Prologue The Path of Daggers Chapter 2

To Keep The BargainEdit

Atha an miere


On the island of Tremalking, the Amayar note the unseasonal weather, hot summer weather when it should be winter rains, and wonder if the end of illusion is near. Fisherfolk on the Sea of Storms note with astonishment the passage of many Seanchan ships.

In Ebou Dar many Sea Folk ships sit in the harbour. Aviendha is walking with her companions through the palace. She feels unpleasantly like she is being watched. She finds herself fretting over Olver, lost in the city, and wonders why she worries, since the boy is a Cairhienin "Treekiller". Mat is looking for him, though. Nynaeve and Lan are arguing about his promise to "take care" of her. Lan states simply that he is a Warder, and it is his duty to take care of her, and that without her he will die. Elayne warns Birgitte about a similar promise, and Birgitte mutters a fond word under her breath that embarrasses Aviendha, and causes her to almost walk into Teslyn Baradon.

Teslyn is as surprised by the encounter as the others. When she recovers her composure, she says that she has decided not to tell Elaida what they are doing, but warns them to be careful. As Aviendha is considering violence, Elayne upbraids Teslyn for her condescension as well as supporting Elaida as Amyrlin. As Teslyn is leaving, Nynaeve tries to warn her about Moghedien, the Black Ajah and the gholam, as well as a sort of storm she feels, but Teslyn dismisses it as fantasy. Nynaeve is taken aback, but wonders if Teslyn isn't close to turning against Elaida.

Lan and Birgitte remind them that they should move on, because the Forsaken are hunting them, and the Windfinders are waiting for them. Elayne and Nynaeve start moving a little faster, but chat about inconsequential things, which Aviendha is disgusted to find herself enjoying as well. They mention a rogue Illuminator in the city for the Feast of Embers, and a traveling show as well.

They emerge into a large stableyard, where Renaile is waiting with nineteen other Sea Folk Windfinders, as well as five Aes Sedai and the remains of the Knitting Circle. Nynaeve goes to talk to the Kin and Elayne to the Aes Sedai, leaving Aviendha with the Windfinders. The Aes Sedai are barely concealing their impatience. Aviendha watches the way the women of the Knitting Circle seem to fawn over Nynaeve, in awe of the Aes Sedai.

The Kin part to reveal the bound and hooded Ispan Shefar, who is both dosed with forkroot and shielded by Kirstian. They say nervously that surely it is time for the Aes Sedai to take custody of the Black sister, and the Aes Sedai seem to agree, but Nynaeve tells the Kinswomen that they have done well enough so far. Merilille asks Elayne to get Nynaeve to reconsider, especially since the Kinswomen are likely to be allowed by Egwene to rejoin the White Tower, and need to become aware of their place. Elayne says that Egwene does want them to rejoin, and even if they fail they will not be cast out or abandoned. Aviendha wondered if they would want to be, since she and the Wise Ones certainly didn't. Elayne cuts off further argument, telling them to be satisfied with being able to watch the Bowl of The Winds.

The Windfinders gaze hungrily at the Bowl, obviously coveting it for themselves. Renaile warns the Aes Sedai to abide by their agreement, or the Sea Folk will claim the Bowl for their own, as she says it was after the Breaking. Reanne asks her to watch her tongue, and the Kinswomen and Windfinders get into an argument and begin seizing saidar.

Aviendha has embraced saidar herself and is trying to decide who to deal with first when Nynaeve cries "Enough!" and silences them. Only then do they realize that the Aes Sedai never took part in the disagreement. Elayne tells Aviendha that it's time to leave, before the next argument breaks out. Aviendha agrees, and steps out into the middle of the stableyard to weave a gateway. The Windfinders, as well as a few of the Knitting Circle, watch her as she weaves.

The gateway opens miles north of Ebou Dar on the other side of the river. Aviendha is dissatisfied with her weaving, since it uses more power than Elayne's, and is not as good as the one that Aviendha made by accident when fleeing from Rand. The people in the stableyard spring into action. Three of the Warders go through first, but Aviendha has to wait until the end, because otherwise her weave will weaken. The Aes Sedai go next, followed by the Windfinders and the Knitting Circle with their prisoner. Aviendha thinks she sees someone watching them from a high window, and then they disappear. She waits with the other Warders for the rest of the women to finish going through the gateway.

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