Elayne rides Glimmer and Birgitte rides Rising as they prepare for Cairhien. Elayne and Birgitte both have copies of the foxhead medallion. Elayne has had limited success in making copies since she gave the original back to Mat. Rand is preparing for something to the south. Elayne sides with Egwene thinking that breaking the remaining seals is foolish.
Elayne has a hundred guards led by Guybon. Alise rides up with Sarasia, Kema and Nashia also of the Kin. They will make gateways and act as more guards. They Travel to Cairhien where armies led by Lorstrum, Bertome and other nobles wait. They ride into the city, the walls still blackened from the Shaido attack and ride to the Sun Palace. Two Aes Sedai, Samitsu Tamagowa and Sashalle Anderly, meet them. Sashalle announces that the Dragon Reborn cedes all his control to her. They enter the palace and proceed to the Sun Throne. The throne itself is gilded wood, perhaps why Laman decided to build a new one from Avendoraldera. The Cairhienin are all polite; none would publicly oppose Elayne like Ellorien did. Birgitte checks the throne before Elayne can sit and finds a poisoned needle. Lorstrum and Bertome are outraged and embarrassed. Elayne sits on the throne. She announces that the alliance of Andor and Cairhien will make both great. She demands their obedience as the Dragon Reborn wishes. There is a coronation feast planned, but Elayne says that must wait. She tells them to gather their forces to march with Andor via gateways to the Field of Merrilor and the Last Battle.
More Elayne POV
Mat carries his ashandarei as he looks over his camp feeling relieved that the gholam is gone. He wears a red scarf in memory of Tylin and the others it killed. He has his desk outside his tent so as not to wake Olver. There are too many papers, Elayne's employment agreement, dragon crews, supplies, crossbow designed based on the ones Talmanes bought, and news reports. Tuon is now empress. Talk of an alliance between Seanchan and Sea Folk. He sees an image of Rand talking with some people in a tent. The last page has reports wolves congregating and other strange events. He resists opening Verin's letter again. Setalle joins him. She got a letter from Joline; they arrived safely at the White Tower. They talk briefly about Aes Sedai and what Setalle lost. They also talk about what Mat dislikes about nobles. It is about the boots. An average person only has two or three pair and they wear their best for walking. On the other hand, Talmanes has forty pairs. Lopin complained that Mat did not have more. They are used for show rather than utility. Setalle will see to Olver until Mat, Thom and Noal return then he we see her returned to Ebou Dar. Mat is worried about Birgitte's advice on the Tower. Even she could not defeat the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, but Mat has his luck. A Redarm, Clintock checks in to make sure he is okay. Mat gets up and leaves Verin's letter on his desk. They leave for the Tower of Ghenjei tomorrow.
More Mat POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Most likely the meeting we saw in ToM,Ch51.
[#2] With Daes Dae'mar, we can only guess as to who placed the needle and for what purpose.
[#3] Mat thinks this is rumor but it is not clear if there is any basis to this or not.
[#4] It is not clear whom Rand is meeting with. It is a day early for his meeting with the Borderlanders. (ToM,Ch51, ToM,Ch53)
[#5] All signs of the impending Last Battle. The wolves are preparing for the Last Hunt. (ToM,Ch40)
[#6] Is the Pattern pushing him to open it or steeling his will to resist? We learn more in ToM,Epilogue.
[#7] So Teslyn, Joline Edesina, Fen and Blaeric are now in Tar Valon along with Bethamin and Seta, Juilin and Thera, Domon and Egeanin. Vanin his soldiers should be returning to Caemlyn.
[#8] More confirmation that Setalle was Aes Sedai, most likely Martine Janata.
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