"You are she. Birgitte, for true. Burn my bones to ash, it's impossible. How? How?"
   — Mat to Birgitte

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Setting: Ebou Dar, in Altara


Point of view: Matrim Cauthon

Mat is attacked again, this time by beggars. He believes it is a robbery attempt, but it is really a kidnapping attempt. He kills or injures all of the attackers. To the north he can see some fireworks. A dance is in progress when he returns to the Wandering Woman and he joins right in. Caira, in a huff, informs him that there is a "gilded" woman in his room, so he climbs the stairs and finds Birgitte in his room. The dice are still rattling in his head. Just as he starts to speak to her he remembers what he saw at Falme when he blew the Horn of Valere. He recognizes her as a Hero of the Horn, not just a woman with the name Birgitte. She is relieved that he remembers but isn't affected by the knowledge. They decide to continue their talk downstairs over a pitcher of wine.

Point of view: Nynaeve al'Meara

Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha skipped the Swovan Night Ball, instead sitting around worrying about what Mat will do when Birgitte talks to him. Nynaeve senses a storm coming, but this is another kind of storm, not wind and rain. Elayne begins to act strange, tapping her foot with gaiety instead of the somberness of earlier. Elayne begins to dance around the room. Thom is playing stones with Juilin while making comments to the women on the political situation. Elayne changes her appearance, which gives away to Thom and Juilin how they have been leaving the palace without being seen.

Birgitte enters, and she is quite drunk. The warder bond between Birgitte and Elayne can transfer and amplify emotions in some situations, which is why Elayne seems to be drunk. Elayne says the bond is not supposed to work that way, but a Warder has never been the same sex as the Aes Sedai before. Nynaeve demands to know if Mat is going to show up in the morning as she ordered. Mat is still upset with the women for when he rescued them in the Stone of Tear, for which he received a scolding instead of thanks. Aviendha tells Elayne that she has toh to Mat. Elayne concedes the necessity of apologizing to Mat, but Nynaeve keeps ranting that she will never apologize.