Chapter 22 (Heading South): The Band of the Red Hand is still making its way south along the river. Mat thinks they are about halfway to Tear. He sees Aes Sedai heading along the opposite bank in both directions. Who are they? Where are they headed? And which side of the Aes Sedai split are they on? One of Mat's scouts finds a camp of Tinkers, all of them brutally murdered, even the women and children. Who did it? And what does the note on the bottom of a wagon saying "Tell the Dragon Reborn" mean? Tell him of the camp being slaughtered? Tell him some message the person writing it died before finishing? Mat has the Band make camp away from sight of the bodies and has them buried. And then during the night a bunch of Aiel sneak into the camp and try to kill him. And they're going specifically for Mat, too; they go right into his tent with murder on their minds. Except Mat, being the super lucky one, chose to sleep outside the tent that night. Who are they? Shaido? Mat finds signs of a gateway having been there; branches are cut too neatly for it to be anything else, and that's the noise he heard that warned him. So you have a band of Aiel who are working with someone who can Travel. While it's not out of the question for there to be Darkfriends among Rand's Aiel, we already know Sevanna is in league with Sammael. So it makes sense for this to be the work of Shaido, sent here by Sammael. Mat taking the Band south toward Tear is just a diversion. We don't know yet what it's a diversion from, but if Sammael is making an assassination attempt against Mat, he certainly seems to be taking the bait.
Chapter 23 (To Understand a Message): More Forsaken meetings, and they're still just as concerned with their own infighting as they are with Rand and the other forces of Light. Graendal goes to visit Sammael. Their conversation is a bit odd. Sammael claims he will soon get a cache of an'greal, which leaves me with a bad foreboding as to what could be in there. He also says that he found a stasis box, but it contained just a bunch of art and knickknacks. I have a feeling he may be lying there. Sammael tells her that he has agreed on a truce with Rand. Graendal says that she heard Rand killed his messenger, and that Rand's army is still in Tear. Okay. First, Rand refused a truce in no uncertain terms. Did Sammael read the messenger's death wrong, or is he messing with Graendal? Later on when the view switches between them, he thinks that he manipulated her excellently, but we don't know if this is part of it. Sammael might actually think he does have a truce. Second, Graendal is wrong about Rand killing the messenger, since he died on his own. Sammael does correct her on this, but it shows that however she is getting her information, her sources aren't perfect. She tells him that Mesaana is in the White Tower. We're still waiting to see who Mesaana is pretending to be. And has Sammael really fooled Graendal? Or is she just letting him think that he is playing her like a fiddle?
Chapter 24 (An Embassy): Egwene has been wandering around Cairhien. She just happens to see the Tar Valon embassy to Rand in the city. She knows Rand isn't currently in Cairhien, and she is stumped as to how Rand gets around from place to place so fast. She suspects he may be Traveling, but that's a bit of a lost art among the Aes Sedai, so it seems far-fetched for her and she has no clue how he Travels. She has to hide from the emissaries, since she will be in deep trouble if she is caught pretending to be a fully raised Sister. Her training with the Aiel might come to an end as well, since she has been lying to them about her status with the Aes Sedai all this time. She finds another reason for the Aiel to keep quiet about her presence. When she lets the Wise Ones know about the embassy, they are meeting with Berelain. Still no idea why they like Berelain so much.