CoT: A Bargain

Elayne POV#

Elayne, Aviendha and Birgitte go to her quarters where Essande is training two new tirewomen, Naris and Sephanie. Elayne and Aviendha have baths while Birgitte reports current events. Two merchants' trains arrived yesterday with food from Tear via gateway. They reported that High Lord Darlin and the Stone of Tear are under siege by nobles who want the Dragon Reborn completely out of Tear. There is no news of Gawyn or Galad. She hopes that Elaida has not learned that Gawyn helped Siuan escape. She cannot like Galad, but she still hopes he is safe. He started a war in Samara to keep a promise to her. She wonders if he still fancies Nynaeve.

Birgitte reports that a Green sister with two Warder and a Gray with one arrived at The Silver Swan. The same day a Brown left heading east and a Yellow left heading south toward Far Madding so there are still ten at the inn. Elayne wonders about their purpose. One of her spies reported hearing them mention Cadsuane. There were Reds in the city as well, asking after the Black Tower, but the last two left the day after Arymilla's armies arrived. Elayne thinks there are pockets of Aes Sedai all over waiting for the outcome at the White Tower without taking sides.

There is a commotion outside her rooms. Birgitte investigates while Aviendha fetches the amber turtle and the seated woman angreal. Three of the Sea Folk barge in past a furious Rasoria. They are Zaida and two Windfinders, Chanelle and Shielyn. They learned of the death of Nesta din Reas Two Moons. They plan to leave immediately for Illian[1] to choose a new Mistress of the Ships. Elayne is dismayed as the Windfinders include most of the strongest channelers in the Royal Palace. This will seriously impede her ability to counter the siege with Traveling. Even worse, they want to take the three Aes Sedai with them as part of their bargain. Elayne counters that the bargain was with the Mistress of the Ships and that the Amyrlin would assign the teachers. Zaida comes back that Merilille personally agreed to teach, so they will keep her at least.[2] Elayne gives in on that point. They set out on a new bargain. Elayne wants Zaida to leave the twenty-one[3] Windfinders to weave gateways. In return, Elayne will cede them some land on the River Erinin River. Zaida refuses to negotiate on the two apprentices, Talaan and Metarra, and on the Windfinders to Wavemistresses.[4] They finally agree on nine of the fourteen other Windfinders to be led by Chanelle.[5] Elayne suspects that most of the Windfinders who are staying lost their ships in the battle at Ebou Dar.

More Elayne POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Zaida tells Elayne she is headed to Illian. The Salidar Aes Sedai report large numbers of Sea Folk in both Illian and Tear. (CoT,Ch18) Verin delivers Harine and Shalon to Tear. (CoT,Ch23) The election for Mistress of the Ships winds up in Illian to Zaida's benefit and Harine's detriment. (KoD,Ch22)
[#2] Except that Merilille is preparing to run away. (CoT,Ch14)
[#3] The twenty who came from Ebou Dar (ACoS,Ch39) plus Shielyn.
[#3] There are four: Caire, Dorile, Shielyn and Tebreille. Renaile is demoted to the lowest level of Windfinder after the death of Nesta. (KoD,Ch14)
[#4] The other Windfinders include Kurin, Rainyn, Renaile, Rysael and Senine. (KoD,Ch32)

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