After we returned from the ruins of Manetheren we remained in Edmond’s Field for a few days. As I had hoped Nealyn Sedai wanted to join Verin Sedai and Alanna Sedai on their trip back to Tar Valon. We helped clean up the village and Nealyn Sedai and Roland Grimm, the Asha’man, tried to figure out what exactly the white rod from the ruins was for. They went out to a remote field and tried all sort of experiments with the One Power, most of them consisted of throwing fireballs. As I have previously said I know nothing of this kind of thing so I left them to it and simply kept an eye out for Nealyn Sedai from a distance. I was joined by one of the female aiel warriors. Apparently she has taken it upon herself to guard Grimm in a similar way that I guard Nealyn Sedai. Aiel are a strange people and all I know of them is that they are among the fiercest warriors in existence. They have a strange sense of humor though. Each time Grimm approaches they switch to their secret sign language and start laughing. I have yet to figure out if they are actually saying something or if they are just trying to get a rise out of him. They laugh too easily. The world is falling under the shadow, we are at the end of an age. There is nothing left to laugh about. Also, they should realize that it could be dangerous to annoy a male channeler.

Grimm finally proved my suspicions right during one of his experiments. He and Nealyn Sedai linked to try and use the rod together. I did not approve of this but as both Grianne and Nealyn Sedai have pointed out it is not my place to question the acts of an Aes Sedai so I kept my mouth shut. A few seconds later I wished I had done otherwise. The rod finally worked and Grimm blasted a large crater in to the field they were experimenting on. Both Grimm and Nealyn Sedai were thrown several feet in to the air and were knocked unconscious. I carried Nealyn Sedai back to the Winespring inn and the aiel woman did the same for Grimm. When they finally awoke their ability to channel the One Power wasn’t working and it remained like that for a few days. Those days were even more stressfull than others, an Aes Sedai without the One Power is even more vulnerable than usual and thus requires even more protection. They did show Nealyn Sedai that she has to be careful though. I think she learned a little humility, a trait most Aes Sedai lack altogether, because she even admitted to me that what she had done was a little foolish. For an Aes sedai that is as close as it gets to admitting a mistake. Her headache also prevented her from shouting so our usual discussions were put on hold. The white rod I gave to Alanna Sedai for safekeeping. I hoped she would not return it to Grimm but after a few days he came looking for it and she simply gave it back. For all their talk about not trusting male channelers these Aes Sedai accommodate Grimm’s wishes far to easily.

After Grimm and Nealyn Sedai had recovered Alanna Sedai decided to leave for Tar Valon. Our group consisted of Alanna Sedai and her two Warders, Verin Sedai and her Warder, Nealyn Sedai and me, Grimm and his aiel maiden of the spear and several young girls from Edmond’s Field. Our trip to the Taren river was uneventful and I dare say I even enjoyed the attention me and the other Warders received from the girls while we were training. Kind of reminded me of training at Tar Valon with the Accepted sitting close by. Grianne said that she had watched me train there although I don’t remember seeing her. I wonder if Nealyn Sedai ever came to watch us train. Somehow I doubt it.

The mood changed after we reached the river. We crossed on the ferry and were approached by whitecloaks on the other side. Problems ensued when one of the young girls revealed the identity of the Aes Sedai and during our escape one of Alanna’s Warders fell. I could see the pain on her face, a pain I know all too well. Ivhon, her remaining Warder, tried to comfort her but this is something she will have to deal with on her own. I have talked to Nealyn Sedai about the effect the bond has on an Aes Sedai when the Warder dies but she would not listen. When a Warder is badly hurt it is always better for the Aes Sedai to terminate the bond before his death. Better to terminate the bond and let him die than to suffer it’s ill effects or even worse die herself in a futile rescue attempt. We are shields and broken shields are cast aside and traded for new ones. No Warder would want his Aes Sedai to suffer at his behalf. My words fell on deaf ears however but maybe now that she has seen Alanna’s pain she has grown wiser.

We reached Baerlon a few days later. The trip had been silent and solemn. We rented rooms in an inn and decided to rest up before heading on. Grimm and his maiden went to see the sights but I remained at the inn with Nealyn Sedai and the others. They returned a while later bleeding from several wounds. They claimed that they had been attacked by an invisible opponent. I recognized the threat from their descriptions, Grey Men. Soulless assassins of the Dark One. I took Nealyn Sedai upstairs, secured the room and left her with the aiel maiden. I discovered a secret passage from Nealyn Sedai’s room and Grimm and I went to investigate. I was better equipped to find the assassins and Grimm could blow them up. We became separated however and before I knew it I was staring at the eyeless face of a Myrdraal. The voices sang that the time of my death was finally upon me as I attacked the creature but fate intervened. Grimm and Nealyn Sedai appeared and trapped the Fade so we could get away. We gathered the entire group and escaped. The Fade attacked us twice again during our escape but in the end we managed to get away safely. In the last encounter with the creature Grimm and Nealyn Sedai even managed to fatally injure it. Having an Asha’man and an Aes Sedai around can be useful. When we finally halted our horses and made up camp I confronted the aiel maiden about the fact that she had left Nealyn Sedai alone. Although I tried to contain my anger I still hit her in the face. I had seen how she protected Grimm so I thought Nealyn Sedai would have been safe with her but she had simply left her unprotected in a building filled with shadowspawn. Even though she was right that it was my fault for leaving Nealyn Sedai alone, that it was my job and not her’s I still doubt if I can trust her with Nealyn Sedai’s life again. Again I made a mistake but this time the punishment was held back. From now on I will only leave Nealyn Sedai’s side when I am 100% sure that she is safe.


Wheel of Time Smiling_ST