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The Gathering Storm/Chapter 2

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"It's not strength that makes me laugh. It's understanding."
   —Egwene al'Vere

External summary

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Setting: White Tower


Point of view: Egwene al'Vere

It begins with Egwene just receiving her daily punishment from the Mistress of Novices. Both have a discussion as to Egwene's constant resilience from the beatings. Later, Egwene reveals she has a meeting with Elaida to go to. Silviana expresses surprise to this and questions Egwene as to why she did not mention this beforehand. Egwene calmly replies that it would make no difference.

Egwene leaves the chamber and takes her time walking the halls towards Elaida's room. Along the way she is given a dose of forkroot by two Aes Sedai. She has a discussion with the two about the declining situation of the Tower. While one of the Aes Sedai scoffs at the notion, the other takes to heart what Egwene has said. As she continues her walk, she notices a mural of an ancient Amrylin. For a moment she sees death and destruction on it, a ripple of the Dark One's work, and then it turns back to normal.

She walks into Elaida's room only to be shocked by the presence of Beonin, one of her spies, subservient to Elaida. She is enraged over Elaida's treatment to the other sisters and to the increasing outrageous demands set forth by Elaida. Egwene knows she has to keep her emotions in check; however, in a lapse of judgment she drops a bowl of soup offered by Elaida. Eventually, Egwene is sent away with Elaida feeling confident about being in control of Egwene.

Egwene goes to the kitchens to eat before her visit with the Mistress of Novices. Once with Silviana she has a revelation. The Tower did not need her help to depose Elaida, it was already heading that way. What she needed to do is to keep the Tower together. She begins to laugh as she is beaten, Silviana questions her as to why. Egwene calmly responds that it is foolish to beat her, the pain of it was insignificant to that of the pain of the Tower's situation. After the beating is over, she realizes there is a lot of work to do.





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