Tarna Feir POV#
It is nine days since Egwene was captured. Tarna climbs the stairs to Elaida's quarters; she avoids the corridors where she might run into sisters of another Ajah. On her way she thinks on Pevara's question from almost two weeks ago. Which Red Ajah sisters can be trusted to bond Asha'man, even with Tsutama's blessing? She has only one name on her list and that one will not work. Elaida and Meidani are in the sitting room; they spend a lot of time together.
Tarna announces that she has the morning reports and Elaida sends Meidani away. Elaida confides that they were pillow-friends and she might allow it again to question her. That is rare outside of novices and Accepted, though Tarna recalls Galina making a pass at her. Tarna prefers men. Elaida allowed the weave of Keeping to be shared widely and it seems to be working. Tarna has no news on the other nine moles. There is no news on locating the seals. The harbors are blocked so that the city is starting to suffer. Elaida orders penances with Silviana for any Sitters who do not deliver enough workers to dismantle the chains. Tarna reports that Egwene spends half her days with Silviana. Elaida wants her tamed but not broken so the White Tower will be strong. Tarna recalls Galina beating her block out of her. Elaida wants Egwene to attend her tonight.
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Mat and his party leave Maderin and head into the forest as soon as they are out of sight of any farms. The dice start up again. Two days later they stop for a midday rest. They are three hundred miles west of Damona Mountains; he wants to reach them in a week. Vanin knows a smugglers' pass. After the pass they are two days from Murandy.
Lopin and Nerim serve lunch to Mat, Tuon, Selucia and Setalle. Afterwards, Mat uses Aludra's strikers to light his pipe. Thom and Aludra play stones. The Redarms including Metwyn and Harnan take care of the sixty pack horses that Luca purchased in Maderin. Mat gave a purse of gold to Petra and Clarine when they left. Leilwin, Domon, Juilin and Amathera are also nearby. Noal plays Snakes and Foxes with Olver. The game reminds Mat of the Eelfinn and maybe the Aelfinn being in his head. Joline, Blaeric and Fen, Bethamin and Seta, Teslyn and Edesina are there. Joline and Edesina are now teaching both Bethamin and Seta.
Mat thinks the gholam is following Luca's circus. Luca is still heading for Murandy as well. Mat refused Healing after Maderin and now his wounds are infected. A blacklance wriggles out from under the log Juilin and Amathera are sitting on. Juilin starts after it, but Mat tells him to let it go. Tuon lets Mat kiss her and he does a thorough job. She then sends Selucia for ointments for his wounds.
Riders approach and Mat mounts Pips. They are Vanin and Talmanes. Talmanes tells Mat that Vanin updated him on Nalesean and the others. Mat is angry that Talmanes is in Altara instead of being with Egwene. Talmanes tells him Egwene really is the Amyrlin and they are off to besiege Tar Valon. They can Travel like the Dragon Reborn. Mat sees the colors spin and resolve into Rand talking with an Aes Sedai with gray hair in a bun. Talmanes brought three banners of horse, four thousand mounted crossbowmen and the masons. He left three banners of horse and five of foot in Murandy with orders to move north into Andor. King Roedran paid them so they have plenty of money. Mat introduces Talmanes Delovinde to Tuon. Mat grabs his hat and ashandarei and orders Talmanes to take them to the Band. The Seanchan have camps scattered all over. There was a landslide so the pass Vanin was planning to use is now blocked. The Damona Mountains were made during the Breaking so other passes are unlikely. They set out riding and Mat starts to plan how to get out of Altara.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Who is this one? The final group of six will be Pevara, Tarna, Jezrail, Desala, Melare and Javindhra. (KoD,Epilogue)
[#2] They crash to a stop when Tuon marries Mat! (KoD,Ch36)
[#3] No, the gholam is still following Mat. (ToM,Ch8)
[#4] Her first kiss! (KoD,Ch26)
[#5] Presumably Cadsuane.
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