WH: Snow


"The seals that hold back night shall weaken,
and in the heart of winter shall winter's heart be born
amid the wailing of lamentations and the gnashing of teeth,
for winter's heart shall ride a black horse,
and the name of it is Death.
— from The Karaethon Cycle:      
The Prophecies of the Dragon"

Seaine Herimon POV#

Seaine, Saerin, Pevara, Yukiri and Doesine are in the second basement of the White Tower. Seaine uses an eavesdrop weave to make sure they are not disturbed. Saerin is in charge. They are questioning Talene with the Chair of Remorse, a ter'angreal that recreates the consequences of one's crimes. Seaine recalls seeing the heads of the Ajahs talking together, Ferane Neheran with Jesse Bilal of the Brown Ajah and with Suana Dragand of the Yellow Ajah. Talene finally cracks. She forswears her Black Ajah oaths on the Oath Rod suffering wracking pain then reswears the Three Oaths. She also swears to obey the other five. Talene admits to being Black Ajah then tells them that Elaida is Black Ajah. They question this, but Talene asserts that it must be true because the Black Ajah knows all her orders and decisions before anyone else.[1] They decide that they must keep their activities secret until they can bring down the whole Black Ajah. Seaine is clearly at risk, as Elaida knows she is searching for the Black Ajah. Pevara and Seaine then tell the others about Zerah Dacan, Bernaile Gelbarn and the other eight moles from Salidar. They will make all ten swear obedience to them.

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Elayne POV#

Elayne is in the Royal Palace with Dyelin and Birgitte.[2] Birgitte is now Captain General of the Queen's Guards. She is supposedly from Kandor. She has been back only a few days. She is annoyed because Nynaeve and Vandene are not back yet. They are making arrangements with Reanne to rescue the Kin trapped in Seanchan territory. Vandene is consumed with finding Adeleas' killer. Birgitte is busy recruiting mercenaries, as none of the armsmen from Elayne's estates have arrived yet. Dyelin and Birgitte do not get along. They go over the strong Houses of Andor and who sides with whom. Nasin of House Caeren supports Arymilla. Naean and Elenia are imprisoned in Aringill, but Jarid of House Sarand still supports his wife. Houses Baryn and Anshar flirt with both. Elayne thinks Dyelin and House Taravin support her. Dyelin says Luan, Ellorien and Abelle, Norwelyn, Traemane and Pendar, will support Elayne, but Elayne thinks they still be side with Dyelin. Birgitte speaks up saying that Gawyn will come. Elayne sent three couriers to Tar Valon with messages for him. Two Sea Folk women, Renaile din Calon and Zaida din Parede Blackwing, enter with Merilille. They are angry that Elayne has not provided more teachers for them in accordance with their bargain. Elayne suggests that they rejoin the Sea Folk ships at Tear, but Zaida declines saying she must wait for Rand to arrive. Zaida suggests that there are five other Aes Sedai in the Royal Palace including Elayne. Elayne counters that Sareitha and Careane might be able to help and Zaida calls it a Bargain.[3]

Reene Harfor then enters and announces Mazrim Taim. Before she can admit him, Taim enters with two other Asha'man, one a bald fellow with a long, grizzled beard and blue eyes, the other an arrogant young man who is slim and dark-haired. Elayne instinctively links with Merilille and Renaile. She wishes she had one of the three angreal from Ebou Dar. Zaida and Birgitte surreptitiously draw their knives. Taim also tells Elayne that Rand has sent her a gift from the south. He will deliver it later.[4] In a tense discussion, Elayne demands that Taim let her guards into the Black Tower. Taim agrees to let them in, but only with escorts. Elayne says they will come every day and perhaps she will come as well.

Nadere, an Aiel Wise One, then enters and summons Elayne to her first-sister ceremony with Aviendha. Elayne must strip then and there, and then don a heavy cloak. Nadere takes her to a room where over a dozen Wise Ones are gathered with Aviendha. They include Amys, Tamela, Viendre, Monaelle and Shyanda. Tamela and Viendre are even stronger in the One Power than Elayne, but Monaelle is in charge. Elayne notes that Amys must have Traveled from Cairhien. Egwene has been teaching the Wise Ones in payment for their lessons on Tel'aran'rhiod.[5] Elayne wishes that Melaine were there, but Monaelle tells her that the channeling involved would be a risk to her babies.[6] Elayne asks about her bond to Birgitte and Monaelle responds that it will not be affected. They proceed with the ceremony. Elayne and Aviendha are given to each other by surrogate mothers, then they must name what they most and least like about each other. After some hearty slaps, they embrace. The Wise Ones channel and something like the Warder bond forms between Elayne and Aviendha. They are first-sisters.

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Toveine Gazal POV#

Toveine wakes. She dreamed of throttling Elaida. Feeling her bond to Logain, she wishes she were still serving penance on Mistress Doweel's farm. Leaving her room, she joins the other captive Aes Sedai including Akoure, Desandre, Jenare, Lemai, Carniele and Ayako. They all blame her for their predicament. The Asha'man are building a perimeter wall around a four square mile area. They now number about five hundred.

Toveine sees five Asha'man escorting a dozen Andoran Queen's Guards with Elayne and Birgitte. The Asha'man leading the tour is a bulky man in his middle years with oily hair, an oily smile, augur-like eyes and an Illianer accent. Toveine feels Logain's pull and goes to his house. Gabrelle, the other Aes Sedai he bonded, spent the night with him. There are several Dedicated waiting at Logain's house including Evin Vinchova, Donalo Sandomere, Androl Genhald, Mezar Kurin and Canler. Logain comes out and the men make their reports. Androl Genhald found two men interested in learning the type of Healing Nynaeve used on Logain. Vinchova reports that the Two Rivers men are a problem.[7] Two are only fourteen. Donalo Sandomere reports that Mishraile is receiving private lessons from Taim. Welyn Kajima, another Dedicated, runs up with news that Taim is back from Cairhien[8] and that he posted the names of new deserters, seven of them full Asha'man. They are Gedwyn, Torval, Rochaid, Kisman, Dashiva, Flinn, Hopwil and Narishma.[9] Logain tells Toveine and Gabrelle to go inside, then heads off with the Dedicated. Inside, Gabrelle says she learned that all the full Asha'man but Logain live in Taim's palace. She also tells Toveine that Logain found her orders, then burned them. Toveine is fearful, then relieved. Elaida's orders were to gentle then hang every man they found. Gabrelle convinces Toveine that the captured Aes Sedai must put their differences aside and stand united. Desandre and Lemai have the highest standing. Toveine agrees to submit to them.

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Rand POV#

People watch as workmen clear the rubble around the Sun Palace in Cairhien. Rand is back in the city at his school with Min, Dobraine and Idrien Tarsin. He can feel Alanna sulking. They are at the school so Min can get Herid Fel's books. Dobraine tells him that some people think he is dead or kidnapped again. They think the attack was the Forsaken or the Aes Sedai. Dobraine tells Rand that Flinn, Narishma and Hopwil are still at the Sun Palace. Ailil Riatin and Shalon disappeared. Thinking about having left them bound, Rand tells Dobraine that Cadsuane is probably holding them like she is holding Caraline Damodred and Darlin Sisnera. Holding Shalon might give her leverage with Harine.

In the courtyard below, Mervin Poel's steamwagon begins moving under its own power. Idrien tells Rand about other accomplishments at the school. Kin Tovere has finished his telescope. Maryl Harke has built a glider. Jander Parentakis has built a riverboat with waterwheels. Ryn Anhara has built a lightning jar. Another researcher is Niko Tokama. As Rand thinks of the inventions, Lews Therin murmurs, "I thought I could build. I was wrong. We are not builders, Not you, or I, or the other one.[10] We are destroyers."

Rand has decided who will rule in Cairhien and Tear. Rand gives Dobraine two packets. The first contains instructions for Dobraine as steward of Cairhien. He tells Dobraine to cede to Elayne when she claims the Sun Throne. He then tells Dobraine to deliver the second when it is appropriate.[11] Rand has a third in his pocket for Gregorin den Lushenos as steward of Illian. After Dobraine and Idrien leave, Rand has a dizzy spell. He is used to them when channeling, but this is the first time without saidin.

Rand opens a gateway to a clearing five hundred miles from Cairhien, nearer to Tar Valon. Yesterday they Traveled to Rhuidean where Rand asked about Shara, then last night they Traveled to Tear and Rand asked about Chachin. He is laying false trails for those who would pursue him. He still has the bag with the two control statue ter'angreal. He tells Min that he plans to cleanse the taint on saidin, but first he must kill Dashiva and the others.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Elaida is not Black Ajah (ACoS,Prologue). It is Alviarin who passes on the information.
[#2] This scene is a few days after TPoD,Ch28 and appears to be the day before TPoD,Ch29.
[#3] In return for this teaching Zaida will allow the Windfinders to make gateways when Caemlyn is under siege. (CoT,Ch12)
[#4] The "gift" is the captured sul'dam and damane.
[#5] This confirms how Sorilea knew Traveling so she could teach Cadsuane. (TPoD,Ch12)
[#6] This is generally regarded as proof that Aviendha is not pregnant.
[#7] So the "blackberry bush" that Taim harvested personally was, indeed, the Two Rivers. (ACoS,Ch2, TPoD,Ch14)
[#8] This places the scene as the same day or the day after TPoD,Ch29.
[#9] Why did he post Flinn, Hopwil and Narishma? Is he somehow mistaken or is this all part of some plot? For a discussion on Taim and his true allegiance see the FAQ, Section 1.5.6.
[#10] The other one, the blurred face from Rand's dreams (TPoD,Ch21) is Moridin. (KoD,Ch18) Lews Therin also refers to "we three" in WH,Ch22.
[#11] Lord Darlin. He will leave for Tear accompanied by Caraline Damodred. (WH,Ch13)

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