TVTT Green Ajah Edition – Action

Greens in Action

By Aleita Taviah

Green Service to the Tower

Melisande Arneil
Melisande Arneil
Director of Events and Conferences Board Member

Aleita Taviah
Director of Marketing

Faeril Munlear
Head of the Green Ajah

Jaryd Kosari
Master of the Watch

Xylianna Paladina
Heart of the Green Ajah

Ahmyra al’Ruley
Tower Gatekeeper

Ne’Mireth Delvar
Assistant Social Media Manager

Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t’al’Djinn
Costume Team

Kethaana Nia Khamara
Social Media Team

Arisaema Draconis
Sitter of the Green Ajah

Onis O’Leia
Sitter of the Green Ajah

Battle Blogs – Action

Coming out: Towards a Destination

By Xylianna Paladina (Part 2 of 2)

An impression I’ve always had was that you ‘come out’ once and you are done. Well I am here to tell you that I’ve been coming out, in one form or another, for over twenty years, and I will continue to do so as needed.

In high school, I discovered the concept of bisexuality, which made a lot of sense to me since I had always found people of all genders attractive. I talked about it only with one person, one of my close friends in high school. She encouraged me to come out to my parents if I felt comfortable, but due to some things my family had said to me, I chose not to take action at that time.

Then when I was in college, I was forcibly outed to some family members by someone who had spied on me on the internet and discovered me talking about myself as bisexual. This went very badly, and prompted me to feign heterosexuality for nearly two decades after. When I married a man, I figured that was the end of it. A family member had pleaded with me to ‘get cured of my disease’ so mission accomplished, right?

Well, marriages end, and I found myself back in the world of dating. The next time I came out — the first time I came out to a family member by choice — was to my mother. I had already mentioned it to her when I was younger, and the person had outed me due to internet posting. But now I had an actual conversation with her. It went very well. My mother has never shown me anything but support over the years and for that I am grateful.

Next I came out to my sister and brother-in-law, and they too have never shown me anything but complete support, so there isn’t much story to tell aside from what a huge sense of relief it is when you build something up so much in your head and then there is no big scary reaction.

I held off telling the rest of my family because due to the strong reactions I had gotten when I was younger, I didn’t feel the need to go there until such a point when I was in a serious relationship with a woman. I felt that there was a strong chance the rest of my family would never accept me, and I didn’t want to burn that bridge until there was no way around it.

That brings us to 2020, the year that living through a global pandemic encouraged me to toss fears aside and live my truth instead of waiting for some distant day when I would feel less scared. I started a relationship with my current partner, an AFAB agender person who is perceived as a woman. After we deemed it safe enough to have in person dates, I decided to tell my son. This was big for me, because I was scared about how to approach it. I had no idea how he would react. But I remember the exchange clearly. He already knew my partner, because we had been friends for years before dating. We had a plan for her to come over and bring curbside takeout for dinner, so I decided to tell him before she arrived. I told him that we were dating, and he looked at me and very seriously asked: “Are we still having sushi for dinner?”

I laugh now, but I had built it up in my head to be such a huge thing, that this was an enormous weight off my shoulders.

Fast forward another few months, and after I had been dating my partner for six months, I decided it was time to tell my family. I was tired of having to censor myself when I talked about what I was doing on weekends. But due to past experiences, I was incredibly nervous. After a lot of therapy, and talking with my friends, I finally bit the bullet and told my dad. I think it was on the phone, because I didn’t want to see his face on a zoom call if it went badly.

But much to my surprise, it went fine. He expressed happiness that I was sharing about my life, and he was glad that my partner was making me happy. His only questions were about how she treated me and what sorts of things we did together on dates.

Riding on the coattails of how well that went, I told my younger brother. He was similarly accepting. While I hadn’t had any concrete reason to worry about how he would react, it was still a pleasant surprise.

I stayed closeted to the rest of the world until this year. I had gone through a lot of soul searching and determined I was not in fact bisexual or pansexual, but that I was lesbian. So for this year on National Coming Out day I posted the following on my personal Facebook page, which seems like the perfect way to end this article:

Today is National Coming Out Day!

You are seen, loved, and valid if:

* you come out today

* you came out previously

* you are in the closet and not ready to come out for any reason

Despite identifying as bisexual/pansexual for over 20 years, I’ve never felt the need to come out “officially”. I have spent most of my life straight passing, and it made me feel safe. As long as I only talked about being queer in safe spaces, I wouldn’t have to deal with hate.

But something I’ve been coming to terms with over this year is just how darn important it is for there to be people, out and living boring everyday lives, even in the small towns. (Maybe especially in the small towns.) It’s only been the last few years that I can easily find representation in books and other media, and that has had such a huge positive effect in my life. Representation matters!

My name is Becky. I’m 39 years old. I have a 12 year old child, a 2 year old cat, and I read more books than seems possible in a year. Also, I’m a lesbian, and after 20+ years of closet life, I’m done doing anything other than living my truth.

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TVTT SDS Edition – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About SDS

SDS Takeover Banner

SDS or San d’ma Shadar was one of the first companies founded at TarValon.Net.

10. San d’ma Shadar currently have 22 Gaidin in their ranks.

9. San d’ma Shadar has an official creed.

“I am a member of San d’ma Shadar. I have chosen to become a member of an elite company and as such intend to uphold the ideals and carry on the spirit of a unique brotherhood. I have pledged to follow the Amyrlin Seat and those persons whom she sees fit to place in positions above me, remembering always to acquit myself with Loyalty, Honor, Duty, Truth, Courage, Justice, Prowess, and Franchise.

  • I have no ties that are not bound by loyalty.
  • I have no life without honor.
  • I am bound to family, country, and Tower with duty.
  • I make truth my standard.
  • I use courage to do what is right no matter the consequences.
  • I seek justice for weak and strong alike.
  • I strive for prowess in all I do.
  • I instill all parts of my life with these values through franchise.

I will fight to protect that which I care for, and those who have put their trust in me. I will strive to protect the Tower and all that it stands for, for as the Tower has accepted me, I choose to embrace the Tower. With the strength of the Brotherhood, and the ideals that the Brotherhood embraces I will not falter nor will I fail! For I am a stalker in the night, I am the strength in the battle, I am the center that will not break, I am the tip of the spear, first blood is mine!
For I am a SLAYER OF THE SHADOW! I AM SAN D’MA SHADAR!”

8. According to their histories the official drink of San d’ma Shadar is Don Julio 1942, which has been used at their Anniversary Party toasts.

Don Julio 1942

7. San d’ma Shadar has 24 bondmates.

6. There have been 14 Company Commanders of San d’ma Shadar.

5. Some of the companies at TarValon.Net have renamed their Honor Guard with their own title. The Honor Guard of San d’ma Shadar is referred to as the Hammer Guard.

4. The unofficial guests to the San d’ma Shadar Great Room are referred to as Drinking Buddies.

3. The members of San d’ma Shadar have been known to call each other Sabers (Sabe-ers). See the SDS HQ for more information.

2. At least two Blademasters call San d’ma Shadar home.

1. San d’ma Shadar have received 38 Amyrlin, Keeper or Member’s Choice Awards dating back to 2002.

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Member Spotlight – Mendo Cath

MemberSpotlight_Mendo

 

Today’s member spotlight is all about Mendo Cath, one of our Directors of Technology! Mendo is an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah and has been a member of TarValon.Net since 2013. During that time Mendo has served as Staff Member for the Department of Technology, a Chat Operator (for over six years), a moderator and previously in the same position he holds now, Director of Technology. Mendo has also received two Members’ Choice Awards and one Keeper’s Award (2015). Mendo has also served our community as a mentor and has guided five different members through to Senior Membership. Keep reading as we learn a little more about Mendo (in his own words).

 

Mendo2 Mendo

 

Tar Valon Times (TVT): Tell us a little about yourself in real life (if comfortable sharing) – where you live, what you do, family/partner/pets/etc.? Photos you’d like to share (not necessarily of people!)
Mendo: Well.. Wife/2kids/dog/2cats.
 

TVT: Other hobbies/interests other than WoT? Share a “fun fact” about yourself.
Mendo: Lots of fantasy or sci fi books (audio/ebooks), Video games, scripting / programming (but only light hobby grade at this point in my life, didn’t go professional)
 

TVT: What brought you to TarValon.Net? What made you want to stay and get more involved?
Mendo: Oh, I think at some point I was looking for more people, fans of the books I had found and stumbled across the site. Love of the community and wanting to see it grow and be stable. I have skills that can help so I offer to use them.
 

TVT: How did you decide the Blue Ajah was right for you? Any advice for people still trying to find their place?
Mendo: Now this one is harder. I guested for a while and struggled to find a home pre integration. Post integration I was able to guest with Ajahs and at the time found a number of people I liked spending time with in Blue so I stuck around. Take your time. Know that the site’s Ajahs are more about the people you get to know than the flavor of the Ajahs in the books. Find what feels right. It’s not a race.
 

TVT: What led you to apply for Director of Technology? What are your goals for your tenure?
Mendo: So this is my second time around as a DoT. I had spent time as Tech Staff and op for IRC for a while, then when position first came up I was willing to help out and I had the skills needed at the time and it was history. We were able to upgrade the forums and do lots of fun stuff in the background. Later I stepped down for a while and caught up on personal life. Lately I found my self wanting to help out more and more, and when opportunity became available I re-applied and now get to work with Deoan as Co-Directors! Goals are harder but we look at getting more updates to the site and enabling the community with technology they need to grow.
 

TVT: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Mendo: I am bonded to a pineapple under the light?
 

TVT: If we were catching up at a coffee shop, what should I order you?
Mendo: Coffee I hope but tea isn’t bad either.

 

A big thank you to Mendo for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up for that coffee sometime soon!

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Great Charity Hunt – May Update

GreatHuntTVTBanner

 

“Life is for service.”

 

It has been a busy couple of months on the Great Charity Hunt. The Great Charity Hunt was launched back in November 2020. In March 2021 we saw the first Heroes of the Horn Challenge, and our first Hero of the Horn, Idine Espanyas of the Yellow Ajah.

 

Idine

 

In honour of our first Hero, part 2 of The Hero Story was shared with us all.

 

Lilli had seen her heroes come together to work to help those domestic animals that didn’t have homes. Not as many people stepped up to be a hero, but there was a hero that stood out. Idine Espanya showed real conviction in the first challenge. Hero number one had been found. Lilli pulled out a fresh sheet of paper and carefully wrote the name of the first hero at the top. Taking care to make sure the letters were clear. She sighed and sat back. What to do to find the next hero? Spring was upon the land in full. She looked out the window and looked over the city. The walls gleamed white, but the melting snow was uncovering a wealth of litter that had been mixed with the snow during the winter. Then it struck her. Later in the month was a day especially auspicious for tending to the land. It was called Earth Day. It was a day to help the land wake up from its winter slumber and get ready for planting and gardening. And with Traveling and Aes Sedai the world over, along with their warders, just maybe this could truly be a world wide effort. It was time to put out the next call. As Lilli firmed up her plans to call together the Aes Sedai, I figure in a green silk dress smiled serenely as she faded away to nothing……

 

In April the Heros of the Horn Challenge was led by the Gray Ajah and focused on “Spring Cleaning.” The challenge was in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22nd) where the Ajah challenged TarValon.Net to not only make a difference in the world around them but also to show how international the community of TarValon.Net is.

 

To some, Mother Earth is sacred. To others, the Earth is just the place we live. A whole host of emotion, thought exists in between. No matter how you view the Earth, the truth is that it is our home. For most of us, it will be the only planet that we have. As we do in our own houses, we need to keep it clean so that we can live.

On April 24th, we would like to see just how much of the Earth our Tower covers. We would like you to find a park, a stretch of highway, or some other area (nature trails, etc) to adopt for the day. On that day, Tweet or post a picture on Facebook of what the bags of trash you’ve picked up with the hashtag #TrashforTarValon and allow your photo to have a location tag.

If you do not have the mobility, or do not have the time to participate in this challenge, you can still help out.
The Grays have provided a link to an Earth charity near and dear to their hearts, Tradewater. – Lilli O’Neeus

 

April’s Hero of the Horn was Natalya Laragan, affectionately known as Dr. Aes Sedai! We look forward to seeing Natalya appear in the next installment of The Hero Story.

 

Natalya

 

TarValon.Net’s members found so many different ways to contribute over the past couple of months so here’s the run down.

 

April 2nd Update!

 

  • Nymala (Blue Ajah) has started crocheting stars for a charity project, and as of 3/1/2021 she had spent 2 hours working on this. Nymala also volunteered at the SPCA for 5 hours.
  • Sonea (Blue Ajah) donated the equivalent of £23.96 in toys or £23.96 to pay for toys to a local animal sanctuary
  • Atreyu (SDS) shared the results of the Dry Feb fundraiser he organized: $1,150.39 raised! Many site members also donated. :)
  • Dar’Jen (Of All and None) donated $20 worth of food to her work’s “Cram the Van” initiative to support Salvation Army efforts
  • Erin (Of All and None) donated $25 to MSF (Doctors Without Borders) through the WoW Pet Charity Program
  • Arella (Of All and None) donated $20 to MSF (Doctors without Borders) through the WoW Pet Charity Program
  • Ninya (Green Ajah) donated $348.66 to the GISH 2021: Change-A-Life Ecuador program
  • Jocasta (Of All and None) donated $25 to help a local family in need with surgery costs
  • Melisande (Green Ajah) donated $30.92 to support Dry February and $50 to Telemiracle 45
  • Juliya (Blue Ajah) donated to several different places: $50 to Movember (men’s health charity focused on prostate cancer, testicular health, and mental health), $100 monthly donations to Power 2 Change (a Christian charity focused on helping athletes in universities), and $80 monthly donations to CRWRF which sponsors 2 families in Kenya

 

May 1st Update!

 

  • Ahmyra al’Ruley (Of All and None) donated $50 for a Music for Life scholarship for a child in Uganda that covers school supplies and life supplies. She also donated $50 to Canadian Mental Health.
  • Mieriana Souvra (Blue Ajah) donated $20 to the Animal Welfare Institute.
  • Siera al’Cere (Gray Ajah) donated $25 to a local animal shelter.
  • Nymala Ingasy (Blue Ajah) gave 3 hours and 55 minutes of her time to the SPCA of Whangarei.
  • Maibella ni Rhoiden t’al’Varrak (Gray Ajah) spent 1.5 hours helping with a tree planting event on Earth Day.
  • Juliya Karisu (Blue Ajah), in addition to her regular monthly donations of $100 to Power 2 Change and $80 to CRWRF, also donated $10 to the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation and $75 to Pacific Post Partum, a non-profit organization that helps moms.
  • Ninya Evoneigh (Green Ajah) has started a cycle of volunteering that will continue on for the next 12 months. They will be spending 20 hours each month volunteering for IMALIVE, a crisis line. They will also be spending 50 hours each month working with the policy and abuse team at OTW (a 501(c)3). That is an astounding time commitment!! They also donated $25 to Tradewater.

 

This month also saw the beginning of the Third Hero of the Horn Challenge, May Flowers supported by the Yellow Ajah!

 

Our May challenge is about spreading good vibes and mental health and well-being. To do that, we’d like you to hand out a few of the May flowers that the April showers so often bring.
This link (Click Me) will take you to a pdf of our May flowers containing the numbers for major mental health help and crisis lines as well as numbers for LGBTQ+ support. We would like you to hand out these flowers in places or to people you think would appreciate or can use them.

 

May Flowers

 

The Yellows have chosen a charity for people to donate to if they are more comfortable participating in that way. It is the Trevor Project. It is one of the numbers featured on our flyer. The Trevor Project helps LGBTQ+ youth all over the US. LGBTQ+ youth are one of the more vulnerable groups in our country. They are more vulnerable to mental health crises, homelessness, and addiction, among other things. Please consider helping to give our vulnerable babies the support they need to make it through one of the hardest parts of life (becoming who they are).

 

Being a little over halfway through The Great Charity Hunt our Director of Community Outreach, Erin al’Denael shared a few interesting stats and figures with us. We’ve certainly been a busy bunch!

 

Entries & Participants

 

Entries and Participants

 

The Of All and None, Green, and Blue groups have been extra busy! Note the blue especially: quite a few members in these groups are active and help out in many different ways. Kudos to them.

 

Group Breakdown (by # of members)

 

  • 5 – Of All and None
  • 3 – Brown Ajah
  • 6 – Green Ajah
  • 1 – SDS
  • 1 – VC
  • 3 – Gray Ajah
  • 7 – Blue Ajah

 

Group Breakdown of Entries (many members have multiple entries)

 

  • 14 – Of All and None
  • 14 – Green Ajah
  • 3 – Brown Ajah
  • 1 – SDS
  • 1 – VC
  • 3 – Gray Ajah
  • 17 – Blue Ajah

 

Hours Donated

 

Hours Donated

 

While the majority of donations have been money or money in lieu of a physical donation, we do have some people who prefer to do their part through volunteering. Especially in Green!

 

Actual Numbers

  • 4 hours – Brown Ajah
  • 107.5 hours – Green Ajah
  • 11 hours – Blue Ajah

 

Donations, Random and Glorious

 

This inspires me to donate gently used/new clothes to Goodwill again, or school supplies to needy students. /ideas

 

  • 500 journals – Brown Ajah
  • Medical supplies – Green Ajah
  • Bags of food – Of All and None
  • Crocheted stars – Blue Ajah
  • Time, energy, and associated finances to adopt a puppy – Blue Ajah

 

Money Raised

 

We have raised a total of $6,729.58 omg as of April 30, 2021. Y’all astound me!!

That money has come from lots of different members and group activities, as broken down here:

Money Raised

 

Thank you to each and every member who has given during the past 6 odd months! If you haven’t had a chance to get involved yet, there’s still time. Stay tuned for the June update later this month!

 

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TVTT DM Edition – Service to the Tower

TVTT DM

 

A member of the Dai M’Hael is a Warder who uses their brain as well as their brawn. They use psychology and tactics as their springboard to combat. They are the sort of person who can map out battles in their head, and makes a good officer/tactician working with large groups of people. While also passionate, they maintain a bit of distance and weighs the odds of victory before going into a fight. A Dai M’Hael’s greatest weapon is their mind, for it is the mind that orders the fist to strike, the feet to run and the heart to pound. Without using one’s mind, a battle will most surely be lost. A Dai M’Hael is like a hawk, shrewd, intelligent and all-seeing. But still wielding deadly talons with great skill when the time calls for it. Val a’Shain

 

Dai M'Hael

 

Dai M’Hael is one of the four Companies of Warders at TarValon.Net. Founded alongside San d’ma Shadar and Val’Cueran in 2002, the Company gets it’s name from the Old Tongue for “Battle Leaders.” There are seventy-four people known to have been raised to Gaidin of Dai M’Hael. The Company is currently led by Company Commander, Dnae Ila; Honor Guard, Drake O’Neeus; and Warder Councillors, Brandon Tat’vakja and Kerwin Thaumiel.

 

Dnae

Drake  Brandon  Kerwin

 

Dai M’Hael has had 12 different Company Commanders.

 

The Honor Guards and Warder Councillors of Dai M’Hael have served their Company and our community at large. Thank you all for your service!

 

But their service doesn’t stop at their Company walls. Many members of Dai M’Hael have served (and continue to serve) the greater TarValon.Net community in many different capacities.

 

 

Many members of Dai M’Hael have also served as members of staff across our many Departments (and many still do!) The Gaidin of Dai M’Hael have collectively earned 10 Amyrlin Awards, 5 Keeper Awards, and a staggering 36 Members Choice Awards!

 

Thank you to all members of Dai M’Hael past and present for your dedication to your company and your service to TarValon.Net.

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