TVTT VC Edition – Val’Cueran Highlight

Val’Cueran Company
Highlight of May 2020

Val’Cueran or VC for short is one of the four Companies at TarValon.Net and was featured on our social media in May of 2020. Like all our Companies, Val’Cueran has a mascot, official colors, and logo. We asked you if you know which are their official colors:

 

vc-trivia

 

Actually, the image behind the text was a hint in and of itself. Many people guessed correctly that VC’s official colors are indeed Red and Gold. Their logo is this:
 

VClogo

 

VC’s mascot is the wolf, so who better to share during their month, than Perrin Goldeneyes!
 

We shared some amazing fan art of Perrin on our Facebook page, thanks to these Artists: solitarium, Ariel Burgess, and Kira Mayer. VC Gaidin also believe that Perrin would fit greatly into their Company.
 

Perrin pictures

 

In November of 2019, there was a class on Val’Cueran – their history, core values, and traditions – in our Classroom forum, which you can find here.
 

Regarding their traditions, VC shared a tradition which began recently – Every Gaidin raised to Val’Cueran is gifted a gold wolf pin, and their Aes Sedai have silver.
 

VC Pins

 

Soldier Dar’Jen, now aspiring to join the Val’Cueran Company, wrote a blog post explaining what they learned about the Company from their class in the Classroom. Read the blog post here.
 

In honor of Val’Cueran and their representation in May of 2020, we gathered all wolf names mentioned in the books. You can see the amazing graphic from this blog post here.
 

And check out the Library resources we have on Val’Cueran, if you are interested, here.

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Dear Aes Sedai …

Dear Aes Sedai …
 

Are the Tower doors locked at night, or is there still some way out of the Tower? I definitely have no reason to ask this beyond curiosity.

 
 

Dear Reader,
 

The official answer is that for the safety of everyone who resides and works in the Tower, the doors are definitely locked at night. However, whether they will admit it or not, a fair number of Aes Sedai and Gaidin have fond memories of their time as Novices and Recruits that include sneaking about in some fashion.
 

I know for a fact that recently a group of Junior Members has been sneaking out of the Tower and across the Gardens late at night. They’re not as clever as they think! To tell you how they got out or what they were up to would give away my own secrets, so you’ll just have to figure that out for yourself. Perhaps if you can find a certain Abandoned Corridor, you’ll discover the answers you seek.
 
 

Do you have a question to ask our Mystery Aes Sedai? You can fill out this form HERE or email your questions to editor@tarvalon.net. Names of submitters will remain anonymous.

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TVTT VC Edition – Beer 101

In 2018, global beer consumption totaled over 188 million kiloliters, or about 400 billion pints. That’s roughly 50 beers per person on earth, making it the third most popular beverage behind water and tea. It’s been drunk all over the world with evidence dating back to 10,000 BCE, but what is it exactly? Beer is made up of four basic ingredients — water, a starch source, flavoring, and brewer’s yeast. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these ingredients.
 

Water accounts for 93% of a beer’s weight making it the main ingredient. Brewers need to take into account the mineral profile of the water they are using to brew, as it will affect the outcome of the brew. Natural water profiles led to regional developments of certain beers around the world such as Bavarian pilsners, Irish stouts, or English pale ales. As the science of brewing has progressed, we are now able to add minerals to the water being used in order to get a water profile that will work for what type of beer in being brewed, no longer having to rely on whatever water is available to (potentially) negatively impact the brew.
 

Starches that can be used to brew beer include rice, oats, and wheat; but the most common is malted barley so we will focus on that one. Malting is a process that involves soaking the grain in water and then drying it in a kiln. This process allows the grain to create enzymes that convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars.The grains can be heated for longer periods of time for darker malts that have different flavors and colors in the finished product.
 

Next are the hops which give aroma and flavor to the beer. There are about 80 different types of hops available today. There are two different categories of hops — bittering and aroma. They are used on their own or in combination to create different flavors and types of beers. Their bitterness is measured in “International Bitterness Units” which you will sometimes find on craft beer labeled as “IBUs.” The scale typically runs from five (very low bitterness) to 120 (very high bitterness). Just for an idea of the measure, a pilsner or lager will range anywhere from 10-50 on the scale, while an IPA can top out at 120. Hops also have antibiotic properties that help the beer during the fermentation process and also act as a preservative. Fruit, herbs, and even coffee can also be added for different flavor profiles if desired, but hops remain the main flavoring ingredient.
 

The last ingredient we will take a look at is the yeast. Yeast metabolizes the sugars that are produced by the grain and ferments it into alcohol, thus creating the beer. The type of yeast used also has an influence on the flavor and type of beer that is created as the finished product. There are two main types of yeast used for beer and they are divided into ale and lager yeasts.The biggest difference in brewing is that ale yeasts ferment at a much higher temperature than lager yeasts. If the brew isn’t kept at the correct temperature during fermentation, the alcohol will not be produced correctly.
 

So, how do all of these things come together to create beer? We will break it down in the simplest terms. First you steep the grains in boiling water like it’s a giant batch of tea. You remove the grains, add your hops and continue to boil to extract the acids in the hops that give aroma and flavor. Now you have what is called “wort” and it needs to be cooled before we can add the yeast. Once it’s cooled, the yeast is added and the fermentation vessel is sealed with an airlock, to allow gas bubbles caused by the fermentation process to escape. This process can take 1-2 weeks and when it’s done it’s ready for bottling or kegging. After that, it’s time to pour one and enjoy.
 

Keep an eye out for future articles where we will dive a little deeper into different styles of beer. Cheers!

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TVTT VC Edition – What is Divination

When a person becomes interested in taking up one of the Divinatory arts (Tarot or Rune casting etc.), one of the key factors that is often missed in books, videos, and courses that I’ve come across is — what is divination and how does it work? To a new student of these arts, the why and how are vital to understanding, beyond the mechanical aspect of “select a card or rune and read the meaning.” Getting to grips with the whole process allows the student to make a deeper connection and become more personally involved, making them a better diviner.
 

In simple terms, Divination is a process used to gain insight into the world around us. To look at how one does this, let’s get rid of single word explanations like Magic or Magick (however you wish to spell it), Psychic, and Science (frequently used as the modern spelling of Magic), as overly-simple explanations and put forward a deeper, more structured theory.
 

Divination works on the principle that everything is connected to everything else. This connection is on the minutest of levels; it is a connection of energies rather than one of material or tangible substances. Imagine an all-encompassing web stretching on into eternity, with each connection being stronger or weaker dependent on the relationship between those two points. This is the underlying structure of the universe. We can look to explanations both ancient and modern to explain this theory — both modern string theory and the ancient Web of Wyrd theories rely upon this concept to explain the universe.
 

These links vary in their size and effect. Imagine a stretched piece of rubber and how it thins as it is pulled out to a greater distance. This gives us the concept that events or actions more distant from a given point will have a lesser effect upon that point. The key factor here is that there is no RANDOM event; everything influences everything else, even if it is only in the most minor of ways. Once this is understood, and the basic concept grasped, it seems possible to gather information regarding any situation provided that one can access this “grid.” It is this accessing of the grid that we refer to as Divination. As we are speaking of divination as a whole here, the word Diviner is used to describe a person who makes use of divination; whereas specific systems may use other terms such as Reader or Caster.
 

Accessing this metaphorical grid is generally done through the use of such tools as a Tarot deck, Oracle cards, the Runes of the Futhark, and the hexagrams of the I-Ching, to name but a few more popular systems. Depending upon how well the user is able to connect via their chosen system (practice and familiarity are also important here), the patterns revealed may be used to give insight into situations. How well the information offered in the divination is able to be understood will be dependent upon the experience of the Diviner. For the diviner to access the meaning, they must rely upon their ability to touch their subconscious to allow for clarity in linking the received message to the question that was posed. Intuition is everything.
 

The difficulty in Divination comes in interpreting the multifaceted layers of information that is relayed from our grid. Learning any system is fairly simple; becoming attuned to the subconscious in order to make sense of it however, takes practice. But it is a most wonderful journey of discovery.

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TVTT VC Edition – Call of the Pack

 
 

When I first joined TarValon.Net, I was happy to have found a community of fans who enjoyed the world created by Robert Jordan. I became a Citizen, and then applied to join The Tower. As a Novice, I continued to read the series and meet members of the community. Upon passing my test, I became Accepted and began my Guesting journey.
 

As an Accepted, I continued my education. I participated in Classes and in various Events and activities. I was sure my goal was to be Aes Sedai and find which Ajah would be my home. Guesting is as much about self exploration as it is about exploring the groups that make up the community. I was determined to be open minded and explore all the groups.
 

My first round of Guesting was complete, and I had multiple groups I felt very comfortable in. Guesting allowed me to find appreciation for aspects of all the groups. I went through a second round. I was determined to find my home. I still felt there were multiple places I could fit in. This was with Ajahs and Companies.
 

The Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers (Kitan Tataru) and my mentors (Alenya Al’Roran and Ashara Koh’inor) were wonderful. They helped me find ways to reflect on my discoveries so that I could determine where my home was. Our home is not just where our friends are or where our ideal self would be, but is a place that we can serve and help to form the whole.
 

The Pack had chosen me. Deep down I knew this long before I actually admitted it. Once I came to that realization, I eagerly submitted my request to Aspire to the Val’Cueran. Thankfully I did not have to wait long. I am still excited to know I have found my home.
 

They welcomed me from the start. I had become a part of the pack before I even started Guesting. They emphasize Brotherhood, Loyalty, and Honor. They are the Heart Guard of TarValon.Net. And at some point the concept of They had become We. We are there for one another and are there to protect and serve. We are there to light the bonfire that draws us together, to celebrate victories and to face challenges.
 

Activity with the Pack might wax and wane, but its values remain. We know how to have fun, and when to be serious. I will enjoy the bonfires and the s’mores and happily provide coffee and steaks to my pack mates.
 

I am happy to say I am an Aspirant of the Val’Cueran. Someday I will be proud to be Gaidin. But for now, I am honored to be part of the Pack and to have my “Brothers and Brosters” around me. I will continue to train and to strive to be worthy of my place with the Company.

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