A Crown of Swords: Prologue
Chapter Icon: Wheel and Serpent
Elaida sends fifty sisters to deal with the Black Tower and foretells the reunification of the White Tower. Sevanna flees the battlefield. Alviarin is taught Traveling by Mesaana. Pedron Niall is killed by Omerna. Valda takes advantage of the situation. Gawyn and the Younglings struggle to survive.
Elaida's Point of View:
From near the top of the Tower, Elaida surveys the foundations of what is to be the Amyrlin's palace in what was the Warder practice grounds. She intends it to surpass the White Tower and does not care that this is not possible without Ogier Stonemasons or skill at using the Power for construction. She re-reads a report from Galina, telling her that Rand has been captured and shielded and thinks on how she will keep him safely locked up till Tarmon Gai'don and how her name will be greater than his in the histories.
Alviarin arrives and tells her Elayne and Nynaeve are in Ebou Dar, posing as full sisters, which she does not believe until she is shown an artist's impression from the palace there. Elaida is irritated by her and considers it a shame that only six Sitters are under her control. She tells her to send Toveine Gazal and fifty other sisters to deal with the Black Tower. Alviarin warns against this, telling her of reports suggesting large numbers there, but she will not listen, refusing also to believe that Mazrim Taim, whose name has been forbidden from being mentioned, could also be there. In her anger and frustration, she mentions that only twenty-four men have been found in twenty years who could channel and is reminded that the chronicles record only sixteen. She tells Alviarin that she has no fear, but is in turn told of past Amyrlins who took on private penance. In her anger, she says any man found able to channel is to be hanged rather than brought back.
Finally, Alviarin tells Elaida that the rebels are on the move and have chosen Egwene as their Amyrlin, clearly hoping to shock her. This only amuses her, however, as she reasons that it shows they are not serious, for if they were, one of the more ambitious sisters would have seen themselves named Amyrlin. She also believes that one hundred of them are ready to jump back and that she has her own secret plans working amongst them. She thinks she may only still a few of the more prominent sitters. Finally, she is taken by a Foretelling, and says that the White Tower will be whole again and stronger than ever, except for a few scorned outcasts, that Rand will face the Amyrlin and know her anger, and that the Black Tower will be rent and sisters will walk its grounds. She assumes this is proof of her success.
Sevanna's Point of View:
Setting: Dumai's Wells
While preparing to besiege the Aes Sedai, Sevanna thinks on how things will change once she has married Rand and has him under her control. She is told a scout escaped, but orders the messenger to send every spear against the Aes Sedai to overwhelm them, ignoring protests about screens and reserves. She has talked the other Wise Ones into fighting, though she's disappointed that many seem uncertain and will not fight other Wise Ones. When the fighting begins, she joins in feeling exhilarated until they encounter a wall of Air, which Rhiale tells her was constructed by men. She is disgusted when the people in front of her start to flee, but realizes to remain is certain death and runs with them.
Alviarin's Point of View:
Setting: The White Tower
Alviarin returns to her own apartments, concerned by Elaida's Foretelling and wondering if she should have Elaida killed. Mesaana arrives and she tells her of what happened in the meeting, including the Foretelling, but she tells the Keeper not to dispose of Elaida. She asks how dangerous the Black Tower has become and whether it is safe to send fifty sisters. Mesaana is annoyed by the questions, but merely refuses to answer, so Alviarin decides not to send any Black sisters. Before she leaves, Mesaana teaches her Traveling, but warns her not to teach others or to use it without permission.
Pedron Niall's Point of View:
Niall and Morgase play Stones and Morgase wins, which does not bother him as there are few people he can play on equal footing. He thinks about how to put her on the throne and how to stop the overturning of the treaty she has signed. She asks to see Galad, but Niall is forced to refuse as that could strain his oaths and Galad is considered a very good officer. He continuously admires Morgase, and regrets that she has been "tainted" by Tar Valon.
Soon, Omerna arrives with news of events in Tarabon, shocked that what he had dismissed as insane rumour is apparently true. Before Niall can take action, Omerna murders him for not acting against the Aes Sedai in Salidar. As he dies, he tries, and fails to protect the paper containing the message. Right away Valda arrives and slays Omerna.
Eamon Valda's Point of View:
Asunawa then arrives and tries to threaten and bribe Valda, but has overestimated his own position and Valda is able to refuse without fear. Valda instructs Balwer to convene a Council of the Anointed, thinking he will get rid of him as soon as possible because he is considered useless.
Gawyn's Point of View:
Setting: Dumai's Wells
Gawyn watches the end of the battle at Dumai's Wells, with just two hundred out of the original five hundred and sixty one Younglings surviving. He suspects there was a plan to wipe out the Younglings. Afterwards, he decides to find a good place to make a camp for the men and a sister or two, if possible. Unfortunately, they are attacked by a small band of Aiel. The group fights well, driving off the Aiel, while Gawyn even fights three at once although he is lucky to defeat the last one.
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Visions and Prophecies
- Elaida's Foretellings
- "The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds. This I Foretell."
Obviously she doesn't actually see herself as the Amyrlin he will face, but this is her assumption.