2003 Annual Report
Author: Val a'Shain
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 25th 2004
The second TarValon.Net Annual Report lies before you. A little later than planned but deadlines are things best ignored. Last year's reports were a last moment thing. It took about 6 weeks from the idea to the release of the report. For this report we were better prepared. Improvements on last year's version include a section for the city of Tar Valon, more complete statistics for the Tower and a financial overview.
This year's improvement shows the way TarValon.Net is moving towards a more professional way of running things. On an administrative level, with a more efficient procedures, on a technical level, with improvements in the services and opportunities we offer to our members and on a creative level, with more members than ever actively contributing to the development of parts of our site or in our real-life activities.
The number of people who helped write this report increased compared to last year as well. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Amyrlin Seat, the Treasurer, Heads of Ajah, the Company Commanders, and the assistant Constable for contributing, Kheldin Korlan for a thorough spellcheck and Melvar al'Caarn for helping me with the graphics.
Editor of the second TarValon.Net Annual Report,
Val a'Shain Gaidin
Master at Arms
State of the Tower
TarValon.Net enters into its fourth year stronger than ever. This time last year, we determined that we would spend the next 12 months focusing less on growth, and more on solidifying the growth we had already achieved. While in the past our procedures and goals were constructed to help us grow as quickly as we could, we have effectively altered our organization to maintain what is has already accomplished, while paving the way for more controlled growth in the future. Our eyes are set now on the long term, and we no longer simply ask ourselves "how can we be better next year?" we also ask "how can we be here long into the future?"
Several pertinent changes have led to our success in last years goals. Significant changes were made the Administrative structure at our first annual Administrative Meeting last July. We created departments, and department heads and staff to run them, based on services we wished to provide. This has worked far more effectively than attempting to work off of the Ajah system in providing for our administrative needs. We've focused a great deal on infrastructure and building clear lines of communication and responsibility. Procedures have become less convoluted as those with similar work establish closer ties with one another regardless of rank or affiliation. Our Hall's purpose shifted dramatically from serving as an advising and disciplinary body to that which now reviews and makes decisions on who shall achieve, and advance in, membership with the Tower. All in all, we have the most effective and cooperative staff we have ever had. It has been an absolute joy to serve as Amyrlin this year because of it.
We addressed the very serious issue of our growth last year. We knew that, given our current structure, we would not be able to continue supporting the influx of members. We created the city and the rank of citizen, and found that this has stabilized the numbers coming into the Tower as much as we could have hoped for. Those who are looking for a more laid-back membership experience are able to do so as citizens, while those who truly want to be more involved in the community are able to receive adequate resources and help while advancing through the ranks. All in all, it has been a wonderful experiment, and it continues to evolve.
TarValon.Net has continued to establish itself as the premiere community for real life Wheel of Time gatherings. With an average of one or more small gathering of members each month across the globe, we still manage to have an enviable attendance at our larger functions. We have also continued to support the Wheel of Time at conferences and are planning on being officially present at several more than we have in the past.
We focused this last year on bringing our site design together in a more cohesive and functional manner. We released a new site design (which I personally believe to be our best yet) around the New Year, making it much easier to find the interesting content offered online by our community. We moved to yet another board format (all forums on one page), and have been generally very happy with it. We have also begun the process of bringing all parts of TarValon.Net onto our primary domain name, and hope to have this completed by this time next year. For our members we have added email service, and created several themed chat rooms in addition to new forums. We have regular service of the Tar Valon Times, and have begun to produce Radio Tar Valon on the Internet. We have a community section on our board that gives members access to community-specific news and announcements, an events calendar and much more. All of these changes and additions were made to help facilitate communication and foster a small-community feeling even as we continue to grow.
I am incredibly pleased by our progress. I am pleased with our members, our site, our events, and our participation in the WOT world at large. I am pleased at how we met the goals laid out last year. I am pleased at how we are both able to support an incredible amount of resources for members and guests, but still able to make each member feel as if they are a specific and important part of this community.
In the next year, we will continue the work of refining our procedures. We still have a lot of room to go, specifically in the areas of raisings and membership applications. I would like to see a few unfinished projects completed, to see the city enter into another phase of development. I would like to see more "jobs" become available for talented members, giving them a chance to contribute to the community as much as they like with a minimal amount of supervision needed by Administration. I believe that this year will largely determine how we will proceed for the next several years, and I am sure that it will bode for a bright future.
Eleyan Teyal Al'Landerin Sedai,
Watcher of the Seals,
Flame of TarValon.Net,
The Amyrlin Seat
Word from the Mayor
In general, I believe we can call the City portion of our membership a success. The goal in creating this level of membership was to create a buffer between the entry level applicants and the senior membership. We had come to a place where people were being raised to Senior Member that really was not known by many, simply because that is how our system was designed. By slowing down the process by instituting longer waiting periods, and by requiring senior member references we have achieved this goal with resounding success, in my opinion.
Another goal of the city was to help weed out those applicants that simply are not serious about becoming involved in the community. The Internet has become a place where with a click or two of their mouse any given person can join a club, or subscribe to a newsletter, or any number of things. Most times these people have very little interest, or shortly after joining a club or community discover that they don't have the requisite interest to sustain membership. The City level of membership has been an immensely useful tool in this regard. One can see from the statistics compiled by Kariada Sedai that since the institution of the city we have had a copious amount of membership applications, but a relatively small number of people who actually sustained membership in the community.
We continue to refine our systems and procedures, as well as our job roles, which is all to the good. As our community becomes more active and productive, we are constantly looking for ways in which we can improve our services to it. One area in which we have done just that is to create the position of City Developer. This position is a multi-disciplinary position, in that they work both with the City Administration on html, code, and database needs, as well as with Valorian Gaidin with his needs with the site code in general. The person appointed to this position was Ninya Sedai, and she has been hard at work on our map, and is immensely useful as our "go to gal".
Riley Maconnar Gaidin
Mayor of Tar Valon
Since its creation in April of 2003, the city has attracted many new members. In the past year, we have received well over a thousand applications for Citizen membership. Many of these applicants do not continue on with the site however. Of them, approximately 175 became active Citizens.
- 4.1 Rank
There are currently 160 (95 female, 65 male) active members who are or once were Citizens. 88 of these members remained in the City, and 72 joined the Tower. Table 1 shows the rank distribution of current active Tower members who went through the City.
- 4.2 Rank of Tower Members
- 4.3 City Traffic
On average, of the 83 applications we receive per month, only 13 become active Citizens. Figure 1 shows the number of active Citizens joining each month since the City's creation, April 2003 to April 2004, along with the number of Citizens who later went on to join the Tower.
Figure 1: Members joining the City and the Tower by Month
The City officially opened in late April. Citizens must wait four weeks before being eligible to apply to the Tower. Giving time to process applications, the Tower was first able to accept members from the City in early June.
Citizens who went on to the Tower spent on average 12.66 weeks in the city. The minimum time spent in the city was 5.14 weeks and the maximum time was 30.42 weeks before going to the Tower.
- 4.4 Location
As with Tower membership, the Citizens come from all over the world. There are currently members from three continents and 12 countries. Figure 2 shows the distribution of city membership location.
Figure 2: Location of Citizens by Country
In the past, there have also been citizens from Ireland, Israel, Spain, and South Africa, amongst other countries.
- 4.5 Age
Year of birth is still an incomplete category in the Citizen database. Judging by the information available, however, the City has roughly the same age distribution as the Tower, with most members in their late teens/early twenties. Figure 3 shows all available dates.
Figure 3: Known years of birth of Citizens
In the coming year, obtaining definite ages of all Citizens will be sought after, ensuring a more accurate representation for next year's report.
- 5.1 Members Joining & Leaving the Tower
As was promised in last year's report the record keeping has been improved considerable.This year we are able to give a more detailed acount of how many members joined and left the Tower.
In April 2003 the City of Tar Valon went online. One of the purposes of this initiative was to filter out the numerous people who signed up for membership and then disappeared again. In the months August 2002 until March 2003 we had dozens of members signing up each month. Many of them disappeared without a trace. The City and the changes in the Constitution implemented at the same time, that Citizens have to spend a month in the city before they can be considered for Tower membership, have performed well to lighten the administrative load. As is shown in figure 4 the number of new Tower members is considerably lower.
Figure 4: Joining & Leaving the Tower
In April and May almost no new members were accepted because new members had to spend 4 weeks in the city first. Clean ups were held in June, October and March. These account for most of the people leaving. In June many people who were given the bennefit of the doubt in the clean up that was held in March 2003 were removed, explaining the high number of people leaving in that month. Overall the Tower ended the year with slightly less members than it started with. 264 members in April 2003, 255 in March 2004.
- 5.2 Rank
The lower inflow of members has had it's impact on the distribution of members by rank. As is shown in table 2 the number of novices and recruits are about half of what they were last year while the number of senior members, those holding the rank of Aes Sedai, Warder or Youngling, has grown. Despite the fact that the time spent on each level of membership has doubled with the introduction of the City the number of novices and recruits have been falling steadily.
|Rank||Members 2003||Members 2004|
The ratio between men and women on the site hasn't changed a lot in the past year. TarValon.Net still attacts a lot more women than men. In graph 5 the distribution of members by rank is displayed in a circle graph.
Figure 5: Rank of the Tower Members
- 5.3 Ajah & Company Membership
With the increase in the number of Senior members the Ajahs and Companies have grown as well. The Blue Ajah, Gray Ajah and the San D'Ma Shadar Company have (relatively) gained most members this year. In table 3 the numbers of last year and this year are shown.
|Ajah||Members 2003||Members 2004|
|San d'Ma Shadar||11||19|
In figures 6 and 7 the membership of the Ajahs and Companies are shown.
Figure 6: Ajah Membership
- 5.4 Location
Compared to last year not a lot has changed in the distibution of our members over the globe. Roughly 2/3 of our members are from the US, the rest are mainly from Canada, Australia and North-western Europe. The Tower currently has members in 20 countries. Membership from countries where English isn't an official language is aproximately 17% of the total.
Figure 8 shows where TarValon.Net members are from.
Figure 8: Location of the Tower Members
The category other includes Belgium, Finland, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. From all these countries we have one or two members.
In terms of most members per capita Norway, like last year, is ahead of the others. The Swedes have made up a lot of ground this year though. In table 4 the figures are shown for the 7 nations most of our members are from.
|Country||Members||Population||One member on x inhabitants|
- 5.5 Age
It's hard to compare with last year because detailed information wasn't available then. Most of our members are in their late teens or early twenties. In figure 9 it is shown in which year our members were born.
Figure 9: Age of TarValon.net Members
The 'average' member was born in 1982. It is not possible for people to join the Tower before they turn 14 so during this year it wasn't possible for anyone born after 1990 to join. The only exception being Odin. Considering we had over 70 people leave and almost 70 people join last year Age distribution and location seem relatively stable.
Val a'Shain Gaidin
An overview of the finances of TarValon. Net in 2003
Begining Balance 2003: $72.67
Ending Balance 2003: $1,059.83
Donations 2003: $3,400.15
Payments 2003: $2,340.32
|Jan 2003 - $72.67
Ending Balance: $72.67
|Feb 2003 - $72.67
|Mar 2003 - $172.67
|Apr 2003 - $147.67
|May 2003 - $533.68
|June 2003 - $1,304.48
|July 2003 - $858.29
|Aug 2003 - $639.62
Domain Payment $59.99
|Sept 2003 - $579.63
|Oct 2003 - $553.27
|Nov 2003 - $1,114.15
|Dec 2003 - $469.76
Oskana Tyra Sedai
Ajah and Company Reports
- Blue Ajah
While last year was a year of growth for the Blue Ajah, this year has been much calmer as such. I believe that is a good thing though; giving us the needed time to getting used to our new size and finding out what procedures and other random Ajah related things we needed to do differently in order to have a functional Ajah. This is also the first year the Blue Ajah proudly can say that we have kept the same Head the entire time, so even though we have had more inner turbulence this year then before, the leadership has been a steady presence and very visible the whole time. When our Ajah was one of the smallest around, the members were all very close and I don't think we ever had any real controversy over anything in our little group. During this year, we have certainly noticed that in this context, size can have a great effect on matters. We have often found that we have a multitude of different and strong opinions, and we have never been afraid to voice them, which of course demands a certain level of tolerability among the Blue members. That's something the Ajah will have to work on getting better at in the year to come though.
I think it is safe to say that the Blue Ajah has been one of the more involved Ajahs on the site this past year. In proper Blue style, we seem to have a finger in most of the things that are going on; in everything from the city-development and party-planning, via site security and the management of the library-database, to the running and administration of the community boards. Our Ajah itself is, at the moment, one of the biggest Ajah's at TarValon.Net. With a bunch of very active members, it is not really surprising to find that we are as involved in everything as we are. And with that, I think I can safely say that we have reached one of the goals I set for us in last year's report; to generally become more involved in the happenings of the Tower and the City of Tar Valon.
In addition to being involved in the more serious parts of the site and community, the Blue Ajah has also always taken pride in being a fun-loving group that helps liven things up on the boards and wherever necessary. We've done this in earlier years, and we continued the tradition this year. And personally, I'm very proud of that as I think laughter and cheerfulness is an important ingredient in making a community like this one function properly.
All in all, it's been a good year for the Blue Ajah. No, we haven't grown much since last year's report and yes we've had our inner disagreements, but I think all groups like ours will have to go through that sooner or later. Now we have to show that we can deal with it and come out stronger in the end.
Which leads me to the goals and plans for the next year. Earlier, it was always very important for us to gain more members. Not so strange when you have four active members in the group, and the last one raised to senior membership was raised several months earlier. Now, the Blue Ajah does not focus on that anymore. We are very happy whenever we can welcome a new member, but we have also learnt that our size doesn't really matter, what matters is that the people already there function together and feel at home. In other words, our priorities have changed. So while we earlier have focused more on attracting others to join us, this year will be started by focusing on those who already are members and on the relationships within the Ajah.
That, and continuing to hold the roles in the community that we do now, both the serious and less serious ones, is the only set goals I have for the Blue Ajah this coming year. Anything else that we might manage to do, will then be a pleasant surprise!
Melana Waldinn Sedai
Head of the Blue Ajah
- Brown Ajah
The past year has been a busy one for the Brown Ajah of TarValon.Net. Our longtime and well-loved Head of Ajah, Jorryn Gaille Varna, stepped down in mid-August 2003 due to the increasing pressure of her real life responsibilities and the decreasing speed of her internet connection. She nominated her successor, Naomi Sommers, who is only now settling down into a 'routine' of activities. A total of seven ladies joined Brown this year, one moved on to another Ajah, three remain Accepted for now, and three are already Brown Aes Sedai. After one Heart of Ajah retired, Nadine Andara returned from a long Leave of Absence and stepped up to the plate. She has been happily singing birthday greetings, assisting in webpage design/building, hunting down missing faces, and generally chatting up the whole Ajah for about 7 months now.
We have a double blessing this year! Both Jennithel al'Stregas and Jorryn Gaille Varna are expecting little Browns this fall and winter respectively. Jennithel is expecting a girl but it is too soon to tell for Jorryn. Plans are already in place for their first books, first cheese, and Ajah.
This past winter the Brown Ajah introduced a completely redesigned website, dubbed the Brown Ajah Academy. It includes a collection of TarValon.Net history and the random, mostly informative musing of various Brown Ajah members. Included are the Tower creation story; How to Care for Dust Bunnies; a spreadsheet of Tower jobs and who had them over the years; and an article on drug addiction in infants. More website renovations are planned for this year, as well as the return of the infamous Brown Ajah Bulletin so keep your eyes pealed.
Brown Ajah members met in real life on multiple occasions this year, not the least of which was the most recent TarValon.Net 3rd Anniversary Party in Chicago, Illinois where our Head Naomi Sommers, Heart Nadine Andara, and Sedai Adolla Ceryia had a merry old time in the wind and rain. Rumors also abound of Browns meeting Browns and non-Browns in Colorado, Oklahoma, the United Kingdom, and Pennsylvania.
The Browns have seen many changes this year and emerged on the other side as a new and improved version of ourselves. We hope to carry on as we have begun to bring knowledge in many forms to Tar Valon. Whether it is knowledge of the addictive properties of bananas on monkeys or knowledge of how many goldschlager shots it takes to create a life altering community of people.
Naomi Sommers Sedai
Head of the Brown Ajah
- Gray Ajah
This has been an exciting year for the Grays! Our membership numbers have exploded!! (at least compared to our regular growth rate :p ) The Gray Ajah has the JALGC (a program designed to bring the Gray Ajah out into the Tower & the City, & to bring the Tower & the City to an understanding of the Gray) up & running. We host games, quizzes, contests, radio shows & much more! We have many more games on holidays, with the games themed according to the holiday. We have an online radio station broadcasting a few timeseach week with many listeners and participants! There's much more about the JALGC, but a) that's the general gist of what's going on with that, and b) it would simply take too much space to tell it all. ;)
We have been running the Pre-Bond Counselling for a while now, and it has developed a great deal. It started as simple questions asked to the bond petitioners, and has developed into a program better able to understanding the nature of their relationship & be able to convey that to the proper We're working on fleshing out the Library on the laws of the nations. We have many countries divided up & are each currently researching when we are able. Our goal is to be a true resource about the governings of each nation. The work on Daes Dae'mar is coming along nicely, though it is not yet finished.
The optimistic plans for the upcoming year include: filling out both the Law Library at the Gray Ajah Headquarters, and subsequently adding that information to the TarValon.net Library. We plan to get that Daes Dae'mar project off the ground finally. I plan to build a more interactive and navigable HQ to contain all this wonderful information we'll be collecting, as well as adding more fun things to do.
Elanda Tonil Sedai
Head of the Gray Ajah
- Green Ajah
"Everything always changes. The best plan lasts until the first arrow leaves the bow." (TFoH p. 666)
And so stands true for the Battle Ajah this past year! Plans galore were laid out for headquarters additions, message board fun, recruitment, and many, many more items. The Head of the Greens was plagued with real life drama, computer trouble and lack of Internet access. Yet through it all the Greens have held together incredibly well during my various absences. So well, in fact, that Ive begun to wonder where it is that I fit in! ;-) As with each proceeding year, we've had a huge growth in membership. Weve gained 8 new Accepted and 4 Gaidin. Our total is now 34 Green members. With that many people, communication can be a problem. But thanks to our new Green Ajah Clerk, I can have almost immediate contact with everyone with a simple request. Kudos to Daria Sedai, the Green Clerk! Our increase in Accepted has created the need for another new position. Finding an appropriate contribution for a new Accepted or locating the link to work already done is no longer a problem with our Contribution Guru on the job. Much thanks to Alena Sedai!
These positions were created to help absorb the workload with the retirement of the Green Pinkies. Aliandra Sedai and Katarianna Sedai remain in advisory positions, but they did a tremendous job in training the Clerk and Guru to take over their tasks. New assistants have made slow going for the raising process, but everything is now well in hand. Thanks to Ali Sedai and Kat Sedai for all of your hard work these past years!
The Greens are teeming with people who spread their talents and skills throughout the tower. Riley Macconar Gaidin himself has had tremendous success as the Mayor of Tar Valon. Our rather recently raised Vallah Sedai is the new assistant to the very talented (and Green) Valorian Edoras Gaidin. I'm proud of Rollyn Montagore Gaidin, Dai MHael Company Commander and our new Tower Legal Counsel Alyena DaSchova Sedai is always ready and prepared with advice. Ah, and we dare not forget the very lovely Oskana Tyra Sedai, Tower Treasurer and Katarianna al'Leya Sedai, Mistress of Revels. There are so many wonderful members I could spend paragraphs on the Greens' accomplishments.
With a group this large it's hard to utilize everyone and make sure they all have something to do. On the other hand, more people offer more opportunities and skills as well, so I plan to use it. Watch the coming year to be the year of the interactive Greens! A team is currently in the planning stages for fun, games and attacks upon that Green streak hiding deep inside you. Light willing, this will be the best year yet!
GO BIG GREEN!
Amaria al'Salar Sedai
Head of the Green Ajah
This last year has been interesting in both positive and negative ways. To start with the negative, we've had many members leaving us during the year. The first ones to leave were the Head of the Red Ajah, Valasia a'Leran, the City Constable Ma'Sayna Damara and the Aes Sedai Serelda Mirecle. They all left almost the same time and left a big hole in the Ajah that has still hasn't been completely filled out. Minerva Den Parmavrin A'Libitina, Aes Sedai as well and Sereana Tully, Accepted, were removed from the Who's Who in October. In the beginning of the year of 2004 the Sitter Aleure Tokani left as well.
The one to take up the Head of Ajah title was Iesha Ca'Shara. Unfortunately Iesha had some difficulties as well during the beginning of the year, and chose to retire from the Head position but stayed in the Ajah. I, Yenie Antagar, took over the position after a couple of weeks as an interim.
When I took over the Head position I was currently both Heart and Sitter of the Red Ajah, but left those positions to others. Mar'Alex became Heart of the Ajah and replacing both me and Aleure as Sitters were Lifa NiCrioi and Selexia Cohn. Another Red given a title is Adriana al'Tere who is the Editor of Tar Valon Times, the newsletter on the site.
There have been four Accepted joining the Ajah since the last annual report; Adriana al'Tere, Lifa NiCrioi, Serelda Mirecle and Mar'Alex Gelis. All four of them have also been raised to Aes Sedai during the year, and so was I myself. Taylor Rider, the last Red Novice were raised to Accepted in August.
The Red Ajah Headquarters has seen many changes as well. The old site that was made by Valasia and hosted on redajah.com was replaced with a completely different one on the redajah.net domain. Much stuff has been added, though some stuff unfortunately disappeared while redecorating. What was improved was the member information section and more information about the Red Ajah in general was added. A lot of silly stuff was created as well.
Some Reds visited the Real Life events. On the Euro Party Lifa and Mar'Alex were present and Mar'Alex also visited Fall Ball where she was raised to Aes Sedai by Mother herself.
Projects worth mentioning are Adriana's work with the Tar Valon Times, and she also made research from the books about all Red Aes Sedai mentioned. Lifa did research Asha'man and I contributed with the #wheel stats and the bot TheDarkOne in IRC as well as with the emoticons I've made, some of them used on the boards.
This and next year I hope that we'll be able to keep the close group we has grown into during the year. We have faced many difficulties, and it has made us trusting each others a lot and we've gotten to know each other much better than I think we would have in a larger group. There are several young ladies that I think will join the Red Ajah, and I hope we'll be able to adapt these to the group we are and continue the close sisterhood we've created. These are my own main goals, as well as trying to change the view of the Red Ajah around the world in general. I think we've managed to make people look at least a little bit different on the Reds, and that I'm very happy for. It can be hard to be a Red and face all prejudices people have sometimes, but at least on TarValon.net I don't think anyone see us as evil creatures anymore.
Yenie Antagar Sedai
Head of the Red Ajah
- White Ajah
The White Ajah has come a long way in the past year, adding six sisters, three Accepted, and two Warders to our ranks, bringing our new membership total to twenty-one. As always, the White Ajah has continued to involve itself heavily in theorizing about the Wheel of Time series, adding several new theories to the library and the White Ajah website, and continuing the seemingly neverending Forsaken and Mythology projects.
Especially memorable this year were the appointment of Eilidh Sedai to Heart of Ajah, Arelwen Sedai as Right Brain, Shirlyn as Innkeeper of the White Crescent, Shyana Sedai as Mistress of Novices, and Muirenn Sedai as Head of Ajah. Lyssandra Sedai continued to serve as Tower Librarian and Left Brain.
As always, the White Ajah was very involved in Tower shenanigans, hosting a bubble hunt in the City, transforming into near-identical dodecatuplets at Halloween, maintaining a naughty and nice list at Christmas, and becoming messenger angels for secret messages at Valentine's Day. We also held several White Ajah Chat Nights, which have allowed our members a format to get to know one another, and interested aspirants, in a convenient, real-time, way.
Many of this years contributions focused on improving and revamping the White Ajah website, with the addition of a Meet the Whites section, the White Accepted pages, the Halls of the White Ajah (a secret part of the site for Ajah members), and plenty of theories and games as well as a design update. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project, but especially Arelwen Sedai who has spent many long hours on this project. And I am pleased to announce that the new design has just been released. You can see it by visiting www.whiteajah.com (the ajah and company websites will most likely be tranferred to the tarvalon.net domain during this year - red.)
In the coming year, I expect to focus on our newly defined niche as the 'book' Ajah, meaning that we have a focus on theorizing and discussion on the main Wheel of Time series, by continuing the Accepted study circle in the dormitories, and having our members involved on the book discussion boards and in the classroom. I'm also excited about the continuing improvements to our website, our outside face to the rest of the Tower, and of course more entirely logical escapades (you just need to figure out the premise first!) I can't wait to see what sort of people and projects the next year brings our way!
Muirenn Lina Alianin Sedai
Head of the White Ajah
- Yellow Ajah
In the past year the Yellow Ajah has seen extreme highs and lows. We have come together in great Yellow spirit to celebrate as well as to Heal each other. We have proved ourselves a true sisterhood, within the great whole of all Aes Sedai at TarValon.net, being closer to each other than ever. We have seen the transitioning from Drasil to Ubahsur as Head of Ajah,a huge boom in membership, the creation of the positons of Heart of Ajah [changes every six months, the Human Resources and morale builder of the Ajah], THE Tea brewer [Assistant to the Head], an additional Sitter, a Cultivator [recruitment officier] and committee, as well as our very own Official Gardener [image specailist]! We have bonded together over trust issues, organizing plots, parties or holiday fun!
We have helped in the moving of a member across country and helping her settle in, made donations to the Breast Cancer Society as well as to the site, and shared a smurfy Christmas and cards with each other! Our Halloween theme was the Nightmare Before Christmas, our Christmas theme was smurfs, and we already have more plans for future events and holidays! We have had two Sisters get married! We have massed as many of our forces as possible to attend each Tower party and DragonCon! Then we had two of our own "Yellow Parties" where we made honorary Yellows out of two Browns! The first Yellow Party was hosted by Marra in Burlington, Vt; the second hosted by Branwyn in Hellum, Pa.
We have had a hiccup in our HeadQuarters, in getting a huge make over, additional features, only to have our hosting expire! We hope to be one of the first ones to move back onto the TarValon.net servers. Some of the new features include emailing directly from the site to members, a prayer list, a members only (via log in) section, and screen shots of past designs. Also we added content to our numerous areas of fun, herbs, Healers (in the books and in real life), Healing Weaves, and Modern medicine.
We have changed the face of the Tower with the Spamtastic Four, Yellow moments [translated into either Blonde or drunken], Marra's Mudslides, Raina's Specail tea and general Yellow insanity! We went from a tiny supposedly boring ajah into a large ajah that parties and supports each other and the Tower greatly! The Peer Support project that was scheduled to start last May was lost in the cracks of transition and we are nearly ready to start implementing it now that it has been found!
There really wasn't a plan of where to grow as an ajah for this past year, and I think we have done wonders growing successfully in all the areas we have! The next year we hope to have a consistent locale for our Head Quarters, continue to grow whilst retaining the feeling of being close knit, add even more content to our HQ, create some traditions, implement a Big Sister/Little Sister program, have more Yellow parties across the US and maybe Europe, and most of all - remain as loveable and crazy as we are now!
Ubahsur Kindellaer Sedai
Head of the Yellow Ajah
- Dai M'Hael
This past year has seen a remarkable period of bonding and growth for the Dai M'Hael Company. Not only have we added members, but the existing members have grown much closer than we had ever expected.
My administration of the Company began in November, with a new Honor Guard, Sataere, in place to inspire the brotherhood. The first major project completed was a major overhaul of the DM website. Using the talents of Lucid Shard, a generous member of the Green Ajah, we were able to design and create the website as it currently stands, with pleasing graphics and streamlined links allowing us to showcase all the contributions of our various brothers.
Soon after, our Company banded together for a Tower Christmas project, and were able to pool our funds and resources to purchase a brand new computer for a Tower member who was in dire need of a way to stay connected to the community when her machine was failing. In only the space of a couple weeks, the funds were completely accounted for over and above our first estimate. Truly, DM proved itself capable of elevating the quality of life for our fellow members when needed.
In February, the Company survived a small period of internal doubt and unrest, and emerged as a completely trusting and forgiving community stronger as a unit than we ever were before. We also instated Bowyer as a brand new Honor Guard at that time, who injected his own brand of life and energy into the group.
Over the space of the past several months, we have added members, raised members to Senior Membership, and seen various brothers find ladies they wished to bond. In June, we were delighted to finally be able to welcome these bondmates into our community forum as fellow participants. We expect only great things to emerge from this new dynamic.
All in all, Dai M'Hael has proven itself over the last year to be a thriving, growing, and resilient group of men who continually exhibit the highest caliber of maturity, kindness, and servanthood.
In the coming years we intend to strengthen our bonds of unity and fellowship, and continue to add fresh faces to our community with new ideas and innovative projects. We intend to work towards becoming a beacon of integrity, solidity, and vision within the larger community of Tar Valon.
Rollyn Montagorae Gaidin
Company Commander of the Dai M'Hael
- San d'Ma Shadar
Bear Claw Report.
The men of the San d'ma Shadar this year have been very active and have continued to be First in Action, Last from Battle. Even though we're the smallest company once again we've still managed to be one of the most active in Tower Chat and have managed to once again double our numbers.
During the year we've had several shake ups, that never managed to keep us down. We're still here and will be for a long while yet. This year we started off with new leadership, in the form of Jayrik Gaidin stepping in for the very busy James Gaidin, who has gone on to take over charge of the Message Boards for the Tower and on to greater things. Jayrik has been a quiet but stoic leader, guiding us through a long year and coming out the other side stronger still and more a unit than I've seen in quiet a while.
We had three members leave us Soryn Gaidin, Soldier Patrik and Soldier Isen, all leaving with the best wishes from the SDS. They will be missed and not forgotten. Also we've had a massive influx of new blood into the Bear, with 5 joining us just in the last month all within a week's time.
We now also report in the greatest number of J names in all 3 companies with 6, soldier Jabe, soldier Jahem, Jakeb Gaidin, Jayrik Gaidin, James Gaidin, and Jax Gaidin. Also of all our soldiers counted in last years report all have reached Gaidin status and all but one has bonded. In having so many bonded we now have a mix of different Ajah's connected to the SDS, we now count men among all Ajah's but Grey and the obvious Red, although we have a few members with strong ties to the Reds. Aleric and Ban-Green, Cyn and Mac-Yellow, Jakeb and James-Blue, Jayrik-White, and Robertus and Wil-Brown.
The ranks of the San d'ma Shadar now include 18 members starting with Jayrik Thaurturion (Company Commander), Mac al'Bannon (the Stable Rat and Honor Guard), Aleric Matsuhiro (legal council on extended leave), James Davion (lost in the blasted lands), Robertus Cain (Warder Council) Willam Cambrae (Warder Council), Ban al'Seen, Cyn Windbourne, Dargon Sheinto, Darian Coralis, Darim Pelegro, Ecarion Da'vriyn, Jabe F Locke, Jahem 'al Arathul, Jakeb Morsin t' al'Thron, Jax Devenshore, Roland al'Kenya, and Sothalis Braevin. These are the men of the SDS!
Among the duties of the SDS we have started 2 Brewfests, one brawl, a Wall encampment and many activities in the Stables, Hayloft and other hidey-holes around the City of Tar Valon. We've also managed through excessive brew drinking and partying been made into slaves of the DMs during a book research competition between all the Ajahs and Companies. I will say this we completed our week of slavery in a most SDS fashion, including many beatings of VC by feather duster armed men, and repulsing of the GI Joes by our Barbie's and showing the Tower that just because we're wearing French maid outfits we're still manly men of the San d'ma Shadar. Also during our annual Christmas Good Deeds we raised $100+ to provide, presents, ornaments, Christmas decorations and even a tree for a Yellow Fellow who having just moved had no such decorations and no money to purchase them. Sadly I have to report we made her cry in doing so.....but they were tears of joy and pure surprise.
During the year at Tower Real Life gatherings we've managed to have at least two SDS men at any and all official Tower parties within the United States, and as many as 4 at the Spring Party in TN. We will continue this and enlarge it this Spring when we shall have as many as 6 at the Spring Party in Chicago. Plans are also starting in forum for an SDS gathering somewhere in the next year at a central location in the United States.
In the coming year I expect us to once again continue to increase our numbers, to improve our webpage, to continue in our deeds of merit, and to consume and dispense many gallons of brew at our festivities. As always we will not actively recruit members, we will continue to add members by showing the Recruits and others just what makes a man of the SDS and having them come to us and show us that they are SDS material. I doubt we will be the same SDS next year that I see now, but we will be a stronger and still more active group than before.
In closing I believe in the next year if you see a hotspot where the fighting's fiercest with the Shadow, you'll see the SDS there proving how we earned the name, Slayers of the Shadow.
Willam Cambrae Gaidin
Warder Council Reprsentative of the San d'Ma Shadar
As the Val'Cueran continue to grow and interact, we become only closeras brothers under the Company banner. This year we added several new members and, as always, made impressive showings at every major TarValon.net event. Val'Cueran has proven to be one of the most social organizations in the Tower, outnumbering in attendance every other group, Ajah or Company, at the 2004 Anniversary Party and arriving in force at the last Fall Ball and Dragon*Con events.
In this last year there have been interpersonal dramas dealt with, the politics that happen in any group of individuals, and dealing with those differences only serves to make us more steadfast. And only recently, as bondmates are eligible to take part in Company forums, we are excited to see new possibilities for interaction just beginning. It is a pleasure to see the Heart Guard evolve and mature in its own right in the community, and as a true fellowship of brothers and sisters.
As this year progresses, Val'Cueran will, no doubt, come out in force for upcoming major events; we plan to overhaul the Company website with features that will allow us even more opportunities to interact with each other, and we intend to remain true and dedicated soldiers of the White Tower.
Valorian Edoras Gaidin
Company Commander of the Val'Cueran