September, 2005 Tar Valon Times
Letter from the Editor
Well, it has definitely been an interesting month in the world of Wheel of Time. With expectations rising concerning the upcoming release of Knife of Dreams, following an event packed prologue, everyone at TarValon.net has been holding their breath.
It has been an interesting month in the site as well, with a multitude of raisings across the site, a new initiative in the Garrison designed to increase its activity being undertaken by Aliyenah as his Soldier project, as well as the usual tumult of Tower affairs. As usual, a new generation of new members are beginning to make themselves known, many coming across our site while looking for information on the upcoming release of Knife of Dreams.
This is my first edition as the coordinator of this newsletter, and I hope it lives up to the high standards set by the last edition. Once more, the staff here have put in time and effort to make this newsletter as informative and interesting as possible. My thanks to them, and to the wider circle of contributors from the whole community. It is our dearest hope that as many people as possible become involved in the Tar Valon Times, and any suggestions or comments can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter to the Editor: Reply to letter on Current Events Forum
Sayerin Assnobahr, Accepted to the Blue Ajah
First of all I'd like to thank you for sending me the issue of Tar Valon Times for August. I find it very interesting to read. I would like to express my view on the opinion stated by al'Cary Mandoragon Gaidin.
Personally I support his opinion that the Current Events Forum is somewhat controversial. I myself rarely visit it. It does not appeal much as a place for friendly and encouraging discussions. What is more, the threads jump one over another, sometimes as aggressive as they should not be.
Daily, we are flooded by information screaming from all places, so I see it somehow unnecessary that we start throwing at each other different topics widely discussed in RL, whatever it is, religion, war, politics or anything else.
I'm in favor of al'Cary Gaidin's idea that it should be made a private forum and members would need more time of membership before they are allowed to post there. Thus any thread of personal abuse will be diminished greatly.
Wouldn't it be good if a sticky is displayed addressing all members to observe the tone of politeness and friendly manners?
This month, in an effort to acquaint the newer members of the site with one of our key administrators, I asked Val Gaidin to answer a few questions, some of which were even relevant to the site.
al'Cary: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Val Gaidin: My RL name is Rob Weber, I am 28 years old and I currently spend my time travelling between Rotterdam (where I officially live) and Schin op Geul. Both are in the Netherlands, but you will need a detailed map to find Schin op Geul.
As many of you know, my girlfriend is the lovely Elyna Sedai. I met her through the site and we have been together for two and a half years now.
I currently have a job with Dutch customs in Heerlen after being unemployed for a while. I have a degree in environmental science. I eventually hope to find work in that field.
al'Cary: Can you tell me a bit about your Tower job? Do you think that you may have been somewhat insane to have accepted it?
Val Gaidin: Quite insane My job... I run the male side of the Tower basically. I am the superior of the Company commanders the Captain of the Guard and, together with the Keeper, the city staff. I trained a lot of them, I support all these admins when there is a (disciplinary) problem or if they have specific ideas for activities/projects and I make sure their activities fit into the guidelines Mother sets for the entire site.
(Val Gaidin goes on a while about all the hugely interesting stuff that he does. If you care that much about what it was, ask him yourself. The basic summary is that he seems to do everything)
al'Cary: What do you say to rumours that you have, in Mother's absence, been plotting together with Elyna to supplant the Amyrlin?
Val Gaidin: I am not quite THAT insane.
al'Cary: Do you have a favourite Tower moment?
Val Gaidin: Meeting Elyna of course. If it wasn't for that the choice would be hard, so much has happened in since I joined. Meeting people in real life is always interesting though. I've lost count of the number of members I've met but I always look forward to the next party/get-together.
al'Cary: I know you have already told us about your job, but there are persistent rumours that you are actually a drug dealer. Looking at your RL pics, it is hard to dispute this assessment. Any response?
Val Gaidin: I have no idea what Australian drug dealers look like but I will accept your expert assessment on this matter. I already stated what my job was, so perhaps we should move on to the next question.
(sensing a delicate issue, al'Cary backs off)
al'Cary: You are fairly widely regarded as one of the most capable and efficient admins on the site. What is your secret?
Val Gaidin: Capable and efficient? I think it was more a matter of having too much free time on my hands. I suck at web design, I have no management experience worth mentioning and my English is full of mistakes. You could find much more capable admins. Of course they wouldn't work for free.
The real test is now I suppose, with my internet time being drastically reduced I had to get rid of some parts of my job and squeeze the rest in a lot less time. With Mother being away at the moment that means I am stretched pretty thin right now.
al'Cary: Do you have a message for the site?
Val Gaidin: A message? I'm not the president you know...
I would like to ask you to keep working to keep this a place that's open and welcoming to new members. I know a lot of people feel that the site is getting so big they start to feel lost. On one level I can understand that feeling. I used to know pretty much everybody around here, now I sometimes miss people completely before they show up before the hall for novice or recruit. Despite all the time I put in keeping up with applications.
Looking at it from an admin point of view our large member base creates so much more opportunities for activities, real life events, projects etc, as well as a certain stability. We have a very varied group of people here with a broad spectrum of skills simply because there's so many of us. While I agree that what makes TarValon.Net really special is it's sense of community our size is an important reason why we still exist today.
KoD Internet Hunt
Valadilene Aldieb Sedai
As many of you may already know, Tor Books is hosting an online "trivia" contest to celebrate the October release of Knife of Dreams, book 11 in the Wheel of Time series. The contest began on August 2, 2005 and will continue on through October 18, 2005.
So here's how it works. First, you need to get yourself registered for the Hunt. To do that you need to go to www.knifeofdreams.com, click on the Register link and fill in the appropriate information. You will then begin receiving weekly emails with the link to the trivia questions and a reminder that the questions cannot be answered before 3:00pm EST.
Once you're registered, you start answering the questions - one every Tuesday until the contest ends. The questions follow a sequential pattern, meaning they begin with New Spring: The Novel and will move through the books, in order, ending with Knife of Dreams.
Who created the questions? Well, seven different fan-run sites, including our very own TarValon.net, and four affiliated groups have each designed the weekly web pages. This way they can promote themselves along the way! Week one was designed by Red Eagle Entertainment and features original art from the first issue of The Wheel of Time: New Spring comic book. The other websites, in order of participation include: Dabel Brothers Production, Dragonmount, Encyclopedia WoT, TarValon.Net, Audio Renaissance, Theoryland.com, AgeofLegends.net, Silklantern, Wotmania, and Audible.com.
How do I win and what will I get? This is the best thing of all! Prizes will be awarded for the fastest correct response times to each of the twelve questions, with the Grand Prize (a leather bound copy of Knife of Dreams) being awarded to the fastest average correct response time for all twelve questions. Ten second prizes (leather bound copies of New Spring or Crossroads of Twilight) and 100 runners-up (bookmarks featuring the Wheel of Time logo) will also be awarded.
There is only one downside to the whole contest: It is only open to legal U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years of age and older and void in Arizona, Maryland, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Vermont, the province of Quebec, and where prohibited by law. Sorry guys!!!
So, get out there, register and show what you know! Good luck.
Knife of Dreams: Prologue and Chapter One Review
An enemy dies. An old acquaintance rises to power. An impossible allegiance is built. All this and more can now be found in "Embers Falling on Dry Grass," the prologue to the eleventh book in the Wheel of Time series, Knife of Dreams. The prologue, which is available for your reading pleasure at TOR's website picks up an one of the series' older (and possibly more despised) characters in a plot that could bring Rand one step closer to uniting the Westlands to fight in the last battle, which looms ever ominously on the horizon.
Action hungry readers don't have long to wait as before the familiar "The wheel of time turns." begins the next chapter of the epic blood is spilt and the body count rises as an ancient rite is invoked. While the actions may not be terribly shocking, it is without a doubt invaluable as the armies of the Light prepare to march against the Shadow. Jordan's age and the delay of New Spring seem to have had no effect on his writing abilities whatsoever. Throughout the prologue the style, conviction and deliverance remains true to Jordan's distinctive style, meaning that we can only be looking at another novel full of unexpected turns, intrigue and the realistic characters we've come to know and love.
While Jordan has abandoned his usual habit of a prologue weaving multiple plot threads, detailing glimpses into the lives of several characters in favor of one, charged with hate, battle and the promise of retribution to come. Jordan doesn't need me to plug his next book-the prologue does it well enough for him, so do yourself a favor and go read it as soon as possible.
Last month we explored some of the religious variety we have here at TarValon.Net. It is a wonder that with so many differing beliefs, we are all able to enjoy the Wheel of Time! In Part II, I asked our members the following question: When reading the Wheel of Time, what symbolism, themes or characters relate to your beliefs? And why/how? Many people where speechless, mostly because they had never sat down and actually thought about this before, while others made connections quite easily. I hope their thoughts and interpretations help you to develop your own and spark some interesting conversations in the future!
This is just a taste of the full article, for the full text go here!
Member Poll-What would you do if you were Amyrlin For a day?
Granted, the possibility of it happening is slim. But chances are you've mused at least a little bit about what it would be like to be Amyrlin Seat. The six people below have, and here's what they said when asked the question: "What would you do if you were Amyrlin for a day?"
Shala Miradsu - Novice
"I'd probably just send some Novices scurrying and curtsying and then bond someone against their will."
Naeris Vell'sean - Citizen
"I would probably try to make men Aes Sedai, try to bond with a Red sister and allow myself to be a male Green Aes Sedai who can bond several females."
Dralyn Montsier - Head of the White Ajah
"You know, I've been Amyrlin before, and there's not a lot you can do in one day that can't be undone the next. But if I had my choice, I would do raising ceremonies."
Annouk Vinkona Ulfanna - Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
"I would probably look for new ways for citizens and Senior Members to interact."
Jeffan Caliarthan - Recruit
"The temptation to reek havoc is tempting, very tempting, but I know that the next day I'd get my butt kicked. Seriously though, I'd probably just do what Mother does. I know that it's a lot of work, but I think it might be fun. I would look into all the Senior Member forums and have the Senior Members do something funny for the Junior Members to laugh at. But only one thing. It is a lot of work being Amyrlin, and I wouldn't want to do it for more than a day."
Atarah - Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah
"If I were Amyrlin for a day, I'd visit all of the world leaders possible and make them bow down to my magnific...no, really, I'd probably just sit down at my desk, turn up some music, and do as much paperwork as possible so that Mother wouldn't have to do it when my day was over and could maybe take a day off."