The First Message
"The lions sing and the hills take flight.
The moon by day, and the sun by night.
Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool.
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
chant from a children's game
heard in Great Aravalon,
the Fourth Age"
Demandred POV - Demandred arrives at Shayol Ghul where he sees a forger at work. The Fades are in dire need of blades because Borderlands raids have been curtailed. He is met by a giant Myrddraal that introduces itself as Shaidar Haran.1 Shaidar Haran escorts him to the Pit of Doom. The Great Lord asks him for news of the world. Demandred tells him that Rahvin died yesterday.2 Lanfear and Asmodean vanished. Graendal also says Moghedien failed to meet her yesterday. The Great Lord says betrayers will die the final death. Asmodean. Rahvin. He served well, but even the Great Lord cannot save him from balefire. He asks if Demandred will use balefire for him. Demandred is surprised that he already knows that Rahvin is dead and seems to know more about Asmodean than he does.3 He is worried at the prospect of balefire, but agrees to serve. The Great Lord tempts him with the title of Nae'blis and begins to give him instructions.
Nynaeve POV - In Salidar, Nynaeve is studying Siuan and Leane using Moghedien an a'dam as a surrogate. The a'dam is missing the leash between necklace and bracelet. Elayne made it silver from a special source.4 Birgitte stands guard outside. As an experiment, she has Siuan and Leane wear the bracelet. They can feel Moghedien's emotions, but cannot exert force on her. Nynaeve takes this as evidence that there is something left in them to Heal. Elayne bursts in with news that the Salidar Aes Sedai are sending an embassy to Caemlyn, Sheriam refuses to let her go. Siuan tells her that Morgase is dead, so she must stay in safety. Neither believes that Rand killed her. Elayne says she can approach Rand because he trusts her. They have heard that Moiraine and Lanfear are now dead. The Salidar Aes Sedai have selected a new Hall, but Sheriam and her group still hold the power. Tiana Noselle of the Gray Ajah is now Mistress of Novices in Salidar. Siuan and Leane tell the others that there are nine Aes Sedai going.5 Min is going as well. Elayne, Siuan and Leane leave. Nynaeve thinks of the information they got from Moghedien. She and Elayne get a lot of credit for their "discoveries." When questioned about the Black Ajah, Moghedien maintains that she was afraid to approach any Aes Sedai.6 She knows nothing about the hot weather except that it is the Dark One's work. Nynaeve settles down to continue questioning her.
Elayne POV - Elayne leaves to look for Min. She sees Birgitte playing with Jaril and Seve. The largest inn is now called the Little Tower. She sees Gareth Bryne who has agreed to lead an army against Elaida. As Elayne walks down the street Anaiya and Janya Frende confront her. They both compliment her and Nynaeve on all their "discoveries." Carenna picked up on the eavesdropping trick exceptionally fast. They also passed on invisibility and inverting weaves. They have not revealed what they learned about Illusion, Compulsion and hiding one's ability to channel. Compulsion is illegal and too repulsive. The others might give away Moghedien. Her one true discovery is making ter'angreal. She leaves them to find Min. Only Nynaeve knows that Birgitte is her Warder. She recalls Nynaeve telling her that Moiraine already knew how to weave a cloak of invisibility.7 She finds Min at her favorite grove of trees. Min tells her Siuan gave her eyes-and-ears names in Caemlyn so she can send back messages. In Salidar, only Elayne, Nynaeve, Siuan and Leane know about Min's talent. Elayne asks Min to take a letter to Rand and she agrees. Min wonders about Birgitte's background.8 Min was born at the mines in the Mountains of Mist. They talk about Rand a while longer.
Faile POV - Faile is holding court in her and Perrin's manor house. There are many new people in the Two Rivers, refugees from Tarabon, Almoth Plain and Arad Doman. She sends Sharmad Zeffar and Rhea Avin to see Daise Congar because they are fighting over Wil al'Seen. Next is Cenn Buie who complains about losing business to Master Hornval who makes tile roofs. She thinks this is nonsense as Haral Luhhan and Master Aydaer have hired new people for their blacksmith and carpentry businesses. Espara Soman wants permission to deal in herbs. Next are Jon Ayellin and Thad Torfinn who dispute the boundaries of their fields. Liale Mosrara wants permission to open a carpet weaving business. Finally the four village Wisdoms, Daise Congar, Milla al'Azar, Edelle Gaelin and Elwinn Taron enter. They complain about several things such as Dav Ayellin, Ewin Finngar and Elam Dowtry running away. Finally they get to their real point. They can no longer read the weather and the heat is unnatural. She tells them to be tough. Therille Marza is making several dresses for Faile. She reflects how the Two Rivers has changed. No one pays attention to the three Aiel any more.9 People also got used to the two Aes Sedai who left a few weeks ago.10 Parents now send their children to Loial who reads to them. When court is over she goes to see Perrin. He is watching Aram and Tam practice swords. She expected to find him visiting with Gwil and Hal, servants who used to be his friends. Faile recalls chasing off Calle Coplin with a stick when she tried to come on to Perrin. Perrin tells her he must leave. He feels Rand's pull. He has already told Tam al'Thor and Abell Cauthon. She tells him she is going with him.
Gawyn POV - Gawyn and his Younglings are escorting six Aes Sedai on a mission to Cairhien to invite Rand to the White Tower. Jisao Hamora, Benji Dalfor, Hal Moir and Arwin are among the Younglings. Coiren, the leader of the Aes Sedai, told Gawyn of their mission only when they were on their way. Elaida told him nothing. There are numerous Aiel nearby in hiding. Three Wise Ones approach and go to the tent where the Aes Sedai are waiting. Two of the Aes Sedai are Red Ajah. Eamon Valda and most of the Whitecloaks left a month ago. Only a few were left behind. Gawyn wishes he knew what Pedron Niall was up to. He let Siuan escape, yet stayed at the White Tower because of his love for Elayne and Egwene. He thinks Elaida intends to support the Dragon Reborn. A peddler rides up from the west and introduces himself as Mil Tesen. The peddler tells Gawyn that rumor out of Cairhien has his mother, Morgase, dead at the hand of the Dragon Reborn. Maybe Elayne as well. Gawyn thinks of the oath that he swore to Gareth Bryne when Elayne was still in the cradle. If they are truly dead he intends to kill Rand.
Katerine Alruddin POV - Katerine, Coiren, Erian, Nesune, Galina and one other Aes Sedai11 conclude their meeting with Sevanna, Therava and Desaine. Sevanna makes it clear that their agreement is not complete until she sees Rand and he sees her after he is defeated. The Aes Sedai despise the Wise Ones. Katerine walks to the edge of the trees and watches Gawyn. Elaida hinted that she wants to be rid of him. Katerine plans to have the Shaido take care of the Younglings. Galina joins her. She has been head of the Red Ajah for eighteen years and is the only person that Elaida might defer to. Katerine has been Aes Sedai only seventeen years. They have orders to keep Rand alive. What they are doing is also the will of a higher authority than Elaida. They are both Black Ajah, Katerine for twelve years, Galina much longer.12 Katerine only learned of Galina's true allegiance when they left the White Tower. There are more Aes Sedai following a day behind.
Sevanna POV - Sevanna, Therava and Desaine leave the Aes Sedai camp. Though controversial, Sevanna is now accepted as a Wise One.13 The Wise Ones also despise the Aes Sedai. Desaine is vocal about her disagreement with Sevanna and Sevanna contemplates what to do about it.14 They plan to kidnap Rand from the Aes Sedai after he is taken. A strange wetlander15 found Sevanna in Kinslayer's Dagger and gave her a call box. He told her to use it when she has Rand captive.
Morgase POV - Morgase is a "guest" in the Seranda Palace of King Ailron of Amadicia near Amador. She is with Ailron and Tallanvor. Ailron leaves and she and Tallanvor return to her apartments where Basel Gill and Lamgwin stand guard. She is effectively a beggar, but that is better than being in thrall to Gaebril. Inside, Lini and Breane are working. Morgase has been trying to talk Ailron into helping her raise an army to retake Caemlyn, but progress is slow. Pedron Niall enters. Morgase recalls her very weak ability to channel. When she was at the White Tower, Verin told her she was so weak that there was hardly need for her to stay. Niall tells her that Ailron cannot help her. The Prophet is causing chaos in Ghealdan and there is civil war in Tarabon. He then offers to send five thousand Whitecloaks to Caemlyn to help her. He tells her that Gaebril is dead and Rand now holds Caemlyn as well as Cairhien. Many think she is dead and there is talk of Lady Dyelin for the succession. There are rumors that the White Tower set up Logain as a false Dragon. Overwhelmed, Morgase asks for a few days to think it over. After he leaves, she angrily sends the others away. She is very worried about Elayne, Gawyn and Galad. A young man enters and introduces himself as Paitr Conel from Market Sheran.16 He came to Amador with his uncle Jen, a merchant from Four Kings. They are loyal Andorans and want to help her escape. They are staying with a man who has pigeons, so she grills him about the latest news from Andor.
Pedron Niall POV - Niall returns to the Fortress of the Light. Balwer and Carridin are waiting for him. Niall still thinks he can use Rand to his own advantage. Guaire Amalasan had taken more than Rand when Artur Hawkwing stopped him. He has sent emissaries to all the nations spreading word that Rand is a danger. He thinks the Salidar Aes Sedai might be a ploy to support Rand, so he orders Carridin to stay away from Salidar. He sends Carridin to Altara.17
Mesaana POV - Mesaana and Semirhage wait for Demandred. Semirhage wears black because Lanfear wears white. Mesaana is uncomfortable around Semirhage, but cannot figure out why. It has been seventeen days since Demandred visited Shayol Ghul. Mesaana went there twice herself, but the Great Lord and the strange, large Myrddraal would not speak. Demandred was born the day after Lews Therin and was always just a step after him. He despised Lews Therin and has now transferred that feeling to Rand. Demandred arrives, then Graendal. Graendal says that Sammael is not coming. He spends his time with his army in Illian or searching for angreal. There are too many guards around the stash in the White Tower and the stash in the Stone of Tear is trapped. Graendal is disdainful of the White Tower, but Semirhage says a kitchen girl with a knife can be a lethal as falling in a sha'je duel at Qal.18 No one will admit to finding a stasis box. Mesaana says she will have Rand in two or three months.19 Graendal does not know where Mesaana has established herself.20 Mesaana turned to the Shadow because she was denied a research job in the Collam Daan. Looking at Semirhage and Mesaana, Demandred comments that their strongholds seem fortuitous.21 Demandred tells them to tell Sammael nothing, then passes on the Great Lord's orders beginning with, "Let the Lord of Chaos rule." Mesaana thinks the plan is a gamble.
Osan'gar POV - Osan'gar is amazed that he is alive and in a new body. His companion, Aran'gar, is furious about her new body despite her beauty.22 In the Old Tongue, osan'gar and aran'gar are left- and right-hand daggers used in dueling.18 Osan'gar thinks Aran'gar's body is suitable for a daien dancer. A giant Myrddraal appears and names itself Shaidar Haran.1 Trollocs have a sense of humor, but Fades do not. Osan'gar helped make the Trollocs, but he is still uneasy around Fades. He is worried about Aran'gar's recklessness, which makes Lanfear seem cautious. Sure enough, she tries to attack Shaidar Haran and it effortlessly chokes her. Osan'gar finds himself blocked from the True Source. Shaidar Haran tells them they should be grateful. They could be like Rahvin whose soul is beyond saving. They will now be allowed to serve the Great Lord again. None but Shaidar Haran and the Great Lord know they are alive. It laughs. Osan'gar is shocked, as Fades have no sense of humor.23
Sign the Guestbook!
- or -