LoC: Threads Woven of Shadow

Sammael POV#

Sammael steps through his gateway into Graendal's palace[1] in Arad Doman in sight of the Mountains of Mist. It is his second visit. He thinks none of the other Forsaken know where she is.[2] He thinks of her as a jegal. Graendal only told him bits of the meeting between her, Demandred, Mesaana and Semirhage. She was the one who first took him to Shayol Ghul. Sammael thinks he knows Graendal better than any of the others. She points out some of her pets, Ramsid, the Domani king's brother, Ramsid's wife, and the king's youngest sister and eldest daughter. Alsalam, the king, is not up to her standards of beauty. Her latest acquisitions are Chiape and Shaofan, the Sh'boan and Sh'botay (empress and emperor) of Shara. Sammael wonders why she is interested in such a far land. He thinks of a conje needle. Sammael thinks the one to be Nae'blis will be the last Chosen standing. Graendal mentions Lews Therin, which irritates Sammael. He thinks of Rand as a choss-hauler. He knows that Rand is not Lews Therin but was Lews Therin's soul reborn, just as Lews Therin was also a rebirth of that soul.[3] He recalls Ishamael's contention that the Great Lord wanted him turned to the Shadow and wonders if the Great Lord might make Rand Nae'blis.

He asks Graendal where Asmodean, Lanfear and Moghedien are. She says she does not know, but thinks Rand killed them. He is certain Lanfear is helping Rand and that she sent the Trollocs that saved him from Sammael's at the Stone of Tear.[4] Sammael recalls his time in the Bore as a dreamless sleep. Graendal points out how many of them have died, Aginor, Balthamel, Ishamael, Be'lal and Rahvin. She is sure Rand is coming after Sammael next. He thinks that he has lines of retreat prepared.[5] Graendal claims that she passed on everything Demandred told them of the Great Lord's orders.[6] She claims she knows nothing of Demandred's, Mesaana's or Semirhage's plans. Semirhage missed their last meeting. Mesaana keeps saying she will have Rand soon, but she says the same every time. She was very proud of Be'lal's trap in Tear as well.[7] Sammael says events to the south have Demandred's mark.[8] He swears in the Old Tongue, "Tsag!" "Bajad drovja!" Graendal says they must stand together. Sammael offers to link with her but she refuses, as she would have to give control to him. Graendal talks about channelers in Shara. They are called Ayyad. As a test, Sammael asks her if they bind themselves like criminals and she looks puzzled.[9] He asks her again if she told him everything of the Great Lord's message and she insists that she did. Sammael is angry that Rand keeps coming after him, but he refuses to abandon Illian. He makes a gateway back to Illian so fast that he cuts one of her servants in half.

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Graendal POV#

Graendal wonders if her effort paid off. She brought in Sharans solely for Sammael to distract him from her real interests. Osana comes to clean up Rashan's remains. She was a psychologist for four hundred years. She thinks Sammael has trapped himself in a box and will die for it. She thinks she has set Sammael to go after Rand like a dornat set to hunt. He will attack Rand and take the fall with the Great Lord. She wonders how Sammael learned about Aes Sedai binding themselves. She learned it from a slip from Mesaana. She wonders how long Mesaana has been in the White Tower. She does not know where Semirhage and Demandred are, however. The three of them have a history of working together. Ebram enters and announces that Lord Ituralde has arrived and she adopts her Lady Basene disguise weaving Illusion. Only she knows that she, herself, has been to Shayol Ghul and that the Great Lord all but promised that she would be Nae'blis. She will be obedient and sow chaos till Demandred chokes on it.

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Semirhage POV#

Semirhage is in a place of rough stone. It is not her choice; she prefers white tile and gleaming cueran. She is annoyed at being pulled away from her charge even though she is a willful child.[10] Shaidar Haran summoned her to question an Aes Sedai. When she was summoned to Shayol Ghul, the Great Lord made it clear that Shaidar Haran is the boss.

Semirhage hates Aes Sedai. When they found out she tortures her patients, they gave her a choice between stilling and being bound.[11] Instead, she was one of the first to turn to the Great Lord. Semirhage strips her victim's clothes with Fire and Wind and pulverizes them with Fire and Earth. She stimulates her pain centers with Spirit and Fire and the Aes Sedai gives her name, Cabriana Mecandes. Semirhage leaves her for a few minutes to make a brief report to Shaidar Haran. He then disappears into a shadow. Aginor tested over a hundred Fades, but could not learn how they use shadows. Semirhage determined that they do not know how they do it themselves. She goes to question the Aes Sedai's Warder. The Fades were ordered to capture an Aes Sedai, but to Fades, an Aes Sedai and her Warder are inseparable. Semirhage notes that he seems to be sensing her pain. The Chosen do not understand the bond. She starts on the Warder stimulating him with unbearable pleasure instead of pain. She thinks Rand is focused on Sammael. Graendal is letting Sammael know just enough of the real plan[12] to keep him out of trouble. Of course Graendal and Sammael are scheming together, too. Sammael is like a hot sofar with warped steering planes. On the Great Lord's orders, Semirhage sent the Trollocs to the Stone of Tear that saved Rand. Demandred says that Asmodean, Lanfear and Moghedien must be dead, but she is not sure. She knows the other Forsaken are scheming amongst themselves and can handle that, but Shaidar Haran is a new piece on the tcheran board.

Suddenly she notices that the Warder has died. She heads back to the Aes Sedai, hears her screaming in pain, and thinks this job may have a little fun in it after all.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[1] This is a fortress palace known as Natrin's Barrow. (TGS,Ch35)
[2] Wrong! Asmodean knew she was in Arad Doman. (TFoH,Ch3)
[3] This is relevant to a discussion about the cold open for episode 8 of season 1 of the Amazon Prime show, where Lews Therin is referred to as the Dragon Reborn and not just the Dragon.
[4] So Sammael was responsible for the attack in TSR,Ch10. But he is wrong about Lanfear. Semirhage sent the opposing force.
[5] Meaning Shadar Logoth?
[6] So did she break Demandred's command not to pass on the information or is she lying to Sammael? At least she has passed on the Great Lord's command not to kill Rand.
[7] So Mesaana worked with Be'lal on the trap at the Stone of Tear. Does that mean she was the one who sent the Black Ajah to Tear?
[8] That would be the Seanchan in Tanchico?
[9] He thinks she has not figured out that Aes Sedai use a binder on themselves.
[10] Her "willful charge" is Tuon. (WH,Ch14)
[11] As with the Oath Rod.
[12] Which is...what?

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