Channelers and the Men Who Love Them
Episode Thirteen – Vampire
It still amazed him. Mat remembered when the Band of the Red Hand was six thousand strong. A decade later that number was tenfold. Even so, Mat couldn’t help but feel exposed. Not even a full five miles west lay the Andoran border and an army with more troops then he cared to think about. Scouts reported the massing of troops, but as of yet, no movement towards Cairhien. Or at least, the scouts that had returned said as much. Another reality he cared not to think about.
Mat felt restless. There was nothing to do but wait, something he had always hated. Deciding his time was best spent going over battle plans, again, he left the small hilltop and joined his generals.
The Watcher of the Seals, The Flame of Tar Valon, The Amyrlin Seat, Your Lord and Master, was not happy. Egwene had faced many challenges over the years, but none such as this.
Bound and kneeling before her was Siuan Sanche and Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan. Stripped of all former glory, they wore nothing more than plain white dresses and matching slippers, and a black hood thrown over their faces. The hoods were Romanda’s idea, and instead of asking the obvious “why”, Egwene had consented. She didn’t want to see their faces.
Drawing a calming breath, she began. “Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan. Siuan Sanche. You are both accused of committing murder on one of your own sisters, el’Nynaeve Mandragoran. You have both proclaimed your innocence and accused the other. This has caused some problems in the sentencing.”
Egwene could feel everyone waiting for her decision; the tension in Traitor’s Court was near stifling. Yet she knew once she spoke her judgment there was no going back.
“Despite blaming each other, neither of you shall escape blame. You were both in that room and you were both using the One Power to cause harm. Therefore, I find you both guilty of murder. In two days time you will be hanged. That is my decision, and it is final.”
“You’ve been cheating on me!”
Cadsuane gave him an irritated look. “Rand, that is not possible.”
“Yes it is! I know you are!”
“No you don’t, and since I know everything, I am right.”
“You do not know everything!”
“Wish for me to prove it? All right then. I know that Thom is in love with Moiraine and at one point attempted to have Mat killed. Killing Mat was Elaida’s idea, however, for she too is in love with the Damodred. She couldn’t have the Blue, of course, so she picked her protégée, Nynaeve, as a replacement. I also know that Asmodean is not dead and is currently traveling to Tar Valon with…well, I won’t tell you who he’s with. It’ll only make you more confused than you all ready are.”
Rand could feel his jaw drop. “How do you know all that!”
“I told you. I know everything.”
Asmodean was starting to regret accompanying this crazed woman to Tar Valon. For one thing, she was forever yelling at him. But even worse than that (and that was pretty bad) she thought his music was lacking. Lacking in talent.
“Will you stop daydreaming, Wimpy, and watch where you’re going?”
Biting his tongue, Asmodean turned his attention back to the road. While he had been in thoughtful contemplation, they had finally reached Tar Valon. The city was strangely quiet, and felt empty despite the throngs of people wandering the streets. The silence settled on the two travelers until they reached the gates of the Tower; the closed gates.
His companion jumped down from the wagon and proceed to harass the poor fool who had gate duty. Asmodean silently thanked his lovers it was someone else’s turn to get a lashing, since he believed both the Creator and the Dark One were none too happy with him. Eventually, she gave up and returned to sit next to him.
“He says no one can enter while the trial is going on.”
“What trial? Is someone going to hang? I want to see.”
“No. Not today. That fool of a man wouldn’t tell me what the trial was for. He doesn’t believe I’m an Aes Sedai!”
Asmodean stopped himself from taking the bait, for a thought had just occurred to him. He was a Forsaken. In the middle of Tar Valon. With his Bond Mistress no where near to protect him.
Moiraine left Mat’s tent not sure how to feel. Her husband was clearly worried about the upcoming battles, and yet at the same time determined. He had refused, politely yet sternly, to discuss any sort of plans. Instead, he made her talk at great length about Court, and especially Tamra. She obliged, and for a time forgot all about her stupid niece, Raul, and the war about to start. She was deep in her reverie when a voice called out.
“Lan? Light! Where have you been? Are you all right? No you can’t be. You’re…you’re wearing a Whitecloak uniform.”
“I joined. But that’s not why I’m here.”
“Why you’re here?” Lan headed for a small clearing, forcing Moiraine to follow at a brisk pace. “Lan, answer me!”
“Moiraine… I’ve come here with an army to help you defeat Andor.”
“I don’t care about this war! Lan, you’re my dearest friend, and I can’t help but feel somethings gone terribly wrong with you. I know Nynaeve’s death must have been hard on you, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there at her funeral to support you-“
“There was no funeral.”
“There was nothing to bury, thus no funeral. I know you’re worried about me, Moiraine, but there is no need. I know what I’m doing and everything is fine.”
Before she could protest, Lan kissed her lightly and walked off.
Mat saw Lan kiss his wife, but he had more pressing matters on his mind; the Andoran army had just been spotted on the horizon. Reports indicated they had come through a gateway. Stifling a curse, Mat went to prepare the troops.
End of Season One. Because soaps need seasons.