She doesn't care
What the prophets say anymore
For the love she had
She has no more
So she gathers rain
She gathers rain
To rinse away all her guilt and pain
She gathers rain
She gathers rain
To wash and cleanse and make
her whole again
	Collective Soul

	It's over.  They're all gone now.  I see ashes blowing across
Tir-na M'Beo, and ashes are all I have.

	My father is gone, unable to live with my shame.  I can't fully
explain how I feel about him.  There's a bit of sorrow in my heart that it
had to come to this, and there's something screaming from my gut that
tastes a bit like guilt.  Overpowering all of this is hatred, no matter
what Benedict has done for me.  If I'd have been male, and Alek female,
this would never have happened.  I wanted to ask him just one thing -- do
oaths and honor really matter more than love and happiness?  But as Mandor
informed me, he ceased having a daughter shortly after the Ty Dahl was

	And it was love, at least on my part.  Misguided, maybe.  I can
understand Alek's words at the trial, no matter how much they hurt.  I
took something from him, and what it turned out to be was his happiness,
and eventually his life.  And I will know that shame for as long as I
live, and those in Amber will see it in my eyes.

	But right now all that reflects in my eyes is the Fire Pattern. 
Because I cannot leave.  My eyes transfixed where I saw the shower of
sparks; they water incessantly.  I feel no hunger, nor thirst, nor

	So who is left?  The glances I received as they filed out of here
told me I don't have many friends left.  There is Aelle, but I fear even
she will leave me soon.  Beware, Archimedes.  Her vengeance pulsates
through the blood of the Jezetti, and I don't know if I can stop her.  And
I still don't know if I want to.  I understand duty, but those I lose
erode what's left of my oath to you.  For now, know I still bow to you, no
matter how it makes the bile rise to my throat.

	And there is this life within me, my last connection with
Aleksandr.  I have decided to keep the child, and I will teach it the
things that really matter -- love, friendship, understanding.  And if he
or she puts aside a sword for arcana, so be it.  But I can't allow myself
to be gravid for the better part of a year.

	Not like I'm going anywhere soon, anyway.

	Things were so much easier in Helene.  We knew who was good, and
who was bad.  We fought for glory, we fought for gold.  There were nights
under the stars...  Firelight...  Look, Graham gives me Splinter and
Thorne...  Blood flows from his stomach onto my hand, and I see death... 
Yeah, I'll take all you bastards on...  Hide the secret shame from
Graham...  Herne wants us to take it to the wizard...  The card grows
cold, and I drop it...

	I awaken from my trance.

	Aleksandr, son of Brand, you will live in my thoughts forever.  I
can see you there, with your husband and daughter, in an aura of love and
hope.  And you look in my direction, and your face darkens.

	I know.  And I'm sorry.

	I always will be.

For we, since thou art gone, with heavy doome,
Wander like ghosts about thy loved tombe;
And lost in tears, have neither sight nor mind
To guide us upward through this region blinde.
Since thou art gone, who best that way could'st teach,
Only our sighs, perhaps, may thither reach.
	- Andrew Marvell

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