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|<<< Something... Strange >>>|
Point of view: Faile Bashere
Faile Bashere attends Sevanna in her tent, serving her wine. Faile and eleven other servants need to attend Sevanna while she sleeps. Faile thinks about past punishments and intends not to add another one. She wants to seem tamed, but is afraid that if she pretends too long, it will actually happen. She wants to escape before Perrin Aybara catches up to them, but at the same time she wonders why he hasn't caught up yet.
Sevanna complains about Galina Casban being punished too much, but she is not concerned about Galina's well being. Galina's state makes it impossible for her to order punishments when they would be appropriate. Apparently all of Galina's hair has been singed off with the One Power. Faile wonders how an Aes Sedai could let herself be treated like that. Galina is sitting between Sevanna and Therava, looking at the latter in panic. She is being treated so harshly that even some of the Shaido say it is too much. She looks broken. Faile worries about Galina not being able to fulfill her promise to take them with her when she leaves. She fears that Galina might betray her to get away from being punished again, even if Faile manages to steal the rod.
Sevanna complains about Galina not being impressive any more without her hair. She offers wine to Thevara, who still prefers to drink water.
Thevara says that the Wise Ones want to move north and east, since Malden is attackable and food is not easy to come by any more. Sevanna wants to stay because of the good soil for planting, pastures and water. Thevara answers that some think Sevanna wants to be captured by Rand al'Thor to entice him to marry her. Sevanna angrily affirms that she will indeed marry him and unite the clans. Thevara doesn't approve of Rand, especially since he revealed the Aiel's secrets, which many of the Aiel believe to be lies. Clearly questioning Sevanna's authority, she points out that Sevanna wouldn't know, since she never went to Rhuidean. Sevanna threatens Thevara back by questioning her loyalty and stressing the importance of reuniting the clans. She violently orders that the Shaido stay where they are.
Meanwhile the new gai'shain enter the tent to relieve the current ones. Faile is replaced by Doirmanes, a Cairhienin nobleman, who is so eager to please Sevanna that he would have to be killed, should he ever find out about the oaths of fealty that have been sworn to Faile. While she leaves the tent, she hears Thevara tell Sevanna that Bendhuin, sept chief of the Green Salts, has gotten permission to go to Rhuidean. He will replace Sevanna once he returns. Sevanna is furious at not being informed, but since she is not a clan chief, only speaking for one as a widow, there was no need to tell her.
Faile walks toward her tent thinking about her situation. Planning has been difficult because Sevanna decides on her servants' tasks at a very short notice. In general, it is difficult to find enough chores for all the gai'shain. There are fourteen septs camped in Malden. The camp holds one hundred thousand Shaido and the same amount of gai'shain. Two more septs, the Morai and the White Cliffs, are arriving shortly.
Meira, another Wise One, strides towards Faile. She went looking for her because she thought Faile had been dragged into a tent by a drunk. Even though it is against custom, gai'shain are assaulted regularly. Faile and her friends are being protected by Rolan and some of the other Mera'din. Meira commands Faile to tell her everything that Sevanna said and did that morning. While Faile tells her, the two feel reality ripple. Three waves of ripples leave the two in shock, feeling barely existent. Neither knows what just happened.
In the tent she shares with Alliandre Maritha Kigarin, Maighdin and Dairaine Saighan, a Cairienin noblewoman, she finds Alliandre tending the wounds of yet another beating. She comforts Alliandre, who is also terrified of the ripples and of feeling hopeless. Aravine Carnel peeks into the tent, telling Faile that Alvon and his son Theril, two other gai'shain who swore fealty to Faile, have something for her. Theril had a chance to steal the Oath Rod from Thevara's tent. He hands it to Faile, who buries it in her sleeve. Faile promises that she will get them out if Galina isn't able to free all of them at once. Alvon doesn't think that Galina is going to free anyone, much less herself.
They are interrupted by Rolan appearing out of nowhere. Faile orders the others to leave. Rolan warns Faile that he won't be around to protect her much longer. The Mera'din are thinking about going back to the Three-fold Land. They do not want to follow Rand, but they are appalled by the Shaido as well. He knows of her escape plans. He has no intention of betraying her, but he plans to take her with him if he leaves and to let her go as soon as they reach the first town. Faile now has the Oath Rod and a promise by Rolan. As she predicted, the gai'shain camp is turned upside down as soon as Thevara discovers that her Oath Rod is missing. Luckily, Faile has safely hidden it in the city.
- Faile Bashere
- Galina Casban
- Alliandre Maritha Kigarin
- Aravine Carnel
- Perrin Aybara
- Rand al'Thor
- Morgase Trakand
- Dairaine Saighan