Categories > Books > Wheel of Time > Defining Lives

Motherly Mistakes

by Cat_Alex 0 Reviews

Asmodean goes through the events of his life that led him to the path of the dark. Explains why he had his mother dragged off by Myrddraal and includes an OC in the form of a sister. Three differen...

Category: Wheel of Time - Rating: G - Genres: Angst, Drama - Characters: Other - Published: 2006/06/17 - Updated: 2006/06/17 - 2780 words

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Motherly Mistakes


Children are important. Even before I knew I could channel and became Aes Sedai, the knowledge was one I knew to be true. How they are important can vary greatly, from children that support and care for their parents, to children who bring down their parents in fire, blood and ashes. The power of children is great; they are needed to continue lines, to complete lives, to carry burdens and become what their parents wanted to be.

I had lived for over two hundred years with this knowledge, but still childless. I was serving the people, not much more than a busybody within the Hall of Servants. I had spent my childhood in the small town of Shorelle, which grew into a city as the decades passed. As Aes Sedai I possessed somewhat upright and almost cold qualities, but a part of me inside yearned for children. But to marry and bear children was rare among Aes Sedai. Yet still, I wished to break the mould.

Aged two hundred and ninety-six I met Phinlai Nessosin in my home city of Shorelle while on some business for the Hall of Servants. The business concerned the Shorelle government, but that did not matter. What mattered was the fisherman hauling his nets from his medium sized fishing boat at the harbour. The weather that day had been so beautiful; the fierce sun sparkling off the cool, calm azure sea. All the colours had seemed so intense, the shade of his boat, his intense blue eyes contrasting with his dark hair. I had such a cool calm exterior, the midday heat not touching me while he sweated, his large arms heaving salty fish filled nets. I don't know what caught my eyes, perhaps his muscled arms, his charming smile and twinkling blue eyes.

We spoke, I trying valiantly to be cool and serene when a passionate fire burned in me while he was amused at my interest. I think he knew even then how I felt when on the outside I tried to hide it. Perhaps I was not a very good Aes Sedai. But soon I married the man and became Liya Nessosin, though the Hall of Servants found it distasteful, especially that it was someone who held no power. A common fisherman held no office, but I did not care. I loved him and that's all that mattered. My position within the Hall of Servants was lessened and I turned my attention to more domestic matters. Phinlai was already one hundred and fifty-five, but I spent many months preparing for a child before actually having one. I suppose that was quite a strange and methodical manner of handling it. The Aes Sedai ways bled into my daily activities, but either I did not notice or hid it from my own sight. It was only on later reflection I realised what a strange thing to do it was.

Joar was born and we were both proud parents. As soon as I looked into my baby's eyes, I knew he was destined for great things.

She looked into the eyes of this tiny bundle swaddled in her arms. His eyes were a very dull blue, sure to turn the same colour as her dark eyes within days. She had her own baby boy, a child just as she wanted. A grand responsibility compared to her job within the Hall of Servants. He watched her unblinkingly, as if she stunned him. No cries, just watching. Phinlai grinned at both mother and child, clearly pleased.

"What shall we be naming him?" the man asked in his deep voice and Liya gave a small smile of tenderness.

"How about something like... Jarin? I think it should begin with a J. He feels like a... I can't find the name to say it." Liya said, her eyes crinkling slightly with concentration, searching her mind for the boy's name.

"Joar. Let us call him Joar," Phinlai said firmly and a broad smile spread across Liya's face.

"Joar," she tried out his name softly, "that's it." And Joar Nessosin had been born.


I cared for Joar almost as if he were intricate porcelain, carefully playing with him and feeding him with a care. I mothered him too much, Phinlai always said, but I did not care. I wanted to spend every moment with the boy, especially if it turned out my genes had not passed and he was not a channeller. I would have precious time then.

Joar grew and with it I saw the first signs of his ability as a musician. Aged seven, playing a harp like an expert. His teachers immediately picked up on his skill with instruments and together we put him special classes to hone this skill. Joar was full of surprises. His skills as a composer and musician grew and made me the proudest woman in Shorelle. Once Joar had been born, I dropped my duties within the Hall of Servants and focused on my family. I bound him tight to me with strings both of motherly love and that an Aes Sedai would wield. It is hard to break such ingrained habits, tying strings to oneself and pulling them with barely a thought. The need to spin controlling ties and use them as and when necessary was something all Aes Sedai utilised. And it does not blend with a family life, not when you bind them up in your own personal affairs, when you want them to be something they are not and pull the strings tight to make them become it anyway. But the strings had not been that strong then.

Joar was tested for the spark and I was told that he could channel. I was even prouder of him, it knew no bounds. He was taught to channel and about composition. I pushed Joar, encouraged him to learn fast and well. And he did. He was young and looked up to me and clung to me so tight when he was a little boy. Joar was never close with his father, or his father with him. I don't know why. Perhaps it was because Joar was a very gifted boy, intelligent beyond his years while his father was just a fisherman. I will never know.

Joar grew up so quickly and his talent kept his mind occupied. Aged fifteen, people were revelling his gift for compositions and were listening to him all over the world. World renowned at fifteen. It was too good to be true. And he was growing up so fast, I realised. I began to feel the urge to have another child, though by non-channelling standards Phinlai was getting old. We spoke about it and decided to have a second child. I was so alight and happy with the knowledge a second protégé could be on its way. I had high hopes for my second child, though worried about the twenty-five year age gap between the siblings. Joar had other concerns now he was older. He lived alone in Comelle, working on his compositions.

I had Eila and she did not turn out as Joar did. She was a beautiful baby, looking much like Joar when he was young. Joar briefly visited me after I had given birth and I knew he tried so hard to appear interested, but a baby sister meant little to him. I understood and was still proud of his work. The glory he carried. Now I look back, I think I tried to be extra proud because his father was almost... uninterested. It was especially noticeable when he took such an interest in Eila. But that may have been because he knew his time was drawing near. And when Eila turned only two years old, he died. I managed fine; I had been Aes Sedai for near three hundred years previously, so it was not as hard as I thought it would be. I surprised myself how easily I adapted and worried about my lack of sadness at Phinlai's passing. But I had Eila to care for.

Eila was indeed a beautiful child, but she did not bear any noticeable talents like Joar had. And it appeared she did not have the inborn spark, which greatly saddened me. That I would surpass my daughter in life and have to bury her cut deep inside, but I hid it. She met her brother properly when she was four years old, when he was twenty-nine. He was so awkward during the whole affair, it was sweet to watch him try and play with her as best as he could. Eila adored him from the moment their matching dark eyes met, the toothy smile that hinted mischief.

"Who's that?" Eila asked her mother in her sweet innocent voice that rang like a tinkling bell. Her mother looked over from Joar to Eila, who stood in the doorway. Her head didn't even reach the door handle and she stared up at her mother and brother with open curiosity. Joar studied his sister with equal inquisitiveness. She had grown into a whole different person from the brief time he saw her when she was only a day or two old.

Liya got to her knees and motioned for the little girl to come to her, which Eila did and her mother put an arm around her small shoulders.

"This, Eila, is your brother that I told you about, remember?" her mother explained and the little girl's face brightened considerably.

"Joar!" she squealed and ran from her mother to the anxious man with dark hair and eyes, wrapping her arms around his knees. Joar didn't know what to do, looking to his mother for an answer. All he received was a motion to hug the little girl. With a worried frown, he awkwardly bent down and clumsily hugged her, making Eila laugh and run outside.

Joar looked to his mother again, uncertainty plain in his eyes. "What do I do, Mother?" He ran a hand through his hair and his eyes moved to the door his little sister had careered out of.

"Joar, you follow her. And play," Liya told her son tenderly and the young man gave a brief smile and nod and then followed where Eila had gone. A smile spread slowly across the woman's lips. They would be fine.


But Eila began to grow up and I found myself losing interest, which I knew was a bad thing but I could not help myself. My life had been devoted to Joar for twenty-five years before Eila had even been born and the strings I had tied to him half unknowingly were in my hands where Eila had none. She passed undetected, collecting awards and praise I did not acknowledge until much later when I knew in my heart the damage had already been done. I shouldn't have forgotten her, but I did. My mind was too focused on the prestige Joar was claiming.

When he gained his third name and I was ecstatic; more than ecstatic. I glowed with pride throughout the award ceremony and for a long time afterward, telling anyone who would listen to me within Shorelle. Still Eila remained in the shadows, though she was happy for her brother. She was always a happy child.

It wasn't until later I saw how the two siblings had been on opposite ends of a pair of scales. When Joar had all the glory, he soared while Eila was unnoticed. And as she began to climb her way up the political ladder as she got older, Joar seemed to fade into the background and became forgotten by the world. It was my mistake, my foolish mistake to tip in accordance to those scales like an Aes Sedai weighing up the situation to their favour. But it had gone on too long to stop.

And so I continued this way, leaning toward my less favoured daughter and away from my favourite son. Whenever Eila tried to mention Joar, I would ignore it despite the questioning pain in her dark eyes. The regret of my actions made it too great to bear speaking of him. I knew I had been foolish and could patch the rift between us, but I wasn't sure if the rift was too great to be bridged. My courage failed me, a weakness I hid to the best of my ability. Externally I appeared calm and steely, but internally I felt desperation tinge my every thought.

One of the most terrible pains in my life was when the knowledge that I would outlive Eila came to pass. She died at only two hundred and thirteen when I was five hundred and thirty-four and still strong as ever. I did not see Joar at the elaborate funeral procession they had held in Paaran Disen for Eila, but I knew he was there. He truly loved his sister.

I probably could have found him and spoke, but I did not. I mourned privately for a long time, not caring that the world was beginning to fail. The accident at the Collam Daam meant nothing to me. I didn't care any longer. I only began to take notice when I heard Joar had gone over to the Dark One. It shook me deeply hearing people call him Asmodean and refuse to use his true name. I began to move about as if running from him, but I didn't have any hope to escape my own son. He was my flesh and blood. Children are fated to decide their own parent's fate when they are grown up. Joar had chosen to bring me down in fire, blood and ashes, rather than to continue the line of Nessosin's. He completed my life in a final manner.

He visited me during the Collapse after he had gone over to the Dark One. I knew I would have to confront him one day. It was more him confronting me and I submitting. The twisted look of hatred on his face finally drove home how much I had hurt him, how he had taken it so badly. He really had been a clingy child and never grew out of depending on me in all sorts of ways. Emotional support usually. It was his right to hate me though; I was truly sorry I effectively abandoned him. If I could turn back time... but that is pointless. It cannot be undone and my son was right to exact the price he did.

The severing had hurt, the loss of such glory and joy, but not as much as the pain within me that cried piteously. If I had done things differently...

Joar had turned to the shadow and led a personal vendetta against me. I tried to run and hide, but he tracked me down like a wild animal and had me taken away by Myrddraal. Of all the things he could have done, that had been terrible. But still I did not hate my son. I kept repeating in my mind 'It is his right... It is his right' with no care for myself. I let him exact my penance and saw his eyes stare dully back as a scream escaped my lips while I was carried away. I hoped that he would be happy now I was suffering. Suffering for his happiness was fine with me.

I died like that, tormented by Myrddraal and unable to touch the True Source. Both were hard blows, but for my children... It always came back to children and their importance. It was my motherly mistake of caring too much for my children that led me down this path. Was it so motherly, though? I recognised through my haze of pain that spending so much of my life as Aes Sedai had intervened with my ability as a mother. Using my children so had been a fatal mistake and one I carried with me for the rest of my life. In Shayol Ghul, my life did not extend far. I died, tormented but glad I had made my son happy and paid the price of my mistake. I remembered Eila's death and wept only for her and Joar as I drew my last breath.

Children had been my life and my death. Their importance in life cannot be recognised until you have them, but by then you have sealed your fate. Your fate rests in theirs. Love and care well for them and you have ensured their power. To live for them is to die for them, so shall it be.

I hope to see Eila again, and Joar one day.
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