six months before jumping in and beginning to volunteer!
 

In addition to her WoT and Star Wars communities, Alenya likes to read, crochet, and cross-stitch. She has two Mandalorian costumes, and her Star Wars group normally has a large annual event. 
 

Alenya 1  Alenya 2  Alenya 3

 

Her journey with Wheel of Time began when she was given a copy of Eye of the World while serving in the Marine Corps. (Author’s note – Alenya and Ken are both Veterans, thank you for your service!) She discovered TarValon.Net then, but had little access to the internet. A few years later while doing a reread, Alenya remembered the site and decided to join. She thought she would be able to sit back and just enjoy, but her drive to serve kicked in quickly and she started signing up for positions.
 

Alenya was naturally drawn to the Brown Ajah, and those ties were formed easily as she made her way through the Tower. She attended JordanCon while Guesting, attended the Brown Toast, and “…it was pretty much over from there. Everyone I met was so great and they were clearly my family, and I Aspired as soon as I was able.  Brown has always been my home because it just is.”
 

When the Director of Marketing position opened up in 2019, Alenya applied for it because she had prior experience. And she had a lot of ideas that would build on the foundation laid by the previous director, Jeffan Caliarthan. During her tenure, Alenya has made several changes, and worked to build a strong leadership team within the department. She spoke very highly of her leadership staff, and is excited to see where #teammarketing goes in the future.
 

The Marketing staff members also speak very highly of Alenya:
 

“Alenya is one of the hardest working, smartest, and kindest people I know (and I’m not just saying that cause I’m her first sister ). She has a ton of fantastic ideas for this community and I am so happy that she found her way here. I look forward to seeing her talents shine in the DoMem role as well as they did in Marketing!”
~ Stasia t’Andrei, Marketing Project Manager
 

“Alenya is one of the hardest workers I know. She gives everything that she does 110% and she leads by example. I have really enjoyed getting to know her through the Department of Marketing and I will sincerely miss having her as my boss. In two words, “She’s fantastic!”
~ Aleita Taviah, Tar Valon Times Editor
 

“What can I say about Alenya? Alenya is one of the most hard working people I know. If you looked up “get stuff done” in the dictionary, you would surely find a picture of her avatar. She is an amazing person, and I am proud to work for her as Mayor and also to call her my sister!”
~ Aintza Bisera, Mayor, GameMaster, and TVT Staff 
 

This leads up to the question, why make the move to Director of Membership? Alenya said that this is a dream job for her, and she already loves doing it. In her own words: “I actually have a lot of goals for the Department and there are a lot of things that will be coming out of my office down the road. We’re hoping for an influx of new members when the show comes out, so I’m planning to do everything I can, with help from all of the membership admins, to prepare the site for more members and create a welcoming environment for everyone. My personal goal is to be present and active. I can’t ask anyone to do something I don’t do myself.” 
 

We here at the Tar Valon Times wish Alenya all the best as she completes her move; our membership will be in great hands under her leadership!

No Comments

Diary of an Aes Sedai – Part Four

Diary of an Aes Sedai Part 4

 

This post contains spoilers for The Wheel of Time Series
 
 
 

2 Aine 975 NE

 

I’ve been given my first assignment as a Black.  I am to go out into the world and look for the Dragon Reborn.  I’m not really sure why, since the Amyrlin just assigned all of the Accepted to go look for babies or something, but if it gets me out of the Tower, I’m all for it.  I’m tired of being here and doing tasks set by some of the Blue sisters.  Like I really care about secret weaves or whatever.  Besides, Moiraine and Suian are probably going to choose Blue, so they’ll have new sisters to torture soon enough.  I’m gone.
 

2 Aine 991 NE

 

It’s been years since they sent me to look for the young Dragon.  I haven’t seen even a hint, but I haven’t really been trying all that hard, either.  I send a report to the Black to make its way to the Supreme Council every few months to tell them I don’t know a thing, and they send me money for my search.  It’s been nice traveling around and staying in nice inns with good food.  I don’t even care about finding the Dragon.  He’s supposed to reveal himself, right?
 

2 Jumara 999 NE

 

I was right, of course.  The Dragon did reveal himself.  He took the Stone of Tear.  Impressive, since no one has ever done it before.  I hear he’s gone into the Aiel Waste, which seems like a waste of time because it’s so hot and dusty there.  I’m certainly not going.  I think I’ll go to Cairhien and see if I can help stir up some trouble.
 

20 Tammaz 999 NE

 

Well, that was a bit of a bust.  That stupid boy, because that’s all he is, came and fought a big battle outside the walls of Cairhien and I had to stay inside with all those peasants that live outside the walls.  I’ve been told to keep an eye on him and report his movements.  If he’s going to move into the palace, I’ll follow that shepherd anywhere.
 

5 Choren 999 NE

 

I was able to attach myself to the Dragon somehow.  I’ve been trying not to draw attention to myself, but people don’t really notice other people around him and, if I keep my face hidden, no one bothers me.  I’m sure I’ll have to go with him when he eventually leaves, but I figure if I can keep getting away with the bare minimum of work, I’ll be fine.
 

No Comments

Member Spotlight: Aintza Bisera

Member Spotlight Aintza

 

Atane cautiously walks into the darkened offices of one of his mentors, Aintza Bisera Sedai; the message he had received from her mentioned that he should bring his writing materials. “Aintza Sedai? I’m here…with my quill, ink, and parchment as you ordered…” As he begins to look around, he starts in surprise as his mentor sits mounted on her flaming horse.
 

[​IMG]
 

“Mistress? Your horse? How? Your offices? The stables…” Atane’s voice trails off.
 

“Oh, Atane, Atane,” Aintza Sedai laughs. “You know Poot, right? My trusty steed.”
 

Atane knew Poot alright, as the horse had made a habit of trying to bite him when given the task of feeding it treats.
 

“Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone would notice if Poot were in my offices; and if they did, what they would say,” stated his mentor.
 

Atane mentally rolled his eyes; Aintza Sedai was a bit quirky and had an odd sense of humor, but she was a good mentor.
 

“You may be wondering why I summoned you, with your writing materials for that matter. Yes, yes. Well, I thought it would be fitting for me to be interviewed for the Tar Valon Times. I mentioned it to Aleita Sedai, and she thought it was a grand idea. So you, my dear boy, will be the one interviewing me. Shall we begin?”
 

As one may expect, this month’s Member Spotlight is Aintza Sedai — Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah, Mayor, Moderator, and Game Master. She graciously made time to answer the questions posed to her. Aintza lives in Texas with her husband, Ael, and their cats (including the kitten, Poot). She is a Health Insurance Benefits Agent, which means she tells people what their insurance policies do or do not cover. As with many occupations with an emphasis on explaining services, she encounters many people who take their frustrations out on the person trying to help them. She would ask those reading this to remember that the representative of the company is a person and does not take joy in the suffering of others.
 

Aintza1

(Aintza and Ael)

 

When asked about her multiple roles in the community, Aintza explained them in this manner: “As Mayor I am membership admin for Citizens and Resident Citizens. When a new person joins, I am their first contact for questions and anything they need! We have some really fun things coming up, so keep an eye out!
 

Game Master encompasses Mafia Admin, Frivolous Fun Mod, and now Online Events/games. So basically, I run and mod Mafia games, make sure things are moving smoothly in the games forum, and help run games in the Tar Valon Discord. For example, every first Sunday I hold a movie watch party – March is Hamilton! And my roles are definitely complimentary, my main goal as an Admin is to make sure everyone is having fun!”
 

Aintza2

(Stubbz having fun)

 

She is also, as previously mentioned, an Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. She chose Brown because, in short, the Browns are her home. Ultimately, her and her Brown siblings share a very similar sense of humor; not only that, but they have also supported her the times when she has needed their support. She values their honesty, the skill with GIFs, the fact that one can count on them to be passionate and curious about their interests, and that they will tell a person, or group of people, how they feel.
 

Aintza 3

(Poot informing you of thoughts)

 

Aintza’s favorite memory from the Tower also involves the Browns. As she described it, “My favorite memory was actually a pretty low-key Sunday morning at my second Anni talking about Star Wars with Stasia and Ashlyn, two of my Brown Sisters. It was nice and comfy. But I have a lot of great ones.”
 

When discussing guests, and new citizens, she wants to tell them that this community is like no other. She’s met some of her favorite people and best friends on this site; it’s worth sticking around for the people alone. And as Mayor, she’s committed to helping people get acclimated to the Site and the community as a whole.
 

What other interests may she have? Well, if she could have other pets, one would be a Vulptex (from Crait); and the other would be a Porg (from Ahch-To). Both of these creatures are from Star Wars. Aintza also enjoys reading, recently having read all the Bridgerton novels; but she has a particular affinity for Neil Gaiman, especially his work “American Gods.” For her, it stems from the fact that she has always been interested in mythology; with American Gods touching on many different Pantheons and the concept of Old Gods vs. New Gods being of particular interest.
 

Aintza also has some show recommendations: “The Boys” and “American Gods,” but cautions that both of these shows can be very graphic. She would also recommend Battlestar Galactica. However, she states that her preferences in movies cannot be trusted; on the list of movies she enjoys are: the Mummy movies, Beerfest, the original Dune, and anything/everything Star Wars. She demands that you watch The Clone Wars tv show. Now. She’s not brooking any argument.
 

If she were to live in another setting, it would be the Mass Effect world, for it is familiar, yet space can be explored. Also, she is Commander Shepard. Ael will tell you, just ask him.
Thank you for joining us for another installment of the Tar Valon Times Member Spotlight. See you next time!

No Comments

What I Missed – Reading The Eye of the World (Part 1)

What I Missed Reading The Eye of the World

 

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES

 
 
 

We all miss some little easter eggs when we read a book for the first time… even on the second time! I know I do! It is also true that everyone might notice different things while reading a book.
 

In this article I would like to discuss things I missed in my previous read of The Wheel of Time’s first book – “The Eye of the World”. The first time I read this book was back in 2006, so almost 15 years ago! My last reread of this book was three years ago, and this is my third or fourth read of it. It’s safe to say I am really excited to start rereading the series again! I want to see what I’ve missed in my previous reads! Join me!
 
 

So, I would like to start with Chapter 1 – “An empty road”.

 

In the beginning we start the chapter from the point of view of one Rand al’Thor, a supposedly young lad, who is traveling along with his father during winter on an empty road. Suddenly he feels like someone is watching him and turns around. What he sees is a rider and horse behind him, but he cannot make out the face of the rider. The description is as follows:
 

The rider’s cloak covered him to his boot tops, the cowl tugged well forward so no part of him showed. […] There was only shadow to see in the hood, but he felt hatred as sharply as if he could see a snarling face, hatred for everything that lived. Hatred for him most of all, for him above all things.

 

That last sentence made me wonder… was it really hatred for him in particular? After all Rand plays a big role in the books, if not the biggest, but did the “horseman” know this even then? Or is it just the “quirkiness” (to put it lightly) of his race?
 

Later in the chapter Rand talks to Mat Cauthon about the black horseman and Mat didn’t mention this strong hatred towards him.
 

Later Rand thinks:
 

… once he had even gone to the very foot of the Mountains of Mist, him and his closest friends, Mat Cauthon and Perrin Aybara.

 

This made me wonder… is it a coincidence that the three of them have become each other’s closest friends? Or is it the Pattern? I wonder why I didn’t notice this before! It cannot have been a coincidence, since it was mentioned this early in the book and even in the first chapter!
 

While talking to Mat about the rider, Rand thinks to himself:
 

The Dark One and all of the Forsaken are bound in Shayol Ghul, beyond the Great Blight, bound by the Creator at the moment of Creation, bound until the end of time. The hand of the Creator shelters the world, and the Light shines on us all.

 

Isn’t it weird, I hadn’t notice this before, but… why are the Forsaken mentioned along with the Dark One as being imprisoned by the Creator? And especially “at the moment of Creation”? I am guessing this is some sort of prayer, or something, that people tell themselves to stop thinking bad thoughts.
 

But then Mat says:
 

Maybe it was the Dragon.

 

So, Two Rivers people know about the Dragon, but don’t know his relationship and timeline with the Forsaken? This was interesting for me to ponder about, since it cannot have been a hiccup by the author, he literally presents one of the Forsaken in the Prologue along with the Dragon, so we know that they know each other.
 

Anyway, let’s continue with Chapter 2 – “Strangers”.

 

I love reading Moiraine’s description from Rand’s POV when he sees her for the first time. But something small I noticed this time was this:
 

… on the second finger of her left hand was a gold ring in the shape of a serpent biting its own tail. He had certainly never seen a ring like that, though he recognized the Great Serpent, an even older symbol for eternity than the Wheel of Time.

 

An even older symbol than the Wheel of Time? Why? How much older? And how does a farmer boy from Emond’s field know that it’s older? There should be a tale, a myth of some sort, told to kids I presume.
 

In Chapter 5 – “Winternight”,

 

Rand and Tam are attacked by trollocs in their farm. They run away, but Tam is wounded, and Rand goes back to the house to get supplies, but one of the trollocs, which seemed dead, is actually not. I am sure all of you know about the smart Narg, even though we don’t get to see much of him after that scene. Something that I’ve never thought of before was Narg’s description.
 

A wolf’s muzzle jutted out below sunken eyes. Flat, emotionless eyes, and all too human. Hairy, pointed ears twitched incessantly. It stepped over one of its dead companions on sharp goat hooves.

 

I know trollocs are supposed to be a mix between animal and human, but I never realized they can be a mix of several animals too! That was interesting for me to find out.
 

Also, we never see another Trolloc speak in the common tongue ever again. I wonder if Jordan planned for this or he just decided to not include it later in the series, since it’s not… interesting enough?
 

In the 6th Chapter – The Westwood

 

Here we read several pieces of information from Tam in his feverish dreams.
 

They came over the Dragonwall like a flood,” Tam said suddenly, in a strong, angry voice, “and washed the land with blood. How many died for Laman’s sin?

 

… Slope of the mountain … only place didn’t stink of death.[…] Their women fight alongside the men, sometimes, but why they had let her come, I don’t … gave birth there alone, before she died of her wounds … covered the child with her cloak, but the wind … blown the cloak away … child, blue with the cold. Should have been dead, too … crying there. Crying in the snow.

 

I cannot stop wondering, how much did Tam even know about the Dragon Reborn and the Prophecies of his rebirth? Surely, he must have known something, but then he doesn’t connect the dots when he finds a baby on the slopes of Dragonmount? However, he accepts Moiraine taking away the boys, Rand included, very lightly, so maybe after Winternight and the Trollocs invasion, he had started suspecting something.
 

In the same chapter Rand thinks to himself:
 

Only that morning he might have felt foolish at musing over the Green Man and the Tree of Life. They were only stories. Are they? Trollocs were just stories this morning. Maybe all the stories were as real […] Next he might actually meet the Green Man, or an Ogier giant, or a wild, blackveiled Aielman.

 

YAY for Foreshadowing ! Interestingly enough, he meets them all! Or, I found it interesting at least!
 

Another little foreshadowing I haven’t noticed before is by Moiraine in…
 

Chapter 7 – “Out of the Woods”.

 

A night like that can give a man bad dreams, Rand. If you have nightmares, you must tell me of it. I can help with bad dreams, sometimes.

 

She knows for sure that the Dark One knows of the boys and where they are and somehow also knows that he will try to manipulate them by bad dreams.
 

But before Rand spoke to her, he thought to himself:
 

Surely there must be something about an Aes Sedai to mark her for what she was.

 

But in the scene before that, while Rand was still talking to the Mayor, he exclaims:
 

Did you think they wore signs?” the Mayor said wryly. “’Aes Sedai’ painted across their backs, and maybe, ‘Danger, stay away’?”

 

While Thom sits beside them as says nothing. He surely must know which features make out an Aes Sedai from a non-channeling woman, but instead he didn’t think it necessary to share with the Emondsfielders.
 

In this chapter again, Rand overhears Lan saying to Moiraine that there were seven bands of Trollocs working together on the attack on Emond’s Field. As far as I can remember, these bands of trollocs are not mentioned again in the coming books. So that just seems weird to me that they will be mentioned for a quick second and then never mentioned again. I guess it’s the same as with the talking Narg situation.
 

Fast forward to…
 

Chapter 14 the Stag and Lion.

 

Rand, Mat, Perrin and Thom go together in the bath of the inn and begin bathing. There is an attendant with them – Ara, who start asking them questions after being silent for very long.
 

“Here?” Ara snorted. “Trouble? [ … ] ” He stopped and eyed them a moment. “I meant the Ghealdan kind of trouble,” he said finally. “No, I suppose not. Nothing but sheep downcountry, is there? No offense. I just meant it’s quiet down there. Still, it’s been a strange winter. Strange things in the mountains. I heard the other day there were Trollocs up in Saldaea. But that’s the Borderlands then, isn’t it?” He finished with his mouth still open, then snapped it shut, appearing surprised that he had said so much.

 

This looks too much like the first ta’veren effect that we’ve seen until now. All three of the boys are in the same room with Ara and he starts speaking and eventually feels like he’s saying too much, maybe something that he didn’t intend to say in the first place.
 

And in the next chapter…
 

Chapter 15 Strangers and Friends,

 

It is the next day and Rand goes in Baerlon. On the way he meets Padan Fain and tells him where they are staying. I hadn’t realized this before, but it’s pretty obvious to me now, that Padan Fain told the Myrdrall which Inn to go to, to get the boys that same evening.
 

Aaaaah! She’s … she’s the Aes Sedai, is she?” A guarded look came over Fain’s face. “Maybe, though …” He paused, licking his lips nervously. “How long will you be at this—What was it? What did you call it? — the Stag and Lion?

 

But it’s also surprising how did Padan Fain cover the same distance as them and they were riding horses almost the whole time.
 

 Chapter 18 – The Caemlyn Road,

 

The gang is traveling along the Caemlyn Road after leaving Baerlon and Lan tells them that Whitebridge is the only place to cross the Arinelle. To which Thom asks:
 

Thom snorted and blew out his mustaches. “What is to stop them from having someone, something, at Whitebridge already?”

 

Another thing I missed. Another foreshadowing.
 

Chapter 19 – Shadow’s Waiting,

 

They are already inside Shadar Logoth‘s walls. Rand, Mat and Perrin have an encounter with Mordeth and after that they return and talk to Moiraine. Lan comes back from scouting inside the wall of the city:
 

Suddenly the Warder trotted silently out of the darkness into the room. […] Lan opened his hand; three small objects fell to the tiles in front of her with the clink of iron. Three bloodred badges in the shape of horned skulls. “There are Trollocs inside the walls,” Lan said. “They will be here in little more than an hour. And the Dha’vol are the worst of them.”

 

Again, we see mention of a Trolloc band, but we don’t get any explanation what the difference between the bands are and why are the Dha’vol the worst? I don’t see any difference between the Trollocs if all they do is kill their pray. I wonder what all of this was a set up for and why hasn’t it been continued in later chapters and/or books.
 

So, because of this band of Trollocs, the gang decides to leave Shadar Logoth and try to cross the river. In the city they see a fog, which Moiraine explains is called Mashadar.
 

Chapter 20 – Dust in the Wind

 

Mashadar is vast, girl, as vast as Shadar Logoth itself. The whole White Tower could not kill it. If I damaged it enough to let you pass, drawing that much of the One Power would pull the Halfmen like a trumpet call. And Mashadar would rush in to heal whatever harm I did, rush in and perhaps catch us in its net.

 

So, the whole White Tower cannot kill it, supposedly, but have they tried? I feel like for thousands of years they know this thing exists in Shadar Logoth and they haven’t tried anything to get rid of it? In other times, they won’t have Trollocs or Myrdraal to worry about, they can just gather many Aes Sedai outside the Shadar Logoth walls and try to get rid of Mashadar in some way. It cannot go outside the walls, so it won’t be able to hurt them.
 

This ends the first part of my review of Eye of the World. After this chapter the characters separate and begin their own adventures, until they meet back in Caemlyn. The second part of my article will continue with notes about that.
 

Thank you for reading.

1 Comment