A.N. The point of this story is for the women of Seanchan. It is easy to see sul'dam as evil, taking pleasure in pain. While some are, others are not, which gave me the inspiration for Juliene. She is a young Seanchan woman, newly raised to sul'dam, an exalted position in her world. She is excited and ready to take on the world, much like any other young girl would be. I wrote her character after my little sister, who believes that there is good in everyone.
"Now Miri, you must be a good girl." The young woman said to the weeping figure on the ground before her. Juliene's heart was pounding as the adrenaline coursed through her, the fear slowly leaving her system. She had been sul'dam just half a year and already had her first catch!
It had been a routine inspection, and Juliene had been chosen to lead. Unlike some of the other girls, Juliene didn't mind the month long expedition to villages throughout the country side. She liked being in charge, and sometimes wished the trips could be longer. There was an older sul'dam to keep watch because Juliene was still young and new, and these trips were more for teaching purposes than anything.
Rows of girls lined up before them, heads down. They were aware that any moment could be the end of life as they knew it. Juliene remembered her own moment well, standing afraid but certain that she would not be one of the unlucky ones.
For this trip, Juliene had chosen Ara to complete her. Ara was well trained and very good at finding marath'damane. She knew the importance of collaring women who could channel. It chilled Juliene to think of any woman with the Power who was not safe in an a'dam, even sweet Ara.
Together they found three women with Power, ignoring their crying as the collars were placed around their necks. They also found a small girl who showed promise as a future sul'dam. Juliene gave her parents the congratulatory speech, smiling as the couple gave their daughter a last kiss and sent her toward the wagon set up for the sul'dam initiates. It would be the last time they ever saw their daughter, but unlike the parents of the damane, they would always remember this day with pride.
Once the line was complete, Juliene asked the council for the names of any who did not appear. A young lady by the name of Mirilam had not come to the square that morning, and no one in her family had seen her. This was unusual; the question was simply a formal part of the day, and Juliene had never heard of anyone not appearing for the yearly gathering.
After thanking the village for it's cooperation, Juliene asked that everyone return to their houses and not come out until this Mirilam had been found. Juliene could feel the other sul'dam's eyes on her back as she thought of what to do. First, order the soldiers to check the family home, then look in the other houses after. Not one of the people here would hide a woman who may or may not have the ability to Channel; even her family.
She and Ara began searching around the village, and she thanked the Empress that it was not a larger town. "Where do you think she is Ara?" "Ara does not know mistress."
As they wandered around buildings, Juliene felt herself getting angry, and Ara's irritation growing through the bond.
Voices drew her back toward the square and she saw soldiers escorting a young woman toward Juliene. She felt Ara stiffen slightly and knew this was the missing Mirilam, and that she could Channel.
"We found her hiding in the celler of her parent's home." "Thank you Garen." Juliene began walking toward the girl who was openly weeping. When Juliene opened her pouch and pulled out an a'dam, the girl began screaming. Juliene watched in horror as a Power that she could not see threw the girl's guards away and began cutting through Juliene's men.
"Ara now!" Juliene said ducking to the ground, as Ara pushed the strongest shield she could make onto the girl. "Mistress! She's going to break free!" Ara said looking surprised as the girl fought off the block. Instinct took hold and Juliene pushed off the ground and threw herself at the girl, latching the collar around her neck. The girl's screams cut off instantly as the Power left her and she collapsed.
Juliene unclasped Ara, handing her to the older sul'dam. The woman hadn't lifted a finger for her own damane to help through the ordeal! Pushing aside the anger, instead taking in the satisfaction she felt at the catch, she placed her end of the a'dam on her wrist. Fear flooded through the link, doubling Juliene's own as the girl on the floor continued to weep. Juliene could feel the girl attempting to touch the Source, and watched as the pain forced the girl to begin retching.
Once the elation of the catch began to ebb, Juliene realized how uncertain she was. What was she supposed to do now? She tried to remember what she had been taught in training, but she couldn't catch the memory.
"Stand up Miri." She said in what she hoped was an authoritative voice. Miri ignored her. Frustration welled up in Juliene and she pushed a burning sensation on everything but the girls feet, willing the pain to stop when the girl stood up. "Good girl." Juliene said trying to calm her anger, but it was hard and she was slightly intimidated by the girl's glare so she sent pain again until she looked down. "You are now named Miri, and you are no longer to remember any of the life you lived before this moment. You are damane, a danger to yourself and others. But you are lucky in the fact that you now wear the a'dam, which will keep you safe and allow you life. Any who wears the bracelet to complete you shall be called Mistress."
Juliene was rather proud of herself and found it easy to ignore the resentment building from the girl she was connected to. "Just wait until you've gotten to the kennels. You will receive punishment for a lot less than feelings there." She thought smiling to herself as they heading on, back toward the city.
If you find any errors or mistakes, please let me know!