|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
|Affinities||Air, Spirit, Water, Earth, Fire|
At seventeen, Amaranie is already taller than many other women. Her dark brown hair reaches the middle of her back, though it is most often tied back in a ponytail, and is a sharp contrast to her pale skin. Due to lack of sleep, she often has dark circles smudged under her wide, blue-grey eyes. Her face is slightly long, the rest of its features rather unmemorable. She has short fingernails on her worn looking hands which are clearly accustomed to hard work. A long, thin scar runs up about half the length of her left forearm. It is not immediately noticeable unless one is looking closely at the arm, but Amaranie can often be seen staring at it or running a finger up and down its length, particularly if she is feeling stressed. She has large feet, and is rather prone to accidental collisions with furniture and the occasional wall.
Amaranie is by nature a quiet and shy woman, who much prefers not to draw attention to herself. From her work in her parents' inn, she has learned how to engage with others when necessary, but still finds it difficult to talk to others in a purely social setting where she is not working. She suffers from insomnia due to her fear of her own dreams, and may be found wandering the halls at night. She fears small, closed in spaces and large crowds of people, and may leave the area if there are too many people, especially if the group is loud. Growing up, Amaranie was primarily comfortable working in the kitchen instead of serving tables, and has become skilled at both cooking and baking, one of the few tasks she truly enjoys.
Amaranie rushed from her bed to open the shutters to her bedroom window, sticking her head out as far as she could manage to look at the wooden house only three away from her own. She sighed with relief when she saw it intact, right down to its familiar blue door. The nightmare that had awoken her, so vivid she could nearly smell the smoke, had felt far more real than any other she could remember. Still shaken, the girl stared out the window for a while longer until she felt more certain that everything was as it should be, that the neighbor's house would not suddenly burst into flame before her. In time, she went back to her bed, but it seemed to her as if she saw the flames leaping every time she closed her eyes.
Only a few days later, the house burned to the ground, and this time it was no nightmare. Amaranie heard the news in the gossip that filled her parents' inn, and was so startled she nearly dropped the bowl of soup she had been serving. She set it down with shaking hands, then fled the common room for the safety of her own. She sat on her bed, resting her forehead in her hands. How could she possibly have dreamed about the fire before it happened? It sounded like the kind of thing the Whitecloaks preached against, but Amaranie knew it couldn't be. She was no witch. She walked in the Light. By the time she left her room to get back to work, she'd almost managed to convince herself that it had been no more than a frightening coincidence.
Over the years that passed, Amaranie did her best to try to forget the whole experience, even though she continued to have the occasional strange dream. One in particular reoccurred several times, of a tall, rather ugly towering grey building she was sure she had never seen the like of anywhere. Unusual, but easy enough for her to ignore as just another oddity made up by her sleeping mind. Others were not nearly so benign. One night, she dreamed of a small, pale arm, lying on the ground, spurting forth blood, and she knew it was her own. On another, she saw a long, tan snake-or was it a rope? It seemed somehow to be both, though Amaranie didn't understand how that could be. It wrapped itself tightly around her only brother's neck, squeezing, and she could do nothing but watch. After those, Amaranie came to fear sleeping, and laid awake in her bed far more often than she actually slept.
One morning, just like any other, Amaranie forced herself from her bed to her tasks downstairs. Having had even less sleep than the little that had become normal for her, the young woman struggled to focus. Even the simple chore of peeling and cutting apples seemed too difficult. She cut into the fruit by rote. Slice. Slice. Slice. Then something red sprayed through the air, speckling the apples, the walls, and a good number of other things, and pain shot through her left arm. Amaranie screamed, dropping the knife to the counter and falling to her knees on the floor. Looking down at the arm, she couldn't imagine how she'd managed to cut into it so deeply. Blood continued to pulse out, and she screamed again, this time for help.
She heard footsteps pounding into the kitchen, and turned her head slightly to see Keegan, her brother, drop to the floor beside her with a horrified cry of, "Light, Mara!" as his searching eyes found her injury. She tried to smile at the sound of his childhood nickname for her, but it took too much energy. Amaranie's eyes fluttered, and she was barely aware of her brother putting his arm around her, or of much of anything else until something cold hit her. It felt as if someone had dumped a bucket of ice water all over her arm, and a good deal more than just the injured arm. She was ridiculously hungry too, though she'd just had her own breakfast, and was on her feet looking at the food on the kitchen shelves before she realized that she didn't feel at all weak anymore and that the pain in her arm was completely gone. Confused, Amaranie looked down at her arm and found......nothing. No more fresh blood, no deep cut at all. The only sign that she'd ever cut herself was a small, thin scar across her arm that could have been many days old, not recent. How could that be?
Amaranie looked at Keegan, who had stood when she did, hoping for an explanation, but her brother was staring at her arm, looking more afraid than she'd ever seen him."I'm sorry, Mara," he whispered. "I didn't mean to...." Amaranie didn't understand and never had the chance to ask him what he meant. Their father, who she had only just noticed standing in the doorway, chose that moment to stalk in, order Keegan out, and order her to her room to rest.
Later that afternoon, the Whitecloaks came for Keegan. Her father claimed Keegan was a witch, and must have hurt her somehow, but that made no sense to Amaranie. She was the one who had cut herself, a silly accident, and though she'd cried and told her father that, he wouldn't listen to anything she said. Their mother did nothing to stop it, and Amaranie could not understand how the parents she'd always thought of loving were so quick to condemn the son they'd raised. She fled to her room after the Whitecloaks left, eventually crying herself to a fitful sleep.
Their parents insisted she attend the execution the very next day, reminding her that it was not only possible, but likely, that she would be the next to be named witch and Darkfriend if she did not. So she did, but the very sight of the gallows made her feel ill. She knew as soon as she saw them that she had dreamed of this a long time ago. Forced to attend, Amaranie defiantly closed her eyes. There was nothing anyone could do to make her watch. She could do nothing to block out the sound of the cheering crowd, however, a sound that would stay with her for years. When they returned home, Amaranie found herself a virtual prisoner in her room. She was not locked in, but she was not allowed to do any of her normal work, and even her meals were brought to her. It was made clear to her that she wasn't to be seen. She had been touched by the One Power, and could no longer be trusted.
Alone in her room, Amaranie found herself with a lot of time to think, and to begin to ask the questions that good Amadicians weren't supposed to ask, about the One Power, the nature of the people who used it, and whether it had anything to do with her horrible dreams. Days passed, and Amaranie came to realize that she needed the answers to all of those questions and more, and that they weren't going to be found in Amadicia.
She left her room one night, packing food from the kitchen and walking until she reached the border to Ghealdan. She found work in various inns without difficulty, and worked for short periods of time in a few different places before settling down in Jehannah. It was there that Amaranie encountered her first Aes Sedai. The small, blonde woman seated only a few places down from the tables Amaranie served couldn't have looked less threatening, despite everything Amaranie had been told. She couldn't stop herself from looking every so often at the woman's table. She seemed to have attracted a number of young women to join her, but none stayed long before leaving.
When the evening was nearly over, one of the other servants asked her to carry a last glass of wine to the Aes Sedai's table. Amaranie didn't really want to get that close, but she wanted to lose her job even less, so she nervously approached the woman, clutching the glass tightly. She set it down before the woman, but the Aes Sedai didn't seem to see it. Instead, she turned from it to look up at Amaranie, appearing to study her, rather too closely for Amaranie's liking. She then spoke directly to Amaranie, asking if she had come to be tested for the ability to channel. Amaranie shook her head no, then turned and fled.
In her bed that night, awake as usual, she thought about the woman's offer. She had come to half believe that she might have the ability, just as Keegan had had it, and it scared her. Amaranie didn't want to learn to channel, but the more she thought, the more she wanted to know for sure whether or not she could. When she finally closed her eyes in sleep, she dreamed of a white dress folded on the end of a simple bed. In the morning, before she could change her mind, she found the woman, seated in the same spot, and asked if she could be tested.
- Novice (5 July 2017)