The Death of an Amyrlin

The offices of the M'hael, Amyrlin Seat, Master of Arms, Keeper and the MoNSTers
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Craig
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PC: Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow
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Re: The Death of an Amyrlin

Post by Craig » June 11th, 2018, 10:31 pm

Elia
Elia barely registered the flavour of the wine, more curious what Dax's intentions were behind having her drink. She meekly drank the soft, light-bodied red.

Her eyebrows rose when he stated that he knew about her loyalties before asking to be with her. Keeping that secret had been far and away her biggest strength, even amongst members of the Supreme Council. She could literally count on one hand the number of people who knew about that secret. Two had just tried to kill her on the commands of a third, then there was Murdock, and now also Dax. Six now, including Fiona.

She'd ceased questioning the why of Dax's commitment to her on the same day they bonded. The truth of his devotion to her was seated in her head. He never needed to say anything, but he had said and done plenty to confirm that fact beyond any hint of doubt. Seeing Dax playing with their children was far and beyond her happiest moments.

Looking up at Dax from the couch, she knew her answer didn't matter. Regardless of what words passed through her lips, Dax would remain devoted to her. He's mad, a small voice whispered. But love was a madness of sorts. Dax had placed love higher in his list of priorities than his oath to the Grey Tower, or even his allegiance in the eternal war between the Dark One and the Creator. Light or Shadow, he would follow her to the end.

Elia rubbed at her eyes, then scrubbed the back of her hands over her cheeks. She didn't deserve Dax's loyalty or his love. The right thing for any sane person to do was to shield her and lock her up to await a trial. She deserved to be stilled for certain, then put in front of a hundred questioners to squeeze out every scrap of information she had about the Black Ajah. She could see them in her mind's eye. Jaryd with his stupid knife; the fires of fanatical hatred behind Miahala's eyes. Murdock would take a turn, if only to extract some personal glee from her suffering. It was all warranted.

Elia turned from Dax's penetrating gaze. His judgement, above all others, was what mattered. Oh yes, he would love her to the ends of the world and through Tarmon Gai'don and beyond, but his judgement... It would soak through every thought and every action he did. It would be visible in his eyes, in his kisses, even in his shrugs. Everything he did would be tainted by her. The only thing worse than failing her own standards was failing his.

More tears streamed down her cheeks, and she let them fall unblemished. This wasn't a play for sympathy. Dax had accepted her, and she wouldn't hide from him. He was due much more than that, but naked honesty was a beginning.

Her mind turned back to his question. Am I a Friend of the Dark? Her actions said yes. She'd killed fellow Aes Sedai and Asha'man. A memorial stood in the Gardens dedicated to the fifty-one students she had murdered. She had spread misery far and wide, whether through direct action or via the multitude of pawns loyal to her.

She could have done worse. Much worse. She had the Black Ajah at her command. She was a natural at creating ter'angreal. The fifty-one students in the Great Serpent had been killed through ter'angreal she'd discovered, but the knowledge of how to replicate those objects was stored in her brain. If she wanted to, she could have orchestrated another attack. And her gifts with Compulsion weren't anything to sniff at either. There were babbling idiots in all eight corners of the world thanks to her tender administrations. She could have made so many pawns within the Tower itself.

Could have, could have, could have. But she hadn't. She could have done a lot of damage, but her hand held the Black Ajah close, restraining their natural tendencies. There was no benefit in mindless destruction, but even sensible plans had been crushed under heel by her authority.

Finally, she brushed away her tears and looked up towards Dax. His gaze stung, although it was only the third most painful feeling she'd felt today.

"I don't know, but I hope not."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

Sunny
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Re: The Death of an Amyrlin

Post by Sunny » June 17th, 2018, 2:07 am

Dax
Dax watched Elia without moving or speaking. They had gone in a number of circles since his return to the Tower (dear Creator, how could it possibly be the same day he had woken to snow at the Citadel?), but this time the Shienaran had no option save to answer. Not that it really mattered what she said; they both knew Dax would stay regardless. He could feel that confidence over their bond, mixing with confusion and fear, hope and even….pride? The Tairen frowned thoughtfully, but held his peace.

Elia wiped her eyes in a gesture more reminiscent of a village girl than the Amyrlin Seat, her eyelashes still gleaming with tears when she finally met his gaze. “I don’t know, but I hope not.” Dax lifted an eyebrow, head tilting to the side as he looked his lover up and down. She was bound to the truth now, which meant-

She doesn’t know. Elia just stared him, something in her face reminding him of a cornered cat as the silence continued. She truly doesn’t know. The thought continued to taunt him. How can-

A new thought occurred to Dax. He pulled his hands from his pockets and studied them thoughtfully, turning them back and forth in front of him. His hands looked clean, but the blood of every person he had ever killed stained them in a metaphoric sense. Guilty or innocent, young or old, man or woman...it had never mattered to him. He had killed for nothing more than the love of money (and on one memorable occasion, purely to satisfy his own seething hate) yet still considered himself a follower of the Light. But why? How are my crimes any better than hers?

The many directions the answers could lead were enough to make a good man’s head split, and Dax was anything but that. He shook himself violently, then dropped to a crouch in front of his Aes Sedai. After a moment his fingertips rested lightly on her knees, drawing small circles on the silk. He needed the touch, but any closer and words would fail entirely in the face of granting her physical absolution. Unfortunately, the words are more important this time.

“I can work with that,” he told Elia. “All I could hope for was hope, and you have given that. Although... Even admitting that much gave you a boat load of nasty friends you’ll need protection from, didn’t it?” He gave her a crooked smile, but it faded quickly. The next bit would be hard.

“I do have one condition, love.” He paused long enough he saw her shift as if to speak, so he pushed his request out in a rush. “I want you to trust me to keep my oath to you of my own free will. Even if what you would ask of me is murder. Don't use the bond again...please.”
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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Craig
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PC: Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow
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Re: The Death of an Amyrlin

Post by Craig » June 18th, 2018, 12:16 pm

Elia
"I won't," she replied swiftly. I won't? The words came freely and easily, so they had to be true. A moment later, the reasoning caught up with her. "I don't want to control you or anyone. I just want a normal life." Normality seemed an impossible dream. This was already the most extreme and surreal day of her life, and the path to redemption may well stretch out to infinity. Yet I mean it. It was strangely satisfying to know that only the truth could pass her lips after spending so long carefully managing her language. It made her next words truly disconcerting.

"We're in danger." She couldn't divulge more. She couldn't explain that the First Blade was expecting a body and the announcement of the Amyrlin's death. She couldn't tell Dax that her would-be assassins were Audreyn and Joane, or that the people supplying their alibis were also Black Ajah. Elia had already reasoned out why the First Blade had attacked, and it wasn't to do with Elia Darrow specifically.

She looked from Dax to the walls of her office, then towards her desk. The quill stood waiting. "I need to resign the position of Amyrlin."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

Sunny
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Joined: July 18th, 2014, 3:23 am
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Re: The Death of an Amyrlin

Post by Sunny » June 20th, 2018, 7:43 pm

Dax
Oh.

Dax abruptly realized he hadn’t expected such easy acceptance of his request. In fact, he hadn’t truly expected acceptance at all. Now that he had it, it didn’t feel real. Words, they’re just words. His chest tightened uncomfortably. Before he could properly assess the damage Elia had done to his trust in her, the Aes Sedai moved on.

“I need to resign the position of Amyrlin."

Their bond was an ever-moving sea of greens and oranges, blacks and grays, Elia’s apprehension overwhelming everything else in its urgency. Misgivings forgotten, Dax frowned in contemplation. “I agree,” he said slowly. “The Dark One would not tolerate a….what are you, anyway? A traitor?” He smiled ruefully. “Whatever you are to them, you’ll die if you stay in the Seat. That’s clear enough a simpleton could see it.” He sat back, giving her space to move to the desk.

In truth, it seemed unlikely that resigning would guarantee her safety once the Shadow knew what had transpired. Nothing at all could guarantee that, in fact. She’s going to die. When she went, so would he; it was just a matter of time. He wanted to believe otherwise. It was said no one walked so long in Shadow they could not walk in the Light, after all. However, from what Dax remembered of myth and legend, redemption tended to look more like death than a happy family life.

The Aelfinn gave me just enough rope to hang myself with it seems. Lovely.

He had not moved when Elia went to the desk. Now he turned and sank into the couch himself, rubbing at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. “That extra Oath made an already difficult task nearly impossible, you know,” he commented, unable to keep the bitter undertone from his voice. His roiling frustration couldn’t possibly be surprising, but Elia’s eyebrows went up anyway. Perhaps she had expected him to keep it to himself. “I can protect you well enough, but what if they come for the twins, Elia? What if they attack Ravak or Zarayne? Your family in Shienar? The Tower itself? How do I protect them when I don’t rightly know what to look for?”

He had started off angry, but by the end he simply felt and sounded tired. He let his head fall against the back of the couch and stared at the ceiling.
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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Craig
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Posts: 2613
Joined: November 20th, 2015, 10:29 am
PC: Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow
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QC: Farah Kattan
Location: Scotland

Re: The Death of an Amyrlin

Post by Craig » June 21st, 2018, 10:35 pm

Elia
There was no requirement to eye him warily, not when she could feel everything he was going through, but she did so out of habit. She did not like being second-guessed, but at least with Dax she could tolerate it. Moreso because nothing he said was wrong per se, but his viewpoint didn't capture the whole picture. If only I had the time to explain. But she couldn't, and explaining would negate the whole point of swearing that Oath.

"Most threats vanish when I vacate this seat," she said tersely. That was the full extent of what she could say, but she tried to feel hopeful. It was a feigned hope, but maybe a touch of that would extend across the bond. Twice already she had avoided death today, and she wanted that to be the quota for the year. Her actions were not the last gasps of a dying woman, otherwise she would have already released Dax from his bond. The children came first, always. She would never willfully rob them of their parents. Especially not when Miahala and Ravak were the fallbacks.

"I can protect us." Not a boastful claim but a reassuring one. That fourth Oath was one form of protection; resigning was a second. The further from the positions of power she retreated, the less inclined the First Blade would be to deal with her. "This is neither an end nor the end. I fully intend to grow old and grey with you."

She lowered her gaze to focus on the parchment before her and the quill in her hand. It's time for a new start, the Light willing.
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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