Shall I tell you a story that I myself gawk at as too marvelous to be true? Shall I? It is the story of my life...my fifth life on the Wheel of Time. I have lived through various incarnations of the Pattern and witnessed many changes of the ta’maral’ailen. Yet, my most recent life is that of which I speak now.
My name is Bonaiv Arra and I am a Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah of the White Tower. I was born on a small farm north of Baerlon in Andor to my parents, Sheyella and Josif Arra. I, currently, have no siblings as my three older brothers all died three years before I was born in unexplainable accidents around the farm. My mother died when I was five years old from a very severe chest cold that lingered for a few weeks then took her. My father and I moved to a small village northwest of Tar Valon in the Black Hills region on the way to Kandor where my father’s sister Sarta and her husband Jayland Mye lived and owned a small dress and fabrics shop.
We lived with my Aunt Sarta and her husband Jayland Mye for two winters. My father worked in my their fabric and dress store where he learned much about the trade. One of the regular silk merchants took a liking to my father and asked if he wanted to help him in the business, being his second man. Kaisep was a very nice man. We traveled with him three years before he decided he wanted to retire. My father being so grateful to Kaisep for all of his help in establishing himself the silk merchant trade, allowed him to move into our farmhouse in Baerlon. He was like the Grandpa I never had. Kaisep died that year. My father continued on with the trade attaining six wagons and seven guards over the course of his career. I really have never lived in one place long. My father’s guards were my only true companions besides my father.
One of the guards Dayevd Skot was once a bard at the royal Court in Sheinar. Dayevd left Shienar for reasons he still has not told me and joined Kaisep as one of his guards. From the age of nine, Dayevd gave me music lessons. He taught me how to sing and told me I have a lovely voice. He was an excellent teacher and one of my closest friends.
Generally, I am an outdoors kind of young woman. As I did when I was younger, I love trees for climbing, sitting under, and for hugging. Some of my father’s guards used to laugh and say I must have been an Ogier in a past life. I was never a TomBoy but I do hold my own in a wrestling match and I’ve learned hunting, tracking, and cleaning of animals and tanning of their hides from various guards over the years. I like horses and ride decently. The main thing that the guards used to tease me about was that I lacked “womanly stuff”. Before coming to the White Tower I did not know how to curtsy, I had never used make up, and I really did not speak like a lady. One could say that I was a little rough since I diced, drank and smoked occasionally, which I actually still partake in.
How I came to the White Tower …since the thought never had occurred to be to become Aes Sedai?
My father, being a silk merchant, had three main routes, which we rotated throughout the year. He always tried to avoid a few places like Amadicia, Arad Doman, and Murandy whenever possible. I really didn’t learn why until I was at the White Tower and as a child I never questioned it. Still, the three trade routes always began and ended in a City or trading post where we could take on more silk, leather, thread, beads, and other non perishable goods, but mostly silk. Well, we were in Ebou Dar, in Altara purchasing silk for our northward journey. Our journey usually took us though Altara to Ghealdean, then Andor, along the River Arinelle to Saldaea, then through the remaining Borderlands of Kandor, Arafel, and Shienar. From Shienar, we took on needed supplies and crossed the Niamh Passes. We had a good friend Ranchet, Clan Chief of the Codarra Aiel with whom my father traveled when we are in the Waste. Ranchet allowed us safe passage to the trading posts in the Cliffs of Dawn in Shara where we loaded our wagons with silk and crossed back. Well, while in Ebou Dar, my father heard that the King Ailron of Amadicia’s only daughter had been betrothed and would be getting married within the next two months. Hearing that the King had invited hundreds of Lords and Ladies from Amadicia, Murandy, and neighboring Ghealdean my father thought it would be a perfect opportunity to sell our silk quickly to all those needing material for new clothing to attend the wedding. A Princess was getting married, who would arrive in anything but silk? So, breaking his own rule, we headed for Amador, deep in the heart of Amadicia. The Children of the Light did not bother us, as many merchants were now headed towards Amador to make a profit on the celebration.
Well, we got to Amador and sold five of our six wagons of silk before the wedding. It had been a great plan and my father was extremely happy. He decided that he wanted to stay long enough to sell the last wagon of silk, and then head back to Ebou Dar and restock. Selling the last wagon full turned out to be harder than the first five. After the wedding, sales really dried up and time was also wasting. We needed to make it either to the Waste before winter, or winter at our farmhouse in Baerlon, where I was born. My father never traveled in the winter snow. He said it brought hard times and made people into thieves. Well, we decided to wait another week and took rooms at the Inn of the Happy Wanderer. My father was allowed to keep his wagon out front for a price to the Innkeeper. I tried to help him sell the silk, and I guess this is not funny, and I am sorry if it sounds like I am making light of this but I really did not know what I was doing…I compelled a few men into buying silk.
I swear, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just really wanted to leave Amador. The Children of the Light were starting to creep me out. I tried to tell the men that were purchasing silk how lovely it was, and what a good price they could get it for. I told them how foolish they would be not to buy the silk. I said ‘ Think of all the beautiful dresses, coats and things that could be made from such silk. Imagine how I would look in a dress made from such silk.’ I hoped that they would buy it and have dresses made for their wives or something. Instead men started to buy the silk and have dresses made for me!
Every man that I sold silk to went out and had a dress made for me, and brought the dress to me as a gift. I started to feel odd, like there was something that I could not control going on. I felt ill too. So, I stayed in my room at the inn. One evening, a man burst into my room with a dress he said was for me. He yanked me out of bed almost knocking over my dinner that the innkeeper had brought me, and was forcing me to try on the dress he had made for me in front of him when his wife burst in and got an eyeful of what was happening. She came at me with a rolling pin and I was so scared I threw out my arms and yelled no. The next thing I knew the woman was flying across the room and hit the wall. The man stood there, his eyes bugging out of his head. I yelled at him to stay where he was and I ran to his wife and held her in my arms and started crying. I wished she would not be injured and I was so sorry for what ever had happened. I held her tightly and then she reared up out of my arms. She was fine. She didn’t remember what had happened. She thought it was odd that a half naked girl was hugging her though. She said she was hungry, sat down ate my dinner, and took her husband home. My father came in, I told him what had happened and he locked me in my room until Trichelle Sedai showed up. I figured that I had somehow touched the One Power and did not know it, but when Trichelle walked in the room and I saw that ageless face; I knew instantly. My father had written a letter to his sister Sarta and apparently Sarta found the first Aes Sedai she could and told her about me basically being stuck in Amador. I know Trichelle Sedai took great risk to come and get me and I appreciate that. My father was so afraid that we would not make it out of Amadicia without me channeling again. He did not want to risk me becoming frightened by the Whitecloaks and inadvertently channel in front of them.
So, I traveled to the White Tower and through my years of study and mentoring by Xandrea and Madeline Sedai of the Green, I learned the truth about my heritage and my family’s past. I was not Andorian at all, but a Malkirian refugee, my family having ties to the White Tower via my grandmother Vaness, who was an Accepted of the White Tower, and my grandfather Valdrin, her Gaidin. It was a Tower secret that was revealed to me only after I passed through my Accepted’s Arches.
My third cousin, Nigel, came to the White Tower and trained to be my Gaidin, and eventually did become my Warder after I was raised to the Green. Successfully attaining the Shawl I sent out on my own personal quest with my new Gaidin, and my first-sister Zyriam who was also raised to the Shawl just before I was. We traveled to the Waste where Zyriam persuaded the Wise Ones to allow me to walk the glass columns and proceed through the arches of Rhuidean.
I made it through the arches of Rhuidean with an eerie sense of déjà vu, for it reminded me of my experiences through the ter’angreal of Testing in the White Tower, but my experiences within the glass columns changed me, opened my eyes, and brought new meaning to my reality.
Within the glass columns of Rhuidean I discovered that I was bound to the Wheel of Time. Zyriam had told me that I would see the history of my own people in the glass columns, but what I really ended up seeing was the various incarnations of my own person in the various Ages of the Wheel. After my quest in the Waste, I searched the greatest Libraries of the world to research the history of my lives that had been present to me. This is what I found out…these are my past lives:
212-373 AB Caraighan Maconar (Bonaiv), Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, bonded to Lord Mangore Kiramin (Nigel) who translated the Prophecies of the Dragon from the Old Tongue to the ‘vulgar’ tongue, the Modern Language.
· 335-336 AB Caraighan takes part in the hunt for the first False Dragon, Raolin Darksbane. Sees him gentled at the White Tower in the Field of Punishment.
· 350 AB Caraighan flees the White Tower due to tremendous upheaval, the year of the four Amyrlins…she was approached to be Keeper of the Chronicles and rather than insulting the person who asked, because she didn’t feel they were the ‘real’ Amyrlin, she fled into a self-imposed exile.
· Returns to the Tower and brings with her the translations that her Warder had done of the Prophecies of the Dragon
· Dies in 373 AB at the age of 161 years old, death ruled a mystery officially, but she was killed by the Black Ajah when researching Prophecy.
· Before she dies, she hides a special sa’angreal set in the brick walls of her Aes Sedai quarters to keep them safe from the Black Ajah.
900-1200 AB Urinda Natomie (Bonaiv), Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
Francipe Arra (Nigel) bonded to Urinda
· The leader of nine Aes Sedai who are sent by Amyrlin Rashima Kerermosa to destroy a WayGate during the Trolloc Wars
· Finds sa’angreal set in the wall of the Green Ajah quarters. Before she goes on WayGate mission, she puts the sa’angreal back
· Pulled into the WayGate and killed in the Ways by attacking Trollocs
100-260 NE Teres Jompty, (Bonaiv)Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
Semrind Ji’ult, (Nigel) bonded to Teres
· Keeper of the Chronicles to Kiyosa Natoma Amyrlin Seat until 197 NE
· Served as a Sitter of the Green Ajah, finds sa’angreal in the wall
· Passed sa’angreal set to Head of the Green Ajah and gave specific instructions in a Foretelling to give the set to a Cairhien child.
395-601 NE Dr’emenic Strimp l’ote (Bonaiv), Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, Keeper of the Chronicles for Shein Chunla
Tramul Alentis, (Nigel) Warder to Dremenic Strimplote
· At Age 5 Witnesses the Aiel gift a sapling of Avendesora to Cairhien, receives a gift from a mysterious Aes Sedai at huge celebration
· Gifts sa’angreal set to Sarai al’Mandronik before death in 601 after four failed attempts to restore Shein Chunla to the Amyrlin Seat. Stilled in 601 NE, died from the shock, hidden in Tower records. This sa’angreal has been passed down through the generations and has again come into my possession, and I, Bonaiv Arra, wear it everyday.
I discovered who I was, and who Nigel was, and was strengthened by the knowledge that the quest of my earlier lives had bled over into this one. Throughout the years, I have sought the bravest warriors of all cultures to bring them to the White Tower to serve as Gaidin, for I believe that strength in numbers will aid our struggle in the Last Battle. I actively search for young women to test and bring to the Tower, and I offer myself as mentor to all that seek the pathway of the Green Ajah.
After the death of my beloved Nigel and Mykel in an accident while studying a Portal Stone with my dear friend Laniya, I pursed my own death, yet found new life in the arms of my true love, Braen al’Anon, a Wolfkin. Usually not condoned by the White Tower, bonding a Wolfkin has been a unique experience for me. I did have another Warder, Lundren Montin, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, whom I bonded to save his life after a nearly fatal battle with two Foresaken, but he betrayed me and allowed another Aes Sedai, Sinead of the Blue, to bond him without telling me. The shock from their bonding caused immense mental anguish and unfortunately took its toll upon me while I was riding in the Mountains of the Mist. After sustaining multiple injuries and nearly dying, then hanging to life in a coma for a long time, I awoke to find a burning anger and hatred of Lundren. I rightly took my vengeance upon him and Sinead, passing the Warder bond I once held to her.
I have chosen not to return to the White Tower, but to pursue my cause of finding new trainees for the Sisters of Tar Valon to meld into their own.
**A little about Bonaiv’s abilities**
Bonaiv’s strengths (from strongest to weakest): Spirit, Air, Water, Fire, Earth.
Bonaiv’s Talents: Illusion and the Voice. Minor Talent in Healing.
Bonaiv spent many years with the Aiel Wise Ones, and through many lessons with her first-sisters Zyriam and Jasmydt and their second-mother, Goutreen, Bonaiv learned to dreamwalk, which is a Talent not involving the One Power, and something she has not revealed to her fellow Aes Sedai.
Bonaiv's Threads Within the Pattern
Arches of Rhuidean
Glass Columns of Rhuidean
Arches of Acceptance
Test for Aes Sedai
Bonaiv's Favorite Dress
Bonaiv's Sa'Angreal Necklace Set
Braen al'Anon, Wolfkin, Bonaiv's Bondmate
Lundren Sedai, Aes Sedai of the Green, Bonaiv's Former Bondmate