Lan POV - It is near Bel Tine (April or May) in the year 979 NE, the Aiel War just a few months ended. Lan is traveling through Kandor with Bukama Marenellin, hero of Salmarna. They enter the city of Canluum. There are rumors of a man who can channel.2 They wear traditional hadori, leather headbands. They have been in Cairhien, Andor and Tear for two years fighting the Aiel War. The ruler of Canluum is Lord Varan Marcasiev; his banner is the Red Stag. Lan's horse is Cat Dancer; Bukama's is Sun Lance. They meet Alin Seroku, an old guard at the gate. There are several Aes Sedai around. The previous Amyrlin died a few months ago. Nazar Kurenin was from Malkier, but acts Kandori now. Malkieri women wear ki'sain, a dot of paint women wear on their forehead. They stay at an inn called The Blue Rose. The innkeeper Racelle Arovni is a friend of Bukama's; he has been gone six years. At the inn is Ryne Venamar. He is Lan's best friend, five years older. He is also Malkieri, but dresses like an Arafellin. He was working as a merchant's guard, but the merchant was killed. The serving girl Lira likes Lan. Edeyn Arrel was Lan's carneira, his first lover, in Fal Moran. He was fifteen and she was over thirty. She is now in Chachin, raising the banner of the Golden Crane, leading the fight to reclaim Malkier. Lan uses ko'di, a oneness or void, to focus his concentration.3 Before Malkier was Rhamdashar, before that, Aramaelle. Lan carries a locket from his mother as well as the ring. Twenty men rescued him as a baby from Malkier. Five, including Bukama, reached Shienar. Six men attack to assassinate him. He kills them all.4 Bukama is suspicious that Edeyn sent them. Ryne does not want to face the merchant's widow, Ceiline Noreman, so all three agree to go to Chachin.
Moiraine POV - Moiraine has begun the search for the Dragon Reborn. She is also in Canluum. She wears her kesiera, a blue stone pendant. She is traveling in secret, calling herself Alys, a minor Cairhienin noble. Her skin still feels too tight from the Three Oaths.5 She will reach full strength in about five years. She is interviewing Jurine Najima with her daughters Colar and Eselle. Her husband Josef, baby Jerid and other sons were killed in mysterious fire. Jerid was born in the wrong place to be the Dragon Reborn. Josef was always lucky. He went to fight the Aiel at Lady Kareil's request. Two hundred thousand men fought the Aiel. Moiraine and Siuan were still Accepted when they heard the Foretelling. Tamra set others searching for the Dragon Reborn. She and Siuan are participating strictly on their own. They helped collect the list of names. Entries in her book: Saera Deosin, m Eadwin, Kari al'Thor m Tamlin Second Captain of the Illianer Companions.6 Sierin Vayu is Amyrlin now. Moiraine thinks Tamra died in her sleep.7 Five sisters, one Red, are staying at same inn as she, The Gates of Heaven. The innkeeper is Master Helvin. Moiraine is stronger than all of them. Two new ones have arrived, Larelle Tarsi, a Gray, who taught her classes and Merean Redhill, a Blue, who was Mistress of Novices under Tamra. Both are stronger than she, but she will eventually be stronger. The gap is only wide enough that she must defer, not obey. Since she is young and is not wearing her ring, the other sisters think Moiraine is a wilder. Felaana Bevaine, a Brown, complains she will not go to the Tower but Larelle covers for her. Moiraine is twenty-two. Cadsuane appears; Moiraine met her once two years ago. She briefly came out of retirement at the beginning of the Aiel War. Tales of Cadsuane: she kidnapped a Tarabon king who could channel, kidnapped the King of Arad Doman and Queen of Saldaea to stop a war. Moiraine went to the White Tower at sixteen. All four go upstairs. Cadsuane quizzes her about being incognito. She and Siuan pulled lots of pranks. They put mice in Elaida Sedai's bed the night they tested for the shawl. Moiraine says she is going to Chachin, then regrets her words. Her next targets are Avene Sahera in a village on the way and Lady Ines Demain in Chachin. Cadsuane brings up age, shocking the others. She says Meilyn Arganya is older, and when they are gone, Kerene Nagashi will be strongest. There is a sharp drop to next five, one retired, including Moiraine and Siuan when they reach full strength.8 She is the strongest in the last thousand years. Meilyn and Kerene are the strongest in the last six hundred. Cadsuane orders Moiraine to go with Merean and Larelle to Chachin to help keep her from doing anything dumb. Both sisters object as strongly as Moiraine. They only met the day before and both want to stay in Canluum two or three days longer. Moiraine has been Aes Sedai five months.9 Cadsuane says she is already taking more risks than she knows.10 Meilyn and Kerene are two of Tamra's searchers! Downstairs, Siuan arrives. She is supposed to be six hundred miles away in Tar Valon working for Cetalia Delarme, the head of the Blue Ajah eyes-and-ears. Cetalia is equal to Merean in strength, so it will be three to four years before Siuan is strong enough tell her she wants to quit. Sierin is a severe disciplinarian. Siuan tells Moiraine that the other searchers, Aisha, Kerene, Valera, Ludice and Meilyn, are all dead. All were old; Kerene was about two hundred. Siuan wanted to speak to Meilyn in secret so she hid under her bed. Meilyn never showed, but at breakfast next morning Chesmal Emry announced that she died in her sleep.11 She now wonders if Tamra might have been murdered, too. Siuan left an anonymous note about the Black Ajah for Sierin.12 They wonder if Cadsuane might be another searcher or if she might be Black Ajah. Moiraine convinces Siuan to head on to Chachin; she will follow after Cadsuane's bed check. At the inn, Moiraine sees Ryne leaving and an edge of shawl from a sister he is talking to. In the common room Merean, Larelle and Cadsuane are wearing their shawls. With three more Aes Sedai arrived, Moiraine has to share a room with a Murandian rug merchant Haesel Palan. After bed check, she heads to the stable and leaves on her horse Arrow. She sees Lan and company leave before her and follows them. They leave the road, but she is a good tracker and follows. She tries to take Lan's sword, but he is so fast he grabs her and dunks her. This shocks her out of saidar, but the test for the shawl required channeling under far worse stress than this so she regains saidar immediately. Lan does not like Cairhienin or Aes Sedai. She reveals she is Aes Sedai. Late that night, Moiraine weaves Air, Water and a touch of Earth and dumps a bunch of the lake on Lan.
Lan POV - He does not like Cairhienin because they are schemers. She torments him with all sorts of tricks, trying to get a rise out of him. Two days out, Moiraine finds Avene Sahera in the village Ravinda. At Chachin, they see the Aesdaishar Palace, home of queen Ethenielle; her banner is a prancing Red Horse. She is in the south, but Prince Consort Brys, her Swordbearer and general, is there as well as Edeyn ti Gemallen Arrel. His son Diryk is extremely lucky. He fell off a balcony and lived. His tutor is Mistress Tuval. Edeyn pledges fealty to Lan as king of Malkier. She plans for him to marry her seventeen-year-old daughter Iselle. She still holds his daori, braid of hair from one's carneira, hair cut at their first time, which means he owes her. She takes him to bed.
Moiraine POV - She meets Siuan staying at The Evening Star in Chachin. She locates Ines Demain who is newly a widow staying in the Aesdaishar Palace, but her son Rahien, dawn in the Old Tongue, is not the Dragon Reborn. A young blacksmith who was very lucky died a couple of nights ago. Queen Ethenielle has an Aes Sedai advisor, but both are out of town. She gets money from Mistress Noallin, a banker and orders a fine dress from Mistress Silene Dorelmin. Two days later, Moiraine goes to the palace as Moiraine Damodred. Ines Demain's husband was an older man. He fell dead ten days ago. Siuan poses as Moiraine's maid Suki. They meet a footman Cal. Ryne and Bukama fight using practice swords; Ryne wins easily. Brys' oldest son Antol is with his mother in the south; daughter Jarene and son Diryk are there. Moiraine learns that Lan would have been king of Malkier. Brys tells Moiraine about two Aes Sedai who caught an impostor in a village to the south.13 A maid Elis takes her to her rooms, but they run into Merean. She lets out that Moiraine is Aes Sedai and says that Larelle decided to go south.14 Moiraine thinks Cadsuane is Black Ajah. She decides to go see Lan after all. Lan hates Aes Sedai because they did not help Malkier; Moiraine explains that a hundred sisters were sent, but they arrived too late. She asks Lan to have Bukama follow Merean. Back in her apartments, Lady Iselle is there with Siuan. She wants to go to the White Tower to be Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. She was tested years ago when she was twelve. That night Bukama reports Merean spent the whole day with Lord Brys. Gitara's Foretelling was the day the Aiel began to leave.
Lan POV - Lan spots Merean talking to Iselle. Iselle leaves and Merean follows her. Lan follows them, then his feet are pulled from under him and he falls down stairs, very lucky to be okay.15 A servant runs up and tells him that Bukama was stabbed and is dead.
Moiraine POV - Lan enters her room and says that Bukama is dead. He thinks she did it. He tells her he saw Iselle with Brys and Diryk. Moiraine figures they are all in danger. They go to a secluded part of palace where Brys might go for privacy. Merean is old; she was Aes Sedai a hundred years before Moiraine's great grandmother was born. Merean got Iselle to bring Diryk to her, but she brought Brys, too. Ryne is with Merean. He killed Bukama. He is a Darkfriend. Merean is too strong for Moiraine to shield; she orders Ryne to kill Lan. Merean wants to know what Moiraine is doing there.16 Ryne and Lan fight. Merean and Moiraine fight. Moiraine severs Merean's attack with Air and Fire. Merean drops Diryk off the balcony. As Moiraine dives for Diryk, Merean knocks her out, then drops Brys off the balcony. Moiraine comes to, but is too groggy to hold saidar, so she stabs Merean in the back. Iselle starts to fall; Moiraine grabs her hand, but cannot hold on. Lan kills Ryne. Moiraine Heals Lan with Spirit, Air and Water, then disposes of Merean's and Ryne's bodies.
The next morning, Moiraine searches Merean's belongings but finds nothing so she destroys them. She discusses the events with Siuan. Siuan figures that the Black Ajah did not get the time of Dragon Reborn's birth, only that he is reborn. They are killing anyone showing signs of potential for channeling such as excessive luck or sudden rise in prominence. Moiraine tells Siuan she thinks Cadsuane is Black Ajah. Siuan will go back to the White Tower and Moiraine will continue the search. Siuan says Lan left an hour ago; Moiraine follows. Outside of town, she catches up to him. Moiraine tells him all about the Dragon Reborn. He swears fealty to her and she bonds him as her Warder with an intricate weave of Spirit. She can now draw on his strength. Lan led five hundred men at the Battle of the Shining Walls; half died. They head back to Chachin, then to Arafel, then the world.
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