It is sunrise. The cold of winter seems to be hanging on longer than it should. Egwene knows that today will be momentous and will end the farce of negotiations in Darein. She tries not to think about the weevils in her bowl of porridge that Chesa brought. Halima left early this morning. Nisao arrives with Sarin Hoigan who waits outside. She reports that Kairen Stang is dead. Testing for resonance showed her neck was broken with saidin. Egwene knows she will now have to replace Kairen with Bodewhin Cauthon, but she says nothing as Nisao is not in on the plan. As she walks to her study, everyone is remote and touchy. It reminds her of the way people behaved when Doral Barran had to deal with spotted fever in Emond's Field.
At her study, her first visitor is Theodrin. She says that Romanda requests a meeting. Emara then brings a similar request from Lelaine. When Emara is rude to Theodrin, Egwene snaps at her adding to her reputation as another Sereille Bagand. After they leave, Egwene reads the note that Theodrin left. Romanda sent two sisters to Cairhien to investigate a rumor that has the Yellow Ajah excited. It is somehow connected to Nynaeve.
Siuan enters. Egwene asks if she made the necessary plans to accommodate Kairen's demise. Faolain seems to have gone into hiding. Egwene still does not think Lelaine and Romanda respect her. Siuan says that pair would not have followed Deane Aryman who saved the White Tower after Bonwhin's disaster with Hawkwing. They think Egwene is another Edarna Noregovna, the most politically skilled Amyrlin ever. Egwene just does not want to be a Shein Chunla who wound up a puppet of the Hall.
Sheriam enters and Siuan changes the subject. She has a report from Tiana that Nicola Treehill is a runaway. Egwene wonders if Areina left with her. She notes that Nicola has been gone three or four days. The other novices in her family covered for her. Tiana is punishing them severely. Egwene will not commute their punishment even though Larine Ayellin is one of them. Egwene told everyone about her dream of Seanchan attacking the White Tower a week and a half ago. Sheriam reports that the sisters are dismissing it. The Seanchan are a thousand miles away and do not know how to Travel. There will be ample warning if they march on Tar Valon. Anaiya was the only one who truly believed that Egwene is a Dreamer. After Sheriam leaves, Egwene wonders why she came by in the first place.
Myrelle and Morvrin arrive. Varilin has taken over the talks in Darein from Beonin. Myrelle starts to say something about Shadar Logoth, but stops when Maigan arrives. She is Anaiya's replacement on Egwene's advisory council. She stands as high as Morvrin or Myrelle and she blames Siuan for the breaking of the White Tower.
She sends Siuan for tea and Morvrin leaves, too. Neither woman will talk much with the other present. Siuan returns with Ragan. He brings a report from Gareth Bryne that Elaida's raiders are now operating on the west side of the river and he advises caution. Siuan asks to be excused. Egwene notes that this means the boats are ready for Leane and Bodewhin this evening.
Romanda arrives with Theodrin. She reports that the negotiations are going badly. Varilin, Magla, Saroiya are frustrated. Romanda knows of the plan for tonight. Egwene felt it necessary to inform the Hall. Romanda brings up the subject of Sea Folk wilders and the Kin. The Yellow Ajah first discovered that there are hundreds of Windfinders in Illian. Romanda wants to disperse the Kin, but there are over a thousand scattered everywhere. Egwene proposes letting sisters, when they retire, forswear the Oath Rod and retire into the Kin for a longer life. Romanda is shocked and leaves. Myrelle and Maigan are astonished.
Lelaine arrives next. She says Kairen's death put a crimp in talks about the Black Tower. She suggests that Myrelle take Kairen's Warder Llyw. Myrelle responds that three are enough not revealing that she also has Lan's bond from Moiraine. She quickly excuses herself and leaves.
They discuss the Black Tower. They agree that Anaiya's and Kairen's deaths will not end the talks. Egwene thoughtlessly suggests that it might be Logain. Maigan and Lelaine try to browbeat Egwene on the Asha'man, proposing a modification to the Warder bond that will make it almost Compulsion. Egwene angrily refuses and they leave.
Chesa brings her lunch, but she can barely eat. She thinks long about her duty to the Tower and the law, "Unless the Tower is at war by consensus of the Hall, the Amyrlin shall not..." When Siuan returns, Egwene asks if Leane and Bodewhin have left. Siuan answer yes and Egwene sends her to get Bela. Egwene sneaks out of the camp as the sun drops and rides to the River Erinin River. She finds where the men are preparing a boat for Bodewhin. Egwene tells Bodewhin that she is taking her place and sends her back to the camp. Egwene climbs into the boat and the oarsmen row her to Northharbor. She sees something flash across the moon and wonders if it is a Draghkar or a bat. Egwene channels Earth, Air and Fire and touches the huge chain across the harbor with Earth and Fire. The entire chain flashes into cuendillar. She feels someone channel and then she is sinking in cold water.
She awakens to see and ageless face as the woman pours a minty liquid into her mouth. The women and soldiers know who she is and are excited and surprised. As she falls unconscious she wonders who betrayed her.
More Egwene POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] The weather is just slow getting back to normal due to the very late arrival of winter.
[#2] Kairen was a close friend of Cabriana Mecandes. (NS,Ch12) Aran'gar probably murdered her because Kairen asked Halima too many questions about her.
[#3] This brings the crucial question of exactly who knows of Egwene's plan.
[#4] This must be word of Damer Flinn's Healing the stilled Aes Sedai.
[#5] So Siuan is in on the plan.
[#6] Lelaine figured out Faolain's spying and confronted her. (KoD,Ch1)
[#7] Yes (KoD,Prologue)
[#8] Good question. Does her tormentor have her watching out for unusual activity on Egwene's part?
[#9] Is she finally preparing to tell Egwene that Lan was there? Why only now?
[#10] Which means that anyone in the Hall, notably Delana, could be the rat.
[#11] Stalling the talks may have been a secondary goal for Aran'gar but she chose Kairen and Anaiya because they knew too much about Cabriana Mecandes. (NS,Ch12, KoD,Ch23)
[#12] The exact wording of the law from ACoS,Ch9 is "The Amyrlin being valued with the White Tower itself, as the very heart of the White Tower, she must not be endangered without dire necessity, therefore unless the White Tower be at war by declaration of the Hall of the Tower, the Amyrlin shall seek the lesser consensus of the Hall of the Tower before deliberately placing herself in the way of any danger, and she shall abide by the consensus that stands." This prevented Egwene from going to Rand herself, but now they are at war.
[#13] Robert Jordan has confirmed that it is just a bat.
[#14] The chain is now a solid bar of cuendillar permanently blocking Northharbor. Leane converted half the Southharbor chain before her capture. (KoD,Prologue)
[#15] It must be forkroot.
[#16] Who, indeed? They apparently had some idea who to expect and it was not Egwene. See the discussion in the FAQ, Section 2.6.8.
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