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ToM: Chapter 20

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A Choice


Nynaeve POV � Rosil, the new Mistress of Novices, instructs Nynaeve as she goes for her test for the shawl. Rosil, Niere and Meramor have made her welcome in the Tower. They reach the room with the oval ring. The seven sisters who will conduct the test are Saerin, Yukiri, Barasine, Romanda, Rubinde, Lelaine and Seaine, all Sitters. Egwene is also there. Rosil finishes the formal instructions and Saerin touches her with a weave of Spirit.1 Nynaeve enters the oval ring and the test begins.

In her tests there is a recurring theme of people hurt or in danger that she must abandon. In one she is in a room of sick children. Mistress Mala has abandoned them. Nynaeve must abandon them as well. She is in the Two Rivers and Shadowspawn are attacking. Bran al'Vere, Perrin, Mistress al'Donel, Aeric Botteger and others call to her to help. Nynaeve begins breaking the rules, running, channeling before she reaches the proper place, to help people. The last test comes. She is in the Blight. Atop a hill, she sees that she is in Malkier at the Seven Towers. Lan is there besieged by Darkhounds. She uses Fire on the Darkhounds but it has no effect so she balefires them. She finally drags Lan with her back through the arch.

She is burned, bruised and bleeding all over her body. Her braid is gone. Saerin shouts for someone to Heal her and Rosil complies. Saerin is livid that the test was so harsh, but Rubinde and Barasine coldly say it was proper and that she failed. She ran, she was not serene and she used a forbidden weave. Nynaeve replies that she would rather save lives than have the title Aes Sedai. While the Sitters discuss, Egwene tells Nynaeve that she should not have been able to channel prematurely at all. It is the nature of the test. It was probably the result of Nynaeve�s experience in Tel'aran'rhiod that allowed her to break the rules. Egwene admits that she created the tests with the Two Rivers and the final one with Lan. The Sitters finish their discussion. Saerin asks her to swear never to use balefire again but she refuses. She tells them that if she has to use it at Shayol Ghul with Rand then she will. Egwene warns them that refusing to raise the woman who helped cleanse the taint, who defeated Moghedien, the wife of the King of Malkier, would look very bad. Rubinde, Barasine and Lelaine vote no, but Yukiri, Seaine, Romanda and Saerin vote yes. Nynaeve passes the test, barely. They send her to her quarters for a night of contemplation before the ceremony the next morning but she has one thing to do first.

Nynaeve Travels to the Aes Sedai camp outside the Black Tower. They are still being made to wait for some reason.2 Nynaeve asks directions then goes to Myrelle�s tent. She is there with one of her Warders, a big man with an Illianer-style beard.3 She tells Nynaeve to come back tomorrow but Nynaeve threatens her to get it done now. Myrelle weaves Spirit and Nynaeve can feel Lan in her mind. He is still alive.


  1. As we saw in NS,Ch9. It is not clear what this weave does.
  2. We learn more about what is going on in the Black Tower in ToM,Ch46.
  3. He is Nuhel Dromand.

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