The Basic Weaves class was written and taught by Irisian Sedai (later Aeryn Sedai). It was compulsory for and restricted to Novices.
Iris was waiting for her students in the class room appointed to her. She nodded to each of them when they took their seats, but didn't speak until the last one according her list was there. "Good morning class. I am Irisian Sedai of the Green Ajah. I want to learn to know you, so stand up in turns and say in loud voice your name and where are you from. You will start", she said pointing randomly one girl sitting in the leftmost table. When everyone had introduced themselves, she started.
"I will first lecture you about nature of the One Power. Feel free to make notes if you cannot remember what I tell you. You may ask questions after the lecture. I do not want to be interrupted." She looked at every girl firmly before continuing.
"Lets begin then. True source is the driving force of the universe, which turns the Wheel of Time. It is divided into male half, saidin, and a female half, saidar, which work at the same time with and against each others. Only a man can draw on saidin and only a woman on saidar. Since the beginning of the Breaking of the world, saidin has been tainted by the Dark One's touch and those poor men who have the ability to channel inborn will eventually go mad or die from a wasting sickness that rots him alive. In case of male channelers, luckily only minority of people can learn to channel One Power, the power drawn from the True Source. A very tiny number of channelers can be taught to channel and even tinier number have the ability inborn. For these few there is no need to be taught; they will touch the True Source and and channel the Power whether they want it or not, perhaps without even realizing what they are doing. The inborn ability usually manifests itself in late adolescence or early adulthood. If control is not taught, or self-learned, death is certain. For women the death that comes without control of the One Power is less horrible. Aes Sedai search for girls with the ability inborn as much as to save their lives as to increase our numbers. The Red Ajah has dedicated their lives to hunt down the male channelers to prevent them from doing the terrible things they would inevitably do with the One Power in their madness."
"Channeling the source cannot be forced for a woman. To touch Saidar she must surrender to it. Channeling is like an embrace. There are five powers in Saidar that we work with, and they are Air, Water, Spirit, Fire and Earth. Women are stronger in Air and Water while men are stronger in Fire and Earth, with Spirit both about the same. Channeling can be compared to a waterwheel driven by a river, with the channelers the waterwheel and the True Source the river, and it can not be used up."
"Even the simplest matters and uses of the One Power are dangerous to the untrained. If a channeler tries to take in more than she can safely handle she can burn herself out or even kill herself. I have heard that the first is way worse than the latter. It is even a risk to use the power too often and too freely. The sensation you feel when you embrace Saidar is wonderful and like nothing you have ever felt until then, it is also very addicting. You might also try to take in more than you can handle. On that point though, the more you touch the True Source the easier it becomes to do. In the beginning a channeler cannot handle much power, but as you train the amount you can handle increases. Many girls have to study at the tower for months before they can do something as minor as make a light flicker in a stone."
"A channeler can tell if somebody is channeling in the vicinity. Even only channeling a trickle, somebody else who can channel can tell at one hundred paces. Another good sign if you are very close is a glow around a channeling woman. A trained Aes Sedai will sense the ability to channel in one able to touch the True Source. It is difficult to tell if they are really young, that is why you will not see anybody younger than twelve at the Tower. You probably remember that you were tested when you entered the Tower, it was done to test your potential.
Channeling will also fatigue the channeler. The fatigue from channeling is like nothing else you have felt. No amount of healing can help it when it is severe. Channeling when you are tired or ill can cause you to burn out of ability to channel if it doesn't kill you. Channeling Saidar for an hour can tire a person who has had a full night’s sleep."
"Next I tell you about Shielding. A fully trained sister cannot be shielded by one person, the stronger she is the more sister it would take. When a person is shielded they can still feel the source, just not touch it. Blocking someone from One Power is much more difficult if the shielded person is embracing the Source. Once you have a weave set, though, it is fairly easy to maintain the weave with very little effort."
"As you grow in strenght and learn more you will be able to perform more than one weave at time. In order to perform a weave on something you must see it first, you cannot identify flows of the Power without seeing them. When you work a weave around yourself it takes special care since you can see the flows clearly. To use the True Source, one must have complete control over ones emotions. For some reason a channeler doesn't feel the Source at all in an Ogier Stedding. It is very disturbing feeling and most Aes Sedai avoid staying long times in Steddings."
"The most distinguishable feature of Aes Sedai is the agelessness that we get from working with the One Power for a long time. Women that work with the One Power are not touched by time as normal women, and the slowing of aging usually starts at the mid-twenties. Acquiring the ageless look will usually start from five to ten years after you have been raised to the shawl. Because we live longer than normal people, it is considered very rude among the Aes Sedai to ask ones age."
"Women channelers may also link with each others to draw more of the power. It is very tiring for all the Aes Sedai’s involved. You will also notice that when they link the glows you see around them also merge and become one. In order to link you must open yourself to Saidar, but not embrace it yet. Most will find this relatively easy and the Aes Sedai in charge will join with you to bring you into the whole. When you are linked you can feel the emotions of the others as if they were you own. Even though there is one leading the link everybody will be weary after words. The power of women when they are linked could easily stop a stamped of bulls. Once you are used to linking it can be done very quickly. Only the women in charge of the link can break it."
"The last things I will explain to you today are Stilling and Gentling. They both have the same effect, to prevent channeler from touching the Source permanently, but when it is done to a man it is called Gentling and when to a woman, it is Stilling and in the latter case is used as the most severe punishment. They still sense the One Power and most Stilled or Gentled channelers only live a few years afterward before they lose their will to live. Every novice is required to know the names and crimes of the Stilled sisters." Iris listed calmly out of her head. "Lideine Rajan, *Vandaie Mees, *Meecha Wottah and *Rintrau Cri were Stilled 77 years After the Breaking as a punishment of pretending to be Aes Sedai. (OOC: names with star are made up) Amyrlin Tetsuan, Raised from the Red Ajah, was Stilled during the Trolloc war as a punishment from betraying Manetheren. Amyrlin Bonwhin Meraighdin, Raised from the Red Ajah, was Stilled in Free Year 939 as a punishment from trying to control High king Arthur Hawkwing and nearly destroying the Tower. The last stilling took place in 859NE. The woman was *Alexis Romley of the Blue Ajah, and she used the One Power to Compel another sister."
"As a homework, you will go to the Library and copy me a story of one person who burnt herself out of the channeling ability. You will also explain in it what burning yourself out means. You will return the essays to me in the beginning of our next lesson, which is tomorrow at High in this same classroom. Class dimissed."(OOC: Just make up the story :) )
OOC: The first two classes will be posted this fast because I am going out of town for a week. The third lesson and Final will be posted when I get back. Even I am gone, don't worry about time ending. You have two weeks to finish the class after Final is posted.
IC: Iris walked into the class room exactly when the bells rang High. She found all her students in their seats already and nodded in satisfaction. "Good day class. Today we will start practicing how to embrace Saidar. We will use an excercixe commonly known as the Rosebud. I will first describe it and when everyone understands what they must do, we will run it through. You will close your eyes and picture a flower. It doesn’t matter what kind of a flower", Iris quickly added. She had failed miserably every time with this excersice when she had been novice, until she realized that she wasn't a rose. She was a poppy. "You are that flower. You can feel the dew on your petals and leaves. Your petals are closed around you from the chill of the night. Next you imagine the sun rising. It’s rays touch your petals, warming them. Slowly at first, then as the sun gets higher in the sky, its rays bathe you in warmth. Your petals begin to open, welcoming the warmth of the sun, the light, as it gives you life." Some girls stared at her mesmerized. She had been told once, that her mere voice could entrance a snake if she wanted. Maybe that was why she had been asked to teach this class. You needed to have right kind of tone to get the girls to the right condition to open to saidar, and she was good at it. It surprised her, because she had never teached anything before.
"Before we start, I want you to remember this. It is alright if you don’t get it right the first time. Just relax and I will take you through it again." She waited for them all to nod before she continued. "Now you can make the first try. Listen to my voice and do as I say. Empty your thoughts. There is only one thing in your mind. The bud of flower. Only that. Only the bud. You can see it in every detail. You can smell it. You can feel it. Every vein of every leaf, every curve of every petal. You can feel the sap pulsing. Feel it. Know it. Be it. You and the bud are the same. You are one. You are the bud." With the same slow, hypnotic tone, she droned "Inside yourself you are a bud, petals curled tightly. Suddenly there is something else. Light. Light pressing on the petals. Slowly the petals unfold, turning toward the light, absorbing the light. The rose and the light are one. You and the light are one."
Iris watched the girls and saw the glow winking shortly around some. She helped those who hadn't succeeded yet personally, repeating the story about the bud of flower until she saw the glow around them telling that they held saidar. Then she walked around the classroom and helped those who had troubles. When the bells rang dinner time, she dismissed the exhausted but excited girls.
The next day Channeling lesson started right after breakfast. Iris had eaten in the class room, and when all girls were at their seats, she began. "Good morning everyone. First thing we do today is going through the same excersice than yesterday. You may do it on your own, if you feel like it. Raise your hand if you need my help." When everyone had succeeded in it at least once, she moved on. "I want you to all hold saidar now so we can start our next practice called Pushing and Pulling. You feel the light shining on the rosebud, you and light are one. Now, picture a cloud slowly covering the sun. As the light from the sun is diminished on the flower, so should your hold on the Source. Push it away from you, while still maintaining contact. As the sun still provides heat behind the cloud, let the Source just barely trickle into you. To pull it back into you fully again, imagine the cloud drifting away from the sun, and the full light and heat back on the rosebud. Do not do that too quickly, as snapping it back can hurt." She watched the glows of saidar around the girls diminishing, almost vanishing. "Try Pushing and Pulling again couple of times more, and then we will move on to next excersice."When everyone was done, she explained what they should do.
"Next I will show you the difference between elemental threads. The differences are truly visible if you know what you are looking for. Observe." Iris weaved a braid that had thick strands of each element in it. Pointing each strand she named them. "Brown is Earth, red is Fire, blue is Air, green Water and Spirit is the white one. Before I even tell you what to do, I remind you that you must always let the weave dissipate on it's own, never pick it apart or the consequences will be very severe. Like this", she said releasing the braid. It disappeared. "Now watch what you are supposed to do next." This time she didn't create a braid, but took each thread separately and tied it to a knot that hung in the air in front of her. "Most of you will have difficulties with Brown and Red stands, Earth and Fire respectfully, but it is prefectly normal in the beginning since women are usually weaker in these elements than men. Remember not to use hand gestures when you shape the forms of elemental strands, imagine every change in your mind and then just make it happen. Using gestures is a bad habit that I don't want you to learn. You may start creating the elemental forms now. Use yoru imagination, you don't have to restrain yourself to knots like I did. Elemental forms may be any shape and size you want. I will be here if you need help." Iris sat behind her desk and watched how they were doing.
Lesson 4 (Final)
The class was gathered again, and in Irisian's mind for a useless lesson. But rules were rules and every teacher had to arrange a final test for their students. "Good morning everyone. Today you will show me what you have learned in past lessons. Since I have already seen you all performing these things with honour, you don't need to worry about not being able to do it again. You there will start", she said pointing randomly one girl. "First embrace the source using the rose excercise or what ever technic you prefer. Good, and now show me how you Push and Pull the saidar. And then show me the most difficult elemental form you can manage to do. You may use any element you want, but using the one that is hardest for you will earn you some bonus points." When the first girl was done she complimented her of well done work and invited the next novice in front of the class. After everyone was finished, she dismissed the class and headed to the office of the Mistress of novices to report who had passed.