June, 2004 Tar Valon Times

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News and Calendar by Arisaema Draconis

Be sure to check out the calendar for JALGC games galore, Da'Show dates and times, and Tower birthdays and Free Days.

June 11: Free Day, Asadine June 20: Free Day, Sunday June 23: Free Day, Feast of Maia June 26: Free Day, Feast of Bailene

Product of the Month by Shamal al'Cain

Are you a writer or even just an observer? Better yet... are you a Brown? The TarValon.net Journal will act as your notepad when observing anything worth recording. It's nice and small so that you can whip it out whenever you need it. A very good investment indeed.

Comic by Amara Danicek

Wot Now

Wot Now, a Wheel of Time parody comic, has recently been revamped after a server problem lasting several months. The comic follows the sprite versions of Rand, Perrin, and Mat on their misadventures battling shadowspawn and angry women with a few choice stand-alone episodes thrown in here and there. The comic floats along with an ironic, bizarre, and often dirty humor. When the comic begins to lag, the addition of some female sprites quickly livens things up. The new site is easier to navigate and the forum is more active than ever, giving you plenty to do between episodes. If you haven't looked at the comic for a while, it is definitely worth your time to go back and re-visit this site.

Recipe of the Month by Kyla Sterling

Many thanks to Arisaema Draconis for this recipe for Nynaeve's Rosemary Potato Cakes.

Site Review by Tyla al'Mere

The White Tower Clan was founded in July of 1999, five months before the release of the Wheel of Time PC Game. It is based on the multi-player portion of the game and is made up of "just a small group in a larger community of people who play this Wheel of Time game online." The Amyrlin Seat, Polegnyn Nemeara, says the White Tower "tries to stay with the books as closely as possible, but there are times when we must do things differently due to whatever situation may arise. We have the same ranking system as the books. Each member can pass game-related tests to advance in rank."

When a female character reaches the rank of Aes Sedai she must choose an Ajah "befitting of her style both inside and outside the game, as well as bond an available Warder or Blademaster." According to Polegnyn, the main objective of the White Tower Clan is "just to play the Wheel of Time game, and have fun with it."

Review of the Third Anniversary Party by Kyla Sterling

The 3rd Annual Tower Anniversary Party was held May 21-23 at a KOA Kampground outside of Chicago, IL. Members began rolling in at 2 on Friday, and much hilarity (and much mud!) ensued.

Friday seemed to pass very quickly for the 60-or-so members who attended this year's party. A good part of the day was spent pitching tents and making introductions. There was even an international member in attendance - Manora Sedai flew over from England just to be with us! Around suppertime, the first of the weekend's rains started, putting a damper on the fires that the Gaidin had worked so hard to build and maintain.

The first two rounds of the Great Gleeman Competition were held Friday night, and the rain, oddly enough, cooperated. The part that needed to be held outside was surprisingly dry (except for the waterlogged sponges members tossed at each other), and the rain poured while the surviving teams stretched their minds around some very tricky WoT-themed trivia. Who knows the words to "Goodman Picket's Pipe," anyway?

After Mother's official welcome, the Tower members dispersed - some to their tents, some to the shelter of cabin porches or even in the road outside during lulls. All did not remain quiet for long, however, when Novices Kyla and Yelenia abandoned their tent as it began slowly filling with water. Karassa Sedai and Ban Gaidin were kind enough to share their tent with the two shivering Novices from the Aquarium (as their tent was dubbed after it was found upside down in two inches of water the next morning).

Not quite two hours later, the effects of that night's storm (tornado weather - w00t!) were beginning to be felt all across the camp. Several heroes were made that night: Mother, Ban Gaidin, Micah Gaidin, Valorian Gaidin, Katarianna Sedai, Daria Sedai, Seraphim Sedai, Karassa Sedai, and those members sleeping in the Brown Cabin all spent their night either running around in the storm moving people to higher ground or opening their tents to refugees. (If I have forgotten anyone's name, I sincerely apologize!)

Storm damage that night displaced several Tar Valon members. Katina Sedai and her daughters were awakened by knocking on their tent. When they got up to answer, they realized that their tent had filled with at least four inches of water - something they hadn't noticed because their air mattresses were floating on top of it. They were relocated to the Brown Cabin. Three other members were taken into Ban Gaidin and Karassa Sedai's tent, making for a very cozy seven people in a six-person tent. Many other members fled to the safety of their cars for the night to avoid the rain.

The next morning, cleanup efforts began. The hosts of the KOA very kindly offered to let us move our campsites to higher ground, and the flooded sections of camp were officially abandoned. The day itself, except for one minor shower, was beautiful. The sword class, taught by Valorian Gaidin, was able to find a dry spot to impress the ladies with their moves and their leader's *ahem* rear end. The sewing circle, taking place at the same time, sure didn't seem to accomplish much in the way of actual needlework!

We were also missing several members for most of Saturday as there were some car mishaps befalling those members of the errands/food committee. Raina Sedai and company spent approximately six hours in the parking lot of Sam's Club attempting to fix Raina Sedai's car. New citizen Jer Kegan was finally able to fix it after replacing a pump.

The weather was kind and allowed several members to eat their roasted chicken suppers outside, but the skies opened up again almost the second they finished. The rain was a constant throughout the Party, slackening only when Mother ordered it to. (No, really!) The Goldschlager toast went around the room, with many tears and much laughter as more than 60 people swore devotion to Tar Valon and Jodea Sedai's husband announced that he was joining the site. Drawings were held throughout the night, and the top prizes of a Great Serpent Ring, a Dragon Pin, a copy of New Spring, and a beautiful stool with a carving of the Green Man from our KOA hosts went to Aryawnah Federov (not present) and Gerrok (he won three!) respectively.

The sa'sara competition was held next, with top honors going to Katarianna Sedai. Novice Yelenia Hylraren took second place after a spur of the moment decision to compete (and some liquid courage, as well), and Novice Kyla Sterling took third with an impression of the dancing girl in everyone's sig. Ubahsur Sedai took fourth place with an amazing bellydance routine.

Four members were raised Saturday night: Shana Rider was raised to Accepted of the Gray Ajah, Taylor Rider was raised Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah, Gerrok was raised to Soldier (no company yet), and Arisaema Draconis was raised to Accepted of the Blue Ajah. After Raisings there was a lovely first-sister ceremony when Ubahsur and Branwyn Sedai (both of the Yellow) made their commitment to each other as first-sisters.

After many tears and much laughter, the finals of the Great Gleeman Competition were held. The final round consisted of songwriting skills given a place, a style and a title of the song. Third place honors went to members of Company SDS (Ban Gaidin, Wil Gaidin and Soldier Darian) for their Borderland love song "What My Darling Said to Me." Second place went to Derrin Gaidin, Ninya Sedai, and Recruit Atane for their Tairen battle song called "If I Only Knew What I Know Now." Top honors went to Alanar Gaidin, Rhuarc Gaidin, and Recruit Bakure for their Two Rivers drinking song, "On My Way Out The Door."

The final order of business for the night was the slave auction, postponed from the day before. Bidding was tough, but profitable for the Tower. There was a tie this year for the most expensive slave. Ninya Sedai went to Derrin Gaidin for $300, and Ban Gaidin went to Accepted Arisaema for the same price.

Almost everyone collapsed into bed at the party's end, waking up early Sunday to help break camp. Everyone left exactly on time, with all tents packed, all leftover food distributed, and our campsites clean (except for the mud). Nearly all 60 of us then descended on a local IHOP, and we were handled very well. The staff was ready for us since we called ahead, and the food, service, and bonding were wonderful. A pie was thrown as Accepted Shana was officially welcomed to her Ajah, and some tears were shed as members began leaving for various airports. Pictures were taken in the parking lot, and more tears were shed as people began driving home.

Fortunately, the party still wasn't quite over as many people waiting for flights were relocated to the nearby apartment of Sataere Gaidin and Rissa Sedai. Apparently, they spent a lot of time making necklaces and bracelets out of the craft supplies Recruit Bakure brought with him.

Finally, though, the members of TarValon.net dispersed to their real-life homes, but only to immediately log-on to the site and continue the fun online!