The Ogier class was written and taught by Saige Sedai when she was an Accepted. It was an elective open to any member.
Saige entered the empty classroom, carrying a box laden with materials, and looked around excitedly, she never really thought she would get a chance to teach a class. Yet here she was, eagerly awaiting the Novices. Saige walked over to the desk at the front of the room and deposited the box. She began rifling through it. Setting things into piles on the desk. Papers, notebooks, inkwells, thick books, and carefully folded papers all went into a large bag she had brought along. Everything else went back into the box.
Saige rubbed her hands in anticipation, the bell would ring very soon. Saige smoothed her banded dress, that announced her rank as an Accepted. Any moment now. As if summoned by her thoughts, the bell rang. Saige gave a startled gasp, then colored. Suddenly she was immensely grateful no one else was in the room with her. A small frown appeared on her face, as a tangle of feelings that did not belong to her suddenly came alive. Saige concentrated on blocking out those emotions. Ugh! It was infuriating. The bell rang again and Saige brought her attention back to the room now surprised to see the Novices waiting for her.
Saige grinned easily and began the introduction. “Hello, I am Accepted Saige. Would you please stand up and tell me your name.” Mentally she rolled her eyes, she knew most of the Novices in attendance. Once everyone had given her name and sat down again. Saige gave the class a huge grin. “We are going outside. More specifically, we are going outside of the Tower grounds, to the Ogier Grove. You will need to bring along supplies to take notes. I have extra supplies on the desk, you can pick them up as head to the stables. Ready?”
Horses stood saddled and waiting outside of the stables. Saige made a mental note to thank Yanine Sedai again, for the suggestion of having the horses ready. “Please stick together.” Saige called as they left the Tower grounds. “I would hate having to explain losing one of you!” A laugh circled the group, as they rode through Tar Valon to the Ogier grove.
The horses were tethered using the One Power, not far from where the group stopped. As soon as everyone was comfortable Saige reached into her bag and pulled out two carefully folded papers. She unfolded the first one and passed it to the Novice closest to her, with instructions to pass it on.
“Those of you who took the Amyrlin’s Shadowspawn class, will recognize that as a Trolloc.” A few heads nodded. “This,” Saige unfolded the second paper and passed it along. “Is an Ogier.” the two papers circulated through the Novices, each one scrutinizing the two pictures.
“An Ogier, an average Ogier is about eight to ten feet tall. Their life spans are about five times longer then humans. They have wide flat noses, and bushy eyebrows. You can tell when an Ogier is upset, nervous, or disturbed. They have long tufted ears that will twitch, when they are uncomfortable with something. Both male and female Ogier grow their hair long, at least long enough to cover their ears.”
Saige paused to let those taking notes catch up. “Ogier live in isolated communities, and their contact with humans has diminished over the years. As a result some people, myself included, are raised thinking of Ogier only has characters in children’s stories.” Saige grinned sheepishly. Then continued “Ogier society is somewhat like ours. They have a Council of Elders, on which the oldest and wisest Ogier of the Stedding have places. Female Ogier tend to dominate the culture. Most of the council heads are female. I assume most of you have heard the term “Ogier’s Oath.” Ogiers are known for keeping their word. An Ogier is doesn’t is almost unheard of! ”
Saige looked up at the sky trying to judge the time. “Your assignment is to write out a summary of your favorite Ogier “story.” We will meet at the stables tomorrow morning, and return here. Unfortunately now we must return to the Tower.” They mounted their horses and rode back through the city to the Tower. As they dismounted at the stables, Saige added one last thing “If you need help with anything, please knock on my door.” she winked “I think you all are familiar with it.”
Saige shuffled through her stack of papers, until she found the one she was searching for. A simple pencil sketch filled the whole paper. At a first glance the sketch seemed to be thousands of squiggles and lines, meeting at various points on the paper. Upon closer inspection of the paper however, showed a carefully drawn grove of trees, nestled inside of the grove were a series of, what could only be described as “rock houses.” The rock seemed to be neither cut nor carved, but shaped by the elements. Creating a unique looking living space. The houses were camouflaged with vines. Whoever had drawn the picture had had a brilliant eye for detail.
Saige put the paper down and reached for the next one. It too had a sketch, but this time with an Ogier woman standing next to the building. She wore a dress, with embroidery covering every inch of it. The flowers and vines on her dress seemed to dance by themselves. Judging from the amount of embroidery on the Ogier’s dress, Saige assumed she was probably the Council head.
The door opened and a Novice walked inside the room, she smiled at Saige and dropped the required curtsey. In a few minutes the remaining Novices had all filed into the room. Saige greeted them all “Good morning! Are you all ready to go back to the grove? Well quickly grab your supplies and let’s be off!” The Novices scattered to grab whatever it was they might need. Saige carefully tucked the two sketches into her pouch. “Alright off to the stables!”
They gathered under a large tree in the Ogier grove. Saige pulled out the sketches from her pouch and started them circling around the group.
“As we briefly covered yesterday, Ogier live in Stedding. Which are usually well hidden and sprinkled throughout the land. From the Spine of the world to the Aryth Ocean, are forty-one Stedding, still in existence. Ogier typically prefer Mountainous or hilly land for their Stedding. Stedding give a sense of tranquility and peace. Plants and trees, grow to extreme heights and live for long periods of time Also the very air of a Stedding, is always sweet and fresh.
For some reason, unknown to us, Channelers cannot channel in a Stedding. They cannot even detect the True Source.
When Ogier speak their own language. Which unfortunately has been kept a secret from humans. However Ogiers are very scholastic, and so most will know Common tongue or Old Tongue. People who have heard Ogier speech, describe it as undescribable, like the wind. Ogier have deep voices that rumble, their whispers are like a resounding buzz from a bumblebee.”
Saige noticed the sun sitting higher in the sky than she expected. “It’s time to head back to the Tower, does anyone have any questions?”
They mounted up, and rode quickly back to the Tower. Mentally kicked herself for letting time go by unnoticed. As they rode into the Tower grounds the end bell rang signaling the end of class and warning Novices to hurry to their next ones. Saige slid off her horse. “Go ahead and give me your reigns, and run off to your next class. I’ll take the horses to the stables.” One by one the Novices quickly obeyed, dropping hasty curtsies before running inside to their next class.
Saige met the first Novice at the door of the classroom, the rest of the Novices appeared one after another. Each looking toward the entrance to the classroom then at Saige, as if asking why they were all gathered in the hallway. Saige grinned sheepishly. “We are going back to the Ogier grove today, I’ll be more careful to keep track of time though.” She pointed them on toward the stable yards. “Was anyone late for class yesterday?” she waited for the answers anxiously. If any of them had been she would make sure to contact the Aes Sedai teaching and explain the situation. They reached the Stable yards and each woman mounted her horse. The small party once again left the Tower grounds and headed across the city to the Ogier grove.
As they got settled in the thick carpet of grass, Saige began the day’s lesson. “Since the Breaking not many Ogiers leave the Stedding, they tend instead to prefer the quiet, comfortable slow pace of the Stedding. Sometimes the Stonemasons are called out of the Stedding to do work on the Ogier architecture, that decorates many high cities. When Ogier are away from the Stedding for long periods of time they are overtaken by the longing. The longing is an intense desire to return home, if they ignore this longing, eventually they will get sick and die. The Ogier planted the groves to remind them of home, while they were working on some of the great Ogier-built Cities. Ogier helped build the White Tower, and so we have this Grove in the city. A nice reminder, and a beautiful, tranquil spot.”
Saige looked around the grove and smiled. The large leafy trees created a patchwork of design on the ground, as sunlight filtered down in between them. Saige turned her attention back to the Novices. “For the hour, you may wander through the grove, then we have to return to the Tower. I want you to look for any characteristics that are thought provoking, then I want you to think about whether or not Ogier can channel. By tomorrow I want a written paper on your reasoning. ”
As the Novices disappeared into the grove, Saige crossed over the path to a shade tree, the roots lifted out of the ground creating a tempting sitting area. She seated herself carefully in between the roots, and let her mind wander until it was time to take the Novices back to the Tower.
A small sharp pain roused Saige from her daydreaming. She let out a yelp, and jumped from her position near the tree. She looked fervently on the ground for whatever had bitten her, there was nothing there. Suddenly a smile tugged at the corners of the mouth. The Weave....it worked!! Before coming into the grove Saige had set up a precaution, a weave she had been experimenting with. The flows slowly dissolved, unraveling as time passed, when it reached the end the weave snapped. Saige had wound the weave around herself, hoping that it would work, after all she was still experimenting with the weave.
Saige looked around the grove, seeing only a head or two of the Novices, in the distance. She called loudly hoping all the Novices would be able to hear her, as an after thought, Saige wrapped flows of Spirit and Air together, then called again. This time the call echoed throughout the entire grove. Saige gave a content smile then waited for the Novices to appear.
Back at the Tower, as the Novices dismounted, Saige repeated her instructions. “I want you to write a paper on your position of whether or not Ogier can channel. You must have something to back up your reasoning, no matter how far fetched it may be, as long as you have reasoning, I’ll accept it. If you have any problems, feel free to seek me out.”
Saige pinned the last poster to the wall of the classroom. Today they would stay in the Tower, instead of going to the Ogier grove. She had woken up early to put up the posters and visual aides she had collected of Ogier. The room was now filled with pictures of Stedding, architecture, Ogier, plants, trees, and even some Ogier with the Aiel.
Saige stepped back to admire her handiwork and sank into the nearest chair. A mug of cooled tea sat on the desk at the front of the room. Saige stood and walked over to the desk, any moment now the bell would ring.
Saige hid a smile, that was almost eery. It rang again, and the door opened admitting the first Novice. Saige smiled and took another sip of her tea. As the last Novice sat down, Saige began the lesson.
“Today will be a bit of a twist. If you remember, at the first class I asked you to write down your favorite Ogier story, today you may tell it to the rest of the class, or a different one, or just share a few facts about Ogier you know.” Saige blushed she had started to chatter mindlessly. She set her mug down on the desk and faced the class.
“Long ago, during the Trolllic wars, back when men and women alike were Aes Sedai, Ogier and Humans were like brothers. Ogier were considered some of the feircest warriors, fighting alongside the Humans. Every inn from the Aryth ocean to the spine of the world had at least one room reserved for Ogier. It was an honor to have one stay under your roof.” Saige paused long enough to take another sip of her tea. “After the wars, the Ogier couldn’t find their Stedding. They traveled around, constructing some of the most beautiful cities, helping their friends, the Humans. The longing slowly began to take over, homesickness clutched their hearts. When they rediscovered the Stedding They settled into a peaceful lifestyle, with the Ages and generations passing, Ogier soon became perceived as legend, no longer real.”
“When the taint took over the Male half, saidin, Ogier offered the Stedding as a place of refuge. In the Stedding the male channelers, no longer had to worry about going mad, as long as they were in the Stedding they were fine. But, being cut off from the One Power was too much for them. They left the Steddings. As a parting gift, they created the Ways for the Ogier to travel around much more easily, without having to worry about being taken by the longing.” Saige finished speaking, and took another sip of her tea. “The ways were taken over by the shadow, and are no longer in use today.” Saige looked around the room at each of the Novices. “Whoever wants to go next may.” Saige took a seat with the rest of the Novices as one got up, and took her spot at the front of the room.
After the last Novice sat down. Saige returned to the front of the room. “Thank you all! I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did. Tomorrow is the final, so please get some rest.” The room slowly cleared out. Saige sat behind her desk and sighed. Tomorrow was the last day.
Lesson 5 (Final)
Saige slipped into the empty classroom. The sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon, casting a pink glow through the room. Saige sat behind her desk, and took out several pieces of parchment and an inkwell. Dipping her pen she began to write. Her pen flowed across the paper filling the piece, then another and another. each page spoke of homesickness, being torn from a family, cast among a new way of life. The door opened and Novices began trickling in, but still Saige wrote on. The bell rang breaking her from her thoughts. She colored when she saw all the women were there. “Sorry I was just... writing” she finished lamely. She colored a little more deeply. “For today’s final, there will be a class discussion on Ogier, we will compare before the Breaking to now.” Saige walked around her desk, and perched on the front of it, so that she was facing everyone. “The Ogier left their homes to fight a war. They were know for they combat skills. After the war however, they became renown for their gentleness. A complete turn around from earlier. Do you think that’s natural and why? If that happened to you how would you react?”