Age: ~170 years old
Formerly: Keeper of the Chronicles and Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah.
From: House Taravin of Caemlyn, Andor
Currently: Lady in Waiting to Queen Elayne Trakand of Andor
Appearance: She has the golden hair of the Andoran highborn and wise, hazel eyes. Her cheekbones are high and her bearing very noble despite the scars on her face and youthful appearance. She appears quite young, although there are flashes of experience and wisdom to her once in a while. She’s dedicated herself to serving Andor and supporting House Taravin after her burning out.
The Story of Lady Corele Taravin
Corele was born into the noble house of Taravin, in Caemlyn, Andor in approximately 850 NE. When she was discovered to have the ability to channel, she proudly entered the White Tower as a novice. At this time in Caemlyn’s history, it was a great source of pride and boost of influence for a House to have a daughter become Aes Sedai.
Corele was a studious novice and ideal Accepted. She seemed to have the temperament of humility and submissiveness that were required of a dutiful child of the Tower, but she was sharp and a natural player of the Great Game as well. She became quite popular among the girls she trained with, seeming to rarely have conflict or enemies. It was during her time as an Accepted that she realized the ability to Dreamwalk. There was no one alive that could teach her its ways, so she stumbled through the skill mostly self-taught. As a result, she is a competent dream walker today although not a match for a true master.
When she was raised to the Shawl some 15 years later, she chose the Blue Ajah in service to causes of peace and prosperity. She was a natural politician, and served as an Aes Sedai advisor to numerous monarchies over the years.
Her warder, Coeyn, passed away peacefully of old age more than a hundred years after she gained the Shawl. It was something that happened to the long-lived Aes Sedai, and Corele found herself spending time in the Tower to grieve his loss. It was during this time that Kaydrienne was raised to the Amyrlin Seat, a substantially younger Blue whom Corele had once mentored. It was with no surprise by the Hall that she was asked to serve as Keeper of the Chronicles. Corele wholeheartedly said yes.
After adopting the stole of Keeper of the Chronicles, Corele believed she did not need another warder, and she did not seek a replacement for Coeyn whose loss she still grieved her even years later. It was during a rare instance of respite that Corele met Lennox Orander.
They played stones, and when he bested her, she was so impressed that she started to spend more time in his company purely because she enjoyed the friendship. He seemed to possess a natural intuition for the Great Game that she found surprising given his humble origins. His intellect and reflective nature complimented Corele’s generally serious personality well. That he was also trained by warders and a skilled swordsman made their relationship an obvious choice. She genuinely valued his opinion, and in return, he was often a great source of comfort for her stress and responsibility. They were bonded as friends and companions, but nothing more. He was her warder during the attack by the Dreadlord Arikan on Tar Valon, and although Corele spent the majority of the battle in the World of Dreams, the moment she stepped out of the dream, Lennox found her and carried her, exhausted and weary, to safety.
It came to pass that Lennox disappeared to the land of the Finns. Their bond wasn’t broken in the process, but he was utterly gone from her senses. Having studied the World of Dreams throughout her life, she suspected he was trapped inside of the dreamworld, another dimension, or somewhere similar. She began to search for her lost warder using all the tools at her disposal as Keeper to do it. Eventually, she tried to channel a portal to one of these alternate dimensions with the aid of a sa’angreal, but the experimental flows did not work. She was burned out in the process and incited a fire in the upper levels of the Tower. She survived, and a Yellow Sitter healed her of the worst of her injuries, but her ability to channel could not be restored.
Due to the nature of her burning out, inappropriate utilization of a sa’angreal without approval, and damage to the Tower, Corele was declared to not have survived the blast so to preserve her memory and not undermine the influence House Taravin had amassed. She left Tar Valon never knowing Lennox’s fate.
Corele was taken to a country estate in Andor to recover. The move allowed her to adopt a new identity, that of a long-lost cousin to a minor noble house from southern Andor named Candraed. With the backing of Aes Sedai proprietorship, they accepted the identity and she has remained Nicole ever since. Almost a year later, she journeyed to Caemlyn to become a Lady in Waiting to Queen Elayne, who is of course one of the very few Aes Sedai aware of her true identity. The others being the Amyrlin herself, the Yellow Sitter that healed her, and Lythia Sedai. There, she was just noticeable enough to be overlooked or dismissed by the court, but she had steady access to the queen and served as an advisor and spy. Truly, however, she was an important part of Lythia Sedai’s Eyes and Ears, whose machinations and funding helped support Nicole’s identity. In addition, Corele’s burning out drastically changed her appearance. She lost the agelessness and her age reverted essentially to the time before she swore the three oaths. As a result, and combined with the scar on her face, she was quite strange to behold. At times she was quite youthful and at others she was startlingly wise beyond her years.
It was during this time that Lennox returned to the world. While he believed himself to be gone only a short time, he had in fact been absent for several years. It was with great tragedy that he discovered his bondmate to be deceased, and the guilt that Corele died while looking for him was heavy. Corele never learned that Lennox lived, for Lythia did not tell her, fearing that Corele would abandon her place in Caemlyn to search him out once again. Lythia likewise allowed both to believe the other was dead as she never thought they would cross paths again despite having several opportunities to avail each of the truth.
Nicole wore only the clothes gifted to her by the queen as befitting her position as a Lady in Waiting. She was otherwise known to be of a poorer house from the country with little political standing or authority.
Following Corele’s death, the White Tower delivered a compensation to the House as was customary. By then, more than 150 years had passed and none alive in the House today had ever met the Keeper of the Chronicles. She was a distant relative whose memory became a marble statue in their House crypts. As such, when Corele became the Queen’s Lady in Waiting, one of her causes to cope with her new life was to covertly work to support House Taravin’s interests. The ruling Head of the House was her great-nephew four-times removed. Even when they came face to face, he had no idea of her true identity.
Known players in Caemlyn and beyond
High Seat of House Taravin – Lord Leopold Taravin is the High Seat of one of the nineteen great houses of Andor. He has inherited a large fortune and has been a successful leader and influencer during his tenure. House Taravin’s holdings span land, agriculture, and livestock but they are especially known for their mines in the Mountains of Mist and involvement in the gemstone and pearl trades. Sea pearls are something of their unofficial symbol and all of the members, lords and ladies alike of the House wear them as accessories. He is something of a womanizer and had multiple quiet affairs and fathered an unknown number of illegitimate children. However, House Taravin is dedicated to their honor and reputation, and these children are cared for discreetly by the High Seat as has been the tradition for several generations. Their surnames are given codes that play on the wording of house’s banner, the Oak and Owl, so they can be tracked.
Lady Taravin – the wife of the High Seat came with an incredibly sized fortune of her own whose contribution expanded the House’s holdings and power. Her family has ties to the gemstone trade. She is a decent player of the Great Game, although relies primarily on her power and name more than needing to manipulate things to her ends. She accepted her place in the family as a bride of substantial inheritance that expanded the Taravins mining interests. She is aware of her husband’s indiscretions but turns another eye so long as the House’s reputation remains in tact and her children are the only formally acknowledged heirs.
Leodon Taravin – the oldest child and heir to the High Seat. By virtue of his family and inheritance, he is one of the most eligible bachelors in the whole nation. He is incredibly handsome and noble, carries himself with the air of a highborn, and is generally driven by honorable intentions. Although he seems to be falling into some of the same habits, he is ashamed of his father’s exploits. Knowing he will have the responsibility to care for an unknown number of half-siblings someday, he hopes to serve the House at a higher standard when he inherits the High Seat. He is in his mid thirties, of noble bearing and has the same sweeping blonde hair and coloring of the House. He has light blue eyes like his mother and a warm intensity about him that generally makes every lady at court melt under his gaze.
Kymira Taravin – a girl of 15, she is the second child of Lord and Lady Taravin. She befriended Nicole partly because Nicole offered her sound advice in matters of the Great Game and didn’t treat her like a child in the process, but also because Kymira pitied Nicole. Kymira found the pearl ring left behind on Corele’s statue in the House’s crypt in an attempt to keep it for herself. This ring became the catalyst that united Nicole and Leoden. Kymira befriended Lady Misaki Armendariz who accompanied her mother to Caemlyn and attended a ball hosted by House Taravin.
Nessie Oaktura – a teenage girl who works as the scullery maid in at one of the House Taravin properties in Caemlyn. She was the one who encountered a man nearly beat to death in an alley in Caemlyn and raised the alarm for help. Unknowingly, that man was the one left behind by Jai Kojima when he was investigating fraud involving House Winther. Nessie was interrogated by the High Seat and his lady wife along with an Asha’man of the Black Tower about the incident. Her testimony unknowingly helped to seal Jai’s fate when he was later punished by the M’Hael. The Asha’man that interviewed her was none other than Lennox Orander, who was sent to Caemlyn to investigate the impact of Jai’s actions. She later told Nicole Candraed about Lennox, and that was how Corele came to learn that her previous bondmate was possibly alive.
Lady Graciela Armendariz – The great-niece of King Togita of Shienar is married to Xavier Armendariz of Fal Sion. She journeyed south along with her daughter to ask the White Tower for aid at the Blight Border. When she was put off with vague assurances to help, she then journeyed to Caemlyn to petition the noble houses to send soldiers to the Blightborder. Her husband is Vladamir Armendariz’s older brother. Her daughter became friends with Lady Kymira.
Lady Misaki Armendariz – The 13-year-old daughter of Lady Graciela who accompanied her mother to Caemlyn to plead for aid. She attended a ball hosted by House Taravin and Nicole encouraged Kymira to befriend the Shienaran noble, knowing that while her strange ways and manner was ostracized among the youthful nobility of Caemlyn, but if Kymira befriended her, the others would follow suit and their cause would gain more attention.
Dreadlord Arikan – Corele was the Aes Sedai that confronted Arikan in the World of Dreams when his forces attacked the White Tower. He far outstripped her in command and mastery of the dream, and she escaped, but not before causing his attack significant delays that led to his eventual defeat. Knowing this, when Lythia captured Arikan years later, Corele was recruited to care for him and watch his dreams while he was tortured by Byron. Corele is frightened of Arikan and is very cautious about encountering him again in the dreamworld.
Byron Gaidin – The dagger of the Tower that Corele commanded when she was Keeper of the Chronicles. She was the Aes Sedai that originally discovered his skillset when he was still quite young. He successfully stole her purse even under the watchful eye of her nearby warder. She was impressed but also pitied the young man, sensing his behavior and skill were on the path to becoming a Darkfriend, if he wasn’t one already. Therefore, she recruited him to work for the Tower and sent him covert missions to carry out the Tower’s will. After Corele was presumed dead, the missions ceased and Byron grew restless as he did not know who it was that sent him in the first place. It was this restlessness that Lythia stirred in order to convince him to come work for her as Arikan’s interrogator.
Lady Graciela was hosted by several of the great Andoran houses when she visited Caemlyn in search of support at the Blightborder. She represented the royal house of Shienar and personally came to plead for aid. Her familial ties to royalty and the rare appearance of a Borderlander noble sparked intrigue in Caemlyn, and there was something of competition for her to appear at the different events hosted by the great houses. House Taravin threw a ball in her honor, a ball which Nicole attended at the behest of the queen to support Graciela’s cause. However, Nicole was also there to covertly support her own House of Taravin. It was at this ball that Lady Kymira admitted to finding a ring left behind at Corele Sedai’s tombstone, which she intended to keep for herself under the guise of a secret admirer. Corele cautioned Kymira that the ways of the Great Game might unleash harm for her House and her personal reputation. Therefore, to avoid being caught with the ring on her person, Kymira bid Nicole hold onto it for the duration of the ball.
After discovering Nicole with the priceless ring and what started as an initiative to drive his father jealous, Leodon danced with Nicole the most of the night, and soon came to discover that she was unlike any other Lady he’d met in Court. Undoubtedly, he sensed her age and wisdom, and felt the distant connection with an Aunt many-times removed.
What Nicole did not anticipate was the rise of her own feelings under Leodon’s attentions. She endeavored to protect the High Seat’s reputation and power, and she feared disturbing the layers of secrecy that surrounded the House. So she did not deny the assumption, which allowed Leodon to believe her a mistress of his father’s. It only seemed to increase his pursuits, however. Of all Nicole’s experiences as an Aes Sedai, she had never known this kind of attention. She was a young girl akin to Kymira’s age when she became a novice, and she was purely dedicated to her Ajah and cause afterward. She slowly came to accept that she was no longer Aes Sedai, and she reluctantly gave in to these feelings partly because she was lonely and partly because she wanted a life beyond cause and duty.
Dancing, being a vigorous and wholesome experience for the mind and body, was expected by the Queen that all her retainers be proficient when called upon. Nicole of course entered this regal world with basic knowledge of the country dance, where couples stood in a line facing one another and concluded by a march at the end. Nicole was largely ignorant of the styles from the higher courts. The noble dances enjoyed by those like Leodon was a skill Nicole had to acquire, but everyone, the Queen included, remarked upon her seemingly natural talent. How her long neck craned graceful as a swan and her arms arched delicately in the hands of her partner. She acquired the ability to be swept from her feet without seeming to ever truly practice beforehand. It was all part of the intrigue that followed her through court, part of the whispers of the up and coming Nicole.
Leodon released her arm and when his seasoned smile flushed her skin, she was thankful for the distance between them as she fell back into place with the other ladies. A woman of House Marne, wearing jade and crimson, nodded from one side, and a fresh girl with the golden hair of House Exion nodded from the other. None of them, several skirts in either direction, were quite the royal red-gold of Andor, none perhaps but the stately Leodon and Nicole.Soiree
They began a whirlwind romance. Leodon was still the most eligible Lord in all Caemlyn, heir to the High Seat, and far-beyond old enough to have married by now. His attentions for Nicole was no secret in court despite their clandestine efforts and became something quite controversial over time. Nicole Candraed was supposedly of lower stock nobility, with little to no money of her own, and basically a high-ranking servant to the Queen. Despite the oddity of the pairing, their passion was genuine and love as pure as possible.
Leodon is still unaware of Nicole’s true identity, and she has not availed him of the truth that she is his distant-aunt. She has no intention of telling him, either. Her greatest source of conflict is believing that Leodon may lead House Taravin to greater futures with a more suitable match, and she worries that if he settled for her that it will hurt the House’s standings. Despite her own instincts, she seriously considers remaining his mistress even when she encourages him to wed better, and help him rediscover the lost mines of Corartheren, the very same place Lythia bid her to watch over Arikan.
With her help, Leodon could rediscover the lost mines of Manaetheren. She nodded at the idea. They’d never marry, but Corele could accept that sacrifice if it meant that her House, and by extension, Andor, prospered.Soiree
Corele will be horrified to learn that Kaydrienne was deposed as Amyrlin Seat from the White Tower.
She sent letters to the Black Tower to inquire after Lennox Orander, but she has yet to receive a response. Should she learn Lennox is alive, she will be greatly conflicted, desiring to leave Andor and join his side but also knowing that she has to stay distant from the world of Aes Sedai and the One Power.
She is going to try and find a suitable bride for Leodon, knowing that if she married him, it would draw too much attention to herself. She already fears too much already. However, facing a mortal life now, she knows her youth and beauty will pass in time and what influence she has at court will diminish. She has little hope for more.
She can still walk the world of dreams, and Arikan knows she yet lives. She knows he would kill her if found, so she avoids it unless there is due reason.