Hattori had been quite pleased when her Warder had finally arrived at Dorlan; she’d lost him at Domani’s Wells, and his story was the sort gleemen and bards sang about. Sleete had lain wounded for hours before deliriously managing to grab his horse’s reins and pull himself into the saddle. It had loyally carried him, near unconsciousness, for hours before arriving at a nearby village. The villages there had been tempted to sell Sleete to a local band of bandits-their leader had visited earlier promising them safety as a reward for revealing any refugees from the nearby battle. However, the mayor’s daughter had argued for Sleete’s life, convincing them that the bandits must be Darkfriends if they were seeking wounded Warders. The villagers had chosen to hide Sleete instead, and the girl had nursed him to safety.
Sleete had been forced to sneak away once he was well enough to travel; the girl had apparently taken quite a liking to him. Whispers among the Younglings said that Sleete’s escape had also come because he had begun feeling affection for the girl himself. Most warders knew better than to let themselves grow attached. Sleete had left in the night, after the girl and her family fell asleep-but in return for the village’s mercy, he’d hunted down the bandits and seen to it that they would never plague the village again.
It was the marrow of stories and legends-at least, among regular, lesser man. For a warder, Sleete’s story was almost commonplace. Men like him attracted legends as ordinary men attracted fleas. In fact, Sleete hadn’t wanted to share his tale; it had come out only owing to a vigorous campaign of questions from the Younglings. He still acted as if his survival were nothing to brag about. He was a Warder. Surviving against the odds, riding in delirium over miles of rough terrain, cutting down an entire band of thieves with wounds not fully healed-these were just the sorts of things you did when you were a Warder.
Gawyn respected them. Even the ones he had killed. Especially the ones he had killed. It took a unique kind of man to show this kind of dedication, this kind of vigilance. This kind of humility. While Aes Sedai manipulated the world and monsters like Al’Thor got the glory, men like Sleete quietly did the work of heroes, each and every day. Without glory or recognition. If they were remembered, it was usually only by association with their Aes Sedai. Or it was by other Warders. You didn’t forget your own.
Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson, The Gathering Storm, Chapter thirteen, page two hundred and eighteen