Tuon is in her audience chamber in the Tarasin Palace the day after her return to Ebou Dar. Karede and two dozen Deathwatch Guard and six Ogier Gardeners stand guard. Ebou Dar is in order but the rest of the world is in chaos. The progress of the Corenne is stalled by the Dragon Reborn in the east and the Domani in the north. They have not heard from Lieutenant-General Turan but Galgan thinks there is a chance he will succeed. It will be difficult to recover from Suroth's betrayal. On the right are ten da'covale, on the left are Lanelle, Melitene and their damane. Suroth will not be among the da'covale until her hair grows out. Tuon still wears ashes to mourn the Empress.
She takes her seat and Selucia and Yuril stand beside her. Selucia is now her Voice. Tuon thinks it is curious, with all these guards, that she feels no safer than she did with Mat. Several members of the Blood stand before her including Captain-General Galgan, Banner-General Najirah, Banner-General Yamada, Faverde Nothish and Amenar Shumada. Tuon announces that Selucia is also now her Truthspeaker. Tuon still finds it hard to believe Falendre's story that Anath was one of the Forsaken. Beslan enters for an audience. They share condolences for the loss of their mothers. Although he acts conciliatory, Tuon says she knows of his rebellious meetings with General Habiger and Lord Malalin in The Three Stars. She convinces him that it is best for all for him to rule Altara in her name and he swears fealty to her. It is not exactly the proper oath, but she thanks her conversations with Mistress Anan for giving her the insight that she must adapt as well. She raises Beslan to the High Blood.
Galgan now has audience. He informs her that the Dragon Reborn has again requested a meeting. Tuon formally announces that they will stay in these lands and not retreat to Seanchan. It is more important to stay here so the Dragon Reborn can bow before the Crystal Throne. Galgan passes the audience to Lieutenant-General Yulan. His concern is the White Tower and the great weapon the marath'damane used north of Ebou Dar. He proposes a tactical strike on the White Tower to capture or kill as many marath'damane as possible. They will use eighty to a hundred =to'raken, two hundred troops, fifty sul'dam and a few Bloodknives, suicide assassins.
While she is contemplating a final decision, another so'jhin, Ma'combe, enters to announce Lieutenant-General Tylee Khirgan. Tylee brings news of the Trolloc attack outside Ebou Dar and several heads for proof. Galgan sends runners to organize patrols. Tuon wonders what other of Mat's "superstitions" are true. Tuon says this is more proof that the Last Battle is coming and that they must subdue the Dragon Reborn. Tylee offers that he may make a better ally than an enemy. Tuon orders Galgan to set up a meeting with the Dragon Reborn. Curiously, she finds herself wishing that Mat were with her.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
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