Crossroads of Twilight: Prologue
Author: Leora Oldessroth
Chapter Icon: Wheel and Serpent
Rodel Ituralde tries to gather support for attacking the Seanchan. Gabrelle, Toveine and Logain go to Cairhien. The hunt for the Black Ajah continues in the White Tower. Two men injure Deira Bashere when she caught them looking for something. Dobraine is almost killed.
Rodel's Point of View:
Setting: The abandoned hunting lodge of Osana
Rodel Ituralde and his companions Donjel and Jaalam arrive at the abandoned hunting lodge of the Lady Osana; Ituralde has offered the White Ribbon to lords of various nations so they can come together to talk without fear of violence. He is greeted by Lord Shimron, one of Alsalam's most trusted advisors until he joined the Dragonsworn, and is taken to the other lords (Ankaer, Rajabi, Wakeda) who are waiting in the ballroom.
Ituralde shows the lords his orders from Alsalam to strike hard at the Seanchan. Ituralde offers a truce to the Domani as long as they agree to fight the Seanchan with him. Ituralde tells the men that the Seanchan can be beaten and says he has a plan to do so. Shimron, Rajabi and Wakeda (as well as other lords present) all pledge to fight the Seanchan alongside Ituralde.
The Taraboners present are not so quick to pledge their support; Ituralde tells them that he plans to have many small companies of Taraboners strike at the Seanchan all at the same day all across Tarabon. He also offers to ride with the Taraboners so they will know he isn't trying to trick them. This earns agreement from the Taraboner lord in charge. With those pledges, Ituralde is sure he can gather the forces he needs to attack the Seanchan and put his plan into action.
Eamon Valda's Point of View:
Setting: A camp of the Children of the Light
Eamon Valda and some of the Children of the Light who managed to escape the Seanchan have pitched camp. Valda goes to speak with Asunawa, who lives in an abandoned house next to the camp. Valda tells Asunawa that it is time for them to leave this place, to go to Murandy, and asks Asunawa if he is ready to go. Asunawa argues that Murandy is not a good place to be at the moment because there is an Andoran army in the country. He suggests cutting north through Altara but Valda tells him no-- Salidar Aes Sedai are in Altara with an army of their own. Asunawa and Valda agree that ultimately all "witches" must be destroyed. Their conversation ends with Asunawa being called away to a meeting with the Council of the Anointed.
Gabrelle's Point of View:
Setting: The Black Tower
Gabrelle, Toveine and Logain are all out enjoying a ride. Gabrelle thinks to herself that it is odd to be a part of a Warder bond - especially being on the wrong end of it; being a Brown, she had never needed a Warder. She wonders to herself that the Asha'man have failed to command their bonded Aes Sedai to not harm the Black Tower given that the sisters came to destroy it and only a fool would believe that fifty-one Aes Sedai had resigned themselves to this fate. Gabrelle is still amazed that Toveine is being nice to Logain as Toveine hates men who can channel with a passion.
Toveine teases Gabrelle about her relationship with Logain, causing Gabrelle to blush and to lose her cool. This makes Logain very satisfied with his efforts when he and Gabrelle share a bed; Gabrelle seethes over Logain's satisfaction, which only amuses Logain.
The three are interrupted by the arrival of Atal Mishraile, an Asha'man loyal to Taim. He tells Logain that Taim has given Logain permission to go out recruiting more men to train in the Black Tower. Mishraile doesn't understand why Logain wants to go; he tells Logain that he wouldn't want to go if Taim let him into his private classes at the palace. Logain ends the ride, going back to begin his leaving preparations.
Toveine and Gabrelle agree that they must see to it that they accompany Logain when he goes recruiting.
Yukiri's Point of View:
Setting: The White Tower
Yukiri and Meidani are walking through the Tower, exchanging information on their efforts to root out the Black Ajah, followed by Meidani's Warder, Leonin. Their talking is interrupted when they cross paths with three Brown sisters, Marris Thornhill, Doraise Mesianos and Elin Warrel. With the marked hostility between Ajahs, Meidani pretends to be asking Yukiri a question about Arafellin law on fishing rights. After some glaring, the Browns stalk past Yukiri and Meidani and they resume talking about the Black Ajah. Their talks are continually interrupted as they walk past servants and other Aes Sedai who are also out walking. Yukiri has a hard time maintaining her composure when they pass Pritalle Nerbaijan and Atuan Larisett; Atuan is Black Ajah.
Yukiri remembers that Meidani and Elaida were good friends as novices and tells Meidani that she should renew her friendship with Elaida. Meidani tells Yukiri that she has already tried but Alviarin won't let her see Elaida. Yukiri tells Meidani that she's in luck as Alviarin has just left the Tower; she orders Meidani to visit Elaida.
The pair is once again interrupted, this time by the arrival of Seaine. Yukiri is not happy that Seaine is out of her apartments; Seaine had been ordered to stay in them as she might be targeted to be killed by the Black Ajah. Seaine says she is safe and asks to speak with Yukiri alone.
Once Yukiri and Seaine are in private, Seaine tells her that she has worked out a strange pattern of how the Ajahs replaced their Sitters who joined the rebels. All of the Heads of Ajahs had an abnormally large hand in picking the new Sitters - to the point where they went against customs and rules of their individual Ajahs. Seaine suggests that the Heads of Ajahs conspired on who to choose but does not know what their purpose in doing so was; she does, however, intend to figure it out as she has lots of time to think.
Gawyn's Point of View:
Gawyn is still in the village of Dorlan with the Tower Aes Sedai who managed to escape Dumai's Wells. His First Lieutenant, Rajar, tells him that an Aes Sedai has just come to the village asking for the sister in charge. Gawyn regrets not having left before the winter snows as he needs to be in Caemlyn for Elayne. Deciding to see what news this new Aes Sedai has, Gawyn heads to the Mayor of Dorlan's house, where all the Aes Sedai are staying.
When Gawyn gets to the Mayor's house, he finds Katerine Alruddin and Tarna Feir already talking with the newly arrived sister, Narenwin. Narenwin immediately tells Gawyn that she has orders from Elaida. Katerine and Tarna cut her off, insisting that Narenwin tell them how to find the fisherman that helped her cross the rivers to get to Dorlan. They both say they have pressing business in the Tower and want to get back immediately.
Narenwin says her orders are to take charge of all the Aes Sedai in Dorlan who were under the authority of Covarla, so both Katerine and Tarna must stay. Katerine says she was never under Covarla's authority so she is leaving and that Tarna is coming with her.
Gawyn asks Narenwin if she has any news of Elayne. Tarna tells him Elayne was with the rebels when she last saw her. Tarna tells Gawyn that Elayne will be safe from retribution as she is Accepted and cannot choose which sisters to obey. Narenwin confirms that Elayne can suffer no lasting harm.
Davram Bashere's Point of View:
Davram Bashere and Bael are observing Arymilla's camp; Bashere cannot figure out how Arymilla got the support of Naean Arawn and Elenia Sarand. Bael complains that Arymilla and her cohorts are ignoring them; he seems insulted by this as his Aiel could crush them all before sunset. Bashere reminds Bael that Elayne wouldn't like that very much, especially because they are both outlanders.
Bael and Bashere observe the Queen's Guard coming to save some refugees who had been stopped and searched by horseman, probably loyal to Arymilla. When no fighting, breaks out, Bael decides he has better things to do and leaves. Bashere also leaves to return to the city. Tumad, who has command of Bashere's escort, agrees with Bael that Arymilla's forces are mocking them. Bashere says he just wants excitement and he shouldn't be worried; with Tenobia, Ethenielle, Paitar and Easar fifty leagues north of Caemlyn, they'll have excitement enough when those forces arrive.
When Bashere arrives back at his camp, he notices a cluster of women gathered in the center of the camp. When he enters his tent, he finds his wife Deira with an injured left arm. She tells him that she found two strange men ransacking their tent so she fought with them and was injured in the fighting. Zavion, one of her ladies-in-waiting, and some others came in just then and the two men fled. Deira has ordered a search for the men; Zavion suggests that Bashere withdraw while she sews up Deira and he complies. Tumad tells Bashere that the two men have been found, each one with a blade thrust into the base of his skull.
Bashere sends Tumad to find a man who came to visit him and to tell him that he agreed. It is unclear what he is agreeing to.
Samitsu's Point of View:
Samitsu is conversing with Sashalle about various matters as Cadsuane has departed Cairhien and left Samitsu in charge. Samitsu doesn't like meeting with Sashalle; she doesn't understand how the Red could swear fealty to any man, much less the Dragon Reborn. Sashalle asks Samitsu if Ailil Riatin can claim the High Seat of House Riatin since Toram has disappeared. Samitsu says no as they do not know for sure that Toram has died.
Samitsu wants Cadsuane to return and take charge again as she doesn't think she is handling this job very well. Corgaide Marendevin, the Holder of the Keys of the Sun Palace, interrupts them to report that an Ogier and a young man have entered the kitchens supposedly looking for Ogier stonemasons. Sashalle announces that they should go investigate; this irritates Samitsu because she is supposed to be in charge but ends up following Sashalle's lead.
When they arrive in the kitchen, the Ogier and the young man are surrounded by kitchen staff including Eldrid Methin, Mistress Beldair, Andil and Kasi. The Ogier is telling stories of his travels. When the kitchen staff sees Samitsu and Sashalle, they scurry back to work. The Ogier and the man, Karldin, attempt to leave but the Aes Sedai stop them. Samitsu says that she has heard of an Ogier, a friend of Rand's, who had left in the company of a young man named Karldin. She correctly guesses that the Ogier is Loial.
Karldin demands that the Aes Sedai tell him what happened to Rand, whether he is sane, and about his friends. Samitsu tells Karldin that Rand is sane but that he has left the Sun Palace as there had been an attempt to kill him. Loial is insisting that he and Karldin must find Rand when a serving woman, Cera Doinal, bursts into the kitchen with the news that Dobraine has been murdered.
Sashalle, Samitsu, Loial and Karldin immediately go to Dobraine's apartments to see what happened. When they arrive, they find Dobraine lying motionless in his room, apparently dead, along with two dead servants. Sashalle orders Samitsu to see if anything can still be done for Dobraine. Irritated at yet another command, Samitsu nonetheless moves to Dobraine's side. When she Delves him, she finds he is still alive although severely injured. She Heals him to the best of her ability and orders his servants to give him honey-water and find a Reader to give him herbs. Meanwhile, Karldin finds a note that has been forged to look like it was written by Dobraine; it appears to give the bearers authority to remove items from his apartment. They conclude that the men who attacked Dobraine must have been there to steal something. Rosara Medrano arrives and announces to Samitsu that a party of Aes Sedai have arrived in the city along with Logain - who is an Asha'man!