Elayne leaves Mistress Harfor and Master Norry and heads for the Map Room accompanied by Birgitte, Deni and other Guardswomen. The Royal Palace is packed; many minor nobles are in the palace having brought a few armsmen to aid Elayne. On her way she passes words with some of them, Sergase Gilbearn, Kelwin Janevor, Barel Layden, Anthelle Sharplyn, Arilinde Branstrom, Laerid Traehand, Brannin Martan and Elvaine Martan.
Elayne also visits with Aubrem Pensenor. He first brought the news that Arymilla Marne, Naean and Elenia were the ones marching on Caemlyn. He rode for Morgase in the Succession. House Pensenor has been allied to House Taravin for generations. The nobles have heard the news of Guybon but now they are nervous because of the changes in the palace. That is why Reene Harfor and Naris are nervous as well. Deni is stoic. She recalls that she was more afraid of Eldrin Hackly when he nearly killed her because that danger was real.
Birgitte is morose. Her earliest memories are now the four lives she led between the founding of the White Tower and the end of the Trolloc Wars and they are fading. She fears losing her memories of Gaidal Cain. They arrive at the Map Room. The map of Caemlyn that covers most of the floor predates Andor and even Artur Hawkwing but it is frequently updated to keep up with changes. Because of the great map Birgitte uses the room as her office. A clerk, Mistress Anford, brings her a report but Birgitte sends her and the other clerks out.
There is a current map of Caemlyn and surrounding Andor on a table. The Black Tower is two leagues south of the city. Pins and markers show Arymilla's eight camps, the Goshien camp and Davram Bashere's camp. Elayne tells Birgitte to check the Saldaean camp and Black Tower to see if any of them left with the Goshien. They wonder where Rand sent the Goshien. A bronze bear fifty miles northeast marks the Borderlanders. Elayne hoped their presence would deter Arymilla.
Luan, Ellorien and Abelle, Aemlyn, Arathelle and Pelivar have sixty thousand men in two camps south of the Black Tower. Dyelin has been negotiating with them. Dyelin arrives; she is also disturbed by the palace changing. Four of the young High Seats follow her in, Catalyn Haevin, Conail Northan, Perival Mantear and Branlet Gilyard. Catalyn has to share a bed with Dyelin and Sergase because the palace is so crowded. They want to know what Dyelin learned. Elayne wonders how they knew of Dyelin's mission. So far the six High Seats will not take sides. Aemlyn, Arathelle and Pelivar want Dyelin for the throne. Luan and Abelle are noncommittal. Luan and Pelivar helped arrest Naean and Elenia, but that does not sway them now. Ellorien is still furious because Morgase, under Rahvin's influence, had her flogged. Dyelin left Keraille Surtovni and Julanya Fote to watch them. Three of the Kin are also watching the Borderlanders. That leaves six Houses for Elayne, six for Arymilla, six neutral and one, Danine Candraed of Candraed, undecided. The sign of House Haevin is the Blue Bear. The sign of House Northan is Eagles and of Mantear an Anvil. House Mantear preceded Trakand in holding the throne. Norwelyn preceded Mantear.
That evening Elayne reads in her sitting room. Sephanie is in attendance and Yurith Azeri heads the guards outside her door. Vandene enters with Kirstian and Zarya. Vandene asks permission to ward against eavesdropping then she tells Elayne that Reanne Corly was murdered. Derys Nermala found a doll that belonged to Mirane Larinen, a supposed runaway. She treasured the doll so she was probably murdered as well. It seems likely others of the Kin who disappeared were murdered. Elayne thinks the murderer is trying to frighten Kinswomen into fleeing. This means Merilille is not the murderer. Elayne wonders why the Black Ajah would prefer Arymilla on the throne rather than her. Elayne asks Vandene to speak with Sumeko and Alise about calming the Kin. She also wants to warn Chanelle and the other Windfinders.
More Elayne POV
Arymilla dines with Naean, Elenia, Nasin, Sylvase, Lir and Karind. Jarid is High Seat of House Sarand. Lir and Karind want to press with an all out attack. Arymilla wants to save her troops to fight the Borderlanders. Their support for Arymilla is not in writing so they could possibly renege. Her maid Arlene makes her arrangements among the camps now. All the food is spoiling. Sylvase questions the value of attacking Caemlyn if Luan and the others will not support their cause. Luan wants a truce so Andor can deal with the Borderlanders. Arymilla thinks Ellorien and possibly Aemlyn, Arathelle and Pelivar will side with her. She plans for Elayne and Dyelin to die. She thinks she can coerce Conail Northan and the other three children High Seats to publish support for her. If she cannot then Jaq Lounalt can. A servant bearing Marne's four Silver Moons enters with a message from Master Jakob Hernvil, Arymilla's secretary. Outside, he reports that "they have agreed, but they want all the gold up front." She orders him to draw up a letter to Mistress Andscale for her to sign. She orders him to tell them a week from tomorrow. In a week the throne will be hers. She goes back inside to tell the others the good news.
More Arymilla POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] He sent them to Arad Doman to help restore order. (KoD,Ch18)
[#2] So Elayne's ploy with the Borderlanders is working to some extent.
[#3] She is bribing some of Elayne's mercenaries to change sides. (KoD,Ch32)
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