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|Setting: White Tower, Tar Valon|
- Point of view: Egwene al'Vere
Egwene is finally entered into the novice book and is shown to her room by an Accepted named Pedra. Upon entering her room she meets Elayne, a woman about her own age who has an air of dignity and self-possession about her. Elayne explains that new novices are assigned ones who have been in the White Tower a while, to help them find their way. They both share a dislike for washing dishes and other chores and Elayne explains that with so many rules it is impossible not to break some eventually.
Egwene is amazed to learn that Elayne grew up with Aes Sedai. Egwene proceeds to show off her abilities with the One Power by making a small glowing ball appear above her hand and explains that she has already had a few lessons. Not to be shown up Elayne copies the ball, even if it flickers a little. Egwene is surprised to see a glow appear around Elayne and loses the source. This is the first time either girl has seen the aura around any channelers.
Because Egwene is from Emond's Field Elayne asks her if she knows a boy named Rand al'Thor. At this point Egwene remembers Rand's tale about falling into a garden and meeting the Daughter-Heir of Andor. Elayne confirms who she is but insists that Sheriam Sedai would be angry if that became common knowledge.
Elayne explains more about the White Tower and how there are so few novices and Accepted today—only forty novices, of which only seven or eight will become Accepted. Elayne shares Sheriam Sedai's theory that the ability to channel is being culled out of humankind due to the Red Ajah's aggressive gentling of any man who can channel.
Talk returns to Rand and how Elayne's mother's Aes Sedai advisor, Elaida, was very interested in Rand. Elayne pulls Egwene out of the room and tells her of two other girls in the Tower who knew Rand. One is a novice named Else Grinwell who ran off to the Tower after Rand and Mat visited her family's farm.
While walking down the hallways a tall, handsome man with a sadness to his eyes appears in front of them. He is accompanied by an Accepted who tells him he should not be in the halls and if he needs air to go to the gardens. The man relents and is led away. Elayne explains that he is the false Dragon Logain, and even though he is gentled he still scares her.
Elayne leads Egwene on so she can meet Min. Egwene vaguely recalls the name and when she sees Min on a bridge in the garden she remembers why. She asks why Min is in Tar Valon and Min answers that she was given the choice of coming of her free will or coming tied in a sack. Min was brought so the Aes Sedai can study her. Min sees images and auras around people and can sometimes understand their meaning. It is a talent that does not use the One Power. Around Elayne she saw that she would be a queen and the image held the Rose Crown of Andor. She also saw that Elayne will have to share her husband with two other women. Around Egwene she sees a white flame and other things she can't interpret. She also saw a severed hand aura around Elayne but does not know the meaning.
Galad and Gawyn approach the girls and Egwene is mesmerized by the beauty of Galad. He asks to see Egwene again and she agrees. Content with her answer he turns around and leaves. Gawyn also asks about Rand, if he really was from Emond's Field. He recounts how Elaida is interested in him. All three girls declare they are to be friends and fall into giggles hugging on the bridge. Gawyn leaves a warning about Elaida's intentions toward Rand. As if naming the Dark One, Elaida enters the garden coming toward the group. Gawyn takes the opportunity to make his leave.
Elaida wastes no time putting Elayne in her place. Back home she was the Daughter-Heir, but here she is just another novice. Just then the bell sounds High, and she dismisses the two novices.
- Point of view: Min
As Min leaves the bridge she looks over her shoulder to make sure Elaida is not there, but the Red sister is nowhere to be seen. Min wonders how the Red knew that Moiraine had brought her to Tar Valon. As far as she knew only herself, Moiraine, and Sheriam knew. Eladia had asked many questions about Rand, and Min tried very hard to keep a straight face and steady eye when she lied and said she had never heard of him. As Min stomps off to find a place to cool off she says aloud that wherever Moiraine is she needs to come to Tar Valon so Min can leave. She also admits to herself that she is falling in love with Rand.
- Rand al'Thor
- Moiraine Damodred
- Else Grinwell
- Nynaeve al'Meara
- Matrim Cauthon
- Master Fitch
- Morgase Trakand as Gawyn's mother