The 3rd Age Life of Nythadri Vanditera
Before the Tower:
Born and raised in Caemlyn, family ties and the dire situation of her House were the only things to keep Nythadri rooted. Outside of House Vanditera, she was a persona stooped in mystery. Rumour claimed her to be the wayward daughter of a dying House, reluctant to accept her title and on bad terms with her father. Such hearsay was fuelled further by the fact she rarely made society appearances, despite being of the age she should have been introduced to court.
She was barely fourteen when she took to escaping her family estates to mingle with the commoners of Caemlyn, on the streets of the outer city taking the persona of Sacha, a tavern performer skilled at the violin. As a child a wisewoman had diagnosed a hereditary condition common to the Vanditera’s pale eyes. Nythadri believed she was slowly going blind, and it left her with no tolerance for the intricacies of noble life. Her father left her to her own devices, despite the damaging rumours to her reputation, too preoccupied with obscuring and solving their House’s ailing fortunes to reign his wild daughter in. An engagement was eventually arranged, but never came to fruition. When Nythadri realised her life and future might be used to pay her House’s debts, she only rebelled harder.
She remembered her father begging her to attend another in a long line of functions, but the words were muddled by the resonance of harp strings. She could even recall the piece she had been playing at the time – that was so clear the resonance of each note still vibrated a memory through her fingertips. It must have been after he had tried to coerce her into letting him sell the instrument, after he had exhausted all of Caemlyn’s banks and money lenders. She had never loved that harp more than when he had tried to take it away. Her fingers had burned, plucking harder to drown out the voices, but it only brought discord to the music. So she’d agreed, irritated, and her father had retreated, Tashir on his heels. He didn’t wear the pendant back then. She remembered that with a pang, and then an echo of his scathing comment sparked in her memory; moments before the door had clicked shut, and the harmony of her retreat continued. “—doesn’t matter anyway. Winther isn’t interested in wedding one of his sons to a family begging for his money.”Accepted Nythadri, The Gift & the Pledge (part 1)
Now fifteen, Nythadri had been planning to run away to join the Tuatha’an along with Farune, the tavern boy she was in love with. However on one of the nights she escaped she was caught and followed by her elder brother and heir to the family Seat, Tashir, who had caught wind of the secret. It led to his death. Nythadri knew only a little about the sizeable investment made by Tairen merchants into the Vanditera’s crops, though she did know the House had suffered great losses at an unfavourable yield. Merchants of the same guild enjoyed the fine wine and entertainment of the tavern Nythadri had chosen to visit, and they recognised her brother with tragic consequences. Years later it transpired that the incident was orchestrated by House Winther, the very House Mishael had intended to marry his daughter into, as a brutal message concerning the substantial coin owed, and the promiscuousness of the daughter offered in lieu.
Light, how long had it taken to close this wound, and now it gushed hot blood as sickening as both times she had lived the moment. They had swarmed on Tashir. And had not even known she was his sister. Celian had tried to pull her back inside – had not known who Tash was either. The memory of rent flesh beneath her nails charred ash in her throat. Reminded her of the taste of her own blood. The screams that had rocked her from sleep so many nights after echoed a desperate symphony. Emotion cut a deep path but her expression showed precious little; that in itself was stark indication of discomfort, if he had known her well enough to recognise it.Accepted Nythadri, The Hunt
That Tashir’s death occurred under scandalous circumstances, and that Mishael’s eldest daughter was involved, were the only things ever publicly known of the incident. Such is the way it stayed at the time, although afterwards Lord Mishael seemed to have urgent plans to marry his daughter off.
Distraught, Nythadri finally relented to her father’s machinations, perhaps wishing to placate his grief, knowing she would soon abandon family and home. Whilst attending this rare social event, in which Queen Elayne had also been joined by the Amyrlin Seat, Nythadri was discovered to have the Spark. The very next day a Blue called Karina came to take her to the Tower. Nythadri refused, of course, until the woman offered a cure for her failing sight, something her father had always refused, fearing the secret of a family sickness would damage the most valuable currency he had left to his name: his daughters. Hoping Farune would understand, and under the illusion of control over her own life, Nythadri agreed. However Farune took the news poorly, and they parted on uneasy terms.
At the Tower:
The Yellow who attended her at the Tower, a severe Borderland woman called Esenya, never spoke to anyone else of what she found. If the wisewoman had been right or wrong in her diagnosis was never disclosed to Nythadri before the healing weaves shivered her through. It was not that which pulled the Aes Sedai’s lips into a concerned frown.
Nythadri was a young and unmarried member of the Andoran nobility. Tashir’s death was still recent enough that the physical marks of the altercation had remained, and the times of the pregnancy tallied close to the nature of her wounds. But Nythadri refused to speak of the circumstance, just as she refused the solution the Yellow firmly offered. It was a secret that was never revealed, for the Pattern weaves as it wills.
The Battle of Tar Valon
Nythadri had been at the Tower for a matter of weeks when the siege was laid at its gates. Novices were well protected from the brunt, at least until the walls were breached. Her memories of that night are dark and bloody, tangled irreparably with personal tragedy. She has never spoken of her experiences, not even with the women she shared them with.
Thus Nythadri began her life at the Tower in its ashes, and witnessed its slow rebuilding, just as she slowly began to rebuild her own life as well.
She fit into Tower life easily, though she did not have a taste for the rules. She tended to skirt them rather than break them, or manipulate them to suit her, and was never caught in serious trouble. She thwarted her potential to the frustration of the Blues, both stubborn and uncaring of the consequences. Perhaps it was the only control she could wrest for herself.
Though she dragged her heels with her learning, she accepted the Test the first time it was offered to her. In her Arches she relived her brother’s death, experienced the family she had craved and lost, and saw the future she most feared.
Upon returning to her rooms she wrote to Farune, asking that he speak with her now she could visit the city. Weeks passed before she received a reply. Scant letters had passed between them since she’d left Caemlyn, yet she’d never doubted his loyalty.
Getting permission to visit Tar Valon was easy enough, but the meeting did not go how she envisioned. Farune had moved on, and came only to say goodbye – properly this time.
Nythadri was crushed.
She reacted badly, free in the city for the first time in more than five years, and recklessly full of spite for everything she had lost. The dam within her broke. A silver tongue earned her trouble and solace. Afterwards she stole a bottle to drown her sorrows and forget what she had done. She was drunk when the Asha’man found her, and escorted her grimly back to the Tower and the Mistress of Novices’ office.
Unbeknownst to either of them, Rikela Sedai of the Blue Ajah had borne witness. When the Asha’man procured Nythadri water, the Aes Sedai added a powder to stop the adverse effects of a hangover the next morning, and prevent unwanted consequences.
The punishment for Nythadri’s behaviour was severe. No small part of her wanted the expulsion, to burn every choice that had been taken away from her, even if it left her with nothing. The depths of grief were deep and unresolved, kept in ice for years, layer upon frozen layer.
Instead she was birched to within an inch of her life. Afterwards, she was sent to the farm for a penance lasting a full year, during which time she was forbidden to even touch saidar. The manual labour left her exhausted at the end of every day. Every night she replayed the worst parts of her life, until the sting began to die in fury.
At the end of the first week the supervising Sister asked her if she wished to fail and leave, or if she would return to the Tower upon the end of her punishment.
She asked every week after that.
The whole sorry ordeal strengthened Nythadri’s resolve to be at the White Tower, and while she still proved difficult to tame and mould, when she returned she at least had the goal of reaching the shawl now firmly in her mind. It was that or fail and be put from the Tower, and Nythadri would not fail.
In obstruction or perhaps just disgust, some of the Aes Sedai refused her lessons, wishing to witness the commitment of her resolve for themselves before they would honour their time on a child who proved so disappointing. Even the Blues remained quiet now. Nythadri was forced to prove herself.
To Nythadri, the future had always seemed something dark and hazy; something she was pushed towards a step at a time. When she had thought she was going to lose her sight plans had seemed pointless, for they always ended in the same all-encompassing darkness. Fear of that future made her cling to each day, and to the important things in it, shaping her to something selfish and irresponsible. She’d embraced Farune’s dreams in lieu of her own, and built castles from sand; a make-believe, it seemed now, so long after the fact. Music had been the closest thing she’d had to an anchor when she had railed against a fate she had no power to control, but even that had not curbed a powerful recklessness.
Then the Aes Sedai had come. The future had changed. And yet she still lived day by day. Those days had become calculated rather than whimsical, especially since the Farm, but they still arrived one at a time, one after the other. She scorned the monotony, but she also endured it. Becoming Aes Sedai felt like inevitability – failure was certainly not an option – but somehow a future had never coalesced into something tangible. She saw girls every day who had focus and ambition, but when Nythadri tried to narrow herself to a goal every fibre of her rebelled. She was ever marching forward, blind to where the path led; it seemed, sometimes, the only way to fight the instinct to dig her heels in.Accepted Nythadri, The Hunt
It took a further six months for her to catch up on the Tower studies she had missed, as well as keep herself level with the other Accepted – an exceptionally fast time by anyone’s standards.
Yet she stubbornly prevaricated over pledging herself to an Ajah. In the end it was a visit to Arad Doman, an Asha’man, and an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who changed her mind.
Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah:
Roughly three months after returning from Arad Doman, and having finally pledged to the Green Ajah (to the surprise of most who knew her), Nythadri was raised to Aes Sedai. Scant weeks later, she was pulled into a conspiracy by Talin Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, and is currently missing from the Tower.
She looked perfect. Like she’d done nothing all night but sit with a teacup. He grinned at that; knowing the secret behind her facade. More mystery to solve in the future: to try and guess what her perfect poise was hiding. Though he had a morbid sense after hearing of her ghost’s origins that she hid the light as neatly as she did the dark. Or tired to. Those pale eyes waving in the morbid winds of her humor would not soon leave his head.Jai, The Hunt
Moderately tall and curvaceously built, with black hair worn long and startlingly pale blue eyes rimmed with dark lashes. Nythadri is beautiful, but in an imposing and cold way. Her humour is often cynical and dry, but she can be warm among friends, and makes a point of being genuine and unfalteringly honest with those she is closest to. Very unforgiving of betrayal, and did not speak at to her family after enrolling at the Tower.
She has always hated the Great Game, but always finds herself tangled up in it – it is an innate part of her being whether she wishes it or not, and something she is supremely talented at. The Tower showed her it is the pettiness among nobles she dislikes, rather than the way a silver-tongue can move people like pieces on a chess board. Nythadri is a gifted speaker and a fluent musician, though she has not had much opportunity to practise the latter skill since coming to the Tower. Jai is perhaps the only person who knows she used to be a violinist, for she rarely divulges details about her old life.
Nythadri has always liked to bend rules when it suits her, or break them if she thinks it necessary or to her benefit. She is very clearly an intelligent woman, but amongst her tutors it was always considered that she does not live up to her potential. She has always been too errant and, while not a troublemaker in the traditional sense, is too independent minded to smooth her path amongst the Aes Sedai.
- Father: Mishael
- Mother: Danollia
- Brother: Tashir (deceased)
- Sisters: Oshara & Emria (both younger)
- Jai Asad Kojima — An Asha’man Nythadri met while serving in the Tower’s front hall, with whom her life has tangled ever since. Their souls are tied in every Age in which they are born. Nythadri loves him deeply, and probably dangerously, though she will admit to neither. His soul is the catalyst for change in her life, often heralding purpose and new focus to her existence; strength she uses to save him in turn.
- Eleanore Candevin Aramorgran — Originally from Kandor. A seasoned warrior who accompanied the Brown Razamira Sedai through the Blight and home to the Tower. Ended up bonded to Nythadri via Talin’s manipulations, but appears to have no regrets. Her relationship with Nythadri is in its infancy. She thinks her young and spoiled. Notes: horse tall chestnut with white blaze, as yet unnamed
- Talin Sedai — Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah who trained alongside Nythadri as an Accepted, but was raised some months before. Rules are important to her. She claims Nythadri to be her conscience. Notes: Horse, a large creature with hairy fetlocks that she calls Mephisto. Bonded to Kaori
- Lythia Sedai — Green Ajah, Nythadri’s primary mentor and the reason she choose to pledge herself Green. She is one of the few Aes Sedai Nythadri trusts implicitly.
- Arikan — dreadlord who laid siege on the White Tower, the greatest assault against it in the 3000 years of its history. After Talin pulled Nythadri from the Tower, it was revealed she had made a deal with him, and now Nythadri is tangled in the whole sorry mess.
- Maylis Sedai — Green Ajah, one of Nythadri’s mentors. From Ebou Dar and a source of information on the Seanchan.
- Kabryn Asoor — Warder to Maylis. Curly hair flecked with grey. Bearded with a scar that intersects his cheek. Wiry build, only slightly taller than Nythadri.
- Malaika Sedai — Brown Ajah, Seanchan and former damane. She witnessed Andreu Kojima’s death, identified him from the dagger he gave her before he jumped in the river, and informed the family of his demise.
- Kaori — A tall man, and Talin’s Warder.
- Andreu Kojima — Jai’s brother. Unstable and prone to paranoia. He killed himself after Jai let his family believe he had betrayed them.
- Zakar Kojima — Jai’s brother. Runs the family bank. OCD. Secretly embezzling money from the Tower. Married, but having an affair with Jaslene, Jai’s childhood sweetheart.
- Araya — An Asha’man of the Black Tower and former tinker. He has a home in Tar Valon that he visits often. He has a young ward called Korene, the daughter of a deceased friend and Araya’s first love.
- Hana — Araya’s housekeeper and main carer of Korene (Araya considers them both family, and it is often assumed she is his wife). Hana is a widower. Her husband was an Asha’man called Daeyl, and Araya was the one to deliver news of his death. She and Nythadri share an unusual friendship.
- Ellomai Sedai — An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, and head librarian at the royal library in Caemlyn. She heads a network of Eyes and Ears and reports to Lythia Sedai. Her hair is grey, her bearing stately, and her eyes merry. Despite her scholarly nature she always vowed herself Green on account of her Malkieri blood. She has at least one warder.
- Elsae — an accepted whom Nythadri was friends with during her training, and considers a friend still.
Though Nythadri’s soul has lived before, she is not attached to the myths of any pantheon, and is indeed not born into every age. When she is reborn, it is in conjunction with another with whom her life always tangles.
In the 1st Age she lived as Natalie Northbrook-Grey