After our narrow escape from Baerlon I expected similar problems on the road to Caemlin but the trip was rather uneventful. In whitebridge Nealyn Sedai received word that the White Tower has been broken. After consulting with a few sisters from the red Ajah that were in town she found out that one side, led by the Amyrlin Seat, wanted to support the Dragon Reborn and the other side, led by the Red Ajah, wanted to oppose him. The Red Ajah seem to have won the initial conflict because they have taken control of the Tower. The blue Ajah has been disbanded and all sisters are ordered to return to the tower to pledge their loyalty. Tower politics have always been brutal but the red and blue Ajah have never gone this far. To think that the red would actually turn against the Amyrlin. Seeing as how Grianne was of the blue Ajah I am certain that she would have opposed the red’s actions but I feared Nealyn Sedai would side with them instead of with the renegades. She postponed her decision until she had more information, at least a brown sister will never make an uninformed choice. We traveled on to Caemlin without resting in Whitebridge in order to arrive before the thirteen red sisters. Nealyn Sedai was convinced that the thirteen sisters were on their way to still the Dragon Reborn who apparently resides in the capital of Andor.

We arrived in Caemlin and while Grimm and his maiden went to the royal palace to speak to the Dragon Nealyn Sedai and I began a search throughout the city for a sister of the blue Ajah. Soon enough we found a Warder sitting in an inn and after we revealed our true identities he escorted us to his charge. I did not know the Aes sedai and her Warder and am glad that I did not have to explain what happened to Grianne. I dread the day I will meet one of Grianne’s friends and will have to reveal my failure. I did not really pay attention to the conversation Nealyn Sedai and the blue sister had. All I heared was that the renegade Aes Sedai could be found in Salidar. Not long thereafter Nealyn Sedai received an audience with the Dragon Reborn himself. The man is quite impressive although he should learn to mind his manners in the presence of an Aes Sedai. He actually had the nerve to ask Nealyn Sedai to swear fealty to him. I was relieved when we left the palace. With all those Asha’man and aiel present I doubt I could get Nealyn Sedai out safe if something went wrong.

The worst thing however was yet to come. Not long after we returned to the inn from the palace I got word that Grimm, the male channeler who was traveling with us, wanted to bond the maiden that had been protecting him as his Warder. Tarmon Gaidon must really be upon us if even the most common of rules are broken this easily. Women do not become Warders, it is simply not done. And aiel are not fit to carry the bond either. They are formidable warriors indeed but care too much about personal honor and glory. They know nothing of serving another. I once heared an Aiel warrior say that death comes for all. A Warder would never say such a thing. Death may come for all but the one who carries our bond. I tried to show the maiden that she was not ready to be bonded, I tried to convince them of their folly but they do not understand. When Grimm goes mad and dies and the maiden lies at his feet a broken shadow of her former self, then she will understand what I was saying. I hope for their sakes that the maiden dies first and I hope for ours that we will not be near when it happens for I do not long to see what effect it will have on a male channeler. Nothing is sacred anymore.

We remained in Caemlin a few days and Nealyn Sedai received another audience with the Dragon Reborn. She convinced him to use his power to get us to Salidar more quickly and together with the blue sister and her warder, Grimm and his maiden and the recruits for the tower we were transported to Altara. The Dragon used a strange platform that flew through blackness for several minutes. He warned us not to fall off and while we were travelling I could swear I felt the madness of Saidin. We arrived in the forests of Altara unharmed and untouched by madness however. I recognized the forests from my travels not that long ago. Maybe it is my imagination but I think we past through the place I met Edwing. I found several tracks and we followed them west for a few days. We did not know exactly where Salidar was but were hoping the tracks were those of an Aes Sedai and her Warder. The tracks were concealed enough to be from a Warder. Finally we reached a small valley within the woods and while I was scouting the region I noticed a building covered in Blightvine. No sign of the Blight has ever been found south of the borderlands and normally I would destroy it immediately but the infestation was too big for me to handle alone. I returned to the rest and Grimm and Nealyn Sedai burned the vinne to a crisp not long thereafter. While we were investigating the building that had been covered by the vines, a strange black tower, we were attacked by a creature from the Blight. Obviously shadowspawn the huge beast looked as if it consisted of dozens of rotting corpses. We all fought valiantly and managed to kill the abomination but as it died it exploded and both me and the maiden were covered in it’s filth. Nealyn Sedai used a weave to clean us up and we continued our investigation of the tower. I do not know what exactly was discovered. From what I understand it was built during the war with the Dark One as a prison for something from a failed experiment. We only found this out after we opened it and Grimm and Nealyn Sedai had a hard time sealing it back up. When we returned to the camp and went to sleep I came to a startling discovery. Nealyn Sedai ’s weave that had cleaned us up after the battle had also erased Grianne’s blood from the piece of linnen I carried with me. Now the only thing I have left of her is my sword. There is no way Nealyn could have known, it is not her fault but I still feel angry…. Slowly all evidence of Grianne is dissipating from my life.

We traveled onward and found Salidar the next day. Once we had arrived and I was sure Nealyn Sedai was safe I removed myself from her presence. Grianne’s loss pained me more than ever and I wanted to be as far away from Nealyn Sedai as I could. I signed up for as many scouting missions as I could and went to the village only when absolutely needed. I even sent another Warder to teach our lessons with the sword. We remained apart for a few weeks. The second week the alarm was sounded when an army approached and of course I returned to Nealyn Sedai as soon as I could but otherwise the weeks were calm. I heared of several incidents involving Grimm but I doubt my help was needed. I also heared rumors about the Dragon Reborn being captured but again I figured that if my presence was needed Nealyn Sedai would use the bond to summon me. I also inquired to the status of recruits to be trained as Warders. There appear to be none. I will have to see to that. When Nealyn Sedai finally came to get me my mood was better. My sorrow had dimmed once more and I was ready to do my duty. She informed me that we would be travelling to Cairhien through a portal an accepted named Egwene would make.


Wheel of Time Smiling_ST