Wilder in the Mist   

By: Rikku24 Chapter 1: Lady in the Forest

From the depths of the forest there came a beautiful melody. Sweet and beautiful enough to lift the soul but so sorrowful it caused tears to come from one's eyes.  Egwene al'Vere searched for the source of the sound. Following it through the dark forest. Animals and insects wandered about while birds sang. But no matter how loud nature was the song was louder. She followed it for a long time until even her path into the forest was lost. Tears formed on the rim of Egwene's eyes as she drew closer to the song's source. It was so beautiful yet so sad. It made Egwene cry for both sorrow and joy. There was a clearing up ahead. At this distance, Egwene could tell that the song's source was a young woman's voice and the melody of a harp.

Upon a log sat a woman with pointy ears sticking out of her long brown hair. Leaves of ivy decorated her hair and a silver moon necklace hung on her neck. Her dress was of rich blues and greens with giant and long sleeves. On her lap sat a golden harp, which she played while singing her joyful yet sorrowful song. Egwene cautiously entered the clearing but the young woman did not seem to notice. Now Egwene could make out the words of the song. The song was of prophesies and of battles won and lost against the Dark One and his forces. It was of cities lost and the groves of the Great Trees that were gone. The song contained melody that was fit for these occasions, frequently changing from joyful and victorious to sorrowful and devastating.

Egwene saw something that she had missed before. The woman had no age to her and the glow of Saidar encircled her. Yet, Egwene could not feel the presence of Saidar in the woman. She was anxious to learn about this woman but hesitated at the thought of ending the beautiful song. Finally she decided that if she were to learn anything, she would have to interrupt the woman and her song.

"Excuse me, hello. I'd like to ask you something," it hurt Egwene to interrupt the woman but she did so anyway.

It wasn't until the words left Egwene's mouth then the woman noticed her. The woman stopped her song, set down her harp, and looked for the person who had just talked. When she found Egwene she also found a glow around her and the presence of Saidar in her. It had been a long time since the young woman had talked to another woman who could channel and an even longer time since she met an Aes Sedai. She could tell that this woman was an Aes Sedai by the serpent ring on her finger.

"Oh, I didn't notice you. I was so wrapped up in my song that I didn't even realize what was passing me. My name is Opal Treeheart. You honor me with your presence, Aes Sedai," the young woman, Opal, said.      

This didn't help Egwene much because she still had unanswered questions. And, besides the fact that Egwene had a serpent ring, why did the woman pronounce her Aes Sedai? Did the woman see the glow around Egwene and feel the presence of Saidar in Egwene. Why was the glow still around the woman? Why was she singing a song of events and things that are only thought of by Aes Sedai, warders, fighters, and, perhaps, Ogier. Yet this woman, Opal, was none of those. Her ears, they were…different. Long, slender, and skinny, unlike the ears of people. What was this woman? It wasn't until now that Egwene realized a few things about Opal. Her necklace was decorated with opals. The woman began her song again, this time about the Age of Legends and all of its glories and defeats. Of all the knowledge lost and gained only to be lost again. Opal Treeheart, huh, what king of creature, human, would have a name like that. Opals are prized and rare stones and with the last name of Treeheart you'd think that she was a forest creature. Or was she?

"Excuse me, I'm not trying to be rude or anything but, um…how should I put this? What are you Opal Treeheart?" Egwene asked releasing the breath she had been holding back.

"Oh, you're still here? I guess I lost myself in music again. I love the melody of my song, don't you? I wrote it when I was young; it's called What Happened. Now to answer your question, I'm an elf. Us elves live in the forest and have never been discovered except for a few occasions like this one. We love to sing and if you noticed, I carry a bow and arrow made by the elves. It's made of the finest wood. Enough about me, what are you and what are you doing here, in the depths of the forest?" Opal explained.

"I am a human Aes Sedai. My name is Egwene al'Vere. I am very powerful in the One Power and can see the glow of Saidar around you," Egwene calmly explained.

Opal turned to face her. The beautiful face filled with surprise and mischief. Egwene began to see a web form into something. Before Egwene could do anything, Opal had blocked her from the Source.

"I was wondering if you could see the glow. I bet you were wondering why you didn't sense the presence of Saidar in me. You see, the power is rarely found among us elves. We use a different magic, the Old Magic. One of twenty elves will have the inborn ability to channel. There are wise elves among us that are able to teach us how to use the One Power. It is strange, men elves that are able to channel only go insane if they carry something that belonged to a human man. We elves are isolated from humans, the taint that human men have, whether or not they can channel, is strong enough to drive our channeling men insane. However, us female elves are not vulnerable to that taint for human women, every one of them, are pure unless they're dark friends. But even the taint of female dark friends does not affect us.

Oh, but I have rambled on for so long. You must be dying to touch the source again. Yes. Well, this blocking technique was taught to me when I was twenty. Now, ummm, I'm around 120 years old. You're surprised? Yes. Well that is young for us elves; twenty for us is five for you. Well enough talk, let's go to my world and see what to do about you." Opal explained.

So Opal and the now prisoner Egwene were heading towards the depths of the forest. If you thought Egwene was strong when you read the Wheel of Time, well Opal is ten times Egwene's strength. Blocking Egwene was like creating fire, simple, even if Egwene was already opened to the Source.

The forest they traveled in was north of the Two Rivers; it went through mountains and rivers and connected to other forests. They were right on the banks of River Arinelle. The branch of the river they traveled on was directly east of the Mountains of Mist. The direction they traveled was northwest. If you own the books with a colored map, then Opal and Egwene's location should be roughly easy to find.

I tried to be as descriptive as I could but it was hard. If you have any questions then ask them in a review. When enough questions are asked I'll create a chapter that will answer all questions and concerns.

I hope that you enjoyed my story. More will come soon, I promise. Right now I'm trying to find enough time to do two stories at the same time. Please be patient.