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The Edge of Sanity

Shalon Casbin

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Her form was unwavering as she stood among imagined winds, her white hair whipping across her face and over her right shoulder; her algode skirts followed her hair, riding the wind. Turmoil brooded in her chest, crafting a dark masterpiece of depression and anxiety. So much of her life was devoted to serving her clan, and the other Wise One's that it left very little time for the woman who dwelt within her. How did she feel about the events of the recent past? The toh owed by the Treekiller was so great that the Aiel knew to regain any ji they must see justice served.


The Clan's had not all gone, but those that had were returning now, the city of Cairhien burned; the blood feud paid. Avendoraldera was no more, and her heart hurt. The peace with the Cairhien was no more; a sad ending to the agreement they had made with Cairhien, and the honor they saw in any wetlanders. Once, in the past, the citizens of Cairhien in there honor gave aid to the Aiel during their wandering. In return they'd be allowed to travel through the Waste to Shara for trade; this was no more.


A sister tree to the chora tree of Rhuidean, and the King dared cut it down? What had he been thinking? Four of the twelve Aiel clans went Across the Wall, led by the Tardaad clan chief named Janduin. Being a Wise one of the Tardaad Aiel, Nephuria went forth with the clans; though as was tradition, took no part in battle.


The Wetlanders seemed to fear the weight of the Spears, and formed a defense against them in the early days, but so weak and dishonorable were they, that they fell before the Spears before the Dance could begin. At least, it had been that way before they had banded together. Stupid dishonorable fools, they were not part of this. The Cairhien and the Aiel had Blood Feud, these wetlanders would try to stop them? They sought to defend the King some said, but who knew with these people.


The time it took them to sweep across the land was remarkable, so very soft these people had grown. It was disgusting; and strange. She would never be that weak, or that wet. Rain; all of the time. Who knew there was so much water in the world it could come from the sky so frequently?


When they finally reached that city, the one the Aes Sedai resided within. Tar Valon. The Aiel owed toh to the Aes Sedai, they would not attack there hold. Yet again the stupid Wetlanders did not grasp this, although she wondered why none of the Aes Sedai realized what was going on. Why would they allow these fools to stand in the way of a blood feud?


Armies of vast expanses met the Spears upon the odd White walled city. It's Tower seemed to stand too high even at a distance. The fight ensued, a battle she still had thoughts she couldn't banish from her mind from. That day they Danced the Spears with the best the Western wetlanders had to offer. It did not matter; they were there for one thing, and one thing alone. Laman's head.


When the horns sound echoed across the battlefields tolling King Laman's death, they turned East, back to take leave toward the Three-fold land the following day. She heard of Cairhien burning, and was saddened somewhat by this. A clan should not be punished for its chiefs actions. But they had defended him, thus accepting feud and the Dance. Fools, all wetlanders.


Her body slept now, near the Dragon's Wall; but she was at home, back at the Hold. She sat alone on the floor,, the winds and mountain range of earlier replaced by this, her home at the Hold. How often she'd wished to be back there, though she knew her duty was where she must be. She sat crying, as she learned of the last of her friends children's children had been killed. She felt old, like she was doomed in some way and yet blessed as well. Blessed to receive a long life to serve with, but doomed to watch people she loved and knew fade as if they had never been; seeing what her own fate would eventually be over and over again.


Tears fell here alone where none could see and shame her. She wept deeply, sobbing. She knew other Wise Ones who lived long lives, but she couldn't bring up such a topic with any of them, it hurt to think about. But now, it seemed all she could do. Her weeping brought rain, fat like the wetland's had. She didn't stop it, although she hated it. Hated the weakness of the people it grew.


The Hold seemed unnaturally dark as her mood altered the reality to be so. This was shameful and weak. She knew it was, but she could only hold it for so long. She still had many years before her, and taking her own life would never be an option. She would have to learn to deal with it, but for now; she sat here, in her imagined home and thought about those who had woken from the Dream, and eventually smiled wondering what the waking world was like.


She would be strong, she would make it. They all awoke from this dream of Life eventually, and mourning was normal, but she could not let the depression of it consume her. Her tears were not long dried as she stood in her room, and winked from the Dream, back into a sleep of dreams of home. They would make it a good distance on the morrow, and soon be back. Soon, she prayed to the light: she could not wait.

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