Disclaimer: I do not own anything contained here. Idea owes credit to 16beckyb, aceofhadeon, and melt_in2_me.
60 years to go
Nicolette Rahl hid her head under her pillow. There were Screelings and Calthrops and Shadrin out there. She knew because the servants' children said so. Eventually it was too much and she crept out of bed. Her footfalls were soft as she padded down to her mother's bedroom.
The guards' lips twitched with sympathy and amusement as they let her pass. Lettie cuddled up next to her mama and asked her to make the monsters go away. Her mother rolled over sleepily and began stroking her hair. She told Lettie a story about a handsome man who would come to save the world. He would seek truth and justice for everyone. He would slay the monsters. He would set the world right.
Lettie smiled as she slept.
56 years to go
Lettie and Ruby ran down the hall, racing to see who could reach the kitchens first. She crashed into her father and nearly knocked him over. "Sorry, Father." Lettie said, abruptly sobering.
Her father smiled reassuringly. "I suppose this means you're done with your history lessons."
Lettie hopped impatiently from one foot to the other. "Mostly."
"When do you intend to finish them?" Her father asked seriously but his eyes showed a certain humor.
Lettie stuck out her lower lip just a bit. "Later. The cook said they were getting fresh honeycomb today and I wanted to see."
Her father looked like he was about to say something, then thought better of it. "I'll come with you. We'll watch for half an hour and then you'll go back to your lesson and study extra hard."
Lettie grinned and tugged on her father's hand as they set off for the kitchens.
54 years to go
Lettie felt excitement fluttering in her chest as she thought about how quickly the day was approaching when she would leave the People's Palace and go to Aydindril. Her mother whispered to Alice and was unhappy. Lettie wasn't quite sure why. She was nervous and scared about leaving home and everyone but her mother was... troubled.
The book on Aydindril's history was open in front of Lettie when her mother came in. The queen sat gracefully on Lettie's bed. "I have something very important to tell you."
"Yes, mother?" Lettie looked up at her mother with clear blue eyes.
"Those stories I told you about the Seeker are all true. He was sent forward in time. He will need you to come back." Her mother said intensely.
Many people told stories about the Seeker. They also said he died before Lettie was even born. But she trusted her mother. Her mother wouldn't lie to her. Her mother was sworn to find the truth. "Me?" Lettie's eyes widened.
"In fifty-four years time he will arrive on a mountain in West Granthia." The Queen whispered.
"Oh." Lettie slumped. Fifty-four years was such a long time. "I'll be old then."
Her mother's lips tightened. "Promise me you won't tell your father or let him corrupt you. He will try to turn you from what you know is right."
Lettie stared at her mother. "I promise."
"Good." The Queen breathed a sigh of relief.
49 years to go
Nicolette's father looked older and thinner than she remembered. She jumped off her horse and threw herself into his arms. "It's good to be home." She kissed his cheek. "I read all your and mother's letters." Seeing her parents for one month a year had been hard.
"I hope you spent just as much time studying," Her father chided gently.
"Of course not," Lettie grinned merrily. "There was so much to see. Not all learning comes from books." She touched the hilts of her knives.
"So long as you were learning," her father said with a mock sigh. "That dress suits you."
"Thank you," Lettie twirled around so the skirt of the white dress of the Confessors belled. As she spun she saw her mother and waved.
"We'll have to present you to the people soon. Tomorrow, I think." Darken said thoughtfully as his wife joined them.
There were tears in Queen Kahlan's eyes as she looked at her child. "Welcome home." She kissed Lettie's cheek.
44 years to go
Lettie was supervising the servants as they packed her things. She was proud. Her father trusted her enough that he was installing her as governor of Aydindril. Confessors had always been an important force of government in Aydindril. So long as her mother, the Queen, lived there could be no new Mother Confessor but Lettie was the only other one.
"I need to speak to you," Queen Kahlan said softly from the doorway.
Ruby made a shooing motion at Lettie and turned to watch the servants. Lettie followed her mother to an alcove. "Yes, mother?"
"You remember what I told you before you went to Aydindril for the first time?" Queen Kahlan had dark circles under her eyes that her makeup couldn't quite hide.
"You said Father would try to corrupt me." Lettie answered warily.
"The other part," Queen Kahlan said, her voice as tightly drawn as a bowstring.
"Yes," Lettie had learned enough of magic to know it was possible. "Why me?"
"He needs a Confessor, an Agiel and the Boxes of Orden," Kahlan said brusquely as she pulled a rolled up piece of paper from her voluminous sleeve. "This map marks the place he will return."
"I thought the Boxes were destroyed," Lettie said in surprise, accepting the map.
"They were sent forward in time with Richard and the Mord'Sith who used her Agiel on him." The tone of voice on the Seeker's name made Lettie's neck hair stand up.
"How do you know these things?" Lettie asked wonderingly.
"A witch woman named Shota told me," Kahlan said impatiently. "I want you to take a mate."
Lettie blinked. "I plan to."
"Sooner rather than later," Kahlan said urgently. "There needs to be a Confessor."
"Are you ill?" Lettie asked with concern.
"No. Your father is going to kill me." Queen Kahlan said certainly. "Now that you're an adult and he doesn't need me anymore he'll have me executed."
Lettie was taken aback. Her mother wasn't lying but Lettie was certain she was missing something.
38 years to go
Lettie held her daughter in her arms and wondered if her parents had felt this scared the day she was born. She didn't like Etark's fawning smile but he had volunteered for the job of mate to the future Lady Rahl. "I'm naming her Dennee." Lettie said, looking to her mother for approval.
She'd spent far too long fussing over how to pick her mate for her mother's taste. She'd wanted someone she could be certain could protect the child and would be willing to look after the child in the case of her untimely demise. Etark was a Dragon Corps man and an attractive one at that.
"She would be honored," Kahlan lied.
34 years to go
Lettie marched into the dungeons with a purpose. An ugly thought had blossomed in her thoughts since her father's death three weeks previous. He had been out riding when his horse had slipped and fallen. Darken Rahl had broken his neck at the bottom of a ravine, a rock crushing his windpipe.
Still wearing the black and red dress of mourning, Lettie stopped in front of Shota's cell. "You are Shota formerly of Agaden Reach are you not?"
"I am," the old woman stepped closer to the light. "Who are you?"
"Lady Nicolette Rahl." The name felt strange and wrong in her mouth. Grief burned afresh at her eyes.
"And what do you want with a collared witch, Lady Nicolette Rahl?"
"I want knowledge." Lettie said harshly.
"Knowledge has a price." The old woman laughed softly.
"I will give you your freedom." Lettie said, thinning her lips.
"What do you wish to know?" Shota asked.
"My mother says the Seeker will return and will need my help to get back. Get back to what?" Lettie asked tightly.
"Are you sure you want the answer to that, Lady Nicolette Rahl?"
"Yes," Lettie hissed.
"He will need the help of a Confessor to return to the moment he was launched forward in time."
"What will that do? If he goes back, things will change."
"That is true, young Rahl. That is very true."
"Why does my mother want things to change?" Lettie rasped.
"Why don't you ask her?"
"I'm asking you!" Lettie snarled and reached through the bars. She Confessed the witch with barely a thought. Her vision blurred with tears.
"Your mother is in love with Richard Cypher. She wants to return to him."
"I would never be born." Lettie sniffed. "What about my daughter?"
Shota shook her head. "I'm sorry, mistress."
"Here's your freedom." Lettie cut Shota's throat and watched her blood pool in the torchlight.
27 years to go
Lettie watched her daughters play as she pondered again how best to deal with her mother. Allowing her mother to kill Dennee and Serena was out of the question and it angered her that there was even a question. She gave Etark the best smile she could manage and went to her mother's rooms.
The walls of the Mother Confessor's rooms in Aydindril were covered in tasteful tapestries to blunt the drafts and echoes. Lettie had always been politic enough to take other rooms during her time in Aydindril. The Queen of D'Hara sat the large desk, looking over decisions and proclamations.
Lettie silently cursed the cowardice thickening her tongue. It had kept her from asking the questions she need to ask and sometimes she suspected was why she'd drawn out the process for selecting her mate. "Mother?"
"Yes," Kahlan looked up.
Lettie searched her mother's eyes for warmth the same way she had when she'd told her mother how she planned to name her second daughter. "Do you love me?"
"Yes," Kahlan answered. "Why do you ask?"
"No reason," Nicolette turned away and left. She gave her daughters extra hugs and cried herself to sleep that night.
16 years to go
Lettie gazed wonderingly at the tiny being in her arms. Ten fingers and ten toes all looking so perfect.
"We named her Gemma," Dennee said softly, referring to herself and her Dragon Corps mate.
"She's beautiful," Lettie breathed. "Absolutely perfect."
11 years to go
"Has your grandmother spoken to you about the Seeker?" Lettie asked Serena carefully.
"She's told us stories and said he'll need the help of a Confessor." Serena said quietly.
"On this thing I won't order you but if Mother has her way, I will never be born and neither will you, your sister, or your niece. The world will be changed in ways we can't know."
"Why does Grandmother want that?" Serena asked, aghast.
"She's in love. I've warned you sister and now I'm warning you. I know you're in love with that duke's son. In case you sympathize with her I'm letting you know that if you follow your grandmother's instructions there will be no guarantee he's ever born." Lettie's lips tightened. "Mother intends to rewrite history."
7 years to go
Lettie tried to dredge up some guilt over her relief at her mother's death. Instead, all she felt was a sense of guilt over her lack of guilt. Her mother had passed away in the night. A stroke the wizards said.
She led the procession through Aydindril. Whatever Kahlan's flaws, she had been a Mother Confessor and deserved all the honors. Dennee and Serena rode slightly behind. Serena side by side with her husband. Their daughter was too young to join the procession but Gemma and Dara rode their ponies in the next group.
Lettie occupied her mind with trying to figure out how to respond to the Seeker when he came. Her uncle, according to her father's notes. Yes. That was how she would start.
"Hello, uncle." Lettie said softly after her Mord'Sith had confiscated the Boxes. "You must be the Seeker. I am the Mother Confessor." She gestured at her dress. "These are my daughters, Dennee and Serena and their daughters Gemma, Dara, and Felis."