Old Lies

"Legend: a lie that has attained the dignity of age."

"So then," Novice Joy whispered excitedly, "the Seeker killed Darken Rahl with the Sword of Truth, only somehow that meant there was a tear in the veil to the Underworld, probably because Darken Rahl had, I don't know, a special deal with the Keeper or something, like Sister Nicci, before she died and got kicked out of the Palace of the Prophets and became unstoppable and finally died of old age in some random village, unless she's still around waiting to catch bad Novices who listen to the Sisters of the Dark like Sister Nyella told me. So anyway, the Seeker and the Mother Confessor had to go on this quest to find the Stone of Tears, instead of finally consummating the all-consuming love they'd felt for each other since the moment his dark, dreamy eyes met her vibrant green ones, and—" Novice Joy was nearly swooning with the vicarious romantic thrill, when Novice Marla interrupted.

She didn't believe this ridiculous farrago of nonsense, and, if it weren't for her natural talent for magic, she probably wouldn't believe in that. It was no use pretending any of this made sense, least of all the Prelate, who was ancient, and had probably actually met the Seeker on account of that weird out-of-synch time thing. Novice Marla didn't hold with that nonsense, either. The idea that when she finally attained enough rank to get out of here she'd have to look up her great-great nieces and nephews was ludicrous, offensive, and unfair.

So she had no hesitation in saying exasperatedly, "Oh, for the Creator's sake, Joy, 'their all-consuming love for one another'? You sound like one of those awful romance scrolls Sister Nyella confiscated from Gemma's room! And that's probably not how it happened, anyway. The Seeker was probably just some poor man who had no idea what he was doing, and the Mother Confessor was the last of her kind until they had all those kids, so she probably wasn't anything out of the ordinary either. They just lucked out, surviving that long."

"Finding the Stone of Tears and using it to stop the Keeper wasn't luck," argued Novice Ramina. "I mean, if the Seeker hadn't done that, we'd all be dead!"

"Actually," bookish Novice Sharissa noted, "none of us would ever have been born, since the Seeker and the Mother Confessor lived hundreds of years ago."

"Besides," Novice Marla said defiantly, "the Seeker found the Stone of Tears, but then he totally gave it to the Keeper, which could've destroyed the entire world. What an idiot!"

"I thought you didn't care about this stuff, seeing as how the Seeker and the Mother Confessor were ordinary, boring people, right?" Novice Ramina said slyly.

"It's just so romantic how they thought their love was doomed, and they could never be together, but then, somehow, it all worked out and they were married!" Novice Joy sighed.

"How did it all work out, anyway?" Novice Marla asked, curious in spite of herself. She didn't believe any of it, she told herself righteously, she was just making small talk with her roommates. And it could be worse; she could be living with Novice Gemma. Novice Marla shuddered.

"There are several theories," Novice Sharissa said, and Novices Marla, Ramina, and Joy restrained their instinctive eye-rolling and cringing at the prospect of being lectured, because they really did want to hear it. "The first is that the Seeker possessed some extraordinary magical power which protected him from Confession; his brother, Darken Rahl, was immune to it, which leads some to believe all the Lords Rahl couldn't be Confessed. Or the Seeker could have acquired a similar power during his travels through the Midlands, on his various heroic quests. Some say that, after the Seeker and the Mother Confessor saved the world from the Keeper and repaired the tear in the veil, the Creator came down to earth and blessed them, making it possible for them to be together without the Seeker becoming Confessed." Novice Sharissa paused for breath, and Novice Marla imagined her pushing a pair of glasses up her nose. "Or," Novice Sharissa finished lightly, "maybe the Seeker was protected because he was already in love with the Mother Confessor—ever since their eyes met, and all."

"Ooh, I like that," breathed Novice Joy. "I think that's absolutely the most romantic, wonderful, and perfect thing about the Legend of the Seeker!"

"The Legend of the Seeker?" Novice Marla scoffed. "Everyone knows legends are just lies that have attained the dignity of age. Weren't you even listening to Sister Marielle?"

"Spirits, what a name. The Legend of the Seeker. Sounds like one of Gemma's romance scrolls," agreed Novice Ramina, trying to sound more sophisticated than she was.

"I like it," Novice Joy said defiantly. "I bet the Seeker was just too dreamy—incredibly handsome and wonderful—imagine what it must have been like to be with him—"

"Well," said Novice Ramina, "the current Lord Rahl is related to the Seeker, you know. Many greats-grandson, and all. Maybe you should look him up."

"I'm stuck here," Novice Joy sighed. "Learning magic. There are no handsome men around here at all—not that, even if there were, any of them would compare to the Seeker!" And she was lost in another romantic reverie.

"Well, and, if you 'looked up' the current Lord Rahl, you would get Confessed, seeing as how they're all Confessors since the time of the Seeker, and you'd probably get thrown out of the Palace of the Prophets just like that awful Sister Nicci," Novice Sharissa pointed out.

"Let's make a vow," Novice Marla suggested, on a whim. "Promise none of us will ever, ever become Sisters of the Dark."

"I promise," said Novice Sharissa.

"I definitely promise," said Novice Joy.

"I promise…I guess," said Novice Ramina.

Yes, Novice Marla really was glad she was rooming with Novices Sharissa, Joy and Ramina, instead of that awful Novice Gemma, who was probably as bad as the infamous Sister Nicci. Or worse.

Even if they were all a little obsessed with the Legend of the Seeker, especially Novice Joy. After all, you couldn't have everything in roommates.

And it was a bit of a romantic story. Even if Novice Marla was pretty sure she'd heard that Darken Rahl had been alive and well for at least forty years after the Seeker was supposed to have killed him. And that many kids was surely a little excessive. And she was almost positive there were a few other, extra bystander-sidekick types who had tagged along and stopped the Seeker and the Mother Confessor succumbing to temptation before the Creator blessed their union, or whatever.

Not that Novice Marla planned to explain any of that. Novice Joy wouldn't believe her, Novice Sharissa would bore them all with actual historical facts, and Novice Ramina wouldn't stop harping on the consummation part of the all-consuming love.

Besides, it was a better story without all that real life stuff. Novice Marla thought she'd better let sleeping legends lie.

Even if the story was all about the Seeker of Truth.