The Aiel's Real Shame
Author: Azrael al'Letifer
Essay submitted for raising to Youngling.
Rhuidean is a lie. The tale of the Aiel failing the Aes Sedai by losing their trinkets is a sham. The ter'angreal in the middle of the city is part of a major conspiracy by the Wise Ones in order to hide the true nature of the Aiel's shame.
In the beginning, the Aiel did serve the Aes Sedai. After the Breaking, the Aiel wandered aimlessly for years. Eventually, they made their way to the Three-fold Land and set up permanent settlements with no ji'e'toh or any of the honor they are so well known for presently. The problems started when the Aiel received an invitation for the annual Miss Rand Land Pageant. At this time, the Aiel held no hostility whatsoever towards the Wetlanders, but soon that was all going to change. After months of contests and preparation, the Aiel finally chose their candidate. She never returned. Word crossed the land about a rigged contest, and about how an Aiel woman attacked the winner, the runner up, second runner up, third runner up, the host, and three members of the audience before being subdued by a Cairhienin sword. This caused many changes within the Aiel race. There was a load of shame in the fact that the one they chose so carefully had done such a thing. The shame was so bad in fact that they even developed a whole new word for it: toh. The people of the Wetlands were enraged that their beautiful women were now scarred for life, so they organized a group to chase the Aiel further into the Three-fold Land.
After many battles, the Aiel became adept at fighting with their hands and feet because they didn't have any other weapons. Eventually they salvaged bows and spears from the battlefield; however, they refused to pick up any swords because it was a sword that had killed the most beautiful Aiel woman in existence. They also became hardier by keeping ahead of the rampaging Wetlanders. After years, the Aiel were driven deep into the Waste, and the people from the other side of the Spine of the World gave up going any further. That is one of the major reasons the Aiel believe that the West is pampered and weak. The women of the Aiel came to the realization how idiotic the whole war was. It infuriated them that a war could start simply because a handful of beautiful women were marred. They decided to take matters into their own hands, because in the hands of a man, matters don't matter if there is a woman involved.
The women secretly began teaching the next generation of Aiel that they were to treat women with respect. In fact, they were encouraged to start calling them Wise Ones. They also taught of honor and obligation and how the Aiel shame was from failing the Aes Sedai instead of some girl. After a few generations, the Wise Ones became very well respected. Then, they implemented the next part of their plan. They gave Laman an oak tree and claimed it was an Avendwhatchamacallit knowing full well that Cairhien was a highly industrialized city. When Laman finally took his axe to the tree to build a parking lot, everything fell into place. The Aiel who were raised to put honor above all things decided that this disrespectful act validated punishment. With the ensuing war, the Wise Women directed the Aiel to destroy libraries that might contain Laman, but in fact contained evidence of the Aiel's shame. Now that the Wise Ones had eradicated all evidence of their real shame, they were content to return home and live out their lives without contact with the western world. Well, that is until some person claiming to be the Car'a'carn came waltzing in.