CoT: A Strengthening Storm

Rand POV#

It is mid-afternoon and there is a terrific storm outside. Rand is resting in his bedroom with Min. He can sense Elayne and Aviendha in the direction of Caemlyn. He wonders how he can keep the three of them safe. Lews Therin mutters. Rand wonders if he should ask Cadsuane about him or about the murky, almost recognizable face he sometimes sees. The wounds in his side hurt more since Shadar Logoth.

The new arrivals include Bashere and a hundred of his horsemen, eight Aes Sedai and over half a dozen Asha'man including Logain Ablar. All but one of the Aes Sedai are bonded to the Asha'man. Rand figured that it would only be a matter of time until someone used his sworn Aes Sedai's Warder to locate him. Since Shadar Logoth, Lews Therin seems a touch less mad. Min says that Logain's aura "still speaks of glory, stronger than ever." There is something dark in the images around Bashere. Rand thinks of Thom Merrilin and Mat, and colors swirl.

Elza knocks on the door to admit Loial. He waits until Elza is out of sight to seize saidin because he still gets dizzy and nauseous even with the taint gone. Lews Therin murmurs that it is clean again. Rand spins a ward to shield their conversation. Loial is pleased that Lord Algarin has six Ogier rooms. His book Essays of Willim of Maneches got wet. Loial reports that he and Karldin visited all the stedding except for Stedding Shangtai. He left word at Stedding Daiting that is close by. The stedding in the Borderlands and Stedding Shadoon and Stedding Mardoon on the Shadow Coast would not listen, but all the others agreed to post guards at the Waygates. Stedding Shangtai is holding a Great Stump - the first time since the War of the Hundred Years. He knows Elder Haman does not like the Waygate so he will surely agree to post guards. Rand suggests that Loial go home for a few days, but Loial panics at the thought of his mother[1] marrying him to Erith. Rand says that he needs to talk to Bashere and Logain. Rand thinks that he can use Loial given what Alivia told him about the Seanchan.[2] Loial tells him about the Asha'man bonding Aes Sedai.

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Cadsuane POV#

Samitsu reports to Cadsuane. She is sure that the Asha'man have bonded the other Aes Sedai, not vice versa like Merise, Corele and Daigian. Logain has two, Toveine and Gabrelle. Cadsuane is disgusted at this turn of events. Samitsu is bitter that Sashalle and Sorilea have completely undermined her authority. Cadsuane pumps her up and tells her to go back to Cairhien to keep an eye on Sashalle. Samitsu asks what Rand intends to do. Cadsuane replies that it is something very dangerous.[3]

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Rand POV#

Rand interviews Logain and Bashere with Loial there. Min left to read Herid Fel's books. He is furious at the Asha'man for bonding Aes Sedai. Elaida want them all dead and he may have to offer Asha'man to be bonded by Aes Sedai to appease Egwene.[4] Logain replies that it was Taim's order[5] and everyone assumed that meant the order came from Rand. When Rand suggested to Merise that she unbond Jahar Narishma she was shocked.[6] He suspects Corele and Damer would feel the same. Logain tells Rand that Taim has his own coterie of all the full Asha'man except himself. He put Flinn's, Narishma's and Karldin's names on the deserter's list. He thinks most of the Black Tower would follow Taim rather than Rand. Logain is skeptical that he was responsible for cleansing the taint. Rand thinks about the Creator's plan, then is surprised at himself. That is more typical of Lews Therin than Rand. Rand says that Taim will have to wait. He asks Bashere if he has anything more to report other than Dobraine's stabbing. He answers that his own quarters were attacked as well. Someone was searching for the three intact seals. Three are already broken. They wonder where the seventh is.[7] Rand ends by ordering Bashere, Logain and Loial to negotiate a truce with the Seanchan.

Elza Penfell POV#

Elza listens to the report from her Warder Fearil. None of her own heart came to Cairhien, but she learned that Fera of the White Ajah is also Black. She orders Fearil to kill anyone who threatens the Dragon Reborn so he can reach Tarmon Gai'don to be defeated by the Great Lord.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Her name is Covril.
[#2] To negotiate with the Gardeners?
[#3] Negotiating with the Seanchan or something else?
[#4] That is exactly what Rand will do. (KoD,Ch23)
[#5] Curious. In (TPoD,Ch26) Vinchova thinks Taim does not approve of the bonding.
[#6] Releasing a Warder bond is possible, but without extreme cause it is considered disgraceful. An example would be a dying Aes Sedai releasing her Warder to spare him the pain of her death. (Tor Q&A)
[#7] They are missing the one that Nynaeve found in the Panarch's Palace. It also broke on the trip to Salidar. (TFoH,Ch50)

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