Moiraine POV#Moiraine and Siuan enter the Blue Ajah quarters where all the resident sisters are waiting. Anaiya who greets them first kiddingly chides Aeldra for stealing her pies. Kairen is next followed by thirty-nine others. Eadyth and the other two Sitters wait at the end.
Eadyth sends them to their new rooms telling them to return quickly for a briefing. She sends Cabriana to accompany them. Anaiya and Kairen come along as well. Anaiya, Kairen and Cabriana are long time friends. On their way Cabriana confirms that Eadyth is the First Selector as well as a Sitter. Kairen defers to Anaiya; Cabriana defers to all four of them. Kairen plans to leave the White Tower soon for business in Tear.
They each have a bedroom, dressing room, sitting room and study. The decorations are too frilly for Moiraine, but Siuan seems to like them. Moiraine wears her kesiera for the first time in six years. The other three Aes Sedai leave and Moiraine and Siuan head back to see Eadyth. Natasia directs them to Eadyth's quarters. Eadyth reiterates their lessons that speaking of strength is the second greatest rudeness. Nevertheless, they must always judge others' strength because of the rules of deference. Failure to defer is the third greatest rudeness. This explains why Elaida deferred to Meilyn and Rafela to Leane. Deference is required unless your Ajah or the Tower sets someone above you. On their way back to their rooms Cetalia Delarme intercepts them. She was not at the greeting ceremony. She has heard of Siuan's analytical ability. She offers Siuan a pattern which she quickly solves. Cetalia hustles Siuan back to her office and Moiraine returns to her rooms. Anaiya returns. Moiraine judges her to be nearly as strong as Cetalia. Anaiya offers her Healing to ease the tightness of the oaths. The tightness does not loosen but it feels more comfortable. She also brings a summons to see Tamra.
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After hours of testing, Cetalia conscripts Siuan to be her assistant as eyes-and-ears for the Blue Ajah. Siuan is dismayed, but has no choice. Siuan thinks Moiraine is amazingly tough. In their rooms, she finds Moiraine despondent. Tamra put her in charge of disbursing the bounty. Now neither of them will be able to leave the White Tower to hunt for the Dragon Reborn. She tells Moiraine that Cetalia had her looking at reports and Moiraine immediately figures out that she is the Blue Ajah eyes-and-ears head. That is supposed to be secret. Moiraine reveals that the Tower wants her as Queen of Cairhien. She tells Siuan that she does not want to have to be a ruthless tyrant like her great-grandmother Carewin Damodred. Moiraine offers Healing to Siuan.
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Lan, Rakim, Caniedrin, Bukama scout the Aiel as they cross Kinslayer's Dagger heading to the Spine of the World. Lan rides Cat Dancer. Caniedrin wants to fight, but Bukama and Lan know that Pedron Niall, today's commander, knows war too well and will wait. Bukama talks Lan into waiting four months before returning to his battle with the Blight. They bypass Tar Valon and head south to Andor or perhaps Tear.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Thirty-nine plus two plus six plus Cetalia Delarme makes a total of forty-eight Blue Ajah sisters (Aeldra inclusive) in the White Tower. With the Blue Ajah second smallest, that adds up to at least three hundred fifty, probably closer to five hundred sisters at the White Tower. This agrees quite well with the given number of four hundred twenty-three from NS,Ch3. The conclusion is that, while the Ajahs are different in size, the differences are not dramatic.
[#2] Anlee and Lelaine (NS,Ch11])
[#3] A hint to the motive for the murders of Kairen and Anaiya. (CoT,Ch20, CoT,Ch30, KoD,Ch23)
[#4] No idea what the nature of that business might be.
[#5] The lace everywhere is Anaiya's doing. (LoC,Ch36)
[#6] Speaking of age is the first.
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