CoT: Gathering Darkness

Elenia Sarand POV#

Elenia rides her horse Dawn Wind through the camp accompanied by four men and her maid Janny. The sign of House Sarand is two Golden Boars. As she rides she can also see House Anshar's Red Fox and House Baryn's Winged Hammer displayed. Lady Karind and Lord Lir lost favor when they were too slow to support Morgase, so this time they were quick to join the frontrunner. She thinks the winter siege was a dire mistake, as the city is better off than the attackers. She hopes to build her own power at Arymilla's expense. She is annoyed that she must put up with deprivation while Elayne lives in comfort a few miles away. Rumor has her with child, but she refuses to believe the stories of Sea Folk making holes in the air. She thinks Dyelin is the real power and brains behind Elayne. She sees another party approaching and the Triple Keys sigil of House Arawn marks the woman as Naean. She approaches and the women talk. Arymilla will not let Elenia near her husband Jarid. Arymilla forced Elenia, Jarid and Naean to sign letters of support when she had them freed from their detention in Aringill. To keep them under control, she allows crazy Lord Nasin, High Seat of powerful House Caeren, to woo Elenia. She has a Taraboner named Jaq Lounalt[1] torment Naean. Naean is sure that Elenia has some plan to escape and begs her help. Elenia agrees on condition that Naean sign a letter forswearing Arymilla and pledging to support her. Naean reluctantly agrees. After Naean leaves, Elenia is elated. Naean's support will probably bring Karind and Lir. Ellorien will never support Trakand and she has feelers with Aemlyn, Arathelle, Abelle, Pelivar and Luan as well.

Lord Nasin rides up with armsmen wearing the Sword and Star of Caeren, the most powerful of all the Andoran Houses. He tries to grope her until Janny gets between them. His wife, Miedelle Caeren, died thirty years ago. Arymilla rides up with armsmen wearing the Four Moons of House Marne. Naean is with her and so is Jaq Lounalt. She is also accompanied by Nasin's granddaughter and heir, Sylvase.[2] Nasin thinks Arymilla is his daughter. Arymilla sends Nasin off with her maid Arlene. Arymilla invites Elenia, Naean and Sylvase to a repast prepared by Aedelle Baryn's cook. Arymilla tells them that Elenia and Naean will be sharing a bed that night. Elenia is stunned, wondering if this is a mindless gesture or if Arymilla somehow already found out about their earlier meeting. To clear her path to the throne, the only question is whether Arymilla or Nasin should die first.

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Daved Hanlon POV#

Daved Hanlon makes his way through the New City in the late evening. He is nervous about all the Sea Folk and strange women who can channel in the Royal Palace. Falion told him they are called the Kin, but he does not understand their relationship with Aes Sedai. All of them, including the Aes Sedai, acted oddly nervous today. He hears footsteps behind him, then dodges and kills the man who was following. He wonders who sent the man, Birgitte, an Aes Sedai, or perhaps even his employer Lady Shiaine Avarhin who summoned him tonight.[3] Falion admits him to the house telling him that Shiaine is with a visitor upstairs and the cook is in her bedroom. Hanlon is part of Falion's punishment, but they have established a working relationship. When they are together they share information and he just gives her a few bruises for show. She tells him that Marillin is out for the evening and Murellin is in the stables. Falion goes to let Shiaine know that he arrived. He has visited a half dozen times. When she returns she describes the visitor, a slim Andoran with an air of authority. Two visitors yesterday wore the Golden Boars of Sarand and the Four Moons of Marne.[4] Hanlon is concerned as he thought the plan was for Elayne to have the throne. These visitors imply that she is to die. He wonders what Shiaine and her boss, Moridin, intend for him. He tells her about the nervousness in the palace and that some of the Sea Folk left.[5] Murellin enters. He has been having his way with Falion as well. Shiaine calls from upstairs for Falion to bring up Hanlon. On the way up she chokes him with the One Power and orders him to bring her something to make Murellin sleep. Upstairs, Shiaine has murdered her visitor. She notes that Hanlon murdered Catrelle Mosenain, a woman from Maerone, showing that she knows everything about him. She orders him to free some of the sul'dam in the Royal Palace and to have more success in firing the grain warehouses.[6] She asks him if he would like to see Caemlyn looted and he replies in the affirmative. It would help, however, if he knew more of the plan. She notes that he has fresh blood on him from the man he killed. He intends to kill her, Falion and Marillin to leave no loose ends.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] A Taraboner who is also a specialist in torture? What is he doing with Arymilla?
[#2] There is more to Sylvase than meets the eye. (KoD,Ch35)
[#3] He was sent by Birgitte and Elayne. They are increasing suspicious of Doilin Mellar. (KoD,Ch16)
[#4] The descriptions do not pin down an identity for any of the three.
[#5] So the Sea Folk left, and without Talaan. (KoD,Ch22)
[#6] These moves seem designed to cause chaos and confusion.

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