blue_ajah: (studying at her desk)
She is upstairs working this evening, alternating between several projects in order that she might remain able to view each with clear mind and focus.

Moiraine has just set aside a journal open to her notes on the loosening of the Pattern and its effect on the dead of her world -- and now, perhaps, another -- and turned again in her anthology of poetry to a particular work, marked with a blue silk ribbon.
blue_ajah: (writing in her journal)
This post is designed as a place to collect IC get-well letters to [ profile] in_the_blue from a variety of Milliways characters.

Please, feel free to contribute!
blue_ajah: (duty heavier than a mountain)
Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.

She has had her suspicions for some time now. Looking back, Moiraine cannot say for sure when it was that she first began to become aware of what would eventually need to be done.

What evidently must be done, if both she and her world are to survive.

It had been different once, of course. It had not mattered, before she had taken up residence within the Dreaming.

The World of Dreams. Tel'aran'rhiod. It has been believed to be a threat to your humanity...

Even then it had not mattered, not until her fall through a shining portal had shattered her link to Dream-- just as her fall through a redstone ter'angreal had once broken another Warder's bond, leaving her alone within the Tower of Ghenjei.

The Wheel weaves. All things are part of the Pattern.

She had not wanted to admit it, even to herself. She had accepted, years before, that none of the paths she had foreseen in the visions of Rhuidean had led her to Milliways, and had wondered if the change might not matter-- or might even be advantageous for them all, in some unfathomable way.

But time had passed, and events in her world have begun to spiral. The Pattern thins as Tarmon Gai'don draws ever nearer-- she knows it, Rand knows it, Nynaeve knows it-- they all do. And so she had thrown herself into her work in a very literal sense, without more than passing thought for what might happen.

You Blues. Always so ready to save the world that you lose yourselves.

Even when she had realized, she could not honestly say that she had been surprised. Somewhere deep within, she had known this day would come. She had once been warned, as it happens.

It is not given to mortals to love the Endless.

And now, she has waited almost until it is too late.

When she finds him, he is not in the Garden-- not that she had expected him to be. Nor is he in the chambers that they had once shared, or in the castle's great hall. Instead, Dream stands on a high balcony under a storm-darkened sky, pale fingers clenched tightly on a gray stone railing, wild black hair and robes both untouched by the rising wind as he looks out toward glittering diamond shores beside a sea of fallen tears.

He already knows what she has come to say. Being who he is, he cannot do otherwise. Still, there are rules, and some things must be spoken -- no matter how difficult.

In the end, it does not take long.

When Moiraine returns to the bar, it is with the knowledge that whatever hope of happiness she and the Endless who was once her husband might find together in the future, it will not come to pass until after the end of things. From this point forward, her life in her own world will be as that of Moiraine Sedai only, and no longer as the wife of Dream. She will never again set foot in the Milliways Dreaming as a living woman.

Unless she finds herself there in her dreams.

And even then, no matter how one might wish it otherwise, there is only one way a dream can end.

You wake up.
blue_ajah: (Default)
"Everything is tangled."

She murmurs it, bracing her hand against the wall of the (Tower of Ghenjei) castle for support-- and then flinching violently away from it again as her fingers sink into phantom (shining steel) stone. Shivering, Moiraine wraps her arms around herself and staggers a few steps further down the hallway before she stops, staring blankly into space.

"I cannot find my way. Where am I? I cannot see... I cannot hold, I must hold, I am lost in my own mind, sa souvraya niende misain ye..."

Days it has been, or perhaps weeks, but how many she no longer knows. Every minute has turned into a horror of uncertainty, and each careful step brings a flare of agony bursting like flame behind half-blinded eyes as she walks two places at once (tower tall or castle wall or dreaming hall) and sometimes more. Now she takes only a few at a time, groping her way toward somewhere quiet and away from others before her strength runs out.

All men dream. But I know dreams for dreams. This is reality. The words are spoken quietly from a short distance ahead of her, and her head jerks up.

"Lan? No -- you cannot be here, not if this is real-- your path lies elsewhere--" The shadow-shape of the figure before her fades and is gone, and Moiraine closes her eyes, fighting back exhausted tears. "I saw it, once. I know it, I knew it, I remember -- don't I? But I was never supposed to be here..."

You're towerpent. The rough, smoke-hardened voice is almost a whisper, coming from behind her. Moiraine does not turn around. "And you are dead, Joe Manco, and even before that you were never here."

Doesn't matter, the ghost answers, inexorably I dreamed you, remember? And mebbe now you're dreaming me. One of us isn't real, I s'pose. Anyway, if it ain't the Tower, then this must be the Castle of Madness.

"No. No." She shakes her head wildly, and runs forward around a corner before she gets control of herself. "It is not -- I am not, must not--"

"I have had enough of this nonsense." From behind her, a hand grabs her arm and jerks her around. Melfane glares at her, then pulls her into a side room and lets go, placing both hands on her hips. "You were supposed to attend the Lady Elayne two hours ago, and so I come looking for you, and what do I find? Light, Syrenne, you're delirious! Now, you will stay right here until I bring one of the Aes Sedai, or one of those Kinswomen. I don't care how stubborn you are, if I can't help you, someone else will." She stalks from the room, slamming the wooden door behind her and dropping a heavy bar into place as she goes.

"No!" It would be a scream if she had the strength for it, but instead it is a whisper. In horror, Moiraine staggers to the door, pounding on it. "No-- I cannot-- they will find out-- I am not supposed to be here--"

As she speaks, the world whirls around her, fading into a dreaming reality that shimmers with the cold cruel steel of a once-destroyed tower, and she jerks back, chanting in a high thin voice,

"Courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to daze, iron to bind." As the vision fades, she shakes her head, then closes her eyes and forces herself to stillness with the last ounce of will.

"If a sister examines me, she will know, and all is lost. None of them can be trusted with this-- I must go back--"

Saidar rushes through her and explodes outward into a shining silver portal.

"--I was never supposed to be here--"

With a soft despairing cry, Moiraine falls forward into the gateway as it dissolves in fire.
blue_ajah: (Default)
As she crossed through the gateway from Milliways into her own world, for a single impossible moment everything had seemed to shift, stretching and coiling and folding around her in a sickeningly familiar fashion--

(the Tower this is the Tower I am in the Tower of Ghenjei)

(...but the Tower is destroyed...?)

--and then she found herself through, and the portal closed, and the moment now past.

Still dizzy from the violence of the transition, the Aes Sedai had nevertheless wasted not an instant before opening herself to saidar once again, seeking any hint of residue that might be left in this dusty, unused room from when she had departed from here to Milliways, months before as time is reckoned in the bar. I must know how long it has been, else this whole venture may be worse than a trap.

What she had found shocked her all over again. A day, or a little more, Moiraine had thought, stunned. No more than that. The distance between here and the bar continues to widen. I must be careful.

Quickly, she had unwoven all traces of her passing, destroying the telltale residues, and then "Syrenne" had left the room and hurried back to the servants' corridor.

All of this had been two days ago-- or she thinks it has been two days, at any rate. It is hard for her to tell, now; the dizziness of the crossing has not faded, this time, but continues instead to worsen. Time itself seems to stretch and slip around her, fading in and out as though she herself is but a ghost moving through a world that does not know her.

How can one hope to preserve time when it is endlessly slipping away? The whisper in her mind is spoken in Rand's voice, although they are not Rand's words -- it had been Lews Therin who had given her that warning, words of a madman spoken as advice to a woman who had not then felt as if she were going mad herself.

Still, that she remembers, that had happened--

--hadn't it?

In despair, she closes her eyes and covers them with her hands, trying to clear her mind, trying to focus on what she knows is true.

(so many paths I saw in Rhuidean - have I lost my way?)

"I am in (the Tower of Ghenjei) Caemlyn, in the palace," she murmurs, almost desperately. "Although I never imagined it, still it is real. It is."

"Woolgathering, Syrenne?" As Moiraine's head snaps up in surprise, Melfane walks all the way into the room and continues, smiling, "Or is it daydreaming? Of course you are in the palace-- why, where else did you think you would be?"

Moiraine shakes her head, saying quickly, "Oh-- perhaps it was only a daydream, at that. Sometimes it is still hard to believe that I am here, that is all."

"And where else should you be, but here and helping me look after Lady Elayne?" Melfane frowns, looking at her. "Aren't you getting any sleep at all? Are you sick? One of the Aes Sedai might help, for the Daughter-Heir's sake, if you are--"

"No!" she breaks in, and could bite her own tongue in two for the sudden sharpness of it. Light, woman, you will have the midwife suspicious of you if you are not careful! "No," Moiraine says again, "There is no need to disturb one of the Aes Sedai -- they have important things to do." Not to mention that the last thing she needs is for any sister to be examining her.

"Well, maybe you are right," Melfane admits, taking her by the arm and starting to lead her toward the kitchens as she chatters. "In that case, you will drink a full cup of my good flatwort and andilay root tea, and you can sit down for a while on the east stairs. Why, from there, you can even hear the new musicians they've hired-- not a patch on the Court Bard back in Morgase's day, I hear, but then that Merrilin had to move quickly to stay ahead of the headsman's axe when he left, Essande says--"

(my dearest Thom)

She misses a step at the sudden flash of thought (that was real this is real what is real now?), stumbling hard into the other woman. As Melfane exclaims and steadies her, Moiraine bites the inside of her lip until she tastes blood, fighting to clear her mind.

Oh, Light, what is happening to me?
blue_ajah: (Default)
Two of the benefits to a warded study are its seclusion and its security. It has become her habit to take advantage of both on as near to a daily basis as she can manage.

This afternoon is no exception, and Moiraine is sitting at her desk, comparing the writings of Dylan Thomas to that of Tennyson.
blue_ajah: (ash and snow)
She had returned first from Quinn's world to the bar, and then later that night to the Dreaming.

Moiraine had not expected that he would seek her in public, not in light of this. And so, instead she glides through the hallways toward the upper reaches of the castle and the balcony there.

She does not know for certain where he is; she can no longer tell, not without the Warder's bond. It is merely a guess, based on what she knows of his habits.
blue_ajah: (court of cairhien)
It has been two weeks since Dream had left her standing on a beach made of diamonds and stars, by an ocean of tears. In that time, she has seen him once, and spoken to him not at all.

She is walking outside, this morning. Faith and Max's wedding is to be on Antar today, and she and Dream were to have attended.

Although there is time yet, her own temper is not the best, now. And so she walks -- a discreet distance from the lake, in order to not attract ed'Rashtekaresket's attention -- and muses upon things, and attempts to figure an approach to what is quickly becoming an untenable situation.
blue_ajah: (were it not that I have bad dreams)
She has been studying too long again this evening, trying to figure out how best to approach a number of matters. Tired beyond measure, Moiraine presses her hands to her eyes for a few minutes, attempting to summon strength enough to continue, just for a little longer.

Just for a little while longer.

When she opens her eyes again, she gasps in shock at finding herself in the small room. The door slides shut as she turns toward it, and the steel prison shivers as the elevator begins to descend.

"Going down," the voice says, and she whirls to face him. Dale Cooper smiles cheerfully at her from where he leans against the wall, hands in his pockets. His eyes are the flat jet of stone, with no pupil or white to be seen-- a demon's eyes.

She tries to speak to him, but can't. Horror chokes her.

"I know you're scared," he continues cheerfully, as the elevator falls faster and faster. "You should be. Everything's breaking. That's why they call it the End of the World."

The lights flicker off and on, on and off, and then there is a shuddering crash as the elevator hits ground.

"Last stop. You're home. Everybody out."

Moiraine shoves the steel barrier out of the way and stumbles through the opening.

The White Tower stands before her, the shining walls gleaming defiance by the light of the crazed flashes of lightning that rip across the reddened sky. She staggers and goes to her knees as the earth heaves beneath her feet, shock after shock sending the ground rolling like sea-waves.

"Light, no! It cannot be!" she cries, and is answered by a deep grave voice.

"It can," Merriman says. He stands across the courtyard, arms folded and the deep blue of his robes whipping around him in the wind as he looks impassively at her. "You have failed, Moiraine." Blackthorn branches tear in a mass from the seething earth at his feet and wrap themselves around him, sealing him inside the bole of a tree before catching fire. Avendoraldera, the only sapling of the Tree of Life, burns before her eyes, and she flinches back with a cry.

Her cry is answered by a scream from above, and her head jerks up to the sky, where a black-feathered Raven dances with the storm's gusts, dodging bolt after bolt of power. Madness is in that shriek, laughing madness which is echoed by that coming from the man now standing on Tar Valon's wall.

Red-haired and laughing wildly, Rand al'Thor screams as he calls down the lightning, screams as he shatters the earth, and the deep rolling laughter of a larger red-haired man standing behind the Dragon Reborn rumbles like thunder as Destruction witnesses it all.

In the wake of that laughter, the ringing of a brazen bell shivers the air itself into molten fire as the White Tower splits in two.

"NO!" The agonized scream is torn from her as Moiraine opens herself to saidar-- and in the sudden stillness the click of the silver collar settling around her throat is very loud. Everything freezes within her as the a'dam locks into place, binding her will and her ability to channel, enslaving her to another's control.

Holding the leash in his hand, Dale Cooper smiles down at her.

"I have to close the door."
blue_ajah: (shadowed serene)
The last few days have been very eventful indeed, and were she not Aes Sedai, the strain would be clearly visible.

As it is, those who know her well might be able to discern something from the very steadiness of her gaze and the focused intensity of her work-- were she working in the bar, that is.

Instead, once Moiraine left her small secluded valley, she had come to her study at Milliways. There she has remained since, save for occasional forays downstairs for such things as tea.
blue_ajah: (walking the garden path)
For once, she is not in the Library, nor in her study, nor at the desk in her suite. Moiraine is in the Garden, sitting on a bench that had one day appeared under a willow-tree.

She has a book in her hand, but is not reading it. Instead, she seems lost in her thoughts.
blue_ajah: (duty heavier than a mountain)
She has spent the morning and most of the afternoon studying possible solutions to the problems of the Forsaken, of Kim Bauer and the others, of her world, and -- after what she learned last night-- of Dale Cooper's situation.

All of this, as it happens, is more than sufficient to occupy her for some time. She very deliberately does not think about the argument with Dream.

Eventually, however, she leaves her study and makes her way downstairs to the bar. She has rarely felt less like eating, but will not allow herself to neglect her own strength -- especially not now.

I am as hard as I must be. I must remain so. I dare not falter. I cannot fail them.

She spends a few minutes at the bar, eating a sliced pear with cheese and sipping a cup of tea as she answers a letter from Tom Riddle, and then-- after glancing at the stairs and thinking of the closeness of her study-- Moiraine glides out the door toward the lake.

Perhaps she may find signs of Cooper's passing. Stranger things have happened.
blue_ajah: (shadowed serene)
(After this.)

She is not in her chambers, this evening. Nor is she to be found in the far distant valley, the Library, or the Garden with its offer of alluring peace.

Moiraine is pacing the hallways of the castle of dreams, looking up at stained glass windows as she glides by them. As she moves from one passage to another, the light from chandeliers and windows, from torches and unknown sources, gleams from the blue crystal kesiera upon her forehead.

...where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it...

Although she is outwardly serene, her thoughts will not be still, and so she herself cannot be still.

Not now.
blue_ajah: (under the light)
It is dawn of the day following the disappearances when Moiraine glides out the lake door, heading for the woods a second time. She had gone to see what might be found the previous evening, but had not had sufficient time for a detailed examination of the area in the face of the oncoming night.

All she had managed to discern was the sickening taint of the Shadow lying thickly over a semi-secluded area.

Now, as first light touches the sky, the Aes Sedai is there once more, searching. The glow around her is brighter than anything else at the moment -- including the thin morning sunlight.
blue_ajah: (watchful intensity)
She has considered the matter from every angle that she can think of, over the course of days.

She has made lists, now destroyed with their purpose fulfilled in order that none other may see them; she has written and sealed letters against possible need. A key to a room down the hall resides in her belt pouch, one which can be returned simply and without fuss should it not be required.

Now, Moiraine paces her study, thinking.

"The dangers are not inconsiderable," she mutters, idly testing the warding that lies over the room to prevent eavesdropping. "They cannot be completely eliminated, this I know, but they can be minimized."

She pauses, looking at a crystal paperweight that dances with cool blue fire. Moiraine turns away from it in order to touch her fingers to a sprig of crimson amaranth entwined with rosemary, one that stands in a waterglass on a small table. She stands there for a moment, musing aloud,

"I have survived worse for longer, and if I can fulfill this responsibility too, and in the process glean information from others in unexpected fashion-- then it may well be worth it. The Wheel weaves, and it is a chance unlooked-for, but a rare chance with great potential nonetheless."

"And yet, one thing remains to be seen, before I can know if it may indeed be done." She stirs, taking a small ivory figurine from her belt pouch and setting it on the shelf before picking up the two letters that are lying nearby and sealing them safely away in its place. "If his nerve has broken, or if he does not wish to remain here for such length, given the interference of Nyarlathotep-- then I cannot depend upon him. I must know, before I decide."

As evening falls, she leaves her study for the bar, sealing the door behind her with a touch of Air and Earth and tying the weave off. The trap that lies behind it is a small one, meant more to draw attention and conceal certain things in its springing than to cause harm.

Light willing, it will not be needed.
blue_ajah: (studying at her desk)
In the Dreaming, Moiraine's worktable sits at an angle in a corner space of the Library, not too far from the door and with a clear view of the infinite rows of shelving that sometimes seem to shift if one does not pay close attention. Tall windows with beveled glass are set in the stone walls to one side, overlooking the Garden, and chairs and sofas are scattered about the available space, encouraging one to read comfortably.

She tends to eschew the couches and chairs when she is studying, however, as she is now. Moiraine is at her table, with papers scattered about her, making a list of notes in her precise, neat handwriting.

A collection of the works of Corianin Nedeal lies on the table before her, with scraps of paper marking certain sections.
blue_ajah: (dark eyes aes sedai)
A night and a day have passed in her world since she returned to it, and sunset is once more painting the sky outside. Moiraine watches from a high window in a securely isolated palace tower as the light fades, one finger tapping the sill in idle thought.

Four days here, in exchange for one month at Milliways. It is something that has not happened to her before; previously, time had moved in synchronous fashion in both locations for the Aes Sedai, although she is well aware that such has not been the case for others.

Another day now has passed; how long has it been at the end of worlds?

"It is worth the risk to discover, I think," she murmurs aloud.

Word becomes deed, and a flicker of silver light flashes against the darkening sky outside the window, just for an instant, as Moiraine vanishes through the portal.
blue_ajah: (ash and snow)
In the wake of battle she had returned to Milliways-- there to be met by aid unexpected from her own world.

The Wheel weaves.

In light of what had come to pass, she had chosen to delay her return in order to observe, to study, to learn, and to guide where needed. Over the course of a month's time, as a slight headache slowly developed into constant, near-blinding pain, Moiraine had learned more than she had expected.

The question to ask... is what you believed you were stabilizing the Pattern with.

All things are part of the Pattern.

Including herself-- more so now than ever before.

The morning after her wedding anniversary, Moiraine had gone to the secluded valley in the Dreaming. There, she closed her eyes and embraced saidar, reaching back to her world through Tel'aran'rhiod, that from this place she might take a single step through the Gateway and so find herself there.

It is something that she had done before, but this time the world had seemed almost to shift and double around her.

When Moiraine opens her eyes, she is standing at the edge of an out-of-the-way room in the palace at Caemlyn-- a room still marked with the fading marks of saidar and signs of battle. She almost fails to notice the lack of headache -- almost -- as she delicately tests the edge of a single residue, attempting to determine its age.

Her eyes widen in shock at the answer.

Four days. Here, it has been only four days-- not a month.

She is not fool enough to open the door and trigger whatever traps Vandene may have left. Quickly, Moiraine opens another Gateway and leaves this room for another, more remote one.

Soon after, "Syrenne" passes unremarked down a distant corridor, moving back into the heart of the palace.

Four days.
blue_ajah: (ash and snow)
Midwinter may have passed, and Twelfth Night not long after, but spring is far away still. Winter's cold fills the air and blankets the ground with snow. Moiraine does not feel the cold, but she is aware of its dangers nonetheless. The Aes Sedai is dressed for warmth as she leaves the bar for the lakeshore.

An hour, perhaps more, has gone by already by the time she turns away from the site of the fallen house and goes down the path by the lake to where Bran's golden harp was raised. Moiraine pauses there, and for a flicker of an instant weary grief is clearly visible in dark eyes and on the ageless face. It is not, however, something that she wishes to let herself show clearly to those here, and it is more dangerous to show such weakness back in her world; and the Dreaming is of Dream.

She stands still for several long moments before she comes to a decision.

The ice is solid under her feet as she glides out toward the center of the lake.
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