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Setting: The White Tower in Tar Valon, Caemlyn

SummaryEdit

Point of view: Gawyn Trakand

Gawyn Trakand is walking around the White Tower grounds on a cold summer night,  taking a "midnight lunch," as he has been restless since Egwene al'Vere ordered him to stop guarding her door at night. His mind is still on the recent murders of Aes Sedai, though the killings have stopped since the last White sister died.

Passing into the Tower through a servant's entrance, Gawyn hears off-duty members of the Tower Guard socializing and sees them dicing late at night. He does a double-take at the door as he recognizes Mazone, Celark and Zang, as part of nearly a dozen Younglings in the room.  He admonishes the Younglings, who still pay him the respect of a commander, for their behavior being unlike a Warder and thus endangering their chances of being bonded by an Aes Sedai. Celark informs him that some Younglings have reconsidered becoming a Warder, but this change in their purpose has made them uncomfortable. Gawyn reassures Celark by saying he will personally speak to the captain of the Tower Guard, Jimar Chubain, about having some Younglings join those ranks. Celark presses Gawyn about joining the Tower Guard with them, but Gawyn declines.

Gawyn continues to feel pulled to Egwene's room, walking unconsciously there again, then turns back to visit Gareth Bryne in his room, where Gawyn notes Bryne's methodical planning in the papers around his room. Gawyn seeks advice from Bryne on Egwene's order that Gawyn not protect her. Bryne pulls out that Gawyn is single-minded in his focus on Egwene, acting impulsively, driven about by passion. Bryne recommends Gawyn figure out his goals as an individual, aside from his romantic pursuits. When Siuan Sanche interrupts the conversation, she chastizes Bryne for staying up too late and Gawyn for telling the Amyrlin what she should do.

Leaving Bryne's room, Gawyn finds himself drawn back to Egwene's door where the sound of footsteps causes him to investigate. He follows the sound and sees a large shadow that suddenly moves. From the shadow, an impossible to see figure throws a knife right at Gawyn's heart, but he dodges it just in time. The would-be assassin flees and Gawyn loses sight of him. Gawyn knows now to look at the darkness and finds the assassin again in a shadow, prompting a desparate fight of knife versus Gawyn's sword.

Neither of the fighters are having success besting each other, so the assassin breaks free from the fight and runs away down a hallway. Tower Guards have arrived by this time, so Gawyn goes back to the Amyrlin's room to check on her, triggering and entangling himself in all of the traps she has set. Egwene steps forward, fully dressed and visibly displeased.

Point of view: Mat Cauthon

Mat is visiting several taverns and inns in Low Caemlyn. He is somewhat disguised, and has been paying coppers and free drinks for rumors about himself and the Band of the Red Hand. A man named Chet names him the Prince of the Ravens and Lord of Luck (not knowing he was naming the man in front of him). Elayne still has Mat's Foxhead medallion, leaving Mat defenseless to the Gholam. He meets up with Thom and Noal and the three men discuss the Tower of Ghenjei and the Aelfinn, comparing the rhyme from the game Snakes and Foxes to their preparation to rescue Moiraine. Their preparations include the following:

  • Fire to blind - lanterns, torches, and fireworks from Aludra
  • Music to dazzle - harp, flute, hand drums and cymbals
  • Iron to bind - fully iron throwing knives, short swords, chains and a clip for the Ashandarei

It grows late and Thom and Noal depart for the Band's camp, leaving Mat alone in a disreputable area. As he walks, he thinks about the letter in his pocket and the dice rolling in his head. He wanders into the New City, thinking of Moiraine, Perrin, Rand, Tuon, and Birgitte. Mat wanders into the Inner City and comes upon a robbery. He rescues a short man from cutpurses only to be turned on as the would-be victim tries to stab Mat through. Mat finds a picture of his own face amidst some coins in the man's purse.

Point of view: Birgitte

Birgitte Silverbow watches a play in the royal court. She reflects on all the lives she has lived, but this time with no Gaidal Cain. Birgitte is frustrated with trying to protect Elayne Trakand, when she has no regard for her life. She also has huge respect for Elayne as a Queen however, looking at Ellorien Traemane who is present, rather than being in chains. Kaila Bent approaches Birgitte telling her that there is a disturbance at the Plum Gate. Birgitte goes to investigate. She reaches the guard-post where an intruder is being kept. The intruder is currently dicing with all the guards on duty. Birgitte recognizes Mat is the intruder and takes him into her custody. One of the guards asks if he is the Raven Prince, which Mat flinches at. The two search for a tavern to grab an ale. Mat wants to ask her questions on the Tower of Ghenjei. Birgitte is reluctant to say anything about it, warning him to stay away. She tells him that going through the portals protects you with treaties, but restricts you from what you can do. Mat points out that Birgitte knows another way in. She responds that then the treaties are not in affect and that the Finn can draw blood. She asks how Mat was hanged, having knowledge on all the different memories Mat has. Birgitte tells him that the Finn will find a way to win, and that shedding blood can have a strange effect. Mat says they plan to cheat with iron, fire and music. Birgitte replies that it's not cheating as everyone carries these things and it the chances of success are probably one in a thousand. Mat throws all his coins up calling heads. Every coin lands on the table with heads. Mat says he can beat the odds. Birgitte tells Mat she has been inside the Tower to save Gaidal. He had a terrible head wound that affected his thinking. Birgitte took him to the Tower to try and get Healed. Mat asks how they got out. They never did, they dies in the Tower. Birgitte drinks goats milk during the story as she is worried her drinking may effect Elayne's babies. Mat wants help from her. Birgitte tells him that iron hurts them, fire scares and kill them and music entrances them. However they become less effective with time. Both the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn work together and will be present in the Tower. She continues telling Mat that they feed on emotion, particularly those with the One Power. Birgitte says that the world is like a labyrinth and that he needs to make for the grand hall. She got there by leaving iron powder at intersections as they can't touch it. Once she got to the grand hall, they ask for something very dear to you. Birgitte asks Mat if he has ever heard the story, but Mat admits its not familiar. Birgitte got lost in the Tower, she couldn't find her dust, her fire was running out and her bowstring and lyre broken. Gaidal was carried behind her in a litter. Birgitte admits she was in there for over two months. She tells Mat that you could walk for days going straight never turning, not knowing that the grand hall is moments away. Mat asks how the story got out as she died inside there. Birgitte isn't sure but she was called Jethari Moondancer at the time. She is disappointed that that particular legend is forgotten and no longer told. Suddenly she feels pain through the Bond and knows Elayne is in trouble. Both Mat and Birgitte run to Elayne.

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