—Zemaille on Alviarin's return
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|Setting: The White Tower Library, Amyrlin's Study, and Alviarin's room|
- Point of view: Alviarin Freidhen
After being out of the White Tower for nearly a month, Alviarin tries to secretly return by way of a storeroom three levels below the White Tower Library. She had Traveled back from Tremalking, and has to channel off the red mud soiling her clothes; Mesaana has made it clear that none should know about her ability to Travel. She dwells angrily on her subjugation to Mesaana and her concerns about her control over Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan. She enters through the 9th depository assuming that the arithmetic books there make it one of the least visited depository. However, when she exits into the main corridor, the librarians Zemaille and Aiden encounter her.
A strange remark made from Zemaille sends her to the Amyrlin Seat's study to ask Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan for more information. When she arrives, Elaida is not alone. Rather, more than half the sitters in the hall are present. and in a meeting. Elaida sends her to the corner and threatens private penance on her before continuing with the meeting.
She learns that the sitters have gathered together to call a sitting and vote on whether negotiations should be made with the Rebels in Salidar. Andaya Forae reveals that the rebels have learned the ability to Travel and are skilled enough to carry their large army with it. The Ajahs all speak in favor of such a negotiation, however Talene Minly, Yukiri, Doesine Alwain, and Rubinde seem to have reservations, though do not speak it.
After hearing such, Elaida says her edicts still stands to give penance to the rebels who return, and the sitters leave, some begrudgingly. Upon their departure, Alviarin quickly tries to regain her authority, but is cut off by Elaida. Elaida says her threats are now useless for Toveine Gazal, who led an attack against the Black Tower will take the blame in her stead. She finishes by slapping Alviarin in the face. She threatens to execute her once she has enough evidence of Alviarin's treason, but instead tells her that she has removed her as Keeper of the Chronicles and requires her to receive penance with the Mistress of Novices Silviana Brehon, ten times for every one that Elaida endured from Alviarin.
Alviarin assumes that Elaida must know, though without proof, that she is a Darkfriend. She runs to her apartment on the 6th floor, and retrieves her most prized possession, a Brilliant red rod. She calls for Mesaana, and tells her about her suspicions. However, Mesaana dismisses the threat. She is about to punish Alviarin for suggesting it, but is stopped when the source dissipates and a Myrddraal suddenly appears who calls himself "Hand of the Shadow". She flippantly declares that she's going to kill her instead, and the Myrddraal questions her decision. Mesaana challenges him, and the Myrddraal is revealed to be the Shaidar Haran. He binds and gags her and prepares to punish her for not coming when he called. Before this however, with a burning touch to her forehead, he marks Alviarin as his and promises her protection from Mesaana. He then assigns her the task of delivering to him those who are threats to the Black Ajah.
She runs from her rooms, and dwells on the events. Her thoughts indicate that she will have trouble coming up with solid evidence that anyone is actually threatening the Black Ajah, though she knows whatever hunt she manufactures must include a perceived threat from Elaida. Remembering the strange way Talene looked at Yukiri and Doesine, she decides to start the search with her.
- Alviarin Freidhen
- Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan
- Suana Dragand
- Doesine Alwain
- Andaya Forae
- Talene Minly
- Rina Hafden
- Shaidar Haran as Hand of the Shadow
- Alviarin is stripped from the Stole
- Choedan Kal (the call of the Dark One)
- The White Tower's attack of the Black Tower
"Many have fallen from great heights from wanting to know too much."