Summary: Takes place after Jarka Ruus. Since Grianne Ohmsford has renounced her life as the Ilse Witch, she has struggled with her role as the Ard Rhys, leader of the Druids at Paranor. She struggles to forgive herself for what she has done, as well as to cleanse herself of her evil deeds.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story. Terry Brooks does.
Chapter 1: The battle won, the war far from ending
I still struggle with the Ilse Witch. When one of the Druids rises against me, I must restrain myself from punishing them, as I would have done as the Ilse Witch. At night, I'm plagued by nightmares, always waking in a cold sweat. During the day, I do my best as Ard Rhys, but I always have one blunder, one mistake made. Grianne turned over in her bed, restless. As the Ilse Witch, I had no limits, no boundaries. I had unlimited control over all beings, living and dead. As Ard Rhys, I am constantly withheld from my true potential, my decisions are made or broken by a committee of Druids, whose only purpose is too see my downfall, my failure. As appealing as being good is, I am still addicted…I want my former position, my power. I no longer get to use my magic, the legendary wishsong of the Ohmsfords. All of this because the so called Druid "order" frowns upon most forms of magic. Moonlight streamed in through her window, covering her private quarters in a silvery, incandescent light. She rose from her bed, and walked to the windowsill to look out at the grounds surrounding Paranor. Though I still think and reason like the Ilse Witch, I am beginning to change. Bek is helping me, comforting me. He is the one that changed me, that brought me to the current position that I am in today. Grianne breathed in deeply, savoring the fresh air. Although it seems that the fates are against me in my endeavor to be a successful Ard Rhys, I must press on. The shades of the Druids call me to do so. Grianne sighed, stressed and tired from her day. She turned back to her bed and sat on the edge of it. They all trust and believe in me. Bek also believes, as does Ahren and his followers. She leaned back, and lay on her bed, growing increasingly drowsy. I do not want to let them down…I can't. I mustn't. She closed her eyes, and began to drift off to sleep. But am I strong enough…to save myself from the Ilse Witch? That is still to be seen.
A.N.: hope you liked this chapter. Next one will be much longer. Enjoy!