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Chapter 4 The Fires of Heaven Chapter 6

Among The Wise OnesEdit

White Flame

SynopsisEdit

Egwene is naked in her tent, shivering in the desert cold, heating water with the One Power to wash with. She has just gotten warm when a gai'shain enters the tent, with a message from Amys to come to the sweat tent. Egwene wishes Bair had let them stay in Rhuidean, instead of outside the city in tents. She asks the gai'shain, Cowinde, about herself, and concludes that she has given herself up to permanent servitude because of the bleakness. She puts on a cloak and shoes and Cowinde leads her to the sweat tent.

She steels herself, then drops the cloak and dives into the tent. Amys, Bair, and Melaine are within, as well as Moiraine and Aviendha. As Egwene sits down, she notices that Aviendha has been switched. The Wise Ones admonish Egwene for her slowness, and compare her unfavourably to Aviendha.

The Wise Ones resume their conversation with Moiraine, saying that the Aiel follow He Who Comes With The Dawn, not the White Tower. Egwene knows that the Aes Sedai will try to bring any Aiel women who can channel to the White Tower, but she is no longer concerned that the Wise Ones aren't a match for them. The Wise Ones assure Moiraine that the Aiel will not harm any except those who oppose Rand and the Aiel.

Moiraine complains that years of planning will be wasted. She says the nations will rise against the Aiel, like they did in the Aiel War. The Wise Ones say that they will take the fifth, as is their due, and that they are not afraid of what might happen. Moiraine says that Rand will lose all the nations west of the Dragonwall. The Wise Ones dismiss Moiraine, and she leaves, as if of her own accord.

The Wise Ones ask Aviendha to pour the tea, but she has unaccountably forgotten to make it, and scurries to do so. Egwene renews the steam in her absence, and asks what Aviendha was punished for. Bair says that she asked for the penance herself, that she had told lies and a toh must be met.

Bair says that more of the Lost Ones than ever before had crossed the Dragonwall. The Wise Ones complain about the changes Rand has brought, even in the behaviour of the Maidens and the clan chiefs, who are no longer as obedient as they once were. Melaine complains about Bael in particular, and Bair says that Melaine must either "stay away from him, kill him, or marry him", which renders Melaine speechless.

Aviendha returns with the tea. The Wise Ones ask Egwene how Rand will react if they tell Aviendha to share his sleeping chambers--though not his bed. Egwene says Rand will think it improper, and Aviendha asks to be spared the ordeal, and angrily bursts out that she cannot be there when Rand summons Isendre to his blankets. The Wise Ones approve of Aviendha expressing her emotions, rather than keeping them inside, but she must learn not to fight what the Pattern wills for her. The Wise Ones decide that they just need to think of a good reason.

They note that it will be a few nights until their agreed meeting in Tel'aran'rhiod with Nynaeve. They ask if Egwene has been able to find their dreams yet, which she has not. She remembers a lesson where she entered Rhuarc's dream and became nothing more than a little child until Amys fetched her out. Amys encourages her to keep trying, and says Egwene should try to find Amys's dreams that night.

As they are leaving, Melaine asks Amys and Bair to talk to Dorindha. The other Wise Ones are amused, and Egwene realizes this means Melaine has decided to marry Bael. The Wise Ones seem happy with her decision, and leave Aviendha and Egwene to clean up. Aviendha asks if a wetlander woman could accept a sister-wife, but Egwene doesn't think so.

When they come outside, Egwene and Aviendha find that the Wise Ones have had their clothing taken away. They are to run fifty laps as penance for their stubbornness. Aviendha takes off immediately, and Egwene follows. As they run side-by-side, Aviendha says that Egwene is always held up to her as an example by the Wise Ones. Egwene asks about Isendre, and Aviendha admits Rand doesn't seem to be encouraging her. Aviendha insists that Rand is promised to Elayne, though Egwene says they are not betrothed or anything. Aviendha doesn't understand why it would bother Egwene if she slept in the same room. Egwene says she doesn't understand ji'e'toh, but she does the fifty laps and never thinks of cheating.

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