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The Gathering Storm/Chapter 39

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Setting: Tar Valon

Point of view: Egwene al'Vere

Egwene al'Vere states that Verin Mathwin, who is sitting in her room, has never held the Oath Rod. Verin replies she has, but has had them removed due to being Black Ajah. Verin tells Egwene to thank Laras for the tea that she is drinking and then carries on by thanking Egwene for the progression she has made within the White Tower. Verin warns Egwene that the Dark One will not fight the Tarmon Gai'don as Rand al'Thor assumes he will. She also points out that the Forsaken are predictable because they are so selfish, but not all evil is as obvious. She goes on to tell Egwene her reason for joining the Black Ajah, to save herself from being killed. Since she become Black Ajah, she might as well study them. Tomas was also a Darkfriend but wanted to come back to the light, however the Dark One would not let him leave so easily. So Verin bonded Tomas and they then began their task, working from the inside of the Black Ajah. The Dark One's oaths are very specific and that you cannot betray the Dark One or his secrets until the hour of death. Verin then reveals she is drinking poison and dying. Tomas has as well and is spending his last hour with his family.

Verin then provides Egwene with two books, a small blue book which is a key to translate the larger red book which contains Verin's life work. Within the red book are the names of every Black Ajah member Verin could find. Verin shows Egwene a red strap which when turned, can make the book invisible. Verin wanted to try and take the Dark One's oaths away with the Oath Rod but couldn't find it. With one final warning from Verin, that Mesaana is hiding in the Tower although she is unsure of who she is, Verin begins to go unconscious. As Verin is dying, she tells Egwene she wants to be remembered from the Brown Ajah, but Egwene tells her that her soul is White. Verin then passes away. Turese, who is outside guarding Egwene opens the door to check on her. Egwene tells Turese that Verin is asleep. Turese then leaves the room believing Egwene.

Egwene begins to translate the red book and finds out the Katerine Alruddin, Alviarin Freidhen, Elza Penfell and Galina Casban are near the top of the Black Ajah. She finds there are 21 Blue, 28 Brown, 30 Gray, 38 Green, 17 White, 21 Yellow and 48 Red members from the Ajahs that are Black sisters. Duhara Basaheen, Velina Behar, Sedore Dajenna, Delana Mosalaine and Talene Minly are current Sitters who are Black. Egwene is particularly pained by discovering her Keeper of the Chronicles Sheriam Bayanar and Moria Karentanis, who was very strong in supporting Egwene, are Black. The list also contains a number of other sisters but clears Lelaine Akashi, Romanda Cassin and Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, the latter being thoroughly researched by Verin. Elaida was just an unstable woman and not Black, frustrating the Black Ajah just as much as the rest of the Tower. Nicola Treehill then enters Egwene's room, having been sent by Laras to check that Verin has done no harm to Egwene, although Nicola has no knowledge of this. Egwene then finds a note to wait in the soup that Nicola delivered. Meidani then enters the room and is told by Egwene that not only is Verin dead, but she was also Black Ajah. Meidani then fills Egwene on the Halls activities and that Elaida is still Amyrlin Seat, but only just. Egwene then sends Meidani away with Verin's dead body and the command to apprehend Alviarin due to her being Black Ajah.

Egwene then enters Tel'aran'rhiod to meet with Siuan Sanche. She tells Siuan that Moria and Sheriam are both Black Ajah and that she is to do nothing but watch them. Before Egwene can say any more she realizes that something is wrong and wakes up. She wakes to Nicola, with a bleeding gash on her cheek shaking her. Nicola cries out that they are being attacked by Shadowspawn, but when Egwene spots riders on serpents in the air using the One Power she realizes that the White Tower is finally being attacked by the Seanchan

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