"Women! A delight to look at and a delight to be with. When they were not finding ways to rub salt into a man's hide."
   —Matrim Cauthon on women

External summary

<<<   Attending Elaida    >>>
Setting: White Tower in Tar Valon, Altara


Point of view: Tarna Feir

"So much? I want her tamed to the Tower's harness, not broken"
   —Elaida on Egwene's treatment in the hands on Silviana

Even wearing the Keepers stole, Tarna Feir does not feel safe while she climbs the staircases to Elaida's apartments. Twice, the staircases were not located where she remembered them. Also, the growing dissension between the Ajahs gives her pause, as she travels to the other Ajah quarters only when duty forces it upon her. She ponders the question Pevara asked. Who can she ask of the Red Ajah to bond an Asha'man?

Elaida is in her sitting room, together with Meidani. Meidani immediately leaves the room when Elaida asks. The Amyrlin comments how she plans to break Meidani before Tarna begins her reports. Elaida's plot to have the Sitter's watch members of their own Ajah has borne little fruit. The rebellion in Tarabon against the Seanchan failed. The seals to the Dark One's prison are still missing. The works to remove the cuendillar chains from Southharbor proceed slowly, with little support from any Aes Sedai not of the Red Ajah.

The litany of failure angers Elaida, who orders Tarna to write an edict proclaiming the punishment of any Sitter who fail to order support of the Southharbor project. In addition, she orders the same for any Sitter who continues to send sisters to negotiations with the Rebel Aes Sedai. Tarna fails to talk her out of it.

Elaida jumps to the subject of Egwene al'Vere. Elaida is surprised by the amount of visits to Silviana Brehon but Tarna eases her fears, expressing doubt that Silviana will break the girl (while diplomatically leaving out Egwene’s willpower). Tarna is tasked to have her attend Elaida's dinner with Meidani that evening.

Point of view: Matrim Cauthon Setting: Altara, 300 miles from the Damona Mountains

"She might have said that men are pigs, or just that you are. She may have said you're a mud-footed country lout with dirt in your ears and hay in your hair. Or she might have said-"
   —Setalle Anan on Tuon's interpretation about Mat's manners

Mat shares a dinner of rabbit and grouse with Tuon, Selucia, and Setalle. Lopin cleans up Mat's trash as he wipes greasy hands on his pants. Tuon and Selucia communicate with sign language and Setalle offers to help Mat understand the commentary about his uncouthness. Aludra pauses in her game of stones with Thom to chide him about wasting her strikers to light his pipe.


"Me, I must be in the same place for two days to make more. Men always find ways to make work for women, yes?"- Aludra

He ponders their journey so far and the changes amongst his party. Returning Tuon to Ebou Dar remains at the forefront of his mind. A blacklance spreads chaos throughout the party until Mat alleviates everyone's fears. His mercy with the poisonous snake prompts Tuon to give him permission to kiss her. The first kiss causes Tuon to insult his skill. The second improves her demeanor... for a moment, then she claims that he feels feverish. As they debate about the need for ointments, Harnan announces riders approaching the camp, one of them Chel Vanin.

Talmanes, to Mat's chagrined surprise, is the second rider. He gives Mat an update on Egwene's victories, prompting immediate interruption, and doubt, by the Aes Sedai: Joline, Teslyn, and Edesina. Mat presses Talmanes for news about the Band and is shocked with how big his army has become. He worries about being able to pay so many men. Ever calm, Talmanes recounts a deal he made with Roedran supplied the Band with a year's pay, slipping in Mat's relationship with the Dragon Reborn. Unfortunately the pass they planned to use was closed by a landslide, so another exit from Altara will be needed. Mat directs Talmenes to lead the party to the Band, while he thinks.










The One Power


"A strange man, who lets poisonous serpents go. From the fellow's reaction, I assume a blacklance is poisonous?"
"Very. But snakes don't bite anything they can't eat unless they're threatened."
"You may kiss me, Toy."

   —Tuon and Mat
"Tuon, allow me to present Lord Talmanes Delovinde of Cairhien. His family is distinguished and ancient, and he has added honors to its name. Talmanes, this is Tuon."
   —Mat on introducing Talmanes to Tuon


  • Mesaana is in the White Tower during the time when the wards around Tar Valon against Shadowspawn begin to fail. It can be assumed that she is the one destroying the wards for the Dark One. Note: this is possible, but wards are failing everywhere so it may just be the Dark One's touch on the world.
  • King Roedran of Murandy may be under the thumb of Demandred. Roedran is the only ruler amongst the Wetlands whose loyalties are unknown. Demandred’s whereabouts are also up in the air. Sammael said that he always liked to use proxies.[1]. Note: This theory is refuted when Demandred's location is revealed during the Last Battle.


  1. Lord of Chaos, Chapter 6