AMoL: Into the Thick of It

Elayne POV#

Elayne exits the pavilion to find themselves amidst a dozen or more great trees, hundreds of feet tall. They grew to full height within five minutes of bursting from the ground, which accounts for the light dimming inside the pavilion. Perrin remarks that he has seen trees like this inside of a stedding, which causes all the Aes Sedai present to check that they can still touch the source. Perrin says that Rand walked into the grove and simply disappeared.

Elayne tells everyone to get maps. They gather the maps and the great captains, Bryne, Agelmar Jagad, Davram Bashere and Ituralde, start strategizing. They agree to send pikemen to Lan to help hold the Gap. Prince Antol convinces them that Kandor has fallen and resources should not be used to try to save it. Rhuarc reminds them that Rand will attack Shayol Ghul and will need help. Elayne promises that they will help Rand. They talk about retaking Caemlyn and the Waygate there and how difficult it will be. Elayne suggests using the Black Tower, but Perrin recommends against it as something is going on there[1]. Bryne suggests hiding forces in the Braem Wood and trick the Trollocs in Caemlyn to chase them into that forest. They finally decide that their main attack will be at Caemlyn while just holding the Gap and stopping the Trollocs from going further than Kandor. Agelmar Jagad will command the forces at the Gap, Bryne, with the help of Aes Sedai, will command the forces at Kandor, Davram Bashere will command the forces at Caemlyn and Ituralde, with the help of the Aiel, will command the forces at Shayol Ghul. Elayne asks Perrin to be in charge of logistics of the Merrilor camp, setting up a Traveling ground and organizing the channelers. They all then spend the rest of the day and evening going through the details.

Afterwards, Bryne praises Elayne for her handling of the meeting, including when Queen Tenobia complained about Saldaea left exposed. Elayne starts to apologize to him for what happened while Morgase was under Rahvin's spell, but Bryne stops her with "the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills."

Birgitte walks up to Elayne and then they stop and listen to a faint song being sung. They keep going and find a group of three dozen Ogier, including Loial, putting their hands on the giant trees and singing. After the song ends, one of the Ogier introduces himself as Haman son of Dal son of Morel and he tells Elayne that all of the Ogier have come to fight for them. Loial's mother, tells her that the Ogier discussed whether to fight with them or just stayed out of it. Loial's mother also tells her that she argued for not fighting in order for the strongest argument for fighting to be made. Loial tells Perrin that he is now married to Erith.

Elayne pulls Perrin and Faile aside and tells Perrin that she wants him to be her coordinator of all stores and rations for the whole army. Perrin tells her that he must be free to help Rand and Faile then volunteers to take on that role. Elayne adds on that the Horn must also safely get to Mat and they were planning to do by using the supply runs to hide it. Elayne is hesitant to give this role to Faile since she does not know her that well, but Perrin notes that the darkfriends will be expecting Elayne to use someone trusted to move the Horn.

More Elayne POV

Lan POV#

Bulen informs Lan on the plans to hold at the Gap and Kandor while attacking Caemlyn the hardest. The Trollocs have been pushed back to the mouth of the Gap with more pikemen arriving by the hour.

King Easar has arrived from Field of Merrilor and bows to Lan, telling him that Lan is leading the fight in the Borderlands. Easar tells Lan that even Queen Ethenielle is leaving Kandor to join the fight and that the White Tower is going there to hold the Trollocs back.

Lan inspires his soldiers by telling them that this is what they prepare for and they are ready. Easar recites a bit of a poem from Anasai of Ryddingwood and Lan recognizes it because the author is a favorite of Moiraine. The horns of alarm sound and everyone prepares for battle. Bonfires are being lit at the outskirts using wood that was collected by the five Asha'man he had, each one from a different Borderland country.

More Lan POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[1] Mazrim Taim.