Lord Rayven sat in the Room of Truth surrounded by the tomes he had made himself familiar with. He had studied regularly the words of the Light and looked hard for the truth that he felt held itself close to the future.
In front of him stood a letter, once written, now crumpled and only relevant in the timely betrayal he felt; a heavy heart awaiting new vigor to build amidst the renewed vitality of conviction. It was written in a familiar hand and sealed with with a shepherd’s crook visible over a sunburst. The wax looks dried as if withheld for some time for concern and reflection.
My Lord, High Inquisitor Rhadam Asunawa,
I have spent a grave many day wandering through the dungeons of the fortress and questioning prisoners in the holding cells to in an attempt to placate my concern over the ever increasing tides of darkness that seem to stream from the White Walls and beyond. My time with the coward Turak in the Chamber of Truth proved fruitful, but not in appeasing my worries on the future. My Lord, I believe that we edge ever closer to the Final Battle and that it may indeed be upon us.
I have spent many hours with our beloved volume of The Way of the Light and tried to work through the words of Lothair Mantelar and apply them to the problems that we face in the current battle against the Dark. I have studied in the Chapel of Mantelar to engage the original shepherd’s words. I have traveled to the tombs of Ewiene, Seeras, and Mushu and there have settled down among our past warriors to reflect and ponder among the statues of those, who among them, did service to the Light in their own way. I have walked prisoners to the Courtyard of Deliverance and there watched the Light’s just be administered and found myself, as of late, questioning the way we have led ourselves to interpret The Way of the Light and the way we have chosen to preach it, most of all.
I have studied the words of the passage we prize on the open tome in the Dome of Truth, and it is the interpretation that I feel has not been done on these words to benefit the Light. “Flesh is weak but spirit is strong; flesh is useless where spirit is strong.” If these are the tenets among our belief then we allow our own spirit to weaken by not challenging it and our beliefs. If “right thought is drowned in sensation, and right action hindered by passions” why do we confine ourselves, and the Children, amidst a passionate belief in what we only believe. Our passions may be the blinding force that leads us to drive numbers away from the duty of the Light in the dark times that are coming in the Final Battle.
We have lost Kesumi to the Dark Side and none of the Inquisitors at the time were able to declare him a true darkfriend, and yet we were correct in declaring so many darkfriends in the White Tower. We had assumptions and evidence against Cenae and Kedelacia. The dark has been allowed to foster a home within the walls of the Tower because our eyes are not present and our voices are not heard. Kesumi’s fall led to a visual assumption that we are all darkfriends from the world. It led to us being perceived as an insular group that does not live by the words that we study which is not true.
As I have writ, I believe the Final Battle is looming. It may be upon us now. We must refocus and rewrite our rules so that we do not cause senseless damage to the Light’s ability to fight and push back against the Shadow. In reading through the work of Mantelar, it seems we have gravely misread the work and warped it into a tenet to our own belief structure that damages our fight against the shadow. In The Way of the Light there is statement that portends to the belief that all women who use the One Power are evil. This belief may have easily been something implanted over the course of years by darkfriends in high places within our own organization.
If we are believing something planted by the Dark One’s horde within our own organization than we are acting in accord, not to the Creator’s Will, but to the Will of the Dark One. The idea that our ideology has been tainted by the power of the Shadow disturbs me greatly. I believe it is at the foremost of the things we need to change in our organization currently as the Final Battle comes closer.
I believe that it should be the discretion of the Child or Hand to make the choice whether or not they should group with criminals or female channelers if that group would be capable of pushing back against the Shadow and leading to a victory for the Light. Even criminals of our organization may have a vested interest in a battle against the shadow—and the ongoing belief that there is something inherently evil in those who fight against the Shadow may be a detriment to our ability to fight against it.
I also believe that entering the walls of Tar Valon and preaching the good will of the Creator and the Light may lead to a reduction in the amount of darkfriends in the world. Creating a sense of good will may also encourage the Tower to hand over to us the individuals that they consider darkfriends for questioning. It is through a visual presence in Tar Valon that we may lead to another detrimental blow to the White Tower—we could eliminate the darkfriends within the organizations easy avoidance of blame and suspicion.
If our spirit is to be strong, and strengthened, it will only be through engaging in experiences that force us to hold tightly to what we believe and what we see as righteous. We must make it clear that we follow the specifics of Mantelar’s teachings: that temptations to wield the One Power can corrupt. It seems to me, from what we know of the organization within the White Tower, that the Oaths they force their witches to swear is an attempt to mandate a refusal to fall into the temptations of the Dark One through the power. This still leaves the young within that organization prey to the Dark One and we must be visible and disallow any opportunity for those witches to fall prey to the temptations of the Dark One. We must have an active presence more vigilant than we currently have and this will require a willingness to challenge our spirit and beliefs through engagements with those who we see as victims of the temptations of the Shadow.
Though, let me be clear, I am not an individual who goes through reflections in dereliction of my duties. I have given you the scalps of two witches who dared to enter the walls of Amador. I struck them down and posted their scalps around the city to remind the citizens that we tirelessly fight against all forms of the shadow. A witch who ignores our laws is a darkfriend with sinister intent. I am aware of the realities of the world.
Above all, though, High Inquisitor, I believe that the Final Battle is upon us and we must recognize that the struggle against the Shadow outweighs all other concerns. We must loosen the binds of ideological blindness that we may engage our own beliefs and strengthen our resolve to stand against the Shadow until our last breathe.
A son of the Light,
Lord Rayven the Inquisitor, A’vron’toh rahien
He reflected on this as he mulled the words from Tar Valon. They had betrayed a promise given. In friendship they had met--blatant lies--the forces of the Dark stirred within the fortress of lies. The old feeling arose and he realized that his hopes for a collective victory against the Dark One would not be helped by lining up side by side with the witches and lapdogs that curled at the feet of the Dark One amidst their tower of blaspheme. These hypocrites would be taken at the word and put to the sword. There was no alliance against those who wished for the world to come burning to an end and a banishment was simply a coward's declaration of war.
No mercy would be shone and his blades would run red with the blood of the prophets who had once spoken and, in truth, created the world's end. I was wrong. There is no mandate to refuse the temptations of the power. The Tower has fallen corrupt and must, once again, be burned through fire and fury till each last soul is cleansed and bereft of the darkness which has compounded in the bureaucratic corruption of an organization that seeks to damn the Light to the fate of an never ending night. Those foul souls stuck in the treachery of their ways fail to remember--the darkest hour of the darkest night comes right before the dawn.
His heart beat a familiar tune and his soul awoke with the cry of "Forward the Children, Forward the Light!" The Hand stood and pulled his cloak tight and felt the red and soft sigil abreast. His yawp would be in bloodshed and his penitence for the sins of trust in the goodness inherent would be a mound of heads. Let the discretion stand for each to choose against the hordes of the shadow in flesh; let no discretion stand that assumes innocence within a vast network of corruption that exposes itself in the persecution of innocence. The Light, the white, the right. We triumph in the salvation and purging of such oppressive forces that seek to hamstring the unity of the Light in public insults and declarations. The Black Ajahs shall be exposed for their fealty to the dark.