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A Letter to Elessar


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Sat atop a rounded stone jutting out of the middle of the village-sized span of debris, Kathleen took a rumpled page of paper from her waistband, flattened it out upon her lap and began to write a report back to the White Tower on the day’s events.


Report to the Head of the Green Ajah


I arrived at my destination to find, as I had feared, that the town council had waited too long in contacting the Tower for assistance. Tensions were hot enough to spark a flame without saidar and the time to cool them with words had long since passed. By the time I arrived the action was well underway and many of the council had already been lost to the fight.


I was too late again, she thought. Setting aside writing quill she let out a sigh. “I’ve been too late far too often lately.” The words came aloud as she looked to the sky, a flash of memory of a blazing town far to the north of this one filled her mind’s eye. She could still feel the pull of her warder’s fear filling her own body. She could still feel the pull of both of her Warders. A tear streaked through the dirt down her face leaving a stained path from cheek to chin before she raised her hand to wipe it away.


She reached to feel that connection again; knowing there was no way she would have such success had not stopped her reaching for it every day since it was lost, and this time was no different. She longed to feel him there again in the back of her mind. She longed to rewrite the history of how it had gone down; how it had gone wrong. She knew it an impossibility and she tried to tell herself she had made the right choice. “Why then does it feel so wrong…so increasingly wrong each day?” she questioned.


She set her report aside and took a fresh page from her waist-bag, smoothed it onto her lap and took up a new purpose:


My dear Elessar,


A thousand apologies would not suffice, nor two or three thousand, nor any number of attempts. What I did, I did in selfishness. Never have I used such selfishness in my life, nor have I dishonoured someone as much as I feel now that I have dishonoured you.


Worst, I did not even explain. I know you did not believe the words I spoke to you on the day that I left. Sometimes an Oath is not enough to take words as truth; a Warder of your years surly knows that, and such a fact is not lost a Sister my years. The truth, as I am sure you already gathered, is that I was afraid to explain myself. I knew your response should I speak the whole truth and I could not allow it. I could not, on the other hand, allow myself to leave you with words I was truly thinking. Even writing them now pains me and sends me through a fit of fear on how they will affect you should you ever read them.


The truth, my dear Elessar, is that I left that day with the full assumption it would be my death before sundown. I know how you struggle to keep up your strength from the loss of your dearest first Aes Sedai, my unmet sister, and I could not bear to live my last hours knowing the pain I would impose on you should I leave you in the same way. I know that if you knew, you would not have let me leave alone, and though I hate that I could not trust your strength enough to find peace with leaving you with the torture of another life-lost bond, the truth is, I did not. I honestly did not know if you could handle a second such loss without going mad, and I was too selfish in my decision to not let you find out because of me.



I made a choice which affected your job and your life, and for that I will never expect your forgiveness. I let you down in the worst way that a bond can be let down. The shame of that is what has stopped me from reaching out to you since the sun rose on my life the next day.


You do not deserve me; you deserve so much more – so much better. I would not be surprised to hear if you hate me for what I have done, but, selfishly again, I would rather you hate me with the passion of the Dark One than to have you live the rest of your life with the pain you feel every day for my sister doubled with the pain of my death. It is not a choice I should have made, and I know it is a choice you made the day you allowed me to set our bond. Still I doubted, and for that I will never forgive myself.


I wish you the very best in every moment yet to come. I will always treasure the time we had; and I will always regret my decision.



Kathleen Vandiar

She would not sign it with her usual formal title; this letter was far more personal than professional. He deserves at least that much, she thought. Tucking the letter into her waist-bag she looked slowly over the crater she had created to end to the struggle and pulled her thoughts back to the events of the day. Taking up the report to her Ajah Head she continued with the business she knew she had to focus on now.


 I found a few of the more cowardly counsel members locked away in a cellar and managed to drag them and as many women and children as I could to a safer location.



As I inserted myself into the conflict, it soon became apparent that only puppets were left among the foe and the city was lost. Still, I managed to gleam some insight and believe this attack to be stemmed from something more sinister than one ambitious village overtaking the next, as this case was originally presented. It seems, as I feared on my outset, that this reaches far further than the local trouble. As I passed through villages on my way it became clear the same tactics were taken to cause trouble in a number of towns in a straight trajectory toward this one. None but false puppet-masters were given claim to the blame. Some towns along the path were left in peace though, and this has me momentarily stumped.



I have yet to put together the pieces to determine how each of the affected villages had been chosen. I have a theory though, and as such, you shall find enclosed herewith a sketch-map of the area and path I fear this plaque will follow. At this time, I am requesting the assistance of another two Sisters and their Warders to join me in the village I believe will be afflicted the worst.



Kathleen Vandiar

Sister of the Green Ajah


The Green folded the page and retrieved her sketch-map with encoded instructions, placing the items together in an envelope which she sealed with a ring her first warder had given her some years ago; she placed a ward on the envelope to ensure its destruction should it be opened by any hand other than the Green Ajah Head. She slid the package into her waist-bag beside the letter she had prepared for Elessar and set off to give instruction to the remaining council on how best to rebuild the village before she would send the contents of her day's writings with a messenger to the White Tower..


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