Light, where can I begin? I have only just started to find myself again and now I am supposed to write down what I was all those years ago. It pains me, and on the other hand, it allows me to reminisce and maybe console myself with everything that should have been but never was.
My name is Lyanna al'Elisande. I have been an Aes Sedai for over 150 years now. Originally, I came from Caemlyn, where my parents were part of the Noble House of Elisande. My father, Dovram, was a sworn Queensman and my mother Elisteth doted on him. They were childhood sweethearts and married very young. My elder brother, Kyram, served as a Queens Guard in Caemlyn all his life. He never married and died at an old age. Elvram, my younger brother, died very young of influenza. I hardly even remember him. And Lilliana, oh my younger sister. Her story is one I dread to tell.
I lead a very simple, undisturbed life. We had servants who catered to our every whim and I went to the best schools in the country. My parents never questioned my ability to marry
into one of the best families around Caemlyn. We had connections all the way up to the throne and Lilliana and I had been blessed with our mother's delicate good looks. Young suitors flocked around us. I never knew any better that whatever I wanted was done.
At the opening ball of the season in which I turned 15, the age in which young ladies are presented to the Queen, I met the Queen's counselor. She was an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, and she immediately recognized me for what I was: a born channeler. I had no idea what awaited me, other than that the Queens of Andor of old have been connected to the White Tower. I did not want to go, I liked my life the way it was, and my parents lost their eldest daughter. Needless to say, they fought my going to the White Tower with all their
might. To no avail of course.
My first days at the Tower were dreadful. I hated to be there, and moreover, I hated the fact that suddenly I had been reduced to a Novice while all my life I had been at the center of attention. I think my teachers and mentors did not know what to do with me, until I snuck into the Warder's yards and was caught by the Master at Arms, Matalina. She was very ruthless with me. It was my first reminder that I couldn't go around as I pleased, and eventually I learned a lot from it.
I don't remember much from those first weeks, years even. It all seemed to consist of doing chores, pulling pranks, following classes and bowing to Aes Sedai's every whim. I did not
realize the power that had been given me. I only wanted out.
It was only during my Arches that I was fully able to accept the fact that I belonged at the White Tower. In the Arch for the future, I saw myself as a full Aes Sedai, on the road with
her warder, and we were ambushed in the night. I fought alongside my Warder with a burning sword, against four or five Trollocs that had stumbled upon us. My Warder, a man I had never seen, and one I have never encountered since then, was killed and I have felt the remnants of that loss ever since. Maybe that is why I never bonded, at least, not until I was at a very ripe age.
Before my Arches I had pondered which Ajah to join and the logical choice, at that time, seemed the Blue. I had been raised in political circles, and the ways of the nobles had been
instilled in me. The Queen's Counselor was a Blue. It attracted me. After my Arches, I radically changed my mind. I never lost some of the anger I felt against my attackers. I felt the need to protect, to preserve, to stand ready to face whatever might face me. I had rejected the Tower for a very long time, and I felt the need to turn that notion around,
radically. The Tower had made me a better woman than I could ever have hoped, and I needed to give something in return. I chose the Green.
During my training as an Accepted I discovered my strong affinity with the element Fire. I learned how to wield the Elemental Blade and prepared myself for battle training. When the time came for the test, I passed and I was now raised to a full fledged Aes Sedai. Taya Gille, who had been raised to the Green a while before I had been, became my confidante in
those days. I desperately wanted to be accepted into the Green Ajah, but Lanfir Leah Marithsen, the Green Ajah head, turned me down when I first petitioned. I was shattered. No
one had told me about the secret initiation rites and the way first petitions were always put down. I thought this was about me, and my inability alone. I almost turned away from the Tower. But Taya, and Nymphia, another Sister of the Green I had come to know, started practicing Battle Weaves with me, and slowly but surely I came to understand that they were preparing me for a second petition. This time in between was meant to show my determination, and to prove my worth to my chosen Ajah.
The second time when I petitioned, the entire Ajah was present. The moment of Acceptation was overwhelming. For the first time in my life, I had found an environment where I wasn't merely a prized asset, or ornament. I could mean something. It didn't take long to find out how much. Merely days after I was raised to the Green, Lanfir summoned all of us for a meeting on developments in the Borderlands. Before I knew it, I was on my way to Fal Dara to ensure the safety of that city against attacking Shadow Spawn. Taya, Querida, Kaylan, Lanfir, they became very close friends and allies in that dreadful time. I came up close with every imaginable peril, some of which was even situated right within our own Sisterhood.
Sapphos Trelawney, a Red along for the ride, died horribly after having sworn her oaths to the Black. Lanfir and I, and Taya were about the only ones who knew. I survived a murder attempt directed at me, which I contributed to the Black Ajah at that time, but which proved to be otherwise. And Ryell Jagad, one of the veteran Greens...the woman and I had never really seen eye to eye, and when she discovered that my protege at the time, Amber Snow, was really her half sister... I have never met that kind of fury before. I remember that we fought, physically, in the Halls of the Keep of Fal Dara and that eventually she broke my jaw with a blow. Even Halvic, who had sworn to protect me, and Laverata, the kind young guard I later had an affair with, could not save me from so much wrath.
Ryell. I never knew really what happened to her, but I knew that her slow descent into insanity colored the mission and really broke Lanfir's heart. The battle afterwards seemed like an echo of what had devided the entire Ajah in the days before. Mikalen, one of the Wards on the mission, got seriously injured and in a joined effort Lanfir and I rescued and healed him. Amber Snow was taken prisoner by the DreadLords present at the fight and was subsequently slaughtered. When the hostages were killed it set loose a fury amongst us like we never have seen again. And in the midst of it all I encountered my dear sister, Lilliana, whom I believed to be home safely in Caemlyn, but who, in some twist of the Creator, had decided to turn her Channeling powers to evil. It was her who'd tried to murder me, and her who stood laughing amidst the other DreadLords while they killed the hostages. If it hadn't been for Lanfir, I would have jumped off the walls. On the other hand, I rescued her from the same fate when she almost lost it over the betrayal her own Warder, Souvan, served her.
We went home, defeated, even though we had not really lost. The bonds that had held the Ajah together had been shattered forever. Lanfir went on her quest for Souvan and resigned as Ajah Head. I kept her company for over three years, but eventually returned to the Tower when she couldn't find Souvan. The Tower had changed, and I no longer was the woman I once was. I continued to serve the Ajah, travelled here and there in search of information useful
to the Ajah, and always in search of my sister. I do not know what happened to her: I never found her. My parents died, my brother died, and I was alone. I was seasoned by battle, and the younger Greens looked up at me as a veteran, also in the Raid of Tar Valon which eventually followed. Mikalen and I fought side by side as Aes Sedai and Warder, and in the aftermath of that horrible fight, I lost my first and only warder. I could not save him, I hadn't been of use to the Tower or the Ajah, and after I had buried him I fled the Tower and myself. I felt a failure. I did not find solace anywhere except in an alcohol induced state.
It was thus that Lanfir finally found me, years later, when I stepped into her pub. Lanfir Leah Marithsen, once an illustrious Ajah Head, and now owner and barkeep of the Green Nature
Tavern at Tanchico. What a funny quirk of fate. And here we are, two former Green Ajah Sisters, with the power at our beg and call, and the Tower miles away. Not only physically, but spiritually as well. Maybe it'll change someday. Maybe I haven't found my final destination yet. We'll see. These days, I've learned to take the days as they come and go.