Direktlänk till inlägg 30 mars 2011

She was ever headstrong

Av schuhe lily - 30 mars 2011 09:05

She swept a deep curtsy and said formally, "As you called me, Mother, so have I come." The Amyrlin extended her hand, and Moiraine kissed her Great Serpent ring, no different from that of any other Aes Sedai. Rising, she made her tone more conversational, but not too much so. She was aware of the Keeper standing behind her, beside the door. "I hope you had a pleasant journey, Mother."The Amyrlin had been born in Tear, of a simple fisherman's family, not a noble House, and her name was Siuan Sanche, though very few had used that name, or even thought of it, in the ten years since she had been raised from the Hall of the Tower. She was the Amyrlin Seat; that was the whole of it. The broad stole on her shoulders was striped in the colors of the seven Ajahs; the Amyrlin was of all Ajahs and of none. She was only of medium height, and handsome rather than beautiful, but her face held a strength that had been there before her elevation, the strength of the girl who had survived the streets of the Maule, Tear's port district, and her clear blue gaze had made kings and queens, and even the Captain Commander of the Children of the Light, drop their eyes. Her own eyes were strained, now, and there was a new tightness to her mouth."We called the winds to speed our vessels up the Erinin, Daughter, and even turned the currents to our aid." The Amyrlin's voice was deep, and sad. "I have seen the flooding we caused in villages along the river, and the Light only knows what we have done to the weather. We will not have endeared ourselves by the damage we've done and the crops we may have ruined. All to reach here as quickly as possible." Her eyes strayed to the ornate golden cube, and she half lifted a hand as if to touch it, but when she spoke it was to say, "Elaida is in Tar Valon, Daughter. She came with Elayne and Gawyn."Moiraine was conscious of Leane standing to one side, quiet as always in the presence of the Amyrlin. But watching, and listening. "I am surprised, Mother," she said carefully. "This is no time for Morgase to be without Aes Sedai counsel." Morgase was one of the few rulers to openly admit to an Aes Sedai councilor; almost all had one, but few admitted it."Elaida insisted, Daughter, and queen or not, I doubt Morgase is a match for Elaida in a contest of wills. In any case, perhaps this time she did not wish to be. Elayne has potential. More than I have ever seen before. Already she shows progress. The Red sisters are swollen up like puff-fish with it. I don't think the girl leans to their way of thinking, but she is, young, and there is no telling. Even if they don't manage to bend her, it will make little difference. Elayne could well be the most powerful Aes Sedai in a thousand years, and it is the Red Ajah who found her. They have gained much status in the Hall from the girl.""I have two young women with me in Fal Dara, Mother," Moiraine said. "Both from the Two Rivers, where the blood of Manetheren still runs strong, though they do not even remember there was once a land called Manetheren. The old blood sings, Mother, and it sings loudly in the Two Rivers. Egwene, a village girl, is at least as strong as Elayne. I have seen the Daughter-Heir, and I know. As for the other, Nynaeve was the Wisdom in their village, yet she is little more than a girl herself. It says something of her that the women of her village chose her Wisdom at her age. Once she gains conscious control of what she now does without knowing, she will be as strong as any in Tar Valon. With training, she will shine like a bonfire beside the candles of Elayne and Egwene. And there is no chance these two will choose the Red. They are amused by men, exasperated by them, but they do like them. They will easily counter whatever influence the Red Ajah gains in the White Tower from finding Elayne."

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Of course not." Amalisa smiled back. The strength evident in her brother's face was in hers, too, and no less for the softer line of cheek and jaw. There were those who said that as hard and renowned a fighter as Agelmar was, he was no better than an even match for his sister. "But with the Amyrlin Seat here . . . . When King Easar visits Fal Dara, in private I call him Magami, Little Uncle, as I did when I was a child and he gave me rides on his shoulder, but in public it must be different."Anaiya tsked. "Sometimes formality is necessary, but men often make more of it than they must. Please, call me Anaiya, and I will call you Amalisa, if I may."From the corner of her eye, Moiraine saw Egwene, far down the side hall, disappearing hurriedly around a corner. A stooped shape in a leather jerkin, head down and arms loaded with bundles, shambled at her heels. Moiraine permitted herself a small smile, quickly masked. If the girl shows as much initiative in Tar Valon, she thought wryly, she will sit in the Amyrlin Seat one day. If she can learn to control that initiative. If there is an Amyrlin Seat left on which to sit.When she turned her attention back to the others, Liandrin was speaking.". . . and I would welcome the chance to learn more of your land." She wore a smile, open and almost girlish, and her voice was friendly.Moiraine schooled her face to stillness as Amalisa extended an invitation to join her and her ladies in her private garden, and Liandrin accepted warmly. Liandrin made few friends, and none outside the Red Ajah. Certainly never outside the Aes Sedai. She would sooner make friends with a man, or a Trolloc. Moiraine was not sure Liandrin saw much difference between men and Trollocs. She was not sure any of the Red Ajah did.Anaiya explained that just now they must attend the Amyrlin Seat. "Of course," Amalisa said. "The Light illumine her, and the Creator shelter her. But later, then." She stood straight and bowed her head as they left her.Moiraine studied Liandrin as they walked, never looking at her directly. The honey-haired Aes Sedai was staring straight ahead, rosebud lips pursed thoughtfully. She appeared to have forgotten Moiraine and Anaiya both. What is she up to?Anaiya seemed not to have noticed anything out of the ordinary, but then she always managed to accept people both as they were and as they wanted to be. It constantly amazed Moiraine that Anaiya dealt as well as she did in the White Tower, but those who were devious always seemed to take her openness and honesty, her acceptance of everyone, as cunning devices. They were always caught completely off balance when she turned out to mean what she said and say what she meant. Too, she had a way of seeing to the heart of things. And of accepting what she saw. Now she blithely resumed speaking of the news."The word from Andor is both good and bad. The street riots in Caemlyn died down with the coming of spring, but there is still talk, too much talk, blaming the Queen, and Tar Valon as well, for the long winter. Morgase holds her throne less securely than she did last year, but she holds it still, and will so long as Gareth Bryne is Captain-General of the Queen's Guards. And the Lady Elayne, the Daughter-Heir, and her brother, the Lord Gawyn, have come safely to Tar Valon for their training. There was some fear in the White Tower that the custom would be broken.""Not while Morgase has breath in her body," Moiraine said.Liandrin gave a little start, as if she had just awakened. "Pray that she continues to have breath. The Daughter-Heir's party was followed to the River Erinin by the Children of the Light. To the very bridges to Tar Valon. More still camp outside Caemlyn, for the chance of mischief, and inside Caemlyn still are those who listen.""Perhaps it is time Morgase learned a little caution," Anaiya sighed. "The world is becoming more dangerous every day, even for a queen. Perhaps especially for a queen. She was ever headstrong. I remember when she came to Tar Valon as a girl. She did not have the ability to become a full sister, and it rankled in her. Sometimes I think she pushes her daughter because of that, whatever the girl chooses."Moiraine sniffed disdainfully. "Elayne was born with the spark in her; it was not a matter of choosing. Morgase would not risk letting the girl die from lack of training if all the Whitecloaks in Amadicia were camped outside Caemlyn. She would command Gareth Byrne and the Queen's Guards to cut a path through them to Tar Valon, and Gareth Byrne would do it if he had to do it alone." But she still must keep the full extent of the girl's potential secret. Would the people of Andor knowingly accept Elayne on the Lion Throne after Morgase if they knew? Not just a queen trained in Tar Valon according to custom, but a full Aes Sedai? In all of recorded history there had been only a handful of queens with the right to be called Aes Sedai, and the few who let it be known had all lived to regret it. She felt a touch of sadness. But too much was afoot to spare aid, or even worry, for one land and one throne. "What else, Anaiya?"


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