Chapter 10: A Saying in the Borderlands
Rand is back in Caemlyn, and is thinking of having all the waygates go under guard. Though, I’m not sure how good this will do if hundreds of Trollocs start pouring out of them. A small guard will only be able to do so much. Anyway Rand now also knows the trick to not feeling the heat or cold. Pretty nifty and useful for as hot as it’s been lately, but how exactly did Taim learn all these things? We also hear word that there are two Aes Sedai staying at an inn, and Rand decides to go visit. They turn out to be no other then Verin and Alanna with a bunch of Two Rivers girls! I was thinking back, and there really has been a whole heck of a lot that went on between the Two Rivers battle, and them showing up now. Between the White Tower splitting, Rand going to the Waste, and finally him taking over two more nations, it’s not surprising they aren't sure where to go. It’s unfortunate he had to scare the girls but I’m still trying to decide what I think of Alanna bonding him! Part of me feels like this can only benefit Rand. Won’t he get those extra benefits that Warders get? On the flip side, if she’s a darkfriend then this would be terrible for Rand. Regardless of what I think, Rand freaks out and bans them from coming anywhere near him.
Chapter 11: Lessons and Teachers
After Rand leaves, Verin thinks about how dangerous he has become. She talks about some work she has been doing on for a long time, but not sure what it could be besides dealing with Rand somehow. After they calm the girls down and send them to bed, she discusses with Alanna what happened and what needs to be done. From their conversation I only gather that Alanna feels all three boys should be bonded in order to have some control over them, basically for Aes Sedai purposes. Apparently she tried to bond Perrin, but Faile threated to kill her if she did. I get the feeling that Verin doesn’t quite trust Alanna either, as far as for her own purposes. Verin certainly is a mysterious one.
Rand rushes back to the palace and travels to the farm in an attempt to escape Alanna. Really no luck, and is only made worse by Lews Therin mocking him in his head. There are 7 students at the farm now, only 4 from the original testing. I figured there were more, yet 7 is still pretty good for such a short time. The new plan they come up with sounds pretty solid to me, and gets me excited to see if it turns out that way. Basically Rand is having the Master of the Sword come back to continue to teach the students to use the sword, as well as allowing Taim to travel to villages in order to find new students. Those who come on their own, or can’t channel, will be sent to Caemlyn to begin forming a new army there. Not so sure how big of an Army will be able to form, and might just be better off incorporating them into Basheres or the Red Band or something. Now being able to rival the White Tower in a year or so.. That would definitely add a wrinkle into things.
Chapter 12: Questions and Answers
We’re back in Salidar now. Tarna has been here for a couple days, and meeting in secret with the council. Elayne and Nynaeve have tried to eavesdrop but with no success. I’m starting to think that Moghedien isn’t being as honest as we think. She says that she doesn’t sweat because it comes from years with working with the power, but Rand says it’s just a trick that has nothing to do with the power. Maybe it’s different for females? It may explain why the Aiel never sweat, though; they just have learned the same trick. Anyway it’s business as usual in Salidar, though with the possibility of the council deciding to go back to Elaida, Nynaeve begins to seriously consider leaving. Birgitte agrees only if Elayne says so, but won’t say anything to Uno until then. Nynaeve still manages to sneak close to an open window and is able to hear the tail end of a conversation. From what we hear, the council needs more time to consider Elaida’s proposal. Nynaeve is barely able to get away without being caught, though Theodrin acts like she never saw anything. There is another person who sees them walk away from a window, but who could it be?
Chapter 13: Under the Dust
Theodrin then continues unsuccessful attempts to break Nynaeve’s block. This only ends in frustration and very little achieved. Nynaeve returns to her room to find Elayne in a bad mood as well. They talk about possibly leaving, and Tarna barges in before they really come up with anything. Tarna tries to force Elayne and Nynaeve to return with her to the White Tower but they both refuse. Tarna says to think on it and that she leaves early in the morning. This in turn convinces Elayne that they need to stay in order to convince the council not to go back. They decide to try the “need” thing again in TAR. They hope to find something to help their cause. That night they do manage to make “need” work, but I don’t think it was in a way they expected. They find this bowl thing that Elayne says is a powerful ter’angreal, and has something to do with the weather. They are also able to determine that it is in some building in Ebou Dar. Not sure how this relates to them getting the Aes Sedai to stay in Salidar, but still seems like a huge find. Now they just need to figure out how to actually find it in the real world.
Chapter 14: Dreams and Nightmares
Egwene has also been in TAR, obviously against orders. What else is new there? She spots Nynaeve and Elayne when they were briefly in the Tower, but she runs without talking to them. As she floats through the dream world place she gets caught up in Gawyn’s dream and is sucked in. From the dream it’s pretty apparent that he likes Egwene, but he also hate Rand. It will be good when he finds out his mother is still alive, and not killed by Rand. Elayne loving Rand should also help.
More interestingly, another bubble of evil hits the town of Salidar. Objects are flying everywhere and trying to kill everyone. Elayne and Nynaeve head outside and link with some other Accepted and Aes Sedai as they take out all the objects. Anaiya believes it is an attack from Sammael, why Sammael? Seems like a random pick, unless Nynaeve and Elayne knew Sammael was in Illian? I can’t remember. Anyway they are able to defend themselves with minimal injuries and everyone is set to healing and cleaning up afterwards.
Chapter 15: A Pile of Sand
So Egwene is still having her headaches in the morning, I wonder why it’s specifically TAR that causes these headaches in the morning? Is it simply that lack of good sleep, or did Lanfear do something to her to try and prevent her from going there? Anyway she falls back and asleep and appears to have some dreamer dreams. Not surprising they are some with Gawyn, but they don’t seem to be the normal type. In one dream it almost seems like there are two paths that could go down with him, not both of them ending up good. There are some about Perrin and Mat that could mean a whole lot of things. I’m not positive on them at this moment. There’s also one with Elayne, Min, and Aviendha sitting in a circle around Rand. To me that just confirms that those three will end up with him, just curious to see how it plays out and if they ever all get together. Anyway she is woken up by the Wise Ones as they check to see how she is feeling. She lies about entering TAR, and even gets away with asking questions about the place. I feel like the Wise Ones are usually sharper, and would think something is up when Egwene comes up with a lot more questions about TAR when she is supposedly not entering it.
Lastly we see Elayne in the aftermath of the attack. It’s the next morning and everyone is exhausted. Tarna finally comes out of the council room and rides off with her honor guard. They basically announce that they aren’t going anywhere just yet, but Elayne and Nynaeve feel they still need to say something to make sure the group doesn’t return to Elaida. They tell Sheriam about the Bowl ter’angreal thing and what they believe it does. The girls try to say they need to be the ones to go find it but Sheriam says no. So Elayne lies a little and says that it needs a male channeler to work (Or maybe not a lie since they aren’t sure exactly how it works). Maybe just a ploy to get her close to Rand again? They end up arguing some more which just leads to Nynaeve losing her temper and says they are all afraid. That probably was not the best thing to say, as it lands them scrubbing pots and pans, especially since they were supposedly just about to be raised to that almost Aes Sedai state. Still not quite sure what the plan is for Sheriam and company.
I'm getting the feeling we are in one giant stalemate at the moment. Everyone is gathering up their forces and trying to figure out what to do, with not a whole lot of action or movement besides Mat traveling towards Tear. At least among the main groups, who knows whats going on in the Borderlands or those other countries in chaos.