November 2014 Tar Valon Times

From Tar Valon Library
Jump to: navigation, search

Member Spotlight: Rhed al'Tere

Author: Taelinn Dolivras

TVT11-14 MS Header.png

This month's Member Spotlight features a special interviewee: our newly-minted Amyrlin-Elect!

Rhed al'Tere has been a member of TarValon.Net for over 12 years. For about 11 of those, she was a member of the Red Ajah. She has held several positions over the years, including Sitter, Head of Ajah, Director, and a member of the Board of Directors. In Real Life, she is an Editorial Associate for a medical journal, where she, in her own words, 'help[s] the review process flow smoothly and in a timely manner, along with other tasks my bosses assign [her].' In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, reading, hiking, and sewing. She also admits to having a fondness for afternoon naps. "My two cats do their best to drive me crazy, and my husband, Nethanel of SDS, helps them from time to time," she added.

As always, we began with the essential questions about the Wheel of Time series. Rhed found out about WoT when she was a teenager. "When I was in high school, my friends were having an in-depth conversation about Wheel of Time,"she told me. "I didn't know what they were talking about, asked, and they insisted I'd love it and should read it. I found the first book at a used bookstore (still have that copy, actually, even though it's falling to pieces now). I got stuck in the first chapter or two, and they told me to keep I did. And they were right: I loved it."

Next, we talked about her favorite book and character. "I enjoy The Shadow Rising, as it deals so much with the Aiel culture. My favorite character is probably Pevara. She stands for everything that Red is, but is also willing to redefine that when circumstances change," she said. When asked how she feels now that the final book in the series has been released, she gave me a very pragmatic answer: "I feel like I need to do a re-read." Strangely enough, I feel the same way.

Moving along in our discussion, we broached the subject of TarValon.Net, and Rhed's reason for joining the site. "I was a freshman in college, and I was bored and on the Internet. I searched around for Wheel of Time, as I think I was doing a re-read at the time, and came across this little ezboards site. It looked like fun, so I joined!" she told me. "I've stuck around because of the people here. I've made some of my best friends here, and I continue to make friends." I continued by asking her about finding her home in Red. "When I was a wee Novice looking at Ajahs, I was torn between Yellow and Red. Within 10 minutes of meeting the Reds at the 2nd Anni party, I knew I belonged there. So when I was raised that weekend, I chose Red. I identified with the core values of Red, the harsh sense of humor, the independence, the sisterhood. But more than all that, I identified with the women of the Ajah, the women who make up that set of core values," she said.

Next, I asked her about the story behind her Tower Name, and I was particularly looking forward to her answer, having not known the whole tale myself. "When I first joined," she revealed, "I was Adriana al'Tere. Adriana was a name I always liked, and al'Tere was suitably WoTish. I changed my name to Rhed fairly recently, since I'm known as 'Red' in real life. I was at a local event one summer, lying on the floor reading the latest Harry Potter book, and Cataia, Gwynidon, and Penryn were trying to get my attention. They'd forgotten my name, and kept saying, 'Hey! Hey!' I was deep in Hogwarts and didn't hear them. Finally, either Cataia or Gwynidon (who actually said it is hotly disputed between them) said, 'Hey Red!' That got my attention. And it's stuck ever since."

We moved on by talking about Rhed's favorite thing on Her answer didn't surprise me much, as it seems to be the same for most of the people I've had the pleasure of interviewing. "I keep giving the same answer over and over: the people," she told me. "It's always the people. The silly and serious interactions on the boards, the events where I get to put faces with names and personalities -- these are the things that make this community real to me, and make me want to see it thrive." When asked about her favorite memory, however, answering wasn't that easy. In fact, her initial response was "Oh lord." Instead, she told me about a memory that stands out and makes her smile. "At Anni '12, I had a conversation with Jeffan about why I couldn't bond him. IT WASN'T GOING TO HAPPEN. Never ever." She paused, then added, "Less than a year later, we were bonded."

I then asked her about the Real Life Events she has attended, and which one was her favorite. Given that she has been to 26 official events, I didn't think that it would be an easy question to answer either! "They were all special in some way," she said. "Anni 2003 was my first, when I first met my Internet friends, and I was raised to Accepted there. Anni '04 had the flood and mud, and it was the first event my little sister went to with me. Fall Ball '07 was the cruise, which was a lot of fun. I was Local Liaison for Fall Ball '09, and I got to share my love of Kansas City and its bbq with my friends." All in all, a lot of fond memories.

To round out the interview, I asked Rhed two questions about her new role on

First, I asked her how it felt to be Amyrlin-Elect. "Very odd," she admitted. "If you'd told me 10 years ago I'd be applying for this position, I would have laughed at you. Even 5 years ago, I wouldn't have considered it. But now that I am Amyrlin-Elect, I'm excited and looking forward to my term and to leading TarValon.Net." Secondly, I asked her about her vision of the future of the site. "I wish I had a soundbyte to give you!" she lamented. "However, I do not. One of my biggest focuses will be communication: between Departments, between admins & general membership, between TarValon.Net and the wider Wheel of Time community. I very much hope that we are still a thriving community 10 years from now, and I will do everything in my power to help get us there." I have no doubt that she will.

And finally, I asked her what else she would like to add. Her answer:

"The only good cheese is melty cheese. Or pepperjack."


Site News

Author: Taelinn Dolivras

There have been some major developments here at over the past few weeks, and the only way you would have missed them is if you haven't signed in since October.

Since that's not very likely if you're reading the Tar Valon Times, I'll just give you a brief overview of all the new and exciting things that have happened since the last edition of this newsletter.

Amyrlin-Elect It was the news we were all waiting for: the announcement of our new Amyrlin Seat. And on October 6th, we discovered that this person would be none other than Rhed al'Tere! She will be fully invested as Amyrlin at the site Anniversary Party in Georgia in March 2015. To find out more about our new Amyrlin, feel free to take a look at the interview published in this edition of the Tar Valon Times.

Move to vBulletin5 On October 5th, the Tech Team made the switch over from vBulletin 4 to vBulletin 5. A new forum with information about the new things to be found in vB5, bug reports, and all questions about vB5 was opened, and will remain open for an undetermined length of time, likely until we are all settled in.

For those of you wondering why the switch was made, our Director of Technology, Erin al'Denael, gave a clear and concise response in the Why vBulletin? thread:

Originally posted by Erin al'Denael We switched to vBulletin from a cobbled-together monstrosity of a phpBB/Drupal installation in August 2012. Because of the way we had attempted to create a forum and CMS hybrid, we could not update anything without breaking everything. I'm not talking updates in the sense of oh-let's-see-this-feature or just for shits and giggles - serious security issues and flaws riddled the site. We had to change. And vBulletin was proposed and discussed prior to my tenure as Director, though it was not implemented until after. At the time, it was a viable all-in-one package. It also came with dedicated tech support from the company itself, which we did not have with either phpBB or Drupal.

Why swap from vBulletin 4 to vBulletin 5? Aside from a better administrative section and a new site-builder webpage creation system, a huge reason was the groups feature. With groups, we can shift Ajahs and Companies into their own little section of the website, separate from the forum structure. The separate sections have their own board, their own feed, display users online via portraits, display a group logo - and we want to use the beautiful logos Marketing is coming up with in that capacity, too. Were you around back on the site post-ezBoard? When we had little user portrals, with channeling, and the first Who's Who? We were hoping to get a bit of that fun back, and indulge a bit of nostalgia. Groups are pretty cool, and I wish we could have gone live with them when we upgraded. But there are several issues with them that we need to resolve first, so they are delayed. They worked fine in vB5.1.1, and haltingly in 5.1.2, but we're using 5.1.3 now and somewhere along the line there, things broke. I tested quite thoroughly on our dev sites, had Membership over to play before we upgraded, then...yeah. It didn't work out.

The change to vBulletin 4 was way less problematic than this current upgrade to vBulletin 5, from a Tech standpoint.

Our newly-minted Amyrlin-Elect had this to say about the transition:

Originally posted by Rhed al'Tere We've had some (ok, a lot!) of bugs and problems to solve with the transition to vB5, but Erin and her team are working hard to find solutions and make vB5 work for us. Hang in there -- it'll get smoother and easier as time goes on and the bugs go away!

And finally, Erin would like to thank her team for all of their hard work so far and in the future: Originally posted by Erin al'Denael Many people have put in hours upon hours of time to make this upgrade happen. My sincerest thanks to Azi, Defen, Megana, and Siera for the lion's share of work. Thanks to Kelgan and Serenla for their work helping to put out fires during the upgrade. Thanks also to Mendo and Ty for stepping up and maintaining the the FAQ in our upgrade forum! The vBulletin 5 forum can be found here. There are topics for virtually all known issues, so if you have any questions, please check through all of the topics before starting a new one.

New Site Design At the same time the vB5 site went live, so did our new theme! Project Manager Siera al'Cere and Megana Valentin have been working hard all summer to get it all set up and running for us. Siera had this to say about the new design: Originally posted by Siera al'Cere When we started out with the design we kinda wanted to do something different. A lot of people still loved the old old boards that had the stone background and all the boards we have had since that one had always been compared to it. So we knew we wanted to bring back elements from that version. We had been discussing the header in Marketing for a bit and we had come up with an idea that every forum could potentially have a different header depending on 'where' the person was. I don't think this is something we were able to do but in gathering images we fell in love with some of them. They still reflected the Tower while being a bit more modern and something different. Some of the elements also come with my desire to create a more cohesive look for the Tower. We are registered as a non-profit company and I want to reflect that more. We decided on two main colours for the site and stuck with fonts that someone else has selected (you will see this cohesive with the Logos as well). The little flag we added Arie actually created and it is used in marketing a lot and I love it so I wanted to add it in for consistenty. I feel we have a really good design and I may have a trick or two up my sleeve for something special for people (once we have all the kinks worked out). The tech team has been awesome in getting feedback and although I basically started the design I could not have done this without Meg! She has been so... amazing dealing with my nit picky-ness and coming up with her own solutions to issues she saw when I was unable to work on it (my laptop may have died 3 days before our deadline and I have a wrist that hates me). If you have any thoughts or feedback about the new site design, you may either post in the thread to that effect in the vBulletin 5 forum, or email

Admin Meeting Notes Release and Integration Another recent happening on was the release of the Admin Meeting Notes, including the outline of the form Integration will take once we reach January 1st, 2015. A big thank you to our Admins for all their hard work year-round on the site, and to the members of the Integration Focus Group for their input. The forum is only open until November 5th, so if you have any comments, please make them now!

Logo Preview Also on October 6th, our Director of Marketing, Arie Davion, gave us a sneak peek at our new logos! Both she and Project Manager Siera have shared some of their thoughts about their design.

About the time spent on the logos: Originally posted by Arie Davion There were days where Siera and I would sit down for a good 8-10 hours just to hammer out one draft of a logo, so if you think about it there are 11 logos with at approximately 8 different drafts of itself. Some took longer than others, of course. (I think the fastest one to make was the Gray Ajah logo). And then spread that back to those who worked on the Logo's before Siera picked it up... A long time. About why new logos were designed: Originally posted by Arie Davion I have a write up that I'm sharing with the release so you'll have to wait and see. For an idea of when it started, we got input on these back in 2010. 4 Years in the making. General thoughts on the logos: Originally posted by Arie Davion I love these. Not all are to my personal taste because we really tried to give those Ajah's and Companies what they wanted (while maintaining certain themes the same). A big thank you to Malein who started it all, Stasia who really tried to give us some cool concepts, Darim who gave us the initial base for these that we just fell in love with. Siera who has fought through a great deal of pain in her wrists to see this to the end. Just the entire team that worked and contributed to them, like Jeffan and Alyssa. (I'm doing this off of memory, as this started a few forum versions ago, so if I forgot you I'm sorry. A big thank you to you too!) Originally posted by Siera al'Cere I am so happy to finally release [the logos] soon! This has been a year long project that is finally finishing up. I can't wait to release them and only hope everyone likes them as much as I do.

Scolarship Recipient Named After an anticipation-filled wait, the recipient of the 2014 Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship has been named, and this year's winning essay belongs to Tree al'Rotture! See this article for more details and the link to her essay.

And finally, we have a new Editor of the Tar Valon Times! A former editor has stepped up to fill the vacancy left by Taelinn's departure after being appointed Head of the Gray Ajah, none other than Jeffan Caliarthan! Be sure you come read the December Tar Valon Times, which will be Jeffan's first issue after his (re)appointment. It's going to be fantastic!

Saying Farewell

Author: Taelinn Dolivras

​It feels strange to be sitting here at my computer, writing this article. I knew the time would come eventually, but what with all the happenings lately (and many of them on the site too!) the day has sort of crept up on me.

This is my last editorial.

Wow, that sounds so morbid.

I could be optimistic and say that maybe someday I'll be writing another one, but that would presume a lot of things, including our new editor getting tired of being editor. And I have to admit, even though I'm moving on, I never once got tired of being Editor of the Tar Valon Times. It's a fascinating job, one that is always the same yet always different. There are new articles to write, new people to interview, new reporters to encourage and showcase... yet it's the same publishing set-up every month, the same long hours spent proofreading (though I still miss things - I am only human!) and coding and double checking layouts.

So here I am, writing my last editorial. Perhaps I should have tried to find something meaningful and touching to write about today. I should be writing about beginnings instead of endings: the beginning of a new era under a new editor, perhaps. Or a new start to the site with our recently-revealed Amyrlin-Elect. But sometimes it's nice to sit back and reflect on an ending, and a happy one at that, because I had a wonderful time working with the dedicated TVT reporters and the great Graphics Development Team and Marketing staff.

I'm not leaving the TVT - though you can't really pry a website from someone's cold, dead hands, I do feel like channeling Charleton Heston here when I say that I'm planning on writing for the TVT until they take away my computer - but like the passing of time, change is inevitable, and it is a good thing.

So farewell, dear readers. I hope you've enjoyed the occasional editorials I've shared over my time as Editor. It's been a blast.

Event Planning

Author: Erin al'Denael

Have you ever wondered what goes into event planning here at TarValon.Net? We host several events across the globe every year, from small to large, and quite a few of our members eagerly attend. And each and every event starts off with a bid.

These events require the time, effort, energy, and skills of quite a few individuals to pull off. I am by no means an expert, but I do have some experience and will be pulling in the viewpoints of others to help flesh things out for you. I am one of the local liaisons for our upcoming Anniversary Party to be held March 13-16, 2014 at the quite beautiful Red Top Mountain State Park in Georgia. Prior to that, I was the local liaison for Fall Ball 2011 in Chattanooga, TN. I will be writing a series of articles on event planning leading up to Anni 2015.

What is a bid? A bid is an event proposal. The Department of Events & Conferences solicits bids from the community for our real life events. Bids need to have all the necessary information for the people selecting locations (Officers, Director of Events & Conferences) to be able to get an accurate picture of how things will work out for the event.

What information should be included in a bid? Historically speaking, submitted bids have been anywhere between utterly amazing and ridiculously horrid. But if you're interested in submitting a bid for a future event, and want that bid to fall closer to the amazing end of the spectrum, be sure to include the information down below. Different event types have different needs, but all of the following should be included/documented in any viable bid. Location - It's incredibly important that you actually visit the proposed location(s). For the upcoming Anni, multiple locations were scouted out physically, in-person. Contact was made and communication was had in order to ascertain where best would suit our needs. Originally posted by Lireina ni Dormerus t'al`Bearach In my case, my original bid location [for 9th Anni] was a place I'd been to on a couple occasions previously, so I was already familiar with some of the amenities and group activity possibilities for the site. I gave the location a call, gave a brief indication of what our organization was, what the event was like, and asked to meet with them to see if they could offer us a suitable package. This is something I still consider important - it certainly speaks more to me if you've been to the place you're offering to take us all to, even if your first time happens to be when you're vetting the place for the event. Originally posted by Rhed al'Tere [for Fall Ball events] Location, location, location. Close to food? Close to a grocery store? Close to entertainment? Shuttle to airport? In-room amenities? Breakfast offered? Shuttle to other stuff in the area? Meeting space available, and how much does it cost? Money Details - How much will the proposed venue(s) cost to use for the event? There are housing costs, food costs, on-site transportation costs - all of this information needs to be researched and included in bid submissions so that event selectors can get an initial idea of how much the ticket price will be for the event. It's also a great idea to include potential air-faire costs associated with the nearest airport(s) to your venue or area from major airports. Sometimes the cost of plane tickets might make or break attendance for members. Pictures - Please include pictures of the venue and amenties! Who doesn't want to see pictures of where they'll be bunking or sleeping? Or of the greater venue itself? If the event bid is for a Fall Ball-style event, include pictures of the location! What attractions are there for attendees to enjoy? Even if you think no one will care about some detail, take a picture of it to share - you never know exactly what will be needed, and it might save you time in the future. This is definitely a case where show is better than tell. Transportation - Events are deliberately (when possible) held in different regions most of the time. This allows members a greater chance of attending events; you might be too far to attend one, but perhaps the next might be in your neck of the woods. Many people drive to events, but just as many fly in. As a result, event locations need to be within reasonable range of a well-connected airport. Nearby Activities - For Anniversary Parties, this isn't as important. Those are scripted events with everyone together doing things. But someone might want to escape and go have fun off-site, or more likely take in the area before or after the event. If your bid is for a Fall Ball, this information is downright essential. For the Fall Ball in Chattanooga, I created a spreadsheet with 70+ restaurants and numerous activities and things for people to do when they came here. Originally posted by Rhed al'Tere In my case, I tried to go with walking-distance restaurants as the shuttle for the hotel we chose was a car that seated 3, and parking would have been an issue had we all driven. [I] provided a list of things to do. These were mostly things I'd done myself, and knew they were fun/interesting. No official outings were planned, though we all did end up invading a BBQ place. Looking ahead to the future, Officers and the Department of Events & Conferences will be working on ways to make the event bidding process easier for those submitting bids - especially if you're brand new at the process.

Originally posted by Lireina ni Dormerus t'al`Bearach For first-time bidders that potentially haven't had the opportunity to attend an event, we'll be drafting a super official bid form for events real soon, but in the meantime, if you're considering potentially bidding for an event, feel free to shoot an email to,, or for any questions you might have. We'd rather have you ask ahead then have to ask you after the fact. Again, this article is the first in a series leading up to our next Anniversary Party in March. Next month I'll be writing about the initial event stages where everything coalesces and is presented to the community of TarValon.Net. Hopefully it won't be too boring!

Charting through a Mystery

By Arie Davion

Welcome to our crazy adventure of a Crochet & Knit Along! September and October we started two different shawls. Now onto the next parts! The section for the Knitted shawl will be a little on the larger side so that both shawls finish up at the same time. PART 3

Crochet Pattern

Clue 3 of 4 Show spoiler

Knit Pattern

The Quick and Dirty: (New Pattern!*) Show spoiler

Clue 3 of 4 Show spoiler

If everyone completes up to here, I will release the next clue early!

Have Fun!

WoT Fanfiction

by Zandera

Nynaeve sat in the pilot’s chair gripping the armrests tightly as the motor governing the panels of the observation window buzzed open. Her “puddle jumper” was tucked into the crescent of an asteroid. A breathtaking view spread before her. If you saw it, you’d gasp and stare for days. A bright green planet circled by a veil of clouds felt so close you could pluck it from the sky and wear it in your hair like a jewel. The asteroid belt in which she hid was much less comfortable. The chalky, brown rocks danced in weightless space, constantly attracted to each other before pushing the others away like flighty lovers.

Nynaeve had a hard time keeping her eyes on the beautiful view. She kept glancing down at a monitor in search of Spoor, or the emissions left behind by spacecrafts. There was a “dog” who had been tracking her, harrying her in her own pursuit (or at least that’s what she liked to think of him.) She simply didn’t have time for this--if she were to bring the rabid al’Thor in line, she had to shut down whoever was pursuing her. And not just shut down their operation--it was time to turn the tables! Nynaeve’s small mouth curved into a smile when a clear line of Spoor grew across the screen. It was him!

Nynaeve searched the landscape, but no ship was in view. “Some blasted cloaking technology,” she muttered. The line zig-zagged as if searching for something, but the pilot knew she was undetectable in the dark curve of the asteroid. “My propulsion systems are cut. You can’t find me!” Now how to capture the dog? Nynaeve leaned forward eagerly and gripped the ship’s flight stick. Soon the hound’s sniffing would lead it near her… Now!

With an explosion of light and noise the puddle jumper burst to life, and she yanked the stick forward into where she knew her prey would be. Her fingers danced across the panels like a pianist practicing an arpeggio. She was practically cackling when the two arms of her craft polarized magnetically, causing her invisible enemy to spin. The rush carried the two ships toward another asteroid. Cursing, Nynaeve hit more buttons as red flashed across the panels. There was nothing she could do. Both ships hit the surface of a huge asteroid, and to her horror, her life support system took critical damage.

The enemy ship decloaked, all angular and black, but Nynaeve hardly noticed as she jumped to her feet and began pumping the hydraulic tanks to seal. The damn thing was erroring, and If she ran out of air, she was doomed! “I’ve hacked into your systems. Surrender yourself,” a man said calmly as his face appeared on the main screen, but she paid him no heed until the remaining oxygen seemed secure.

When she glanced up, Nynaeve did a double take. The “dog” was a stony-faced man with brilliant blue eyes. His hair was tied back by a braided cord. She unconsciously grabbed her elbow to cover herself, wishing she had not chosen to deny herself a blanket, refusing to admit that her pursuer could make her suffer in the cold, powered-down ship due to his harassing. “I didn’t know hounds came in your variety,” Nynaeve spat.

“And what variety is that?” the man asked. Nynaeve blinked. “The slimy kind! I hope your ship leaks in 13 places!”

“Actually, it looks like yours is the one, leaking.” He smiled slightly. “I’m coming aboard to apprehend you, Nynaeve of the planet Two Rivers.”

Nynaeve shook in anger. How dare that brute? She glanced at her panel. His ship was the one pinned to the asteroid. She could just shove off and float away but… only if she had enough life support. She made sure all the doors were locked, but the intruder merely cut through an outer door as Nynaeve could only watch. He wore a strange spacesuit, likely marking him a bounty hunter. Why? At least she could give him a nasty surprise. She had not prepared to meet anyone in battle--she never dreamed Bran Al’Vere would put a bounty on her head. Pulling herself onto the tool cabinet by the aft fuselage, she leapt upon the bounty hunter with a shout, swinging her heavy staff onto his head. He moved like a wolf, and unfortunately the weapon flew past. He snatched her small form up in her arms and threw her on her back on the floor.

“That trick may have worked once, Nynaeve of Two Rivers, but it won’t work again,” he said and removed his helmet. Nynaeve scrambled to her feet and brandished her staff in front of her. “You won’t take me, even kicking and screaming.”

“I am sure that if I take you, it will be kicking and screaming,” he said wrly and looked around the entry way of her ship, as if she did not concern him at all. Nynaeve just became even more upset. “You have life support. I thought the reading was wrong…”

“Oh, and you don’t? I hope your ship leaks like a sieve!”

“Not leaking no,” he said, “but your surprise attack did knock out my craft’s ability to maneuver. I am quite grounded.” He took in her satisfied smile with a blank expression. What was going on inside that head?

“Like that did you? It’s a shame you weren’t killed at the impact.”

He moved toward her, and her staff came back up and so he stopped. “We do have a score to settle, but unless we can get one of the crafts working again, we’re not going anywhere. You can kiss your chase of Al’Thor goodbye, and I can kiss my bounty goodbye. I propose until we repair the ships, we work together.” He surveyed her skeptical expression. “Trust me. I have no intention of giving up this chase. You laid quite the crafty trap, and I succumbed. This isn’t over though.”

Nynaeve felt her face burning at the compliment. She could track as well as any man, and this man be damned! “How can I know I can trust you?” Nynaeve said.

“I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you,” the man said and stood casually, but Nynaeve could tell he was ready to spring the second her staff came a foot toward him. “Which, in retrospect, is probably quite far, especially in space…”

Nynaeve blinked. “Fine. But we do things my way. No funny stuff!”

“No funny stuff.” He said and raised his hands in mock surrender. “My name is Lan, of the corrupted planet Malkier.”

The two of them boarded his ship through the airlock. Lan had his helmet back on, and Nynaeve had a standard lightsuit issued to female Manetherin Militia. (She’d stolen it with the ship when running off to find Al’Thor.) She now saw why he had forced the door. Where the two spacecrafts had impacted, they had become unrecognizably smashed together. His ship, she quickly discovered, was without life support systems--she had no idea about the state of his ship’s oxygen levels though. As they walked, she kept him well in front of her. Who knows what he would do when behind?

However, when they reached the bridge of his ship, she heard a strangled noise. “Your crew?” she said and looked at the bounty hunter in horror. However, when she rushed toward the noise, she found something she did not expect.

The space hound wailed pitifully, whining from the pain of a large slash across its back. It must have been hurt in the crash. Strangely, it didn’t seem to be suffocating. Whatever species it was, it must not need oxygen to survive.

Nynaeve had been hovering over the animal, and she whirled around to put her eyes back on Lan, but he was just standing a ways off. She was shocked to see pain in his eyes. She didn’t think him capable of such an emotion. “Carry him back to my ship,” she said, and the helmet’s speaker broadcast her voice.

“There’s nothing we can do to save him…” Lan said, sadness leaking into his voice. “We don’t have the technology to tend his wounds. I know; I checked your ship…”

“We’re doing things my way,” she said firmly.

Lan looked resigned as he picked up the huge alien hound and carried it back the way they came. It howled with a strange noise that reminded Nynaeve of the birds of her home planet.

Back past the airlock, Nynaeve took off her spacesuit, folded it, and returned it to its compartment, never mind the rest of the ship was a complete wreck. She straightened her clothes and rubbed her hands together. It was still freezing cold, even though her ship was on.

“Why must you torture me, woman?” he asked. He quickly shut his mouth, much to Nynaeve’s satisfaction, when she channeled a bright light to detect the seriousness of the damage on the dog’s back. She pursed her lips and with a violent yank pulled a shard of metal out, quickly moving tendrils of yellow light to rebuild flesh, blood, and shell. It was hard work, as she had to reference the animal’s other half to see how to rebuild the broken parts, but when she was done, the animal had an unbroken back.

Lan had shed his spacesuit by then, and when the dog fell into a sound sleep, he touched his fingers lightly to the animal’s back. “Flin…”

“You should let him rest. Let’s eat while we discuss how to repair the ships,” she said authoritatively. It was difficult not to study the man’s chiseled features and watch the amazement in his expression when he shook himself and stood, but she quickly recovered herself on the way to the living quarters.

She had no idea why, but she found herself dipping into the best of the ship’s stores that she had brought with her (stolen was such a vilifying word.) There was actual meat, and a non-frozen bottle of wine, a rare beverage from the Two Rivers planet that Lan seemed to especially like.

Nynaeve judged that Lan had recovered from the near-death of his pet when he opened the conversation with how to repair the ship. “I won’t dumb this down because it’s obvious you know what you were doing when you attacked my ship.” Nynaeve smiled at what she considered to be a brilliant move. The little ship was meant for maintenance in orbit and not combat, but she had found a way to weaponize it… “My ship is not mobile, but yours is, but you have little oxygen and a broken power line.” Nynaeve looked up in shock. She hadn’t known that, but he she figured he had no reason to lie for her when she could just verify his words with a simple glance at her terminal… Lan continued, “since the ships are already practically smashed together, if we connect the systems we can fly it pretty solidly. I don’t need to explain the irrelevance of aerodynamics in space to you, do I?”

Nynaeve sniffed. “Of course not.” She tugged on her braid irritably. She wasn’t a ship expert, but she could get them up and running. She did get this hunk of ship to fly into deep space and jury rigged a number of repairs after all.

“Do you have any problems with that?”

Nynaeve opened her mouth to protest, but that was the same idea she had had so she just said, “No.” She couldn’t leave it at that though. After all, she had said they were doing it her way, and that was entirely his plan so she said angrily, “But I am not going back to the Two Rivers unless Al’Thor is with me. So unless you agree with that, you’re not getting a scrap of my ship, and you can just sit here until the oxygen runs out.” She crossed her arms.

For some reason Lan smiled. The words he said next had her turning bright red. “I thought maybe we could go after him together.” But then his next words ruined it. “After all, I have to thank you for saving Flin.”

Men are so aggravating sometimes! Nynaeve screamed at herself mentally and yanked her braid hard. Despite the frustration, she felt something blossom in her chest. Al’Thor would not escape her if Lan was on her side.


Rocket Raccruit

By Dars

Hey, Rocket Raccruit here. Don't feel bad if you've never noticed me around the Tower before. I am...kind of short. It is useful being the only one small enough to crawl through ductwork and in the storage spaces under the library floor, although I do wish that some of the Senior Members did not find it quite so useful to assign me those sorts of tasks. But I digress.

What can be said about November? November is one of the less-pretentious thirty-day months, quieter by nature. It forms a sort of buffer between the festivities of the harvest season and those of the core holidays.

November is a great month for raccoons. Not so much because of the weather (less than dependable) or the food availability (there isn’t much) but because of phonetics--the name just sounds good. And …well, I'’m not sure. It just is. Also, it has not escaped my notice that “November” shares its first three letters with “Novice,” if you know what I mean, hey hey…errr, well it also shares its first letter with “nevermind.” Which is maybe where I should leave that thought.

Anyway, because I enjoy associating seasons and occasions with music, I'’ve assembled a rough playlist here, if you’ll bear with me. The format below is clunky (links to videos) as this concept is still a work in progress. And I’'m not going to lie to you—; seriously, I have no monetary incentive to do that--picking out a playlist for the month of November is hard. There isn'’t as definitive a character to the month as the spookiness of October or the summer heat of July. But there is a certain subtlety to November, and I'’ve tried to capture that in my own way.

Since I like to let December descend into an ethereal dream of folk and carols and ambience, I'’ve allowed November (as a counterpart/prelude) to have some more personable and comforting sounds, a little funk and a hint of bluesy swing.

November is a “recovery month” between key late-year holidays, a transition between seasons, but it is only partially quiet. There is also festivity of a more casual kind. These tracks trace the journey of the month from its contemplative beginnings to its hopeful conclusion. With that in mind, here it goes…:

(Note: A very minor content advisory may apply to some of these videos.)

Track 01 "Quiet (Acoustic)" (Lights)

Track 02 “Wanted Man” (needtobreathe)

Track 03 “Sooner or Later” (Michelle Branch)

Track 04 "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" (The White Stripes)

Track 05 "Round Here (Acoustic)" (Counting Crows)

Track 06 "Free / Into the Mystic" (Zac Brown Band)

Track 07 "Eavesdrop" (The Civil Wars)

Track 08 "Crystal Lake" (Julianna Barwick)

Track 09 "Hollywood Carousel" (Siobhan Magnus)

Track 10 "Clouds" (Prince)

Track 11 "I Wanna Be Your Lover" (Corinne Bailey Rae)

Track 12 "Star Shaped" (Blur)

Track 13 "Longing / Love" (George Winston)

Track 14 "Lose Your Way" (Sophie B. Hawkins)

Bonus Track – In honor of the first big sci-fi film since Guardians of the Galaxy, Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Interstellar, here is a classic cut of early psychedelic space rock, a great trip if you dare to listen:

"Interstellar Overdrive" (Pink Floyd)

Rocket Raccruit is qualified to operate heavy machinery.

Ask a Wise One

by The Wise One

Dear Wise One,

As much as I love my boyfriend, he is driving me crazy. He has a bad habit of being late for everything, and lately, it has only gotten worse. Sometimes I feel as though if I weren't there to remind him to leave for work, he'd have already lost his job for repeated tardiness. And I'm getting tired of having to expect him to arrive late for dates and appointments. I need some help!

Pleading for Punctuality

Dear Pleading,

The Wise One makes the assumption that your boyfriend is a grown up – old enough to have a job and therefore old enough to make decisions for himself. That he seems unwilling to take responsibility for his own time management implies that he’s lazy, or just doesn’t care. You’re not his mother, and he shouldn’t expect you to be.

The Wise One suggests that you need to decide what you are willing to put up with, or if this is what you wetlanders call a “deal-breaker.” You can’t do anything to make him change – he will only change if he wants to. So you can keep nagging at him to be on time, and continue to be frustrated, or let him take responsibility for himself and see what happens. (The Wise One wonders if some natural consequences might help with this process.)

Good luck, stay strong, and may you always find water and shade, The Wise One

Have a question for a Wise One about relationships or life in general? You can now reach the Wise One by Private Message, or leave your questions in the "Ask a Wise One" forum under General. All names will be kept anonymous; serious and humorous questions are welcome! Our Wise One is ready and waiting to tell you whatever you need to know.

Please note, this column is for entertainment purposes only, the Wise One is not a professional counselor.

November Merchant

By Taelinn

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Merchant's Review here in the Tar Valon Times, readers! Lusara Chadmir here to talk to you about a wonderful shopping site again!

Today I'm going to tell you about a place I frequent a lot, This site is geared most especially toward those TarValonians who like to make their own clothing and decorate their home with things handmade, not purchased from shops along the main road.

Jo-Ann Fabrics has been around as an actual shop for some time, but their online store is just as wonderful as being there in person! Fabrics, patterns, trim, upholstery fabrics, and quilting supplies aren't the only thing this shop has to offer! No, unlike the tailor down the street or the material seller who just bought some luxurious silk from Shara that I brought over (made quite the profit off of that deal!), sells all sorts of needed supplies for crafts of all types.

Jewelry making supplies from beads to wire can be purchased here, along with books that show some lovely ideas. Maybe you could even open your own shop! The prices are low enough that a profit could be made easily if you found the right distributor, *cough cough*, and the shipping is low as well. Sometimes they even have FREE shipping, but you have to catch them at just the right time for that.

Supplies for artistic baking for parties, supplies for toy making, supplies for decorating for Shaoman and even the Festival of Light can be found here at the right seasons. Frames for paintings can be specially ordered no matter the type of wood or design or size!

Fabric for everyday clothing all the way up to specialty fabrics for wearing to court in Andor or to see the Amyrlin can be bought by the yard and shipped directly to your house! And the accessories to make the complete piece too! Trim and buttons, toggles and yes, even those new zippers we've been talking about! I even bought a dress recently that the back ZIPS closed! No more needing someone to tie me closed!

Speaking of clothing, also sells sewing machines!! That's right, no more hand stitching if you have enough coin! You can make items much faster with these gadgets. They have beginner versions and much more advanced versions as well.

Quality items from a quality "online" store. That's

Thanks for your time and I hope you find what you're looking for at!

Puppy Love

By Taelinn

It's official. I've been bitten.

No sparkly vampires or mutant insects here, though. I've been bitten by another sort of animal, with much happier results.

Yep, I've been bitten by more than one sweet baby animal, and am now suffering from what I like to call 'puppy love' I'm infatuated with fluffy, cuddly, sweet animals, and I can't seem to help myself. And somehow, everyone we know has gotten a puppy or a kitten over the last few weeks. It's not helping my affliction. Neither is the fact that getting a pet is not at all in the cards right now. All the cute baby animal antics are making my heart overrule my brain!

It started with Bubulle across the street. Now, Bubulle is not a kitten - he's more of a teenager, but he is still holding onto some of his kittenish awkwardness, and it is so cute. He is very affectionate and sweet with my two toddlers (who of course go wild when they see him and yet he doesn't flinch). And to add to the situation, his owners are in the midst of a separation and since the women of the house moved out, he is over at our house all the time, usually up on the windowsill, pressing his fluffy face with his big sad kitty eyes up against the glass, meowing and waiting to be petted.

Okay, so he doesn't exactly look like this. But the "pwease wuv me!" look is exactly the same. Add to that our time spent with Orion, the Gordon Setter Puppy. My brother-in-law is a volunteer gamekeeper and loves hunting, and wanted to get a dog that has good hunting instincts and is good with children, as he has two young kids at home. Enter Orion, who, as a Gordon Setter, fits both conditions perfectly. However, Gordon Setters are notoriously clumsy puppies, and the little furball we met two weeks ago is no exception. He loves to greet everyone with a big kiss, but usually trips over his own paws in his haste to get to visitors. It is adorable. He is sweet, playful, and already very loyal and attentive... and so far, he hasn't gotten into any major mischief, which is quite rare. And if all of that wasn't enough to endear him to me, he has already decided I am just behind the "pack leader" (my brother-in-law) in the pack and obeys me as he would his master, even going so far as to give me the little love bites he only gives to my brother-in-law!

Judging by my reaction to those two bundles of joy, I knew I was in trouble. But it got worse.

Next, we spent a weekend with one of my husband's longtime friends and his family, and they too had just recently adopted a puppy, a Yorkshire Terrier named Jumpy. The poor little thing was a bit afraid of my older daughter but immediately adopted my younger one, though I think that was more due to the enticing smell of her diaper than anything else. Still, he would hang out around her when she was playing in the living room and stay still to let her pet him, and by the end of our visit, he would regularly lick her fingers when she pet him and let her give him baby smooches on the tip of his nose. He also came easily into my arms and cuddled on my chest a few times, and not once did he bark at anyone when we were there.

And to round things out, we spent the end of our holiday with another dog, Ourson. She isn't a puppy at all but looks like one, especially with her fur all chopped short. What broke my heart (and worsened my affliction) during our visit was that, in her old age, when she was too cold after sleeping on the concrete floor, she began to shiver so violently that she could barely move. So I gathered her up in my arms, wrapper her in a big blanket and held her until she stopped shivering... at which point she licked my cheek, snuggled in tight, and fell asleep. And she stayed like that with me all night.


So there you have it: I've got a bad case of puppy love. Most people will say it's just a phase, that I'll grow out of it. But since I don't have my own pet at home (and no, a husband and children don't count!) I don't know if it'll pass anytime soon... I have to admit though, I'm in no hurry to grow out of my case of puppy love. After all, what's not to love about cute animal cuddles every once in a while without all the responsibilities of ownership to go along with them?!