Chapter 7 (A Matter of Thought): Nynaeve, Elayne, Siuan, and Leane all take a trip to the dream world for more helping the Aes Sedai with getting by in there. None of the Aes Sedai are very willing to listen, despite the fact this is why they want the four of them along in the first place. The Sisters are downright arrogant. Siuan's attitude isn't that great, either. Elayne has made enough copies of the dreaming ter'angreal for everyone. When the Aes Sedai finally show up, they are discussing what sounds like the choosing of an Amyrlin for Salidar. No mention is made of specifically who they picked, but it does sound as if they have arrived at a choice. Whoever they want as Amyrlin Seat, they don't intend for her to be really in charge. The conversation indicates they want a puppet they can manipulate easily. This has potential to backfire. Either their choice will be manipulated just as well by others (the Tower Aes Sedai? the Black Ajah? some nation or other?) or will wind up showing some unexpected backbone. They all head off to the dream version of Elaida'a study. It looks like Elaida has by now fired all her advisors accept Alviarin, who seems to be really running things in Tar Valon. Speaking of puppets, Elaida is one of those, but doesn't seem to realize it. She seems to be too busy going insane. Alviarin is even going against some of Elaida's order. The whole time, Siuan and Elayne (Nyn and Leane having gone off to other stuff) are pretty much ignored despite their having more experience with the dreamland. Assorted papers get viewed. Moiraine's death hasn't reached Tar Valon yet. Elaida is either rewriting or just plain ignoring Tower law by demoting a Sister to Accepted, which hasn't ever been done and is supposedly not allowed. One of the Sisters loses track of her thoughts and thinks herself into a Trolloc torture cooking chamber. The other Aes Sedai try to channle to help her and get caught themselves. Eventually, Siuan and Elayne convince them they have to disbelieve the nightmare to get out. It takes some time, since... oh yeah, the Ase Sedai aren't willing to listen to advice, no matter how sound, from an Accepted. I wonder if it's hit them that they were all Accepted once too. Everyone goes back to the real life to get Healed, but Elayne sneaks over to the throne room in Caemlyn and sees Rand's new Dragon throne. She isn't pleased, and seems to think that Rand has made these changes himself. (As I recall, it was nothing of the sort. Rand refused to take Morgase's throne and told his people to fetch him a comfortable chair. Instead they stuck him with the godawful Dragon throne which he hated. Too bad Elayne doesn't know this.) Demandred is spying on her in dream Caemlyn. He opens a gateway out of dreamland, and fails to slice anyone in half.
Chapter 8 (The Storm Gathers): Nyn, in the meantime, has been sent off in dreamland to find Leane, who went off to check on her intelligence contacts. Nyn sees her in a tavern briefly, but loses her. She also thinks she sees Rand for a second. In the morning, her weather sense starts going haywire. She feels an oncoming storm, but there's no sign of one. It stays as hot and oppressively dry as it has been for months. Nyn wanders around, with Moghedien busyscrubbing pots and unavailable, Siuan unwilling to be a part of her Healing experiments right then, and nothing else to do. She tries to make herself look on the way to something important so Aes Sedai won't hassle her. She ducks into a room to avoid someone and finds Logain telling a few nobles about being set up as a false Dragon by the Reds a year before he was captured. Is this true, or is it a scheme to swing nations into backing Salidar over Tar Valon? (Or both?) She manages to avoid a Yellow sister. The Yellows make her angry, cause she wants to study Healing, which is their specialty, but they have done nothing to help her learn. Thom and Juilin are off scouting Amadicia. Good idea, getting a lay of the land, since Amadicia is officially quite hostile to any women who can channel. She can't avoid Theodrin, who has been promoted to a new level between Accepted and Aes Sedai. Not having the ter'angreals needed for fully Raising anyone hurts. Accepted can't do the arches, either. Theodrin can't take the Three Oaths, so can't choose an Ajah or wear a shawl. Jordan makes a point of mentioning her green dress, maybe she will go Green when given the chance? Whenever that is, whenever the Salidar Aes Sedai get an Oath Rod or get back into the White Tower. Theodrin has been working withou much success on breaking Nyn's anger block. But Nyn has been avoiding her. Nyn finally gets time with Moghedien, who is trying to show her how to detect men channeling. Again, without much success. Elayne busts in and informs them that a Red sister has shown up as an emissary fro Elaida, and the Sitters in Salidar are meeting with her quietly. What is Elaida's message? I doubt it is an offer to make peace, unless it's on terms not favorable to Salidar. I wouldn't be shocked if it was a demand to end the split and surrender to Tar Valon. If it is something on terms the Salidar sisters would find good, then I doubt that it's in good faith.
Chapter 9 (Plans): The Whitecloaks have an interesting intelligence setup. One man, Omerna, is the official spymaster, known as such to everyone because he makes no effort to conceal the fact, but is totally incompetent, accepting as fact any wild rumor he hears. He does manage to get one thing right; the troubles in Falme are due to Artur Hawkwing's armies coming back from across the ocean. Omerna know about the Seanchan, but everything else he reports is such drivel that Pedron Niall has no reason to believe him. Meantime, Niall's secretary, Balwer, functions as the real spymaster, and no one suspects him. Niall gets a report from one of his personal agents in Tanchico which obviously refers to Seanchan. But Niall discards it as more drivel, even though we the readers can tell it's totally accurate. Balwer has some odd news to report, most of which seems to make no sense now but I'm sure will come into play later. The Ogier are having some sort of inter-stedding meetings. What they're about, we don't know, and neither does Balwer. The Sea folk are docking their ships at assorted southern ports and then just sitting there for no apparent reason. What are they waiting for? Rand has been spotted in multiple locations, well distant from each other, on the same day. Obviously, Whitecloak spies saw Rand's Traveling back and forth a few chapters ago. Niall once again rejects as ridiculous what we know is true, choosing instead to believe that the Aes Sedai (who he still thinks control Rand somehow) have doubles of Rand in some places. At some point, Niall is going to have his false conclusions come back to bite him in the ass. Lastly, Balwer reports about Logain being set up as a false Dragon by the Reds. Niall changes his mind here on one of his earlier conclusions and realizes that the Aes Sedai split isn't some false front set up by the White Tower, but that the Tower is really and truly broken. Bewteen the two of them, they come up with a scheme to back Salidar in hopes of breaking down the Aes Sedai once and for all, and have a wild PR spin on why they are doing it. Salidar is renouncing their status as Aes Sedai and seeking protection from the Children of the Light? I'm not sure I'd believe that rumor. Cut to Morgase, who is out enjoying a day of hawking as best she can, considering that Niall has her on a tight leash, and her whole retinue is made up of Amadician ladies pressured into it by Niall, her guards are supposedly bodyguards but really are Whitecloaks in plainclothes meant to keep her from escaping, and the only ones she can count on are Basel Gill and the others she brought from Caemlyn. She gets some news about how Rand is surrounding himself with Rahvin/Gaebril's former toadies. She takes pleasure from this, since she thinks it means her supporters are building their forces elsewhere in Andor. She certainly has the wrong idea about Rand being another usurper of the throne..