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|<<< A Lily in Winter >>>|
|Setting: Royal Palace of Andor|
Point of view: Elayne Trakand
Min finds Aviendha and Elayne, and after a long talk, they go to Rand. Birgitte forced Elayne and the others to be escorted by Guardswomen. Elayne is happy her Warder is focused, interviewing people and ordering more Guardswomen dresses, so she will not be too intent on what will happen when she meets Rand. On her inquiry, Vandene told her how to mask her Warder bond. They enter Nynaeve's rooms, the Guardswomen guarding the door. Nynaeve and Lan are with Rand. Rand begins by telling them not to trust any Asha'man besides Narishma, Hopwil, and Flinn. He also apologizes for sending the sul'dam and damane to the palace. He believes Mat is with Egwene, but Nynaeve and the rest don't tell him about Mat's predicament. He believes there are still Aes Sedai in the White Tower who are his followers. Rand wants to leave immediately, so as not to attract danger to himself and his lovers, but the three women override him and, under the lame excuse "not to disturb Nynaeve and Lan", they take him to Elayne's rooms. They all ask him if they can bond him as their Warder. Shocked, he replies that he is already bonded by Alanna. Elayne retorts that this does not prevent them from bonding him, and he reluctantly agrees. They do so, and include Min by weaving Spirit around her and then bonding him. Now all of them can feel the pain he has been hiding, but also the fact that he loves all of them. Rand begins to leave, but Elayne stops him. Min and Aviendha leave the room, and Elayne requests his help in undoing the buttons of her dress.
Point of view: Min Farshaw
Min and Aviendha exit the room. They walk down a hallway, trying to stay as far away from each other as possible. Min is horrified when she feels Elayne's and Rand's emotions as they are making love. She tries to block the feeling by using what Elayne taught her, but it does not work since she cannot channel. However, it does work with Aviendha. Finally, Min tells Aviendha she had a viewing: "She'll [Elayne] get pregnant by Rand Now,twins; both healthy and strong." Min also wonders if she should tell Aviendha about what she saw about the Aiel. Aviendha would have Rand's babies, too, four of them, at the same time! However, there is something odd about them. They will be perfectly healthy, but there is still something odd about them. They run into Birgitte, who through her bond can tell what Elayne is doing and feeling. She is outraged. However, Aviendha pleads that Birgitte not interrupt them, and they go to drink some oosquai.
Point of view: Elayne Trakand
Elayne wakes up the next morning, happy. Rand has vanished. He left her a golden lily in full bloom. She wonders where he could have gotten that in the heart of winter. She weaves a Keeping around it so it will stay forever fresh. She learned that weave from Moghedien. Later in the morning she comes to know that Nynaeve, Lan, and Alivia have vanished. They have taken the most powerful angreal and ter'angreal with them but Nynaeve left a note for Elayne with the ter'angreal they did not take.
- Masking a bond has something to do with the ability to channel.
- Elayne's personal sigil is a golden lily.
- Damer Flinn
- Eben Hopwil
- Mazrim Taim