Ruins

The days after my night in the dreamworld were filled with tedious audiences with the Dragon Reborn. As Nealyn Sedai is now his advisor she is to be present when he holds court. And where Nealyn sedai goes, there I go. Over the next few days various people were introduced to the Dragon. Some were very strange, such as an Ogier with a Trolloc scythe sword and his aiel companion who was wearing metal armor. I thought I understood the Aiel but apparently I do not. Ogier tend to be gentle and peaceful but I guess I can understand the need to be armed in times like these. He probably picked up the first weapon he could find for his size. Maybe the local weapon-smiths can forge something else for him now that he has arrived in Cairhien. Another person who arrived is my brother Damor. He came accompanied by two thousand soldiers from Shienar. Since I have left his star has clearly risen back home. From what I heared he is the heir to the throne now and has come to show Shienar’s allegiance to the Dragon. The last time I saw him was when he sent me to Tar Valon to become a warder. He wanted to save my life, maybe he has. I didn’t notice him in the throne-room until I heared my last name and Nealyn Sedai pointed him out to me. He came over and I formally introduced Nealyn Sedai to him. I sent him a few letters during the first years at the Tower, the last one I sent right after I was bonded to Grianne. I had hoped he would not remember the name of the sister I was bonded to, but he did. I was forced to explain what happened to Grianne and although he did not say anything I could feel his disapproval. Nevertheless it was good to see him again, a little awkward but good. Seeing him also makes me wonder how Selisse is doing. It has been even longer since I have seen my little sister. I must remember to visit Damor’s camp. Maybe I can find some of the soldiers who lived in our old castle, it would be good to see them again.

The next day Nealyn Sedai informed me that we were going to seek out some ruins in the Spine of the World. Orders from the Dragon Reborn. Grimm and his maiden, Niasha, joined us as usual. It is good to know that Grimm is the one who always travels with us and not some random Asha’man. At least we know him. Because the Ogier is a mason, and thus knows things about old buildings, he joined us as well and so did his aiel companion. I invited my brother as well because I know he has my back and I can trust him and I also invited Karin. She is good company and knows how to handle a blade better than anyone else I know. Grimm opened a portal to the Spine of the World and we went through. We searched for the ruins for a few days before finding them. During those few days two things happened. We encountered over a dozen Shaido Aiel and the Ogier’s companion simply attacked them. As this happened while I and the two aiel in our group were scouting we stood little chance against them. Niasha joined the fray to help out and I returned to the rest as quickly as I could. As soon as the Asha’man and Nealyn Sedai arrived our odds turned and the battle was won. The other thing that happened was that the aiel noticed a woman during the night who claimed not be an aes sedai. I tracked her the next day and by the way her tracks simply vanished next to a rock that was split in half we could tell that she could at least channel.

After we arrived at the ruins I went to take a look inside and when I had determined it was safe the rest followed. The ruins were big and housed some ancient weapon but it looked broken. We found nothing of value but when we tried to return we noticed the way had been cut off by a female channeler. The strange woman from before was also inside of the ruins and during the night I noticed her moving through a hallway. I followed her and stole one of the items she was collecting. She saw me and I had to run. She probably could have torn me in half if she had found me but I managed to keep hidden and tricked her by giving back the wrong item. I handed over the stolen item to Nealyn Sedai the next morning and Grimm took us back to Cairhien.

The day after our return to the city I got sick. Nealyn Sedai informed me that I had been poisoned and I had to stay in bed. The first two days I felt really sick and I don’t think I could have done much other than lying still in bed but the last two days I was on te mend and could feel my energy returning. I tried to explain that being locked inside a room is not the best way to treat someone on the mend but Nealyn Sedai would not listen. Even worse she insisted on being in the room almost constantly. I understand her concern but my life was in no danger at all and her presence would not speed up my recovery. She had more important things to do and both Damor and Owen could have protected her in my absence, but again she would not listen. We spent most of the time talking and I now understand why she never took a warder. On the contrary to what I thought her motives are selfless. I think I managed to convince her that being a warder is not as bad as it sounds. We talked about our family as well and she was very interested in Damor and Selisse, she even suggested we go visit her but I told her that was unnecessary. I think we both grew a little closer during those few days. It is important for an Aes Sedai and her Warder to know each other well. Otherwise we would not be able to anticipate each other’s actions. The wound that is Grianne was also healed further by our conversations. She takes much better care of me than I deserve.

As I am writing this and I am forced to look back at the last days I must say that I am surprised by Nealyn sedai. She turned out to be quite different from how I had expected. Yes the woman can be stubborn and oblivious to the danger that surrounds her, but most Aes Sedai are like that. She also shares some of the typical characteristics of a sister of the brown Ajah. She is naive enough not to have noticed that she is in fact a stunningly beautiful woman. She differs from almost any Cairhienin that I have ever met, definitely from any noble, as she shares no love for the intrigue of politics and lacks their typical duality. She did not want a warder, yet accepted one that was forced to her without hesitation and she treats me better than most sisters of the white ajah treat theirs. And most of all, despite all my good intentions, she managed to get past the armor I created for myself when Grianne died. I still do not know how she did it but she managed to convince me that emotions were needed in order for me to do my job. She also managed to make me see that I am more than just a shield for her. I still am, of course, but she has shown me that I am also an advisor and a friend. Once more I am seeing a woman where I should see only duty and I must admit that it scares me. During the last day of my quarantine I managed to convince her that I was feeling good enough for a quick training session and a walk through the gardens. I wanted to see anything but the four walls of my room. I was exhausted when we returned, the poison still wasn’t completely gone, and we both sat down on the bed and continued talking. I remember that we talked about family, her time at the tower and Grianne. By the time I fell asleep she was sitting next to me and I was holding and comforting her. Once again I am reminded that Aes Sedai are only people too.

Ruins

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