For other chapters with "surprise" in the title, see Surprises.

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Setting: the White Tower
Point of view: Moiraine Damodred


Setsuko wakes Siuan Sanche and Moiraine Damodred and tells them that the Amyrlin Seat has ordered all Accepted to be at the West Stable before Third Rise to continue with the White Tower bounty census. They both wash and dress quickly. Sheriam Bayanar reports that the Aiel are retreating. Merean finds Moiraine and tells her that the Amyrlin has exempted Moiraine from the census due to her uncles' deaths. Instead, she will be copying others' lists where they are near illegible. When Siuan agrees with Merean, Merean suprises Siuan by telling her that she will be assisting Moiraine in her duties.

Sheriam Bayanar

"Sometime, you two are passing strange,"

They are taken to a small windowless room near the Amyrlin's apartments. Once they finish their breakfast, they are to return to the room to work and leave the completed copies in the anteroom of the Amyrlin's study. When Merean leaves, Moiraine rounds on Siuan about their tedious work. Siuan counters and says that they will get more names for their search for the Dragon Reborn this way, instead of just their own lists. Siuan didn't want to be included, but lets it pass. She instead asks why Moiriane has been exempted. Moiraine tells her.

Because they do not have to hurry, they take their time at breakfast. Laras frowns at them, and they quickly finish. They return to the room and begin to copy out the lists, noting some of the vagueness many Accepted used. Most of the lists are shorter than those gathered by Moiraine and Siuan. She notes one name taken by Myrelle Berengari. Salia Pomfrey had given birth to a boy and returned to her village in Andor after her husband died. They work until lunch and when they come back to the room, Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan silently stares over their shoulders. Having nothing to criticize, she leaves.

Merean Redhill

"Remember that we are all threads in the Pattern, and the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills."

The next day, they return to the room to continue, only to be confronted by two clerks, a stout woman with the Flame of Tar Valon on her sleeve named Mistress Wellin and a young handsome man named Martan. She tells Moiraine and Siuan that she dislikes "being set a tasks only to learn someone else is already performing it." Martan smiles at Moiraine and Mistress Wellin upbraids him and leaves. Siuan says that they should continue and "look busy" in hopes of finding more names for their own search. Tamra Ospenya then comes into the room.

Jarna Malari

"I fear that affairs of state never wait on grief Moiraine."

Moiraine and Siuan leap to their feet and curtsy, but Moiraine forgot to put down the pen first and stains her white dress. The Amyrlin says that she had intended for Moiraine to have a freeday to study and then asks her if her uncles' deaths still trouble her. Moiraine gives a very Aes Sedai answer, saying she did have nightmares the previous night, but not saying they were about a baby crying in the snow and a young man breaking the world as he saved it. The Amyrlin says they may continue their copying, but when the boredom overcomes them, they are to leave a note and she will replace them at the task. Tamra notices the stain, and says "I won't tell you not to channel to [clean your dress]; you know that already."

As the Amyrlin leaves, Moiraine says that she was just told to use the One Power to clean her dress. Siuan disagrees, but Moiraine counters, saying "you have to listen to what people mean as well as what they say," noting the similarities with the Game of Houses. She cleans her dress and gathers the ink into a small ebon bead. She keeps it as a memento. Another name goes in her book, Bili Mandair, son of a woman named Willa who was in Lord Ellisar's camp.

The next day, Jarna Malari has Moiraine walk with her. She first talks of Moiraine's uncles, and then talks of who in House Damodred might ascend the Sun Throne in Cairhien. Moiraine is suprised by the question and says that rule of her home country will most likely pass to another House due to Laman Damodred's dark reputation. Jarna asks after Moiraine's sisters as well. After returning to her work, Moiraine is interrupted six more times by different Sitters, including Tsutama Rath, all asking after the throne of Cairhien. All of this gives Moiraine more nightmares.


Tsutama Rath

"Have you ever thought of being the Queen of Cairien yourself?"









One Power

  • Cleaning with the Power