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Winter's Heart/Chapter 4

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Setting: Amadicia

Summary

Point of view: Faile Bashere

Two Aiel women come up to Faile, accompanied by a short gai'shain woman who is oddly dressed in robes of silk and is wearing a belt and collar made of gold and firedrops. The Wise Ones are Therava and Someryn. They dismiss Rolan and the other Shaido spears. Someryn laughs that they have more gai'shain for Sevanna, and jokes that Sevanna will not be satisfied until the whole world is gai'shain, while Therava says that Sevanna has too many gai'shain already.

Alliandre rises and announces who she is and that her liege lady is also here. She says that they should be treated well as the Shaido can demand a large ransom for their return. Sevanna rides up wearing wetlander clothes and asks the gai'shain, Galina, if this is true. Galina says she met Alliandre when she was young and confirms her identity and explains that the liege lady would have to be very powerful to have a queen swear fealty. Faile is certain that Sevanna is the one who was really responsible for all of the damage done by Couladin; she also feels a personal claim on Sevanna for Perrin nearly dying at Dumai's Wells. Sevanna identifies Faile as the liege lady and Maighdin as her maid and orders Galina to Heal the captives so they can walk. Faile is amazed that she is Aes Sedai. Sevanna then announces that a fifth sept, the Jonine, has joined them. Therava is not impressed, as seventy-eight others still remain scattered. She advises Sevanna to remember her pledge to reunite the Shaido because they will not wait forever. It is clear to Faile that she and the Wise Ones hate each other.

When Galina finishes with the Healing, the two Wise Ones leave and she follows. Other gai'shain bring in dried meat, cheese and bread for the captives. Next they are given white robes and an Amadician woman comes forward to put a golden belt on her. Faile tells her she doesn’t want it, but the Amadician says she serves Sevanna now and must do as she is told. Faile relents and accepts the adornments meekly, prompting Maighdin and Alliandre to follow suit.

Soon they are marching along with a column of Shaido. Faile, Alliandre and Maighdin become separated from Bain, Chiad, Lacile Aldorwin, and Arrela. They plan to escape that night, and Maighdin and Alliandre say they will stay with Faile until she escapes or they will not leave at all.

After a while, several Wise Ones approach led by Therava. She knows they are thinking of escaping and tells them they will be gai'shain for the rest of their lives unless they help her. They are to spy on Sevanna and report back to her. If they learn something that pleases Therava, she will see that they are left behind, but if Sevanna finds out they are spying, Therava will cook them herself!

A while later Galina joins them. She tells them she is on an important mission for the White Tower. She asks Alliandre if Faile is really her liege lady and who she is to have a queen swear to her. Alliandre announces she is the Lady Faile t’Aybara. Galina tells them that Sevanna has plans for Rand and would dearly like to have Perrin's wife as a hostage, but she will keep their secret and help them escape if they retrieve a smooth white rod from Therava's tent. Faile tells her it may take time and Galina says she has her whole life if necessary. After she leaves, Faile desperately tries to think of a plan of escape.

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