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Knife of Dreams Chapter 1


Embers Falling On Dry GrassEdit

Wheel of Time

SynopsisEdit

GaladEdit

Galad is riding through Amadicia with three companions, for the country lodge where Eamon Valda's Whitecloak headquarters is located. His companions, Trom, Dain Bornhald and Jaret Byar, assure him that they will support him in the accusation he's bringing. They ride to the headquarters, a hunting lodge, where Rhadam Asunawa and several Questioners are also present. Valda asks Trom why he's not on his way to Nassad with the other Lords Captain, where they are to meet the Seanchan. Trom says he brings an urgent matter, a Child under his command who has a charge against another, for abusing a female relative, and asks for Trial Beneath The Light.

Asunawa calls the request a strange one, especially since the Trial was most often invoked by the accused, and has not been called for almost 400 years; he offers to settle the matter quietly. Valda, nettled, says that the old ways should be revived, and agrees that the challenge may be issued, on pain of death if the accused refuses. Trom passes the matter off to Galad, who remembers when he first hear the rumours from Dain and Byar. He accuses Valda himself for assault on Morgase Trakand.

Before Valda can respond, Asunawa breaks in again, calling this foolishness, and orders his Questioners to take Galad and find out what Darkfriend plot he is involved in. The Whitecloaks assembled in the courtyard begin drawing their swords, and the Questioners stop. Valda, initially surprised, recovers his aplomb, tells Asunawa that he is the one in charge, and then responds to Galad's challenge, accepting it and denying the charge against him.

The two combatants prepare for the duel, removing their armour and cloaks. Valda speculates that Galad's sister is manipulating him with an Aes Sedai plot. Byar advises Galad as to Valda's usual mode of combat, striking at arms and legs to bleed them before killing. Valda begins to arrange the combat, but Trom steps in and says that Valda cannot be the Arbiter, being a participant, and takes over himself. Galad enjoins Dain to keep an eye on the Questioners.

Trom says the ritual words, and the two combatants step forward for final private words. Valda says to Galad that he did not kill Morgase, though he claims to have slept with her. Galad remains silent, though fury boils inside him. They take their swords and the fight begins. Galad avoids Valda's first attack, a feint for the neck that veered towards his legs, and strikes first blood. Valda is a fast fighter, and Galad barely holds his own, suffering a few wounds in the process. He begins repeating the same attack, slower each time, until Valda is lulled, and then slashes his chest open. Valda falls to the ground, dead.

Galad realizes that the rest of the Whitecloaks are applauding him, except for the Questioners, who have disappeared. Byar comes forward to bind Galad's wounds. Dain says that Asunawa and the Questioners rode for Nassad, probably for reinforcements. Trom offers to discharge Galad from the Whitecloaks and give him a chance to escape. Galad refuses, saying that others would suffer as well if he ran, and that someone needs to fight the Seanchan. Trom asks what he would rather do, and Galad says that the Whitecloaks should find an ally against the Seanchan, anyone at all, even Aes Sedai. Trom begins to call Galad "Lord Captain Commander", saying that he earned it through his combat, and because his plan makes more sense than anything Valda had come up with. Reluctantly, Galad accepts.

Rodel IturaldeEdit

Rodel Ituralde waits for sunrise near the village of Serana in Tarabon, with a small force of Domani and a larger force of Taraboners. There is a Seanchan military camp next to the town, an important supply camp according to Dragonsworn that Ituralde has talked to. The Seanchan had just reinforced by three hundred Taraboners, and there was a damane in the camp as well, but the assault would be proceeding as planned.

Tornay Lanasiet and two hundred Taraboner Dragonsworn emerge from the trees on the other side of the village in seeming disarray, part of Ituralde's plan. They draw the Seanchan's attention, and stop half a mile away from the village. The Seanchan ride closer to Lanasiet's men, seeming to ride down a group of people who don't get out of their path. The sul'dam and damane ride with them, as well as the three hundred Taraboners. Suddenly the three hundred, who were Ituralde's men, loose their arrows at the Seanchan, killing the commander as well as the damane and sul'dam.

The rest of the Seanchan and their loyal Taraboners flee. Lanasiet gives chase, though, and Ituralde doesn't expect that he will return. He leads his men down to burn the Seanchan stores, sparing the village as much as they can. If all has gone according to plan, dozens of other such attacks have been made that morning as well. Ituralde hopes to lure the Seanchan north, across the Almoth Plain, and into the trap he has laid for them. At worst, he has rid Arad Doman of Taraboner Dragonsworn.

SurothEdit

High Lady Suroth lies awake in her bed in the palace in Ebou Dar, wondering whether Tuon is alive or dead. Tylin's death and the escape of Sea Folk Windfinders chained as damane on the same night make it likely she is dead. Seanchan must have been involved, because nobody else knew of Tuon's true importance, and Tylin was killed with saidar, likely from a damane.

While it is more than possible that one of Tuon's sisters has killed her in a bid for the Crystal Throne, Suroth remembers that Tuon is fully capable of faking her own disappearance. The fact that Tuon's soldiers and sul'dam both left the cities nine days earlier strengthen that possibility. But previously, Tuon had been trying to be named heir, and now she was the heir, so her motives would be unclear. It could be to lure Suroth herself out of hiding, but Tuon would hardly need to go to such lengths if Suroth was suspected to be a Darkfriend. To avoid loss of face, Suroth must attempt to find Tuon herself.

A da'covale enters the room, and moves to Suroth's bedside. Suroth's lopar rouses itself to guard her, and Suroth readies her own dagger, just in case. When Liandrin doesn't speak, Suroth addresses her harshly, and she drops to the floor in obeisance. Liandrin assures Suroth she would never harm her, and that she is obedient to the Dark One, citing her killing of Alwhin as evidence. Suroth had thought of Alwhin as a mere nuisance, however, and her death brought the attention of Seekers to Suroth's household. Liandrin says that Suroth has been summoned to General Galgan. Suroth is annoyed that Liandrin delayed telling her, and contemplates having her collared, however inconvenient that might be.

Liandrin dresses Suroth, who then sends her off to be disciplined. In her antechamber she finds one of Galgan's Banner-Generals, who says there is a message from Tarabon, which the General would like to tell her in person. Suroth is escorted to the General's headquarters. The map of Tarabon is covered with markers indicating enemy forces, and Galgan says that reports from the field indicate dozens of attacks since the previous day, mostly by Taraboners appearing loyal to the Seanchan. Galgan annoys Suroth because she technically outranks him, but he could make her position obsolete at any time. Galgan says that the Taraboner attackers hadn't actually sworn to the Seanchan, but were Dragonsworn disguised as loyal troops. He mentions that Arad Doman and Rodel Ituralde have been mentioned.

Suroth demands Ituralde's head, insisting that raken and other forces be moved from Altara and Amadicia into Tarabon to help find him. Yulan suggest that they keep some of them to search for Aiel and Whitecloaks, but Suroth dismisses those as lesser concerns. Galgan allows that her requests are not unreasonable, which Suroth, incensed, perceives as condescension. She returns to her quarters.

Her walls begin to glow with light, and she turns to see a glowing figure who identifies herself as Semirhage. Suroth instantly prostrates herself. Semirhage offers Suroth the position of Empress, which she says can be easily gained with the elimination of Galgan and a few others. Semirhage says that the Empress is dead, and Suroth begins weeping. She explains that her loss of Tuon is even more grievous an offense now that Tuon is Empress. Semirhage laughs and clarifies that the rest of the Imperial Family is dead, except for Tuon.

Suroth says that it may still be difficult to kill Tuon, since she may have damane and Deathwatch Guards with her. Semirhage says that there is a rumour going around that there is an impostor Tuon with some Deathwatch Guards, and Suroth can use that to her advantage. Suroth resolves that she will kill Tuon, the Empress, and become Empress herself.

PevaraEdit

Pevara and Katerine are in Tsutama's quarters in the White Tower. Tsutama is complaining about the rumours circulating about Dumai's Wells, but the others say that it was only a matter of time until the facts came out. Tsutama reads a letter from Sashalle Anderly, where she insists that she has been Stilled and then Healed by an Asha'man, and that she has sworn fealty to the Dragon Reborn. She also confirms that Logain's gentling has been Healed as well. Javindhra says that it's impossible, but Tsutama says that Sashalle couldn't be that delusional. Tsutama also has a letter from Toveine Gazal which corroborates several of its points.

Tsutama says that with the current situation, she will allow Pevara and Javindhra to try Tarna's suggestion of bonding Asha'man. Javindhra protests that Elaida will never allow it, but Tsutama says that this is internal Ajah business, and she's hidden enough of Elaida's secrets. Tsutama then dismisses them. Javindhra rushes off as soon as they leave the Highest's quarters.

Pevara hurries through the Tower, which is almost deserted except for servants. The Tower is filled with tension between sisters and Ajahs, and most of the less than two hundred sisters remaining in the Tower keep to their rooms. She runs across only one sister, Adelorna Bastine, before meeting with Yukiri. Yukiri says that Marris, one of the Black sisters they have found, broke under interrogation, but only knew the name of one other, who was not in the White Tower. Now they have no direct links to other Black sisters in the Tower.

Yukiri says, though, that Talene has been summoned to a Supreme Council of the Black Ajah. Talene thinks she is going to be disciplined, and has asked to be hidden away. Pevara says that Talene should go, and they should go with her, to overpower and break the Black Ajah at its source, with the oathbound sisters to help. Yukiri points out that they will be, at best, nineteen against thirteen, and that there may be more sisters and other safeguards. Pevara realizes that she is right.

Yukiri asks to speak with her further, and asks if they'd received a letter from Toveine. Pevara confirms it, and Yukiri says they received a similar one from Akoure Vayet. She says that they won't say anything about it yet, because now is not the time to move against Elaida. Just then, they are intercepted by Seaine, who reports on a White sister who has also sworn to Rand. More importantly, she says that Elaida wanted news on how they were doing discovering treasonous correspondence between Alviarin and Rand. They realize that Elaida had not set them to hunting the Black Ajah after all.

AlviarinEdit

Alviarin walks through the corridors of the White Tower, outward calm covering a seething inside. She picks up a hidden message from behind a tapestry and returns to the White Ajah quarters. She is treated with disdain by most of the White sisters that see her, apart from two who are busy arguing about rates of food spoilage, and she is on the verge of tears when she finally reaches her own room.

She has been helping spread the news of Dumai's Wells and the Red sisters captured by the Black Tower among the sisters in the Tower, but she is suffering under the penance that Elaida has assigned to her. In her room, she deciphers the message, which tells her that Talene seems to have fled the Tower, and she remembers that Talene seemed to look for Doesine and Yukiri for guidance. She hopes that this evidence of a continuing threat to the Black Ajah will help her against Mesaana. She decodes two other messages, that Yukiri and Doesine have both warded their chambers. She sits down, wincing at the pain from Silviana's beating, the pain worse every day, and begins to write a message.

GalinaEdit

Galina rides on her horse Swift near the Shaido encampment, enjoying temporary freedom from her mistress Therava. She yearns for the opportunity to take Therava's Oath Rod and free herself from the oaths of obedience placed on her. As she turns back towards the camp, an Aielman steps out of the forest and seizes her bridle. She warns him that she is property of the Wise Ones and not to be trifled with, but he merely tells her to be silent, and she is bound, gagged and blindfolded.

Another man speaks in Murandian accents, and Perrin's name is mentioned. She realizes that if Perrin dies trying to save Faile, she will have no leverage to try to get Faile to get her the Oath Rod. They put her over her horse's saddle and ride away, saying something about a gateway. Galina decides that Perrin must be several days' ride away, to not have been found by the scouts, and she will be days late returning from her ride, earning a severe punishment from Therava. The horses stop, and she struggles, trying to make noise, but they ride on again.

Less than an hour later, Galina is surprised when they arrive at a camp. She is taken from her horse and unbound, while her horse is led away. There are dozens of men in the camp, perhaps hundreds, and they show signs of having been there for weeks. She marvels again that they have evaded Shaido patrols. She is led to a large tent, to speak to Lord Perrin.

She recognizes Perrin, and Berelain as well. Perrin asks if he struggled, and Neald emphasizes that he only had to watch her. She suddenly realizes that he can channel, and remembers the Asha'man and their gateways from Dumai's Wells. She regains her composure and asserts that she is on White Tower business, and has come to ask him not to interfere. She tells Perrin that Faile and Queen Alliandre are under her protection, and that there are tens of thousands of Shaido and four hundred Wise Ones in the camp. She gives her name as "Alyse".

Berelain asks her if she wishes to speak to the other Aes Sedai in the camp, but Galina says their business is their own--she is not eager to meet other sisters who might reveal her identity, and perhaps be unsympathetic to a Red sister. She asks Berelain for help in convincing Perrin that an attack would be pointless. Berelain says that the camp is three or four days away from the Shaido camp, and Galina realizes she must have traveled through a saidin-woven gateway.

Perrin summons Galina over to look at a map of Malden, the town in the centre of the Shaido camp. He asks where Faile and the others sleep, and she lies and says that they never sleep in the same place twice. Perrin still seems intent on trying to rescue her, so she asks for a week, or a few days at least, to finish her work. Perrin allows her a few days at least, perhaps more, but says he wishes he could attack sooner.

Abruptly he asks if the Aiel drink much, and she says that some do, but Wise Ones drink only water. He asks if they go into the city often, and she says not often, but sometimes in small groups. He instructs her to tell Faile to be ready when she sees fog on the ridges and hears wolves in daylight, and to go to a fortress on the north end of the city.

Berelain asks if she can stay for supper, but Galina says that if she cannot be promised a week she must return immediately. She asks Perrin to strike her, hard enough to bruise. He refuses, but Berelain obliges her. She rides through Neald's gateway, but returns back at the camp too late. Therava's punishment is nightmarish, but Galina holds on to the hope of the Oath Rod.

EgweneEdit

Egwene regains consciousness to find herself in a coach between two Aes Sedai. She can smell the stink of rotting garbage from the streets of Tar Valon. Opening her eyes slightly, she can see three more sisters seated opposite, though one of them is trying hard to sit apart from the other two. Feeling is returning to her limbs, and she notes that she is not shielded, but she is unsure how well she can channel.

One of the sisters, Katerine Alruddin, leans over and slaps her. Another sister, Felaana, says that that was needless, and that Egwene may have been given too much forkroot. Egwene contemplates her fate, likely execution for claiming to be the Amyrlin Seat. She finds her Great Serpent Ring gone, which angers her. She asks who betrayed her, and Katerine leans forward for another slap, but is prevented by Felaana. Katerine's anger flares up, and she seizes saidar, quickly followed by the other sisters in the coach.

After a moment, Katerine leans back, but weaves a shield over Egwene. She mentions how Egwene will likely be executed within a day, but Berisha notes that it will likely take longer, because of the need to gather all the Sitters for a High Court. Berisha asks Egwene what was done to the harbor chain, and Egwene tells her it has been turned into cuendillar.

They reach the White Tower and disembark from the coach. Egwene makes no attempt to run, and the other sisters still hold saidar. The only one there to meet them is the novice Nicola Treehill, who brings instructions from Elaida that Egwene is to be sent to the Mistress of Novices. Felaana and Pritalle make their excuses and leave as if they feel threatened. Nicola suddenly curtsies to Egwene and asks her for forgiveness, addressing her as the Amyrlin Seat; Katerine reprimands her and sends her away. Berisha admonishes her for such treatment of a novice, and the two Red sisters round on her threateningly, until she decides to take her leave as well. Egwene thinks that Aes Sedai should not behave that way, that there is something very wrong in the heart of the White Tower.

She enters the Tower with the two Reds, noting how abnormally deserted the corridors are. They encounter Melare, another Red, who tells of what happened at Southharbour. She says that they captured a wilder, who only managed to turn half the chain to cuendillar, and almost got away. The wilder claims to be Leane Sharif, of the Green Ajah, so she is being punished for her insolence. Egwene realizes the mistake, and tells them Leane's stilling has been healed, though they are skeptical. They gag her with Air, but Melare allows that she might try asking the wilder some more questions, and then the other two lead Egwene to Silviana's quarters.

Silviana instructs them to leave Egwene with her and wait outside, which they do after some initial objection. Silviana takes over the shield, and the gag disappears. Silviana notes that Egwene is not hysterical, and Egwene asks if it would do any good. Silviana tells her that Elaida has thought long and hard about what do to about Egwene. They don't want to lose her potential, considering her nothing more than a dupe, so Egwene has been stripped of her Accepted status and will be considered a novice once more. Egwene states calmly that she is a full Aes Sedai by virtue of having been raised to the Amyrlin Seat, and Silviana says that she has just earned her first punishment.

Egwene says that punishment cannot make her deny who she is, but Silviana says that Sheriam gave out much lighter punishments than she does. Egwene asks if she will be shielded constantly. Silviana says that she will be given mild doses of forkroot every hour, enough to let her channel only a trickle. At night she will be shielded instead, because enough forkroot to last the night will only make her sick. She takes Egwene outside, where the two Red sisters are still waiting, and says that they will shield her for at least part of the night. She also takes Egwene's Great Serpent Ring, to be returned to her when she has earned it back.

As they are about to take her away, Egwene comes to a decision. She says she is a Dreamer, and has had a prophetic dream of ravens attacking a lamp with a white flame, that means the Seanchan will attack the White Tower and cause great harm. The sisters are skeptical of her talent, and of her interpretation of the dream, but Silviana says she will pass along the warning.

Katerine and Barasine escort Egwene to her new novice quarters. She gets ready for bed, ignoring them, and then lies down. Preparing herself for sleep, she slips easily into the world of dreamers, looking for Siuan's sleeping self but not finding it. She has to consider what she will say, but she knows that she does not consider herself a prisoner, and she can still fight from inside the White Tower.

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