Elayne rides Fireheart into the Queen's Stableyard on the east side of the Royal Palace. Caseille and the Queen's Guards follow. Despite all the channelers in the palace she can sense no use of saidar. The huge use of the One Power to the west has everyone cowed. She thinks Arymilla must be terrified by all the stories of channelers in the Royal Palace. Caseille assigns new guards to Elayne including Deni and Rasoria.
Birgitte arrives as Aviendha comes through the gateway on Siswai. Birgitte reports that Dyelin and Reanne Corly have not returned from their mission. They left days before Arymilla's armies arrived to work up support for Elayne among undecided Houses. Of four hundred noble Houses in Andor only nineteen are strong enough to be important. Matherin and the others she visited are weak ones. Normally succession is straightforward. Mantear only lost the throne to Trakand when Mordrellen Mantear died because Tigraine had disappeared. A queen is determined when ten of the nineteen Houses agree. So far, Elayne only has Trakand and Taravin locked. Dyelin has promised Carand, Coelan, Renshar, Norwelyn, Pendar and Traemane, but the first three really want Dyelin and the latter three are keeping quiet. With Elenia and Naean, Arymilla has six Houses solidly behind her.
As they enter the palace, Birgitte reports that something is going on. Sumeko fainted while she was talking and the Windfinders and Kin are agitated. They run into Vandene with Careane, Sareitha and Merilille. Vandene has lost weight since Adeleas died. Vandene goes about her business followed by two novices, Kirstian and Zarya. Elayne assures the other three that there is nothing they can do about the channeling. Merilille has worn the shawl over a hundred years and Careane over fifty, but they defer to Elayne because they are all only average strength. Careane dislikes Aviendha, considering her a wilder. Elayne is convinced that one of the three sisters is the murderer.
Captain Doilin Mellar arrives. Sareitha approves of him but the other two dislike him. He led a sortie to rescue eighty of Lord Luan's men led by Jurad Accan when they were attacked by Lord Nasin's forces. Elayne chastises him for bringing Luan's armsmen into the city because he has not yet declared for her. She orders him to spend his time having those men watched. She then dismisses them all and goes to have a hot bath. She thinks that she always pays her debts and helps her friends pay theirs.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
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