AMoL: Chapter 7
Into the Thick of It
Elayne POV - Elayne steps out of the pavilion after the meeting and enters a grove of towering trees. Perrin steps forward and identifies them as Great Trees like ones inside a stedding.1 Elayne finds that she can still embrace the True Source. Egwene concludes that Rand cannot create a stedding. Elayne asks where Rand went and Perrin says that he strolled out into the trees and disappeared.2 Agelmar is told by a Shienaran it took the trees less than five minutes to grow so tall. Elayne releases the True Source and calls out for maps to begin planning. She starts to ask Dyelin where Norry is when Bryne, leaving the pavilion with Siuan, says that he has maps. Elayne notes that Bryne is grayer than she remembers him and that he wears a stiff white coat and trousers with the breast marked for Tar Valon, making his allegiance plain. Siuan has her hand on Bryne's arm. Elayne then says that she would like to see maps between their current position and Caemlyn and maps of the Borderlands. She then orders a meeting of the rulers, commanders, advisors and the Great Captains and tells Sumeko to gather the Kinswomen to help set up the meeting. As the meeting begins, Agelmar compliments Bryne on the quality and quantity of his maps. All four Great Captains, Agelmar, Bryne, Bashere and Ituralde are present. Elayne is surprised that Ituralde is here considering his recent rescue from Maradon.3 They identify three places where Shadowspawn have invaded: Caemlyn, Kandor and Tarwin's Gap. They agree that Tarwin's Gap cannot be abandoned but Lan needs help. Easar says that they are ready for an extended battle. The talk turns to Caemlyn, where the Trollocs seem to be holding. Agelmar suggests a seige so that the bulk of their forces should go to Kandor so that it will not fall. Prince Antol says that Kandor has already fallen.4 Rhuarc reminds everyone not to forget Shayol Ghul, which Rand will eventually attack. Elayne notes that there are now four battlefronts: Caemlyn, Kandor, Tarwin's Gap and Shayol Ghul. They decide to focus on Caemlyn first and flushing the Trollocs out. They debate on how best to do this. Elayne has sent forces in already to retake the Waygate, but they never returned. Agelmar asks if they can get to the Waygate from the other side, but Perrin says that it wouldn't work because of the presence of the Black Wind. Elayne suggests going to the Black Tower to get their Asha'man, but Perrin suggests that she be careful about that because Rand is worried about it. Bryne suggests using Braem Wood as a trap to lure the Trollocs into and Agelmar agrees. The Great Captains and Elayne agree that their best chance for a quick victory will be at Caemlyn, with delaying forces at Kandor and Tarwin's Gap. Elayne suggests that the White Tower would be best to send to Kandor and the others agree. Ituralde asks about Shayol Ghul, to which Amys says that the Aiel will take care of that on their own. Elayne countermands that, and says that the Aiel must work with the rest of the forces, which the Aiel do not like. Bryne asks Rhuarc if they've ever fought a defensive, holding battle and Rhuarc replies that they will. Elayne reminds Rhuarc that they signed the [[Dragon's Peace]] and that they are obligated to cooperate. Rhuarc acknowledges this by saying he has toh, and Elayne tells him to meet it by listening. Elayne then notices that there are four battlefronts and four Great Captains. They all decide that each Great Captain shall command one battlefront: Agelmar to Tarwin's Gap, Bryne to Kandor, Bashere to Caemlyn and Ituralde to Shayol Ghul. Elayne asks Perrin to take charge of Field of Merrilor and he agrees. Elayne leaves the tent hours later and Bryne catches up to tell her that he is proud of her. Elayne tries to apologize for what he had been through with her mother, but he won't hear it. Birgitte approaches Elayne and then Elayne hears a song which turns out to be a group of Ogier singing while standing in the new grove of trees. Perrin had thought to go ask the Ogier if they would join, only to find them already in camp. Haman is in charge of the group and says that all Ogier will come and join the fight. A female Ogier5 says that she argued against joining so that the argument for joining would be stronger. Loial is surprised by this and the woman opines that Loial should not have left the stedding, but that "has been taken care of." Perrin wonders what that means and Loial tells him that he is now married to Erith. Elayne pulls Perrin away from Loial and Faile and Birgitte join the group. Elayne wants Perrin to manage the camp's supply chain, but Perrin says he can't because Rand needs him. Faile volunteers and Elayne grudgingly accepts, telling them that the Horn of Valere also needs to be fetched and given to Mat 6, who is not around. Perrin says that Mat is in Ebou Dar with the Seanchan.
Lan POV - Bulen relays a message to Lan about the four battlefronts and how they want him to stay and hold Tarwin's Gap. The reinforcements earlier were enough to push the Trollocs back into the Gap. King Easar, just arrived from Field of Merrilor, approaches Lan and bows to him. He tells Lan that Agelmar is bringing plans and wants Lan to review them since they will all be fighting under Malkier's banner, including Tenobia and perhaps Ethenielle. Lan asks about Kandor and Easar tells him that the White Tower will fight there, but only to stop the Shadowspawn from gaining more ground. Lan and Agelmar ride through a somber camp and Lan gives a short speech encouraging them. Agelmar quotes from a poem, and Lan asks if it is from Anasai of Ryddingwood. Easar is surprised that Lan knows the author, but Lan explains that it is one of Moiraine's favorites. They arrive at the tents and dismount just as the alarms sound. They remount and head toward the battle, with Lan accepting the role of leader.
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