Diary of a Soldier, Part 1

 

 

The Dragon Reborn has come to Tear, and chaos reigns in his wake. What might it have been like to be a soldier fighting for Rand?

 

Part 2     |     Part 3

 

10 Maigdhal 999 NE

 

The Lord Dragon has come to our lands and he has taken the Stone of Tear. Weeks ago, he left to go into the Aiel Waste. I don’t know what he thinks he is going to find there, but he said he had to go. I have been assigned to Lord Estean as we head north to help the Cairhienin. They have been running short of food and the Lord Dragon has ordered us to bring them supplies. The Lords of Tear decided the food we bring should be guarded, so here we are.

 

I am getting tired of travelling and my feet are starting to hurt. I hope we get to Cairhien soon.

 

 

4 Choren 999 NE

 

We reached Cairhien and found it completely surrounded by Aiel. I have no idea what they’re doing there, and the lords are afraid and confused. They know the Lord Dragon left Tear with a number of Aiel, but these don’t seem to be nearly as friendly as the others. Or, at least, as friendly as Aiel can be.

 

Lord Melanril told us to stay put while he goes around the city. He’s hoping to find some allies who can help us to protect the city.

 

 

15 Choren 999 NE

 

Lord Melanril has found the Lord Dragon! It is a relief for all of us that there is someone who knows what is going on. Lord Melanril is a capable man, but this is going to be a battle that will take more people than just the Tairens.

 

Lord Melanril also came back with a contingent of Cairhienin soldiers to add to our numbers. More horse and more foot. We have been assigned a position for the coming battle, as well. Many of my comrades are looking forward to gaining glory in battle, but I must say that I am not. I became a soldier for the pay. There was no war, and I figured I would be able to do my time and retire with enough money to care for a family someday. Now, I have to hope that I survive through the fighting to come before I can have that retirement.

 

 

16 Choren 999 NE

 

Here we are, waiting to join into the battle. I overheard Lord Melanril tell the other lords that we are not where the Lord Dragon told us to go because he wants to find glory in battle. I am afraid he is going to get us all killed.

 

 

17 Choren 999 NE

 

I have survived to fight another day. Lord Melanril’s plan was, thankfully, thwarted by Lord Mat. He is a friend of the Lord Dragon, and Lord Estean convinced Lord Melanril to listen to him. I think I’ll be thankful to Lord Estean for the rest of my life. And, of course, Lord Mat. His plans were able to keep our losses to a minimum, although Lord Melanril perished in the battle. Lord Mat even convinced those Aiel we were protecting the Lord Dragon and he killed the man who claimed to be their leader. After he died, the rest of those Aiel ran away.

 

We are camped for the night now, and the men are celebrating and singing some song they learned from Lord Mat. I’ll join them soon, but I wanted to get my thoughts on paper because I can see Lord Mat sitting off by himself. He looks unhappy. Most commanders I am familiar with would be happy with the outcome and the minimal loss of life. I wonder if he is simply thinking about the men we did lose.

 


 

Tune in next Friday, May 29 for the second installment!

 

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Service to the Tower

 

There are many ways to serve here at TarValon.Net, but not everyone is sure how to go about it. There are positions available in all departments, but joining one of those teams requires that an application be sent to various leaders who decide who will have the job. For some people, those applications can be intimidating enough that they don’t wish to apply. Here, I’ll describe the best way to write these applications, and encourage every member who qualifies for a position to apply to help us run the Tower.

 

The hiring process is relatively simple. An announcement goes up in the Hiring Forum (or, for some Ajah/Company specific positions, in an Ajah/Company forum); the person hiring accepts applications for a specified period of time and then deliberates; and finally an offer is made. If the applicant accepts the job, an announcement is made and we move on. That applicant now holds a new position in the Tower. But what are we looking for when you send an application?

 

The first piece of advice I have to offer is to read the job description. Most of the descriptions that show up in the hiring thread were copied straight from the Library, so if you wanted to, you could look around the Library to see what positions are available in which departments so you know what you might be interested in applying for when the job opens up.

 

It is important for you to note if a position is rotating or not. The jobs that are rotating will open up on a regular basis. If you want to know when a position you are interested in is going to open, head to the bottom of the page in the Library where it tells you who has held the position. The current position holder will be at the top of the list, and you can use your mad math skills to figure out when the job will next open. But what if it’s not a rotating position? Fear not! Sometimes those jobs open up because someone quit or, in very rare instances, a new one is created. Hold tight, because I can help you with those.

 

There are three types of leadership levels you can apply for: Staff, Administrator, and Executive (Director).

 

Let’s start with a staff position. In most cases, these positions don’t rotate. I say most cases because the forum moderators are staff positions and they do rotate. The same goes for some Ajah/Company specific positions. For the staff positions that do not rotate, it can be discouraging if you don’t see a hiring announcement come up when you really want to be part of a team. My recommendation? Say something. Speak to the Administrator who oversees that team. You’d be surprised how many need the help and just haven’t said anything. Or, perhaps a hiring announcement went up so long ago that it was buried on the hiring board. The worst that can happen is that you’re told there are no positions available right now. When the hiring announcement eventually goes up, they’ll know you wanted the job, and remember.

 

The Administrator positions report to the Directors in their departments. Administrators are crucial for keeping things running around here. They make it easier to break a department into smaller pieces and make them more manageable. If you’re hoping for one of those positions, most of them are rotating. A small handful are not. For the non-rotating positions, I would advise joining the team. When the administration job eventually opens up, you’ll be in a good position to apply for the job because you will already know how things work, and maybe even have ideas for improvements based on what you’ve experienced as a Staff member. Never discount your own experience.

 

Directors and Officers do not rotate and change over much less frequently, but the application process remains the same. Again, if you’re interested in maybe taking on one of these roles someday, apply for a Staff or Administrator position in the department. It will be noticed when you apply.

 

Now, the part you really came here for: the application. It can be a scary prospect, though it’s not nearly as bad as you’ll make it in your head. Remember when I said to read the job description? This is your starting point. Introduce yourself, state what position you’re applying for, and then give some bullet points based on that description. Explain how you fit those specific qualifications. It doesn’t have to be Tower experience. You could have real world experience to apply here and that counts for something. Use all of your tools to tell how qualified you are.

 

Once you do that, get a little personal. Tell why you would like the job and give ideas on changes you might want to make. You could even give a few examples of things you think are working well that you wouldn’t want to change. The point is to tell the people reading your application that you’re invested in taking on the job.

 

Now for the super important part. Take note of who you need to send that application to. There is almost always more than one person to send it to, and it’s important that you do. The final decision may lie with one person, but I can guarantee you that everyone on the list is somehow involved in making that decision, so make sure you include them.

 

One you send in that e-mail, all you’ll have left to do is sit back and wait to hear what happens. It has been discouraging for some of those doing the hiring to have an empty inbox during the hiring period, so I would highly recommend that you take a chance. You might be surprised at the opportunities that are actually open to you.

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Emond’s Field Diary, Part 5

 

 

We’ve read the journeys of those who left the Two Rivers following the fateful Trolloc attack on Winternight—but what about those who stayed behind? Here’s one imagining of what life might have been like for one Emond’s Fielder.

 

Part 1     |     Part 2     |     Part 3     |     Part 4

 

 

20 Saven 1000 NE

 

The Aes Sedai have started to teach me the hundred weaves. This can only mean that they think I may be ready for the shawl sooner rather than later. I will have to work hard if I want to be Aes Sedai before the Last Battle so I can stand with the Aes Sedai to defend our world from the Shadow.

 

 

25 Amadaine 1000 NE

 

I feel dizzy from everything that has happened in the last few days. I was summoned by the Hall of the Tower to take the test for Aes Sedai. It was terrifying going in because I wasn’t sure if I was going to get through it, but I came out of that ter’angreal whole and mostly unharmed, having completed all one hundred weaves. It seems so silly to have to do these useless weaves under pressure, but I’m hoping it will help me in the coming battle. Because it is coming. The Mother says we will be leaving soon to go to the Field of Merrilor for a meeting that will be something to see.

 

But I digress. I am sure that, whoever you are who is reading my private thoughts, you want to know what Ajah I chose. It was a hard decision, but in the end, it was no decision at all. I am, and have always been, Brown. I will be getting new rooms in the Brown Ajah quarters, and I’m so excited to be going to live among my new sisters.

 

 

26 Amadaine 1000 NE

 

I am in my new rooms. It is all so new to have such large rooms, and I don’t know how I will fill them up like the other Browns do. I will definitely need to start collecting some books to make things a bit more homey in here, but it is going to have to wait until the Last Battle is over. Tomorrow we leave for the Field of Merrilor and I guess we’ll see what happens.

 

 

28 Amadaine 1000 NE

 

The meeting at Merrilor has taken place, and the battle will begin soon. All of the Aes Sedai are getting assignments for the duration. I have been assigned the task of bringing supplies from the Tower to the Field of Merrilor to help keep everyone fed and to treat wounds. I am glad I will not be on the front lines because I do not know the weaves that would keep me and my sisters safe, and I don’t want anyone to come to any harm.

 

 

1 Maighdal 1000 NE

 

The battle is over. I know that means I’ve skipped a lot, but it’s over. The Light has won, and everything will be different now. Egwene and her Warder both died in the battle, so we’re going to have to choose a new Amyrlin. I, for one, am looking forward to going back to my new rooms in the Tower so I can write down everything I remember; then, we as an Ajah can put it all together in a written history that will, hopefully, be treasured and kept safe in the Tower for many years to come.

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The Battle of Cairhien

What might the Second Aiel War have been like—from inside the city of Cairhien?

 

 

20 Maighdal 999 NE

 

My husband says that we’ve been doing good business this week, but I fear for what is to come. There is a rumor that the Aiel are on their way here, and I do not know if Cairhien can handle another invasion. I feel like we’ve barely recovered from the last one twenty years ago. It might not have hurt the nobles all that much, but here in the lower levels of the city, it was much harder to recover.

 

I guess we’ll just have to see how things turn out.

 

 

 

23 Maighdal 999 NE

 

The rumors say the Aiel are getting closer to the city. It turns out that it’s not just a rumor, but almost a certainty. They have attacked a bunch of small towns between here and the Waste, and the survivors are starting to pour into the city. We haven’t even had time to recover from the civil war, and the nobles are too busy playing their “game of houses” like our lives are actually a game. I think my husband and I would do best to stay here in the city, but we’d better get provisions before more refugees arrive here.

 

Or, worse, the Aiel.

 

 

 

25 Maighdal 999 NE

 

It’s happened. The Aiel have arrived and the city is under siege. We have a lot of refugees in the city, now. My husband is a cobbler, so we have barred the doors and windows of the store, and we are holed up in our home above the shop. I hate to keep people out in the elements and in danger of whatever these Aiel might throw over the wall, but I need to think of my family. They will always come first, so my husband and I, and our children, will stay up here for the duration. We laid in stores at the start of the civil war, and we added to them when the refugees started entering the city. We will endure.

 

 

 

26 Maighdal 999 NE

 

The Aiel burned the Foregate. We could see the smoke from the windows, but the people on the streets are saying they didn’t get through the walls. May the Creator help us if they do.

 

 

 

8 Choren 999 NE

 

More Aiel have arrived outside the city, but it looks like they are not a part of the Aiel who were already here. If we stand on the roof, we can see them at the top of the hill preparing for battle, but there is no way for us to know if they are here to help us or to attack. After the last time the Aiel were here, I’m not going to get my hopes up that they are going to help us.

 

 

 

9 Choren 999 NE

 

The battle is already over. It happened so fast, and was over in a day. There was a lot of lightning falling out of a cloudless sky, which terrified us all. My children and I hid under the beds. I’m not sure it would have helped if we had been hit, but it made the children feel better, and that’s all that matters.

 

My husband says the battle was something to see, but I’m glad I didn’t watch. From what we can see now, there was a lot of death, and I don’t think I would have liked seeing people killed. It turns out the Aiel who came later on were here to help us. There are rumors they came with the Dragon Reborn. I don’t know if that is good news or bad.

 

 

 

10 Choren 999 NE

 

The Dragon Reborn has entered the city. He earned a lot of regard here in Cairhien by giving the Tairens a well-earned slap and put us on an even footing with them. The nobles were so happy they offered him the throne of Cairhien. He denied it, and is only going to rule as a regent until the Lady Elayne can come from Caemlyn to claim the throne through her father’s bloodline.

 

I don’t know how things are going to turn out in the future, but the Tairens are sending grain into the city, and the Dragon has already started ordering people to help rebuild the Foregate and care for the wounded. I am really hoping things are going to improve for us from here on out. My husband will reopen the store now that things are settling down, and our family is safe.

 

That is all I can ask for.

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Emond’s Field Diary, Part 4

 

 

We’ve read the journeys of those who left the Two Rivers following the fateful Trolloc attack on Winternight—but what about those who stayed behind? Here’s one imagining of what life might have been like in Emond’s Field.

 

 

Part 1     |     Part 2     |     Part 3

 

 

 

7 Saban 1000 NE

 

We have travelled very far in the last weeks. Verin Sedai and Alanna Sedai have gone off somewhere, but four other Aes Sedai—Karein Sedai, Demira Sedai, Valinde Sedai, and Berenicia Sedai—were tasked with taking us from Caemlyn. They have brought us to some small town that they say is in Altara. I don’t care where we are, only that I can have a chance to stay in one place for a while. I am bone tired from travelling, and now they say that we will be taking novice white and will begin studying. I hope I can at least get a full night’s sleep before the studying starts.

 

 

8 Saban 1000 NE

 

I have my white dresses and I have begun studying as a novice in the Tower. Egwene al’Vere is the Amyrlin Seat! I don’t even know how that has happened, but it is certainly difficult to curtsy to one of my closest friends and call her Mother. Some of the other girls, especially Bode Cauthon, have had some trouble with that and have had to wash dishes. We have heard that Nynaeve is Aes Sedai, too. Maybe the Last Battle really is coming if women can be raised to the shawl so quickly.

 

 

9 Saban 1000 NE

 

Today, we used the newly discovered Talent of Travelling to move all of the Aes Sedai and their army to a large plain outside of Tar Valon. I can see the Tower from here, and it is beautiful. I hope that someday we’re able to get inside, but some of the older novices say that the woman within who says she is the Amyrlin Seat is mean and won’t let us in because we have Blue sisters with us. Why would she hate the Blues so? They seem all right to me, though I do not think I will be wanting to join them.

 

I still have plenty of time to decide, though, so I will continue my studies while we sit here and begin the siege of Tar Valon.

 

 

18 Aine 1000 NE

 

Tiana Sedai has devised a way for the most promising novices to be raised to Accepted without having to be in the Tower, and she has put me on the list to go through the test. I am excited and nervous all at the same time—excited to be moving up, and terrified that I am on an accelerated track that will lead to my being Aes Sedai when the Last Battle comes.

 

 

25 Aine 1000 NE

 

I am now an Accepted, and Egwene is trapped in the Tower. We’re going to have to break this siege somehow before Elaida is able to break her.

 

 

8 Adar 1000 NE

 

The siege is over. The Seanchan have attacked the White Tower, and Elaida is gone, so Egwene will be the official Amyrlin Seat of the White Tower.

 

I will continue my studies as an Accepted, looking towards the Last Battle.

 


 

Tune in for the final instalment on Friday, December 20!

 

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