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Crossroads of Twilight Chapter 1


Glimmers of The PatternEdit

Wheel of Time

SynopsisEdit

Rodel IturaldeEdit

Rodel Ituralde and twenty of his men are waiting in the snow of Arad Doman. King Alsalam has been sending very strange military orders for a while, almost as if trying to create chaos, making Ituralde's campaigns against the Dragonsworn ineffective. But his latest orders are different--a Gray Man killed the first messenger, but another made it through. He is trying to obey the orders and avoid receiving any other, contradictory ones from the King.

Donjel appears, confirming that the men Ituralde is to meet with are in place. Ituralde hopes that the truce of the White Ribbon will hold, since he will be outnumbered when he arrives at the meeting. He gives Donjel a package for his wife, if he doesn't return, and sets out for Lady Osana's hunting lodge.

They reach the palatial lodge and dismount, sure they have been seen by sentries. Ituralde enters with a show of confidence, as if he were not expecting betrayal, and is greeted by Lord Shimron, one of the Dragonsworn leaders, under the White Ribbon. Shimron leads him inside to the ballroom, where Domani and Taraboner Dragonsworn eye each other uneasily across the room, and formerly introduces him.

Lord Wakeda asks whether Ituralde intends to join them, or ask for surrender. Ituralde speaks instead of the Seanchan, their conquest of Tarabon and their incursions onto Almoth Plain. Shimron adds that there are also Aiel on the plain, and the Seanchan advance is slowing. It is unclear whether the Aiel are fighting for the Dragon Reborn or merely raiding, though, and Ituralde says that Seanchan flying scouts have been sighted over the Domani border.

Ituralde shows them King Alsalam's orders, to gather men to fight the Seanchan. He offers a truce, as long as they help fight off the Seanchan. There is silence at this, and Shimron asks whether the Seanchan can even be defeated, but Ituralde is confident that there is a way. The Domani Dragonsworn eagerly pledge to help.

The Taraboners across the hall ask if Ituralde plans to ask their help as well. Ituralde says that they should fight for their own homeland. He asks if small companies could cross Almoth Plain disguised as loyal Seanchan soldiers, to all strike at once inside Tarabon. Ituralde says he intends to fight with them, which draws protests from the Domani. The Taraboners are also unsure about the plan, but a man who seems to be a leader among them silently nods agreement. Ituralde expects that the Taraboners will stay and fight for their homeland, but his own plan requires him to lead the Seanchan back across the Almoth Plain.

Eamon ValdaEdit

Eamon Valda is walking through a Whitecloak camp, when he stops at the stench of rotten food. While he is trying to locate its source, the smell vanishes. He reaches a clearing and scans the sky, watching for Seanchan scouts. Only a month ago the Seanchan had conquered Amador and the Fortress of The Light. King Ailron is dead, but Valda escaped with over nine thousand Whitecloaks.

He approaches a shack inside the forest, guarded by Questioners. Valda walks past the guards and opens the door. Rhadam Asunawa is inside, reading. He is the only one with a real roof over his head, a real fire, or any luxuries at all. Asunawa puts away the book, which Valda thinks is The Way of The Light.

Asunawa mentions an Andoran army in Murandy, which Valda dismisses though he thinks it strange. Andor reminds him of Morgase, disappeared and likely dead. Asunawa suggests moving through Altara, saying that the Seanchan can't have moved far from Ebou Dar. Valda reminds him of the Aes Sedai and their army in Altara. He believes that the division of the White Tower is just an Aes Sedai ploy. Asunawa says that the Aes Sedai must be destroyed, but Valda says that he'd rather find out how the Seanchan leash them.

One of the guards knocks on the door, announcing the Council of the Anointed, the ten surviving Lords Captain. Asunawa agrees to come along to the meeting, if it will bring down the Aes Sedai.

GabrelleEdit

Gabrelle, Toveine and Logain are out riding near the Black Tower. Gabrelle contemplates the nature of the bond that Logain has placed on her. Fifty-one sisters have been bonded, and she hopes that some of them can figure out a way to break the bond and deal with the Black Tower before it is too late.

Toveine is acting oddly, smiling at Logain, when as a Red sister she should despise all men who channel, especially when Logain has accused the Red Ajah of setting him up as a false Dragon in the first place. All the sisters have been told to try to quell the Asha'mans' suspicions, but Toveine had seemed to resist the order.

Toveine tells Gabrelle that, with Gabrelle having seduced Logain, he's barely paying attention to Toveine herself. Gabrelle recalls that it was a logical decision at the time, though she's not at all sure that she's in control of the affair.

One of the Asha'man, Atal Mishraile, rides up. He jokingly asks Logain if he is sleeping with both of the Aes Sedai. They bridle, and Logain asks him not to say that again. Mishraile tells Logain that the M'Hael has given him leave to go recruiting, though Mishraile himself doesn't understand why Logain would want to do it. He gibes Logain about maybe being invited to join the M'Hael's special classes. Logain and Taim do not seem to get along, or trust each other. All of the Aes Sedai have been bonded by men in Logain's faction in the Asha'man.

Logain cuts short their ride, saying that he must make his preparations to travel. On their way back, Toveine rides closer to Gabrelle, telling her that she must make sure that Logain brings them with him. Gabrelle tells her that is obvious, but she worries about the feeling she gets along the link, that Logain is riding to war.

YukiriEdit

Yukiri is walking through the cold middle levels of the White Tower with Meidani, one of the "jackdaws" from Salidar secretly trying to infiltrate the White Tower. They run across a group of three Brown sisters, including Marris Thornhill, and pass each other coldly. Yukiri thinks that the Ajahs have grown too hostile of late, and wonders if she shouldn't get a Warder. The jackdaws have come to spread a rumour, which they claim is true, about Logain being set up by the Red Ajah. They also encounter a pair of workers bringing firewood, who hurriedly make their respects to the sisters.

Yukiri had hoped that the corridors would be a good place to talk without being overheard, but despite there only being two hundred sisters in the White Tower, a good number of them are also walking the corridors despite the hour and the cold. Yukiri is forced to warn off several of her own Ajah, though she knows that only advertises that her conversation with Meidani is private. Many sisters are watching other sisters, and Yukiri tries to avoid the appearance of doing so herself, though it is common knowledge that Elaida is having "private" penances with Silviana.

She does want to watch Atuan Larisett and Pritalle Nerbaijan when they pass in company with Pritalle's Warder. Atuan was named by Talene as one of the Black Ajah. Atuan glances in Yukiri's direction once as they pass, and Yukiri tries to convince herself that it was only a harmless glance. Talene also named Galina and Temaile Kinderode as Black Ajah, but they are both out of the White Tower.

Yukiri realizes that she and Meidani are finally alone in the corridor. Meidani says the Celestin and Annharid, the "jackdaws" in the Yellow Ajah, are trying to investigate Atuan's friends, though she says it may be difficult with the current friction between the Ajahs. Yukiri asks about Meidani's former friendship with Elaida when both were novices, and orders her to renew it. Meidani says that she has tried before, but Alviarin has always put her off. Yukiri tells her that Alviarin has left the White Tower, though nobody is quite sure when, or where she went. She tells Meidani to try to keep an eye on Elaida's papers, and on Alviarin, to find out how the Black Ajah learns everything that Elaida does.

Yukiri is startled by Seaine calling her name. Yukiri is annoyed, because Seaine is supposed to be keeping to her chambers, but instead is out in the halls with another "jackdaw", Bernaile Gelbarn. Yukiri reprimands her for her recklessness, but Seaine is unrepentant, and says that Saerin gave her permission. She says she needs to talk to Yukiri alone, about the "second mystery". Yukiri had almost forgotten about that mystery, of why the heads of the Ajahs were meeting in secret, and she orders the jackdaws to go and watch the corridor in both directions.

Seaine weaves a ward against eavesdropping, and begins by saying that the Black Ajah couldn't possibly know about them, or they would've been dead weeks ago. Then she asks Yukiri if the head of the Gray Ajah had a particular hand in choosing Andaya as a Sitter. When Yukiri confirms it, Seaine says that Saerin said that Juilaine was also chosen oddly, and Doesine said the same about Suana. Talene has also confirmed that Rina was personally chosen by Adelorna, the head of the Green Ajah.

Yukiri muses that five Ajahs who had to choose new Sitters after the White Tower split all chose one Sitter who was not the obvious candidate. The Brown Ajah had to choose two new Sitters, but the other one, Shevan, was a logical choice. Yukiri can't believe Seaine's implication, that the heads of the Ajahs actually conspired to pick these illogical choices. Seaine insists there is an answer to the puzzle, and Yukiri says that since the rebels are still in Murandy, she will have lots of time to think about it.

GawynEdit

Gawyn awakens late at night in the hayloft in the village of Dorlan, where he and close to three hundred Younglings have been staying. The Younglings have been staying in Dorlan since being expelled from Tar Valon, and Gawyn thinks that Elaida wishes them all dead. The rebel Aes Sedai army has at least 25,000 soldiers on the east bank of the River Erinin, between Dorlan and Tar Valon, and probably as many on the other side of the river. They appeared out of nowhere in the middle of a snowstorm.

Rajar comes looking for him, to tell him that an Aes Sedai has arrived in the village. They leave the barn and trudge through the snow to the Mayor's house, where the Aes Sedai has been quartered. They knock and enter. Two of the Aes Sedai already in the village, Tarna Feir and Katerine Alruddin, are watching the newcomer. The Mayor and his family are not in evidence, obviously having been sent away. The newcomer tells Gawyn that she has orders for him, from the Amyrlin Seat. Gawyn wonders aloud why, having been disowned by the Amyrlin Seat, she should send him orders, and why he should obey them. The other sisters interrupt her, asking about the boat she arrived on, and demanding to use it to return to the White Tower on urgent business.

There had already been eleven sisters in the village before Tarna arrived, which was shortly after the army's arrival. She took command from Covarla, and seemed to spend most of her time riding out of the village trying to find a way past the army. Katerine had only arrived the day before, and had taken command from Tarna.

Narenwin says that the boat is at a fishing village a full day downriver on foot, and in any case, while she is surprised to find so many sisters outside of Tar Valon, they should remain outside the city where they can be useful. Tarna interrupts to say that Elaida cannot know of her presence, and asks what her precise orders were regarding sisters outside the city. Narenwin says that she was supposed to take charge of the sisters under Covarla; Katerine quickly denies that they were ever under Covarla's authority, and declares that they both will set out for the fishing village come morning. Then both Red sisters head out of the room.

Gawyn asks Narenwin if there is any news of his sister. Tarna stops on her way out to state that Elayne was with the rebels when she last saw her, but as an Accepted she should be held blameless. After the others have left, Narenwin reminds Gawyn that they are all bound to the White Tower, and Gawyn realizes this is true, as much because of Elayne and Egwene as because of his oaths to the Amyrlin Seat. He asks Narenwin what Elaida wishes him to do.

Davram BashereEdit

Davram Bashere is on a snowy rise a league north of the city of Caemlyn. Between him and the city, an army of five thousand is setting up camp on the Tar Valon road. There are a total of eight such camps laying siege to the city, covering all the important gates of the city, to try to keep food supplies from coming in.

Bashere is puzzled by the banners in the camps, though. Naean Arawn's claim on the throne is supported by the heads of several Andoran houses, including Dawlin Armaghn, Daerilla Raened, and several lesser lords. Others, including Jailin Maran, Carlys Ankerin, and Eram Talkend, are sworn to Naean's rival, Elenia Sarand. Yet they all seem to be there in support of Arymilla Marne, an unlikely claimant, who had at best one other supporter a month earlier.

Bael, who is wearing his veil, complains that the armies disregard them, even though he knows the Aiel could make short work of them. Bashere tries to explain again how foreign interference in the siege would endanger Elayne's accession to the throne of Andor. The conflict is not much like a civil war, more like an extension of the Game of Houses.

While Bashere continues to mull over the question of Arymilla Marne, Bael points out a potential battle in the making. A group of refugees fleeing the city has been stopped by a troop of fifty besieging soldiers, who are preparing to confiscate the refugees' belongings, when the gates open and two hundred lancers charge out. The besiegers withdraw, and the lancers herd the refugees back into the city. Bashere notes that the camp doesn't have decent lookouts posted, though since he will not be joining in the battle the fact seems of little use.

Bael decides there's little more to watch, and leads his Aielmen away to the east. Bashere leads his own men west to their own encampment outside the city walls. Tumad, commander of his escort, echoes Bael's sentiments about their forced inactivity. Bashere points out how complicated their situation is, especially with Queen Tenobia only fifty leagues north of them. To himself, Bashere wonders why his queen and the other Blightborder monarchs have come south, and with such sizable armies. He knows that he himself is likely Tenobia's goal, to be punished for his rebellion, if not for treason. But he does not see how he could have done any different.

They reach the camp that close to eight thousand Saldaeans have set up. Bashere soon sees a crowd near the centre of the camp, near the tent where his own wife would be. He rides headlong into the tent and vaults off his horse without slowing down. He only halts when he sees, among the many women crowding his tent, his wife, obviously alive, but wounded and still bleeding.

Deira Bashere tells her husband that she returned to her tent after a ride to find two men ransacking it. She attacked them, getting wounded herself, but they fled when more women came to her aid, out through a slit in the back of the tent. She has already ordered a search for them. Davram Bashere leaves the tent, and is told by Tumad that the bodies of the two have already been found. Both were killed with a narrow blade, and swiftly enough that it was likely by more than one man.

Bashere had been expecting something like this, though he is not quite sure who is behind it. He tells Tumad to find the man he talked to yesterday, and say that Bashere agrees to his offer, though there will be more than they had discussed.

SamitsuEdit

Samitsu is in the Sun Palace in Cairhien, looking out at the snow. She is having a quiet time in charge of the Aes Sedai in Cairhien, just keeping things from getting out of hand. The Dragon Reborn's steward, Dobraine Taborwin, seems content merely to run the city and lobby quietly for Elayne's accession to the Sun Throne. Even the rumours about Rand submitting to Elaida seem to keep everyone quiet out of sheer terror.

Sashalle Anderly is with her, wearing an unusual amount of Aiel jewelry, and Samitsu boggles once again at a Red sister oathsworn to Rand al'Thor. Sashalle tells her that Ailil Riatin has been offered support in taking the high seat of her House, and wants White Tower approval. Samitsu says that it's not clear that her brother Toram is dead, and her support might not be enough to stave off conflict inside House Riatin. Sashalle says that the Dragon Reborn's coming means change will come whether they want it or not. She says that Ailil is loyal to Rand, and Toram led armies against him, and she intends to give Ailil her support.

Most of the Aes Sedai in Cairhien that have sworn to Rand are kept in line by the Aiel Wise Ones, but Sashalle and the other two that had been stilled seem to be a different case, challenging Samitsu's authority and generally doing as they please. If Sashalle plans to give Ailil her support, then contradicting her could drive Ailil away; as it is, Ailil is a good source of information, and now that information will likely have to come through Sashalle.

Corgaide Marendevin enters, to tell the two Aes Sedai that there is an Ogier in the kitchens, accompanied by a young man. They claim to be looking for work, but the nearest stedding had not sent any word. Sashalle thanks Corgaide and dismisses her, angering Samitsu by taking control of the situation again. Examining the other sister, Samitsu suddenly realizes that Sashalle has lost the Aes Sedai ageless look, and wonders what else might have changed. Sashalle heads down to the kitchens, Samitsu trailing behind in her wake, fuming.

In the corridors they pass servants and nobles, both Cairhienin and Tairen. Several of the women are wearing short coats, breeches and high-heeled boots, obviously inspired by Min. The noblemen and women seem to be talking together in pairings that would have seemed impossible not long ago. In the kitchens, most of the workers are watching the Ogier eat rather than work. The Ogier, "Ledar" and his human companion, "Master Underhill", are asking about Rand, and the Aes Sedai that bonded Asha'man. "Ledar" tells them about their travels in the Borderlands.

One of the kitchen workers notices the Aes Sedai, and brings them to the attention of the kitchen mistress. Sashalle asks to speak to the visitors privately, and the kitchen mistress shoos her workers away. The Ogier seems disturbed by the sisters' presence, and begins to make their excuses for departure, claiming that they need to be somewhere by nightfall. Sashalle asks where they think they can reach by nightfall, and if he is going to the meeting in Stedding Shangtai. He says he is not, but that they should make as much distance as they can. Sashalle notes that his hands are not calloused enough for the mason work he was supposedly looking for, and Samitsu correctly identifies him as Loial.

Loial's companion, Karldin Manfor, says the Aes Sedai can't stop him if he wants to leave, but he asks after his fellows, and about Rand. Samitsu realizes that she has grown too used to the bonded Asha'man, but Karldin is more dangerous. She tries to reassure Karldin, telling him that Rand was sane last time she saw him, a few days earlier. She tells him that Fedwin Morr died from poisoning, but the others became Warders of their own free will, after the other Asha'man tried to kill Rand. Loial and the Asha'man both visibly wilt, wondering what to do next, having finished the task that Rand had set them.

A servant rushes into the room screaming that Lord Dobraine has been murdered. The news seems to make Loial angry. The Aes Sedai question the servant, and she says she heard that Dobraine's rooms were covered in blood. Sashalle says that what she heard may easily be wrong, but she tells Samitsu, Loial and Karldin to come with her to investigate. Karldin protests, but Loial says that Rand would want to know what happened to Dobraine. Samitsu imagines with dismay the rumours spreading as they leave the kitchen, both about Dobraine and about the conversation they just had with Loial.

They climb to the tower where Dobraine is staying. The nobles in the corridors have disappeared, and the servants are talking in huddled knots. Samitsu begins to believe that Dobraine is actually dead, because nobody is quelling the rumour. They pass poleaxed servants and enter the rooms. Dobraine is certainly not breathing, and his room is covered with blood. Two other dead men are in the room, dressed as Cairhienin servants but holding daggers, obviously the murderers.

Samitsu goes to try to Heal Dobraine at Sashalle's command, though she is surprised to find a tiny spark of life still in him. The spark is too weak for normal Healing, but she recalls Damer Flinn's odd technique, using all of the Five Powers. Karldin knows nothing about it, though, so she does the best she can with her normal Healing technique. She manages to Heal his wounds without drawing too much strength from his system.

Karldin finds a sheet of paper on one of the bodies, and gives it to Loial, who passes it to the Aes Sedai. It is in what looks like Dobraine's handwriting, but obviously forged. It contains instructions to allow the bearers of the note to remove certain items from Dobraine's apartments. Loial seems afraid that they might have found a particular item, but refuses to tell the Aes Sedai what it is. Sashalle says she will not let them leave without telling her, and Karldin asks how she is going to stop them. Just then Rosara Medrano enters, with the news that a new batch of sisters have entered the city, accompanied by Logain and a number of Asha'man.

Character ListEdit

Appearing:

Mentioned:

Terms MentionedEdit

Places

Terms

Plot PointsEdit

  1. The chaos in Arad Doman is likely caused by Graendal.
  2. Sashalle Anderly and the other sisters who were stilled were likely freed from the Three Oaths.