ACoS: Chapter 19
Diamonds and Stars
Merana Ambrey POV - Merana and Annoura follow Cadsuane to their rooms in the servants' quarters.1 She barely knows Annoura, though both are Gray Ajah. She met Cadsuane once as a novice. Cadsuane is the strongest Aes Sedai in a thousand years till the girls. She refused to be Sitter twice and generally avoids Tar Valon. Merana has been Aes Sedai about seventy-five years. Cadsuane retired twenty-five years before the Aiel War, reappeared briefly for the Aiel War then retired again. Merana thinks she came with the other Aes Sedai who arrived after Rand was taken. They pass Edarra and Leyn, Wise Ones who can channel strongly. The non-prisoner Aes Sedai and the Wise Ones have reached a compromise that allows them into the palace. Merana wishes Verin, Rafela, Seonid, Masuri, or Faeldrin were there to share the heat. They go to the room shared by Kiruna and Bera. Merana shares a room with Seonid and Masuri. Daigian of the White Ajah is there, a marginal Aes Sedai. Cadsuane knows Merana is with the Salidar Aes Sedai and is disgusted. Annoura claims not to have taken a side yet. Cadsuane helped capture both Logain and Taim. She asks if either Merana or Annoura was involved in the "vileness" after the Aiel War.2 Merana does not know what she is talking about, but Annoura denies any involvement saying she spent the years after trying to hold together the nations which joined to fight the Aiel. Merana did not know Annoura took part in that.3 Bera and Kiruna enter with Corele Hovian of the Yellow Ajah. Bera and Kiruna are shocked to see Cadsuane; Bera thought she was dead, too. Merana thinks it must be like her seeing Alind Dyfelle, Sevlana Meseau, or Mabriam en Shereed.4 Corele tells Cadsuane that Bera and Kiruna could not come with her till Sorilea was done with them. The Wise Ones have made the Aes Sedai apprentice Wise Ones and Rand approves! Cadsuane asks a string of questions: Are the Forsaken really loose? Is there proof? She learns Rand was kidnapped. When she is told that Alanna bonded Rand, she frowns hard. Merana thinks she might have wanted to bond him herself.5 They manage to keep some information from her, how Rand was treated while a prisoner. Annoura knows quite a lot from letters she received from Berelain. Merana is worried that their oath to Rand might force them to oppose Cadsuane and her followers, Corele, Daigian and whoever else might be with them.
Min POV - The same afternoon, Min goes to see Rand from Colavaere's apartments. Riallin tells her he is in a foul mood. She is still confused about her feelings about sharing Rand with Elayne and Aviendha. She sees auras around Rand and Aes Sedai whenever they are around. He tells her that Herid Fel was killed the day before. She is very interested in Fel's books. She tells him that Colavaere hanged herself wearing her finest silk and Sovarra lace dress. Min kisses Rand thinking of what her aunts Jan, Rana and Miren told her about teasing men. They have sex.
Cadsuane POV - Cadsuane leaves the Sun Palace with Corele and Daigian. The Aes Sedai at Arilyn's palace were with her but she sent them on.6 She wants to direct Rand and nothing can interfere. She is really angry with Elaida for making her job so hard. The sigil on her coach is a pair of silver stars atop red and green stripes.7 It has been over 270 years since she took on a task she could not accomplish.8 Any day now may be her last.
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