For other chapters with "surprise" in the title, see Surprises.

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Setting: Royal Palace of Andor, Braem Wood


Point of view: Elayne Trakand

Elayne travels with Merilille Ceandevin to meet with the Borderlander rulers that are near Andor in Braem Wood. Aviendha and Birgitte are against her going without more arrangements for her safety being made. Elayne chooses to meet the rulers as an Aes Sedai rather than as Daughter-heir and only brings Aviendha and Birgitte with her. Some Shienaran soldiers meet them outside of camp and give assurances that they will of their safety until they leave. At the camp Elayne meets with Ethenielle Cosaru Noramaga, Tenobia si Bashere Kazadi, Easar Togita and Paitar Nachiman. They are looking for the Dragon Reborn and hope Elayne knows where he is. Elayne plans to have the Borderland army move into Andor so that other noble houses will unite with Elayne to repel them as invaders since they won't know Elayne has already negotiated a truce. Tenobia expresses a strong interest in meeting up with her uncle, Davram t'Ghaline Bashere.

With the agreement made Elayne weaves a gateway near to Caemlyn so they can return, after putting some distance from the Borderlander camp. At the palace Norry insists on speaking to Elayne even though she is almost falling asleep. There are four armies approaching Caemlyn totaling twenty to thirty thousand men. Elayne orders all food outside the walls to be purchased and brought in and mercenaries that don't join the guard to leave the city.