Author: Kyria d'Oreyn
Nicola Treehill was a weaver from Ghealdan and a newly recruited novice in the rebel Aes Sedai camp. She is slender, about Nynaeve's age and height, with black hair and big black eyes (TFoH, Ch. 49; LoC, Ch. 8; CoT, Ch. 17).
After being tested for the ability to channel, Nicola is enrolled in the rebel's novice book. We learn that she will become a strong channeler and that she has the Talent of Foretelling and the ability to see ta'veren (for more information, see the section Strenghts and Talents). She is determined to learn everything she can, as fast as possible, even if it means trouble (ACoS, Ch. 9).
In her greed for learning, she eventually runs away from the rebel camp to the White Tower, hoping to be able to study faster (CoT, Ch. 30; KoD, Prologue). Either she naturally comes to respect Egwene or the Tower is stricter in her education, making her miss what she had before, because she supports Egwene when she is captured by the White Tower, and her character isn't as conniving any more (CoT, Ch. 30; KoD, Ch. 24). She is killed trying to defend the tower in tel'aran'rhiod (ToM, Ch. 37).
- She wanted to marry her lover Hyran until he got himself killed following Masema. After that, she wants to be as far away from the Prophet as possible. In search of a place where there is no killing, she waits at the docks for a ship that will let her board. This is how she comes to meet Nynaeve and Elayne, who bribe Agni Neres to let the refugees board his Riverserpent (TFoH, Ch. 48; Ch. 49).
- She says that she wants to stay with Nynaeve, because she feels safe near her. Along with "Marigan" and Areina, she accompanies Nynaeve, Elayne, Birgitte, Juilin and Thom to Salidar (TFoH, Ch. 49).
- She is amazed when they enter Salidar, where the party is welcome to stay. On Sheriam's orders, Faolain takes Areina and Nicola away to be tested for the ability to channel. Elayne soothes them by saying that they will not be forced to do anything they don't want to, but Faolain is impatient and drags them along with her (TFoH, Ch. 50).
- In one of the novice classes Elayne teaches, she and Tabiya pass a small, flickering flame back and forth (LoC, Ch. 8).
- She tells Nynaeve that Janya and Delana want to see her right away. Nynaeve reprimands her for not talking correctly to an Accepted. Nicola escorts Nynaeve to the two Aes Sedai and is told off to be running errands for Faolain until her next classes begin (LoC, Ch. 12).
- Instead of running errands for Faolain, Nicola visits one of Elayne's novice classes, making Faolain furious (LoC, Ch. 13).
- She is part of the circle Anaiya leads when a bubble of evil strikes Salidar. That night, she has her first Foretelling (LoC, Ch. 14).
- She, Areina and another novice dust floors (LoC, Ch. 29).
- When Mat arrives in Salidar, Nicola tells Anaiya that she sees him glowing. Anaiya explains that she has the Talent of seeing ta'veren, before sending her back to class (LoC, Ch. 38).
- When Egwene is out for a walk one night, Nicola confronts her, asking to be allowed to study faster. Egwene replies that everyone has her limits and it is for the best to learn to be patient, because otherwise she would run the risk of burning herself out. Areina appears and both try to blackmail Egwene; they claim to know about her, Nynaeve and Elayne posing as full sisters when they were still Accepted. Egwene is outraged at their impertinence and asks them if they have any notion of the seriousness of a charge against an Aes Sedai, especially when based only on an overheard conversation. Egwene says that she will forget this and sends them both to bed (ACoS, Ch. 9).
- Nicola is in the camp where Myrelle hides Lan when the Green takes Egwene and Siuan there. Nisao orders Siuan to tell Nicola to serve some punch, but when the Blue doesn't move, she calls out to Nicola herself. Egwene says that she doesn't want punch, while Nicola just stares at the Aes Sedai, chewing her underlip. She watches Lan when he works out. Before Egwene Skims to Altara with Lan, Nicola helps with breaking the camp, until Egwene tells Siuan to send her back to the camp and let her know she won't get another chance (ACoS, Ch. 12).
- She is turning a bowl into cuendillar when Egwene enters the tent. Sharina tells her and Bodewhin to stop and leave for their classes. Nicola doesn't budge and asks Tiana to let her finish her bowl, as she is sure she will be in time for her classes. Egwene observes, however, that she has turned only half of the bowl white and would be more than a little late if she intended to finish it. Before Tiana can answer, Sharina raises a finger, then a second, resulting in Nicola leaping from the bench and throwing the bowl into a chest before snatching her cloak and leaving (CoT, Ch. 17).
- She runs away from the camp. Tiana believes that this occurs three or four days before she reports it to Egwene, but she isn't sure, because Nicola's cousins covered for her (CoT, Ch. 30).
- Nicola has run away to the White Tower in the hope that they will let her learn faster (KoD, Prologue).
- She waits for Katerine's party at the foot of the White Tower's main rear entrance and tells Katerine that Elaida said to take Egwene to Silviana, the Mistress of Novices, who has her instructions. She curtsies deeply to Egwene, apologizing for running away and calling her Mother, earning a blow of Air from Katerine. The Red sister then tells Nicola to run back to the Amyrlin and tell her the orders will be carried out (KoD, Prologue).
- Nicola and Areina spread tales about Egwene among the novices, making her seem like a "combination of every legendary sister in the histories, along with Birgitte Silverbow and Amaresu herself." One evening, Egwene overhears Nicola's conversation with two young novices, who apparently want some questions answered. Nicola tells them to ask Egwene, because she gives good advice (KoD, Ch. 24).
- Nicola is sent to Egwene's cell with food for Verin. She asks if Egwene trusts Verin (TGS, Ch. 39)
- She tells Egwene that she is instructed to warn her not to touch the food herself (TGS, Ch. 39)
- Meidani tells Egwene that Nicola and some Accepted and novices proved themselves not to be darkfriends and that they are not bound by the oaths (TGS, Ch. 39)
- Nicola returns to the cell and wakes Egwene, she claims it is a shadowspawn attack, but Egwene realises it is the Seanchan (TGS, Ch. 39)
- She is scared but takes heart from Egwene (TGS, Ch. 40).
- She helps Egwene teach the novices to link and forms a circle with Egwene, Yeteri and Inala (TGS, Ch. 40).
- After the Tower is reunified she is raised to Accepted (ToM, Ch. 17)
- Egwene sends her to Caemlyn to collect Sleepweavers that Elayne has made. She intends to teach Nicola some of the workings of tel'aran'rhiod (ToM, Ch. 27).
- During the attack on tel'aran'rhiod by the Black Ajah, she obtains one of the Sleapweavers and tries to join the fight. She is killed almost immediately (ToM, Ch. 37).
She intended to marry Hyran. However, he thought it was his duty to follow the Prophet and said he would marry after that duty was seen to. He would have made a good and conscientious father, in her opinion (TFoH, Ch. 49).
In the beginning, she adored Nynaeve and felt safe near her. She would have spent every moment with her if allowed to (TFoH, Ch. 49). After she has been tested for the ability to channel, however, she is always on the lookout for any signs of weakness Nynaeve might show. The promise of becoming strong in the Power makes her determined to match Elayne and Nynaeve, if not better them. She is always as propoer toward them as she needs to be. Nynaeve can understand her, but that does not "stop her wanting to dose the fool woman with triple-strength sheepstongue root for pure idiocy" (LoC, Ch. 12).
Since their voyage on the Riverserpent, Nicola and Areina have become friends. Egwene thinks they make an odd pair (ACoS, Ch. 9). One is seldomly seen without the other; Areina even watches the other woman make cuendillar and is probably never far from Nicola's classes. Areina is supposedly always near when Nicola has a Foretelling and helps her “interpret” them (CoT, Ch. 17). Egwene wonders whether they have become pillow-friends (KoD, Ch. 24).
Nicola is jealous of Egwene because she thinks no restrictions were put on the other woman during her traing, allowing her to grow strong at a very fast rate. However, she doesn't know that Egwene was captured by the Seanchan and forced to learn fast. Egwene thinks Nicola is a novice worth remembering and feels a little sympathy for her, as she can understand Nicola's discontent and her wanting to know everything. Egwene is outraged, however, when Nicola tries to blackmail her, confirming to her that she is still a child, no matter how old she is (ACoS, Ch. 9). Next time they both meet, it becomes apparent that Nicola is afraid of Egwene or at least of being punished for blackmailing Nisao and Myrelle. However much Egwene frets about Nicola's knowledge, she won't allow her to be killed, although that would be safest (ACoS, Ch. 12). In the Tower, Nicola tries to make the other novices come to respect Egwene, as she herself does now. It is amusing for Egwene that she is the reason for Nicola to behave like a proper novice, while she did not succeed when she was openly Amyrlin (KoD, Ch. 24).
Nicola blackmails Nisao and Myrelle into giving her extra lessons in the One Power. When Egwene finds out about Myrelle and her bond to Lan, Nisao says it will be a pleasure to know that Nicola will "squealing from here to year’s end" (ACoS, Ch. 12).
Siuan thinks she is troublesome and that it would be best if she had an "accident" (ACoS, Ch. 12).
According to Tiana, it is better if Nicola is friendly with Areina than with a male groom. She seems to be somewhat concerned that Nicola doesn't have many friends and says that she needs more. When Salita suggests sending Nicola away, Tiana retorts that this is still for her to decide and that she does not want to lose a novice of Nicola's potential (CoT, Ch. 17).
Janya remarks that Nicola is causing all kinds of troubles and has too many Foretellings to be believed (CoT, Ch. 17).
Salita thinks that Nicola is nosy and deceitful. She doesn't think Nicola will ever gain the shawl and is in favor of sending Nicola away sooner rather than later (CoT, Ch. 17).
Nicola's cousins are glad when she runs away and cover for her lest she be brought back (CoT, Ch. 30).
After her capture, she is very loyal to Egwene (KoD, Prologue).
Strengths and Talents
Although she was not born with the spark, she will become a strong channeler if she applies herself. Nynaeve is sure Nicola is determined to become as strong as herself, if not stronger (LoC, Ch. 12). She is ferocious in her desire to learn, resulting in her making great strides, enough so that her teachers have to slow her down. Among living Aes Sedai, her potential is solely surpassed by Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene (ACoS, Ch. 9).
She has the Talent of Foretelling (LoC, Ch. 14). According to Egwene, no one really understands what Nicola Foretells mean and the woman herself does not remember them (ACoS, Ch. 9). Janya remarks that ever since Nicola was discovered to have the Foretelling, she Foretells three or four times a day (CoT, Ch. 17).
She can see ta'veren; she says they seem to glow or shine in some way (LoC, Ch. 38).
Nicola can perform the weave for making cuendillar, but is not particularly fast at it; she turns a bowl half white inside an hour. She complains about not being granted enough time to actually practice and says that she would be the fastest if she could train more (CoT, Ch. 17).
Viewings and Dreams
“The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade" (Nicola's first Foretelling; LoC, Ch. 14).
"Some are the sort of thing anyone in the camp with half a brain and a credulous nature might think of - battles with the Seanchan or the Asha'man, an Amyrlin imprisoned, the Dragon Reborn doing nine impossible things, visions that might be Tarmon Gai'don or a bilious stomach - and the rest all just happen to indicate that Nicola ought to be allowed to go faster with her lessons." (Janya providing examples of Nicola's recent Foretellings; CoT, Ch. 17).
- Nynaeve thinks that Areina, Marigan and Nicola may be in shock when they find out what can be found in Salidar, but at least Nicola will find her sanctuary (TFoH, Ch. 49).
- Egwene has no idea what the penance for trying to blackmail the Amyrlin Seat is, but she guesses that being thrown out of the camp would be part of it. If charged, Nicola would be allowed to stay only so long as her teacher needs to make her able to channel safely, but she would never become Aes Sedai, despite her potential (ACoS, Ch. 9).
- After the attempted blackmail incident, Egwene briefly considers finding Nicola and Areina's dreams to scare them, but instead she searches for Nynaeve's dream to tell her that "under no circumstances are you to return until you find the Bowl, not until I can settle a problem with Areina and Nicola. They know you were pretending" (ACoS, Ch. 10).
- That night, Egwene also has nightmares where "a grinning Nicola denounced her to the Hall and Thom Merrilin came forward to give evidence" (ACoS, Ch. 10).
- According to Nisao, Nicola wants to be another Caraighan Maconar or another Moiraine. Nisao also thinks Nicola "had some notion she could make Myrelle give Lan’s bond to her" (ACoS, Ch. 12).
- Realizing that Nicola and Areina figured out first that Myrelle now holds Lan's bond upsets Siuan as much as the both of them blackmailing Aes Sedai (ACoS, Ch. 12).
- According to Siuan, a novice in her day "would have wet herself if she even thought of blackmailing a sister." When Egwene says it was not her first attempt, Siuan suggests killing both Nicola and Areina, but Egwene vehemently refuses (ACoS, Ch. 12). Later, she thinks it is a pity she did not agree, which startles her. She reprimands herself, saying that discomfort isn't a good enough reason to kill (CoT, Ch. 17).
- Elayne wonders how Nicola and Areina can cause Egwene troubles and what she is to do about them. Aviendha replies that she should rid herself of them (ACoS, Ch. 13).
- She has been switched for trying to eavesdrop on sisters and Salita once caught her trying to peek into the Traveling grounds, intent on learning the weave, although she does not admit it (CoT, Ch. 17).
"Fidgeting with her skirt, Nicola stepped closer. Large eyes met Egwene’s perhaps more directly than a novice’s should have. 'Mother, I want to go as far as I can.' Her hands plucked at her dress, but her voice was cool and self-possessed, fit for an Aes Sedai. 'I won’t say they are holding me back, but I am sure I can become stronger than they say. I just know I can. You were never held back, Mother. No one has ever gained so much of her strength as fast as you. All I ask is the same chance.'” (Nicola to Egwene; A Crown of Swords, Chapter 9)
"She would have thought Nicola’s greed for learning would have kept her feet still no matter how frustrated the woman grew. And yet, she could not say she was sorry to see the end of her. Nicola was conniving and unscrupulous, willing to try blackmail or whatever else she thought would advance her. Very likely she had had help. Areina would not have balked at stealing horses for the pair of them to flee." (Egwene on the report of Nicola running away; Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 30)
“Ask the Mother,” Nicola said. A few of the novices had taken to calling Egwene that, though never where anyone not wearing white could hear. They were foolish, but not utter fools. “She's always willing to give advice.”
Namene giggled nervously and wriggled. “I wouldn't want to bother her.”
“Besides,” Marah said, a lilt in her voice, “they say she always gives the same advice, she does.”
“And good advice it is, too.” Nicola held up one hand to tick off fingers. “Obey the Aes Sedai. Obey the Accepted. Work hard. Then work harder.”
(Nicola, Namene and Marah about Egwene; Knife of Dreams, Chapter 24)