Guesting & Traditions (Gray)
In 2011, it was decided that the Gray Ajah had gone through a lot of changes and had evolved away from the original story of the Mad Scientist. It didn't fit us that well and most who knew the story well were either MIA or had by then demoted to other Ajahs. Members of Gray called forth ideas to reestablish a new tradition that all past, current and future Gray's could connect with. Many suggestions were made and from there we all agreed easily to call our new Guests "Guestlings" and Aspirants "Graytlings". What to call ourselves came down to two suggestions: "Guide" and "Counselor". This tied in a poll and so our Head of Ajah, at the time, chose for us and "Gray Guide" became official!
Guestlings, Graytlings & Guides
As generations pass, old and new traditions find their way through our halls. As the Ajah changes we have come to an end of one tradition to welcome another. While the history of the Mad Scientist vs the Test Subject will always be with us, we welcome a new Era in Gray Guesting.
As all Aspirants of Gray know of the infamous 'Graytling', we have chosen to now name future guests, "Guestlings". Rolls off the tongue nicely, hm? More than trying to find a way to label those that guest with us, we instead chose to go with a form of endearment. While most have gone off to choose other Ajahs, we still think back on our time with them, and they with us, as positive experiences and with friendship. "Guestling" symbolizes this for us, that we care for each one that guests with us and are always happy to have you in our home.
Much like 'Test Subject' is changing, so is 'Mad Scientist'. Choosing to embrace what Gray does best, we now consider ourselves "Gray Guides". Guidance is to advice or counseling and is often used in the context of assisting students in their course of study or in preparing a person for a vocation. As Gray Guides we assist our Guestlings and Graytling along their path to finding their Ajah or Company home.
Where We Started
In January of 2008, we started a Gray Mentor/Mentee program, for Aes Sedai and newly Accepted, sort of a big/little sister program. Magdalenna was our HoA at the time, and had noticed that the Blues and Greens had ways of adopting Accepted who were guesting with them, giving them an Ajah “mentor” for their time as a guest within that Ajah. She asked for volunteers, and what everyone’s thoughts were on the proposed system.
There was some discussion about adding another structured system to the already overly structured forums, and Vivianna jumped in to clarify that yes, the other Ajahs were using a similar system, and it didn’t have to be formal, but was more for Ajah contact than anything else.
It was discussed that the titles of Mentor/Mentee seemed way too structured, and would confuse everyone since there were Tower Mentors for new Novices. We were also concerned because we had tried to form Gray Ajah “circles” to get back to being a close-knit group, and they had not worked out.
At that point, Leilwyn posted: “the Blue's have their Serenla/Shendar's, the Yellows, Whites, Greens, Browns have Big/Little sisters, and the Reds are a bit hard to figure out whether they've got anything or not.... so we're one of the last to jump on the bandwagon, as Magz said. Personally, I really like the 'test subject' name for our Accepteds because it's different, and it feels very Gray to me. I don't know what we could call us though... We could say 'Experimenting with X', although that has dirty connotations....”
Given Tyla and Leil’s history of Dr. Tylastein and Leiklle within the Ajah, I posted the suggestion of “Mad Scientist/Test Subject” which everyone kind of jumped on, and thus was born the Mad Scientist and Test Subject relationship of the Gray Ajah.
The Dr. Tylastein/Leiklle Backstory
Tyla and Leilwyn had this silly RP thing they used to do (before this program came about) where they would come in and post a thread from "Dr. Tyla-stein" and ... ... I don't remember Leil's "Igor" character name (Remembered it: Leiklle!!). It was just something silly that they would do randomly, that made us all giggle...
One time, they came in and started randomly throwing each of the Grays into this machine they had created, and we all came out as different flavored pies (this was before the real-life pie-ings started, too). Another time, they threw us in, and we came out different flavored drinks, cocktails, I think.
Anyhow, when it came to this mentor/mentee thing, Tyla started "experimenting" on her mentee, and called her Tyla's "test subject". Then (I think) Leilwyn grabbed her mentee, and brought her to "Dr. Tylastein" for testing, as well, and it kind of grew from there.
So we all (the Aes Sedai) became "Mad Scientists of the Gray Ajah" and the Accepted became so-and-so Sedai's "Test Subject". When a new Accepted was raised, one of the Mad Scientists grabbed her for their "experiments", which was just a way of saying she had been adopted by that Aes Sedai, should she need anything in the future. It was a purely voluntary pairing, and each new Accepted was asked if she wanted to participate *before* a “Mad Scientist” dragged her off to the lab.