Aes Sedai ‘New Spring’ Fashion

New Spring Aes Sedai Fashion
This article contains spoilers for New Spring.

 

 

I have begun a re-read of the Wheel of Time series and decided to start with New Spring. And while there is a treasure trove of depictions of clothing all throughout the story, I decided to focus initially on the attire of the Aes Sedai.

 

Besides the Great Serpent ring depicting the “snake biting its own tail that symbolized eternity and continuity and it’s initiate’s bond to the Tower” (p. 18), an Aes Sedai is also recognized by the Flame of Tar Valon emblazoned shawl she would often wear. “Sisters seldom wore their shawls inside the Tower except for official occasions” (p. 98). The shawl was unique to the woman — with different thicknesses, designs, and fringe length — though the color of fringe was matched to the Sister’s Ajah.

 

While personality would influence the simplicity or extravagance of the dress, her nationality could also have bearing on her clothing, hair, or ornamentation. Ludice Daneen, Yellow Aes Sedai, had “brightly beaded Taraboner braids that hung to her waist” (p.120); and Cetalia Delarme, Blue Aes Sedai, also a Taraboner, wore her hair in “a multitude of blue beaded braids that hung to her waist” (p. 174.). Moiraine Damodred, Blue Aes Sedai from Cairhien, wore a “kesiera,” a thin gold chain that was woven into the hair so that a small stone hung in the middle of her forehead; in her case, a sapphire.
 

Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah

 

Most of our view of Aes Sedai is presented by the Blue Ajah. Tamra Ospenya, Amyrlin, wore a stole striped in colors of all seven Ajahs and even her blue skirt was “slashed with all seven colors.” Her hair was “caught in a jeweled silver net” (p. 19). Later she wore a dress in “pale brocaded blue with the Amyrlin’s striped stole around her neck” (p. 160). Gitara Moroso, Keeper, wore a wide necklace of firedrops and earrings with “rubies the size of pigeon’s eggs,” her dress was a broached blue with her Keeper’s stole, and her hair was “caught with carved ivory combs” (p. 20). Aeldra Najaf, Keeper, was lean and coppery skinned and her “dress was of blue wool, fine woven but simply cut, and the deep blue stole on her shoulders was no more than two fingers wide” (p.120). Anaiya Carel wore “finely cut blue woolens” with “intricate embroidery on the sleeves” (p. 152); and Cabriana Mecandes wore “blue-slashed skirts” (p. 168). Siuan Sanche wore a “plain blue riding dress” and a cloak without a hood (p.251).

 

There are many dresses described for Moiraine Damodred. Upon first being raised to Aes Sedai, she found “four dresses of fine blue wool, plain but well cut, were hanging in her dressing room, two of them with skirts divided for riding” (p. 171). She ordered dresses from Alkohima’s shop and a few were “in the strictest Cairhienin style, which was to say dark…with six slashes across the breast in red, green, and white, far fewer than she had a right to” (p. 193). Later she wears a dark blue silk riding dress “embroidered on the neck and sleeves in a golden pattern like Maldine lace” (p.260).
 

Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah

 

Kerene Nagashi wore “a riding dress, the divided skirts slashed with emerald green” and her short hair was “gathered in a thick braid” (p. 117). Cadsuane Melaidhrin wore her “iron-grey hair decorated with golden ornaments, stars and birds, crescent moons and fish” and her shawl was “fringed in green” (p. 242).
 

Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah

 

There was the least reference to Yellow Aes Sedai. Ryma Galfrey was described as “slim and elegant in yellow-slashed green.”
 

Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah

 

Red seemed to particularly dominate the attire of the Red Aes Sedai. Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan, wore a brocaded dress in a “not a muted red or a faint red, but a bright hue, as though she were streaming her Ajah to the world” (p. 84). She also wore a red cloak lined with black fur. The following day, she wore a red, high-necked dress and a red-fringed shawl “richly embroidered with flowered vines. Flowered, and more fitting, barbed with long thorns” (p. 104). Duhara Basaheen, Keeper, was a Domani and wore a “red stole a hand wide draped around her neck. Her dark red dress was so slashed with scarlet it might as well have been scarlet” (p. 206).
 

Aes Sedai of the White Ajah

 

White was considered the color of mourning. “Aes Sedai never put on full mourning, except for Whites, who did not consider it so” since they did wear white on a regular basis. Yet for mourning, “Whites all wore glossy black ribbons” (p. 204). Meilyn Arganya wore dark gloves and her “divided skirts, so slashed with white that it seemed white trimmed with blue” (p. 84).
 

Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah

 

Jarna Malari, Sitter, wore dark gray silk, sapphires in her long black hair and around her neck, and the silken fringe on her shawl was so long it “nearly touched the floor with the shawl resting on her shoulders” (p.108). Sierin Vayu, Amyrlin, only wore her Great Serpent Ring for jewelry, and her dress of “dark gray silks were simply cut” (p. 207).
 

Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah

 

Simplicity seemed to be a consistency for the Brown Ajah. Verin Mathwin wore “fine russet wool and brown-fringed shawl” (p. 152). Felaana Bevaine was described as “a slim yellow-haired Brown in plain dark woolens.”

 

Aes Sedai wore a variety of fashions. What they wore was influenced by their own personality as well as their nationality. Their Ajah may have influenced the main color of their garment, but styles ranged from simple to elaborate. Fabric was usually silk, either plain or brocaded, or fine wool. Skirts were divided, which was most common with riding dresses, or slashed with other colors. Dresses were plain in design, or lightly or heavily embroidered. Hair could be worn long, or in braids, beaded, held back with combs or hairnets. The attire of the Aes Sedai was as varied as the women themselves.

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Val’Cueran – Tar Valon to Tear Challenge

RunwithVC

 

From April 1 to June 30, 2020, the Val’Cueran Company hosted a walking challenge. The main goal was to collectively walk 1600 miles, the distance from Tar Valon to the Ocean of Tear. The participants were Alora Sionn, Braedan Fearghal, Dreia Raieese (Honor Guard), Madhar al’Thera, Cieon Maralyn, Randle al’Ren (Company Commander), Lok Sionn, Sassaba, Tomeina Raieese, Raeviendha al’Toma, Laithean Cor’dazar, Elanda Tonil, Dovienya el’Korim, myself, and my son.

 

During the three month challenge, we managed to travel 1291.6 miles. Though we came in 308.4 miles short of the goal, it was a great accomplishment. As Alora explained, “We had a couple of injuries during the course of this run…but we pushed hard anyway.”

 

After a few months break, and with the approach of the holiday season (great motivation to try to be active), a new challenge has begun. The Race to the Feast of Lights will take place from November 1, 2020 through to January 1, 2021. This challenge is to collectively go 800 miles, which is the distance from Tar Valon to Cairhien and back again.

 

Participants will track the miles they walk or run. Biking will also count this time, calculated as 1 mile walked for each 3 miles on the bike. Screenshots or pictures of the treadmill screen will count as ones official miles. These are being posted and tracked in a special channel on the Tower Discord.

 

The runners for the Race to the Feast of Lights are Alora, Lok, Sassaba, Rand, Madhar, Dreia, Tomeina, Raevi, Leala, Ashara, Atane, Siera, Bruce, Jahily, Qamra, Zashara, Aleita, Cieon, Ilverin, myself, and my son (Darson, as he’s been dubbed). Miles are being posted everyday in the discord channel.

 

Best of luck to all the participants!

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TarValon.Net Blood Drive 2020

Blood Drive

 

TarValon.Net has held a blood drive initiative every year since its initial response to the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. The original response was so positive that it became an annual Outreach campaign.

 

Donating blood has become another way for members to embody the idea of being “Servant of All“. If you are able, you can donate blood. If you are not able to donate, you can help promote the initiative. Blood banks all across the world are in need of donations.

 

The Red Cross offers different ways to aid those in need. You can provide your financial assistance, your volunteer time, and certainly blood donations. You can also search for local-to-you blood banks.

 

As Serinia Edoras, The Amyrlin Seat, has explained, a pint of blood can save up to three lives. There has been an increased need for donations due to COVID-19, as pointed out by Leala al’Dareis, Head of the White Ajah.

 

In 2019, 27 pints of blood were donated by Tar Valon members. As indicated by Elia LePhant of the Brown Ajah, that is the most donated since 2015. In 2015, 32 pints were donated.

 

If you donate, you can go to 2020 Donor Form and record your donation. Be sure to indicate if it is a “double red” or Power Red Donation. This form of donation uses a special machine to retrieve 2 units of red blood cells and returns the plasma and platelets to the donor. The deadline for form submissions for 2020 is January 10, 2021.
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Seamstress Shop Guide

If you are in Tar Valon, and you are in need of a dress, I highly recommend visiting Tamore Alkohima. This prestigious Domani seamstress comes highly recommended, even by Aes Sedai.

When visiting her shop, be prepared for an experience. The store is filled with shelves displaying laces and ribbons, bolts of silks and fine wools of every hue. Dressmaker forms display creations in progress. Her half dozen assistants are garbed in finely sewn examples of styles from their native homes.

During your visit, you will be undressed to your skin and measured by her assistants. Tamore will examine the customer to determine what styles and colors will best compliment the wearer. If Aes Sedai, she will bring hues that will best reflect the Ajah, and still flatter the person. She will provide her opinion. You can negotiate with her, regarding style, color, fabric, and form of embroidery, but be sure to show her a touch of deference. She is very gifted and sought after for a reason. Once decisions are made, an initial garment will be cut and pinned, to be used as a model for the order.

Few come to acquire a full wardrobe in a single visit, but most order more than a solo garment. Do not start your order by asking for the price up front. The cost will be declared after your selections. Be aware that a woolen dress can cost 1 gold crown while a silk dress can cost 10 crowns. A gratuity can be provided to ensure speedy completion of the order, as otherwise, it can take a month or longer to receive the completed garments.

The order can either be delivered to the location of your choice, or can be retained at the store for you to claim. Once you have acquired your order, you will not be disappointed by the skill utilized in dressing you.

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Learning About the Wolves

 

The Classroom is a wonderful resource at TarValon.net. From November 2019 through January 2020, I was a student within “Val’Cueran with Alora Gaidin & Co”. It was a collaborative experience presented by Alora Sionn, Madhar al’Thera, Dreia Raieese, and Dravid ter’Mand. They presented an overview of the various facets of the company. Known as The Wolf Pack, the Val’Cueran are the Heart Guard of TarValon.Net. They are represented by the wolf and their colors are red and gold.

 

The three core values of the company are honor, loyalty, and brotherhood. As explained by Madhar al’Thera, the unspoken code of the Val’Cueran is “doing what is right and being trustworthy.” The wolves have developed a mutual respect. Honor and loyalty create brotherhood, and it is all linked together with devotion. The wolves rely on each other and do their utmost to not let each other down. They care for each other, as well as the members and guests of TarValon.Net.

 

Like each group at TarValon.Net, the wolves have their own set of traditions. Among these are head shaving, setting people on fire, and hibernation. Though not a requirement, several members of the company have had shaved heads. They tend to set people on fire, though done in a more figurative way, and generally to the benefit of all. (No one has been harmed in the fire settings of the Val’Cueran.) Though members of the company have gone quiet from time to time, they do stay in contact with one another, and will resurface.

 

As implied in their representation by the wolf, the Val’Cueran are a family group that has a hierarchy with roles for each of their members. The Company Commander is the leader, or the alpha of the pack. The Honor Guard is the second-in-command, or the beta. The Warder Councillors are the representatives within the Hall. The M’Hael Strategos helps determine the company’s participation in site events and the M’Hael Tribunus is the company historian.

 

The class had lessons and assignments for participants to explore the various components of the Val’Cueran. It was an engaging way to learn about the company. The wolves have their own values, traditions, and hierarchy, and are a part of what comprises the White Tower at TarValon.Net

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