Egwene and her party head back to their camp halfway between Tar Valon and Dragonmount. Egwene and her Council discuss Delana's actions. She seems to trying to create strife between the Sitters and Ajah heads or between the Ajahs. Egwene now regrets giving Beonin permission to negotiate, but she will not renege on her word. She can hardly wait to hold the Oath Rod. She reminds them to keep the secret of Traveling as close as their secret of the their moles in the White Tower. Nisao was not part of the Council when the moles were sent and Beonin opposed it. Nevertheless, they are all six caught in it now.
They have been there nearly two weeks. Most of Gareth Bryne's troops occupy the bridge towns on both sides of the river. At the camp, Anaiya, Beonin, Carlinya, Morvrin, Myrelle and Nisao go back to their Ajah heads. They will not tell Egwene who the heads of their Ajahs are. Sheriam and Arinvar go to her tent.
Egwene rides Daishar around the camp on a casual inspection. Much of their food is rotting despite weaves of Keeping. There are twenty-one Accepted in the camp. She sees two Browns, Phaedrine and Shemari, arrive from one of the Traveling Grounds and wonders where they have been.
Egwene goes to another tent. Leane exits. A novice, Letice Murow, comes by and Leane has her hold Daishar. The tent is where they test for ability to make cuendillar. Tiana and Sharina Melloy supervise even though Sharina is only a novice. Kairen and Ashmanaille work at one table watched by Janya Frende and Salita Toranes. Salita is a Sitter despite being Aes Sedai only thirty-five years. Janya, Lelaine and Lyrelle were the only pre-schism Sitters to stand at the War Vote. They weave Earth, Fire and Air around iron cups trying to convert them. Strength in Earth is the key; only nine other sisters, two Accepted and two dozen novices can make the weave at all. Only three sisters besides Elayne can make ter'angreal. The valuable items will be sold to raise money. Egwene figured out the cuendillar weave from faint hints by Moghedien. Sharina dismisses two of the novices, Bodewhin and Nicola, to their classes with Adine. Areina leaves with Nicola. Sharina then leaves to help with the cooking. Tiana has worn the shawl over thirty years. Kairen spends a lot of time with Lelaine. Althyn Conly and Bodewhin Cauthon tried to change two iron cups to cuendillar at the same time. They got one solid lump. Egwene is the best at making cuendillar, then Leane, then Kairen, then Bodewhin. She has them honing their skill as it is part of her secret plan to take Tar Valon. Leane is barely fast enough, but Kairen is still too slow. She thinks Beonin's negotiations may buy her a little more time. The plan must be kept secret until it is time to reveal it to the world.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Much the same as Alviarin in the White Tower.
[#2] Again, quite a change from her earlier position.
[#3] Not knowing that their moles are already exposed.
[#4] Myrelle is, in fact, head of the Green Ajah among the Salidar Aes Sedai. (Crossroads of Twilight,Glossary)
[#5] Continuing the theme of decay and corruption. See the discussion in the FAQ, Section 2.3.17.
[#6] The only clue is that it was someplace warm enough that they did not need their cloaks, either inside or way south.
[#7] The first hint of this testing is back in ACoS,Ch12.
[#8] This has significant implications for Egwene's plan. (CoT,Ch30)
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