"They took the Hunter's Oath to find adventure, and a place in the histories if they can. Not to settle down keeping the law...."
   —Birgitte Silverbow

External summary

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Setting: in a basement deep in the White Tower, Caemlyn, the Black Tower Grounds, and School of Cairhien in Cairhien (city)


Point of view: Seaine Herimon

The prologue opens up to a basement in the White Tower where Pevara Tazanovni, Seaine Herimon, Doesine Alwain and Yukiri Sedai are performing a ritual on an Aes Sedai. The ritual is normally used on criminals to make them confess to their crimes and repent. A ter'angreal is used for this, the Chair of Remorse. Yukiri worries that they will be removed as Sitters, and probably worse since they are forbidden to use the Chair on initiates of the White Tower.

At the end of the ritual, Talene Minly is made to renounce her previous oaths and re-swear the three oaths along with the "new fourth oath" to obey the five sisters present. She is then questioned and reveals she is Black Ajah.

Point of view: Elayne Trakand

Elayne Trakand is in her sitting room with Birgitte Trahelion and Dyelin Taravin, discussing the current state of things and Elayne's plans for the future. Birgitte lets slip another piece of her puzzle when Elayne orders her to make an army good enough to withstand ten houses. They are interrupted by the Sea Folk Renaile din Calon Blue Star, Zaida din Parede Blackwing, and Merilille. The windfinders are badgering Elayne for more teachers to fulfill their bargain. Shortly after an agreement is made for sisters in the Palace to do some teaching, Reene Harfor announces Mazrim Taim who enters unceremoniously with two Asha'man and presents his own demands on Elayne's time and land. Just as Elayne is setting him straight, the Wise One, Nadere enters to call Elayne away.

Elayne needs to answer the summons immediately and without hesitation. She also needs to answer it "as a child comes to birth."

She is told to strip in front of all present. As Elayne complies much to her embarrassment, Taim gives the Asha'man present the order "about face." Several of the ladies present attempt to form a wall between Elayne and Taim (who admires Elayne's hips over his shoulder). After she strips naked, and leaves the room with nothing but a shawl to guard against the cold, she is brought to a room with half a dozen Wise Ones and the birthing ceremony where she and Aviendha become first sisters commences.

Point of view: Toveine Gazal

Toveine Gazal and Gabrelle Sedai are bound to Logain Ablar by  the warder bond. She watches a group walk through the village area, not realizing it is Elayne and Birgitte until one of the Asha'man calls her Lady Elayne. She has orders to hide her face from outsiders so none will know she is Aes Sedai.

Toveine learns that Gabrelle has begun to take to Logain's bed and is disgusted by it before she realizes that Gabrelle uses the time to learn interesting nuances about the Black Tower and the people in it. They together begin to plot how to make something of the place which can be usable by the White Tower.

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand and Min are in the Academy at Cairhien so Min can get some books from Master Fel's old library. He has apparently been jumping around the world trying to throw various people off his trail and lead others into a trap. Dobraine reports on what is happening at the Sun Palace and Idrien Tarsin reports on the various strange inventions being made at the Academy. After they leave Rand tells Min what his real plan is, to cleanse the taint from saidin. Rand is carrying both of the Choedan Kal sa'angreal with him which he plans to use, but one will need a woman channeler.


The weave used during the first sisters ceremony to hold the words of Aviendha and Elayne could be similar to a weave that could be used to avoid the three oaths by black sisters.[verify]







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