Aisle was born to a lesser branch of House Riatin in Cairhien. Her father had been a player in the Great Game. Some maneuver of his had threatened a strong member of a rival house. The rival house, decided to take the easy way out and hire a couple assassins. Who would miss a minor member of one of the houses?
The assassins were contracted to kill the entire family. On the night of the act, all was quiet as the assassins entered the house. They methodically moved from room to room and smothered the members of the household in their sleeps. In the last room that they entered, one of the assassins found a young child in a crib. Something stirred within the stone-hearted killer and he had pity on the young child. Instead of following through with the killing, he had the child secretly taken to an orphanage in Tar Valon.
Aisle grew up in this orphanage not knowing anything about who she was or where she came from. She was not very big or very strong as a child. For most children in her environment, this was a bad combination. The larger children would commonly steal or take from the smaller children by force. With what seemed like innate skill, Aisle eventually learned to play the larger children against each other. As she grew, she eventually began to feel sorry for the other children in her situation and began to maneuver the larger children in ways not only to her advantage but to protect the other small and defenseless ones.
About once a year, an Aes Sedai would come by the orphanage for testing. The girls who were of age would line up to see who was eligible to be taken to the Tower. Of those who were not able to touch the source, some were taken as well to be servants in the tower. It was very rare that a girl would be found with the ability to channel. Only three that Aisle could remember in her years there. Most children hoped only to be lucky enough to be taken on as a servant. This opportunity would at the least provide regular meals, warm quarters, and a soft bed
When the day of testing came in Aisle’s 16th year at the orphanage, all the girls had lined up. Being one of the smaller girls, Aisle was jostled almost to the back of the line. Her clever mind and skill in talking did not count for much on this day. This could be the day of freedom for any child there. Those at the front hoped to make a good impression and be chosen early before all the spots were filled. As her turn came up there was one spot left. She smiled shyly as she was presented to the Aes Sedai. She stood there only a few seconds but it felt like hours as her heart pounded so hard that she thought everyone around her must be able to hear it. Finally a voice said “We’ll take this one.” As a feeling of pure joy ran through her, she then heard the Aes Sedai say “Next.” With a questioning look on her face, Aisle asked “But I thought there was only one spot left?” To which the Aes Sedai replied with a smile “Child, you can learn to touch the True Source. You will be trained and, if you are lucky, become an Aes Sedai.”
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