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On Matters of Succession
[Image: viviane_1.png]

                Vivienne Accylon strode purposefully down the hallways of the Royal Palace of Camelyn, her Warder trailing a suitable distance behind. Many Sisters she had come across were scandalized at her behavior. It was not customary to Bond another woman, indeed, many scorned Vivienne because of it. That was all poppycock.

                Letto could match any man in combat, she had a sharp wit, keen senses, a level head, and she was a ‘Wolf-sister.’ The woman was more than qualified for the job, what should it matter that she was of the same gender? True, there were certain unforeseen side-effects in bonding a person of the same sex, but that only added to the mystique surrounding the Warder Bond, it made it more special.

                Not to mention that the Daughter-Heir had approved of such a Bond, indeed the woman had done the very same thing. It was a comfort that she too had been met with such opposition from the other Sisters. Why should it even matter what the other Sisters thought? The Tower was divided and Tarmon Gai’don was headed their way. Those were the real problems that the other Aes Sedai should be focusing on, not matters of propriety. Hadn’t the Dragon been reborn? Now was a time of change. The others would get used to the idea of Bonding other women, and Vivienne expected that a few of the others, probably some Greens, would eventually do as she had.

                That commonality had served as a bridge between Vivienne and the Daughter-Heir, that and the fact that Vivienne was a Blue, an Ajah that one of the two current Amyrlins had tried to disband. It had been five years since Vivienne was last in the White Tower, so the news of the split had come as a great shock. Being of the Blue, she supported the ‘rebels’ by default. True, she had tried to remain neutral, but her pride had won out in the end. If the Tower was ever mended, her entire identity could be shattered depending on which side won out over the schism. The rebels had to win, but that didn’t mean that Vivienne had to assist in such a fight. Her place was here, in Andor. Although the White Tower was her home, this nation had birthed her. Vivienne would always hold Andor close to her heart.

                Letto picked up her stride, coming to Vivienne’s side. The Warder kept her eyes forward and her hand on her sword, she spoke calmly, true to what the Bond projected.

                “Are you sure this is worth our time?” Leto asked quietly.

                The woman knew better than to be so frank in the halls, especially around servants scuttling about, but Vivienne was confident in the Daughter-Heir and her requests. Let the others carry whispers that Vivienne’s Warder questioned the direction they had been given. She would do as the Daughter-Heir asked, so long as it helped the woman secure the Lion Throne. The nation had been in shambles for too long. Vivienne still wasn’t sure what had come over the late Queen in her final days, but it had left Andor lost and confused. Despite all of that, she still trusted in the Trakand line, if only because the other contenders for the throne were far from capable. True, Vivienne had hoped that the High Seat of Taravin made a bid for the throne, but that was before the Daughter-Heir came back home. That changed everything, especially when the High Seat of Taravin threw her lot in with the young woman. The High Seat had been the only other option and if she didn’t want the throne…

                Vivienne kept her eyes forward and her pace even.

                “Letto. We went over this already. The Daughter-Heir condemns the actions of the High Seat of Gilyard. There is nothing else for it. We must assist his son, despite the man’s previous associations.”

                “You are no longer of this nation, Viv. You are of the White Tower, as am I. We should be focusing on what we set out to do. Why do you care so much about the Trakand woman?”

                “The stability of the nations is of interest to the White Tower. The ‘Trakand woman’ is the only woman suitable to lead Andor. Do you not wish for stability? This is incredibly pertinent to ‘what we set out to do.’”

                “I really don’t see how. You’ve never gotten involved with Tower politics before, much less the workings of nations, especially now, when the Tower is divided. We should be bringing in grain for the poor through your Gateways, you should be healing the sick, and I should be assisting with the patrols throughout the streets. We are supposed to be helping the common man, not assisting the nobles in weaving their intricate webs. You’re better than this pettiness, Viv.”

                Vivienne stopped in the middle of the hall, servants quickly scurrying away as she fixed each with a glare. She fussed at her blue fringed shawl before rounded on her Warder, fixing the woman with a hard eye. Embracing the Power, Vivienne wove a ward around the pair of them to prevent any lingering Help from eavesdropping.

                This all should have been brought up in the morning before they left their apartments, in private. Letto knew better than to behave in such a fashion. The Bond told Vivienne that her Warder was feeling restless and annoyed. That fed back into Vivienne’s own frustrations at her Warder’s public dissent. Her voice came out harsher than she had intended.

                “I am Aes Sedai and you are my Warder. That should be enough. Can’t you see that things in the world aren’t right? Surely your wild dogs have told you that things are amiss.”

                Letto’s brow furrowed and anger poured from her and into Vivienne through the Bond.

                Easy, Vivienne thought to herself as she sought serenity.

                “I apologize, Letto. I spoke hastily. Please. I did not mean that. You know I value you and your connection with the wolves. I respect that connection. It’s just… You don’t think I am restless and frustrated as well? The Dragon has been reborn, the Dark One touches the Pattern, the Nations are in chaos, there is a foreign empire invading the continent with the intent of enslaving every woman that can touch the Source, and the Tower is divided! Oh, how I wish I could fix this all with a weave, but I cannot. The commoners need our attention, true, but they also need a Queen that will care for them. By assisting the Daughter-Heir, we are assisting the people. Do you disagree?”

                Letto still felt tense, but the anger subsided. Mostly. The woman’s jaw tightened before responding.

                “Of course, Vivienne Sedai,” Letto pronounced the honorific in a half-mock tone, “It is just that I fail to see how helping some ex-noble steal his Father’s claims is going to serve the greater good.”

                Vivienne ignored the mockery, “Our future queen must show a strong sense of justice.”

                “But is it her place?”

                It was Vivienne’s turn to furrow a brow, she let her mask of serenity slip around Letto. They were in the hallways though, behind a ward. Not in their apartments. Vivienne quickly schooled her expression at the thought. She was not some flighty Novice. She was in control.

                “Yes, but the Daughter-Heir is still a High Seat in her own right, the rest of the Houses are wrapped up in the Succession. In light of the charges, the High Seat of Gilyard is a stain on Andor. He must be removed. By dispensing justice on a peer, in absence of a Queen, the Daughter-Heir is showing the other High Seats that she is not afraid to dispense justice and, also, display her own strength. Andor needs a strong queen, Letto.”

                The Warder considered it thoughtfully. She raised a finger and responded more evenly than she had before.

                “I still don’t like it. We’re supposed to spy on the ex-Asha’man and make sure he doesn’t ‘unjustly’ murder his father. Sounds like a lot of games to me, Viv,” Letto said as she folded her arms under her breasts. The woman cocked an eyebrow at Vivienne and tilted her head slightly, inviting a verbal challenge.

                “Well, keep a wary eye out if your worried, Letto, but by the Light, we are assisting Merdyn Gilyard and we shall do whatever we must to assist the Daughter-Heir in securing the Throne. For the people of Andor and for the Tower.”

                Letto groaned and Vivienne dispelled the ward, glaring back at her Warder.

                The two women proceeded down the hall, twisting and winding about the Palace in forced silence. Vivienne’s face was calm and smooth, but inside she roiled at her Warder. The woman had clearly done it to goad her, hoping to push her towards abandoning the mission out of morals, going back to the New City to work amongst the people. Vivienne wouldn’t be budged. She really did believe that the High Seat of Trakand was the best of the contenders for the Lion Throne. Vivienne had talked to the High Seat about the people of the realm, and she had proved to be a humanitarian. She wanted to care for them, feed them, protect them, harden them. The late Queen would be proud of her daughter. Not to mention that the young Trakand had held the Dragon’s favor.

                She was no fool. Vivienne knew that the Dragon Reborn would shake the land and was key to winning the Last Battle. The Blue would throw her lot in with him and his associates any day, especially with the Tower suffering a schism. She only hoped that he fulfilled the Prophecies and brought the people of the land a victory against the Shadow.

                After a time, the two women came to Lord Gilyard’s chamber door. The slender, blonde Warder shifted in her leather armor and Vivienne smoothed her silken blue skirts, taking care to tuck away loose strands of flaming red hair. She raised a hand to knock upon the door, but faltered and looked back to her Warder.

                “We should probably assert a little authority, huh?”

                Letto shrugged, barely hiding a smirk.

                Vivienne channeled flows of air and pushed the door open, striding in with a smooth face and straight back. Letto followed closely behind with wolf-like grace, Warder cloak shifting on her shoulders in a sicking shifting of colors. The hopeful-Lord Gilyard sat upon a chaise lounge, taking his morning meal with a young man in red livery attending him. The ex-Asha’man smirked and opened his mouth, but Vivienne spoke first.

                “Lord Gilyard, I presume? You may call me Vivienne Sedai. Have you any wine?”

"The power Voodoo. Hoodoo? You do! Do what!?"

Messages In This Thread
On Matters of Succession - by Aiden Finnegan - 12-19-2018, 06:32 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Rowan Finnegan - 12-19-2018, 06:39 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Siobhan West - 12-20-2018, 01:42 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Aiden Finnegan - 01-05-2019, 10:39 PM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Rowan Finnegan - 02-02-2019, 07:32 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Siobhan West - 02-12-2019, 04:37 AM

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