The Mistress of Novices

The Mistress of Novices is the Aes Sedai responsible for the discipline and well-being of novices and Accepted in the White Tower.

The Mistress of Novices is expected to be a harsh-yet-fair woman. She serves to carry out punishments on her charges, which usually take the shape of a strapping or switching. However, she may also set manual labor, such as working in the kitchens. Despite her seemingly negative role in their life, she is also a comforting shoulder to those who feel the pressure hardest.

She is also responsible for the discipline of Accepted, and is generally considered to be harsher on them than Novices, as it is believed that they should know better.

Aes Sedai can even be sent to her for a penance, though it is rare and ultimately humbling for the Aes Sedai.

It is the Mistress of Novices who determines when a Novice or Accepted is ready to be tested, or if the Novice will be put out of the Tower for good. The Mistress of Novices is also present for both of these testings. She has the final say for all Novices and Accepted, and can even go against the Amyrlin Seat when it comes to her charges.

The Study

Every Mistress of Novices has a different personality, and different taste from the previous one, so the study varies slightly in appearance over time. In general, however, the study today would still be recognizeable to a woman who was a novice one or two hundred years ago.

The study itself is located near the novices’ quarters, and only one level below the Amyrlin’s study. The hallway leading up to it is wide, with red and green floor tiles and blue runners. The door is plain, sandwiched between two bright wall hangings. Most of the study is plain as well, but deceptively so. Though plain, everything in this room has been made of the finest quality. The walls are paneled in dark wood, and most of the furniture is sturdy and unadorned. A narrow tea-table sits beside the door, slightly carved with a strange pattern on the legs. A mirror with simple and elegant gilding on its frame sits on a wall. Against the opposite wall is a narrow cabinet where the strap, switch, and slipper are kept. A desk or writing table is located in the middle of the room, which is where the Mistress of Novices does most of her work. A stool is placed in front of the table for any novice or Accepted to sit on when they’re called into the study.

Even though it is known by all what takes place inside the study, no one ever makes reference to it. What happens in the study, stays in the study.

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