This article is about the character Seira. Not to be confused with the player Siera.
|The Grey Tower
Seira is just on the shorter side of average and time away from the Tower began to soften the wiry lines made by the Warder Yards, although those are being achieved again. A feminine figure remains as she is molded into slender muscle. Her dark blue eyes speak of events that are difficult to recall and bring to mine, or find wisdom in, but they show a creature of strong emotions and an iron will that she never knew she possessed until now.
Emotionally, she is withdrawn from most everyone around her. She smiles and is polite, never outwardly cold or mean, but she doesn’t make friends. Solitarity. A loner. No one knows why, but any who might have caught wind of her story suspect: a Tuatha’an turned away from the Way, a channeler burnt out, a runaway returned home. It’s not hard for them to imagine that any of these things could have made her one to be on her own, let alone all three together...yet none of them could possibly guess the true reason; the complex nature of her existence.
Now she walks on a very delicate edge, living perpetually on that razor thin line that has become her very existence. She is suspended between not just two worlds, but many; the past and the present, the Way and the way she must live; the future and her goals; the Light, the Shadow, and the lies. She lives every day with the fear that she will fall and perish, but worse yet, take everyone else with her.
"It's a girl!"
Jumping out of the covered wagon, Kane threw wide his arms as he made his announcement to the whole of the Caravan, where the men, children and other women waited anxiously. The screams of childbirth had receded into the darkness, replaced by the wailing pitch of a newborn baby with healthy breath in its tiny body.
The rest of the Tuatha'an let out shouts of celebration. Musicians struck up their instruments and the sound of song rose high into the air, while bright colors spun and swirled around campfires as dances of joy commenced.
Beaming uncontrollably, Kane ducked back inside the wagon where his young bride Lycelle was leaning back against the pillows propped behind her with the infant wrapped in a blanket of multi-colored patches laying upon her chest, its loud declarations of life having flowed away like the tide and leaving quiet mewling noises in their place.
"What shall we name her?" Kane whispered as he slipped between the women who helped deliver his daughter, his first child, in this tiny wagon. They kept themselves busy cleaning up and keeping a silent eye on the new mother, but out of the way of the family. Unadulterated happiness drifted in on the air from outside, but Kane only had eyes and ears for his two women.
"Let's name her Seira," Lycelle suggested. Her voice was happy but feeble with exhaustion. The little girl began flexing her tiny lips and one of the elder women unobtrusively slipped to the other side of the bed and noted that this meant she was hungry, and so Lycelle fed her.
For several long moments, Kane couldn't think of anything to say as he watched them. When his voice and thought finally returned, he smiled again and couldn't find a single fiber of his being that wanted to argue with her, even if he'd had another idea. "Seira it is," he agreed, gently kissing his wife's hair as she watched over the child.
Seira grew up amongst her people. She learned all she could and was there to help her parents with the arrival of her brother and then her sister. A cheerful little girl, she was always more than willing to help anyone. True to the Tuatha'an beliefs, she followed the Way of the Leaf with utter devotion and harmed no living thing, or even harbored a violent thought.
The Caravan shrieked and the horses reared up, tearing loose of their lines as arrows - some with flame upon their tips - rained down. They seemed to come from anywhere, shortly followed by the beastly roars and sounds of heavy tread thudding on the ground, storming towards the camp. There was no where to go to get away, and so they tried to hide instead.
At just fifteen, Seira was a mature woman and did not panic. She was afraid, of course, and who wouldn't be? She still kept her head about her, however, and helped her mother and father to find her siblings and huddle them all together behind the family wagon.
Blood smell was acrid on the air as those who could not hide quickly enough were cut down by the Trollocs that slowly flooded the camp. The night's simple revelry was cut short in such a sudden and tragic way that it was almost impossible to fully comprehend what had just happened... what was happening, all around them.
"Lycelle," Kane said, "Get the children away from here."
He didn't need to say anything else. Lycelle's face crumbled inward as she understood perfectly what her husband was saying. Even now, she could hear the shouts of other men doing the same. It all happened too quickly, but the look in Kane's eyes said he would brook no refusal and no argument. The children had to be saved and for them, as Tuatha'an, this was the only way.
Lycelle kissed her husband one last time and he gave his children one last smile before leaping out, in plain sight of the enemy, and drawing all their attention away from the wagon. He was felled where he stood while Lycelle and the children ran as swiftly as they could into the night, entering the company of the other refugee women and children.
Regrouping as best they were able, sorrow permeated the huddled group as it began to rain. It was no more than a drizzle, and not even enough to put out their fire, but it was a tangible element to the grief that each one of them felt. Hugging her family to her, Seira's desperation and disbelief burrowed far inside and broke something free deep within that she didn't know was there. Despite the rain, the fires roared frightfully and dangerously high with each of Seira's sobs, scaring the little ones, until she - and everyone else - realized what happened and somehow, they all just knew... and although Lycelle did her best to comfort her poor daughter, Seira could not bear her own horror at the possibilities and left with dawn's light.
The One Power, she knew that much, and she also knew that any girl who could use it could not truly follow the Way of the Leaf. The two were contrary, because of what the Power meant. Seira could not bear the thought of not even having her path in life, as well as no longer having her family, and yet her deeply entrenched beliefs stayed her hand against even herself.
She wandered without consolation into the first city she found and let herself traverse the streets at night, putting herself in the precise danger that she had always been cautioned of. Her brightly colored, if now dirty, clothing was enough to show what she was and to attract a good deal of attention. She did not even remember the name of the city she was in, if she had ever known it in the first place, but perhaps she could find the end of her misery here.
Tavern doors swung open, spilling brawling drunks and bright light out on to the dark street. Eyes leered at her from the darkness of alleys. Sinister thoughts were nearly as vibrant as the light from Tavern windows and yet it was none of these that caught her.
"Are you foolish, girl?" It was a woman's voice that spoke the incredulous question, and a woman's hand that grabbed Seira's arm and spun her around. "Are you trying to get yourself killed, being in this alley at this time of night?" It was primarily a question, though demand and statement were not far behind it. Yet as the piercing blue eyes peered down into Seira's, a distinct changed came over the smooth face: a look of comprehension and surprise. "Oh, I see," she said in a much softened voice.
"Let me go," Seira said with silver tears lining her eyes. "I can't let it hurt anyone."
The woman frowned briefly. Her features were smooth, like a stone polished by the water, and made the blue of her eyes all the more startling. Seira could not rightly guess at her age. "No, we can't," she agreed with yet more of that apparently understanding. "This is not the place for it, though. I have somewhere better."
With nothing to lose, Seira went with the woman. She almost hoped that the elder would kill her, but there was no such luck. Instead she introduced herself as an Aes Sedai and said she was taking Seira to a place called the Grey Tower where she could be trained, despite being unable to touch the Power again, even with the Aes Sedai's help... not that Seira really wanted to.
If there was to be no true death, she vowed to herself to impose another death. To commemorate the death of her ability to follow the Way of the Leaf: she would no longer sing or dance, in joy or sorrow. What right did she have to do so when her own mind betrayed her with an ability that robbed her of what she had left?
Little does she know now, of course, that the very things she has sworn against will be the key to unlocking the ability that exiled her from them in the first place.
Since arriving at the Tower, things have never been right again. Seira battled to try to control her Power, but swung from not being able to touch it to it over-whelming her. Dreams of the past plagued her and finally the two combined to a loss of control that lit a fire in her mind and on her body. The burns to the body were Healed, but in her mind the ability to touch the Source was burnt out and not to be regained.
Unlike some young women who lose their ability to channel, Seira did not seek to take her own life. In her mind, she already had lost her life and had no where to go. So when the chance to remain at the Tower was presented in the form of becoming a Drin'far'ji, she took it. She no longer felt that she was Tuatha'an, so why not?
However, life is never still. After a thwarted suicide attempt, Seira was able to find it in herself to be herself once again and reconcile her past with her present so that she might live her life and love, and have joy, and dance yet again.
It seemed that the Light was waiting upon her, for just as she had come to accept this existence, she was found by her family. No longer able to channel, they welcomed her back with them so long as she forsaked all weapons. Desperate to be once again with her people, she did so…
...and yet life is still never still.
Her family died. Her clan was lost. She was found.
Knowing that she was once of the Grey Tower, she was found by the Black Ajah. Compelled. Turned. Healed. Through means that no one would discuss with her, she was given back the ability that she never wanted in the first place: the touch the One Power. Driven by their compulsions and afforded with the means to hide it, she was returned to the ranks of the Warder Yards of the Grey Tower.
Yet something they did not expect, and did not know, occurred: the compulsions wore off.
Angry at the world, and angry at the Shadow, the girl devised a plan. She pretended to be the stooge of the Black Ajah, while using the lack of Oaths and the hidden talents from their efforts to secretly thwart them and begin to help strengthen the home she once loved, that had once again accepted her, to fight the Shadow and prepare for the Last Battle.
It was a thin line to walk upon, but she had already died in her heart more than once. They could do no worse to her, and maybe through evil, she could do good.
- Ji'val (13 December 2015)