NS: Surprises

Moiraine POV#

Early the next morning a novice named Setsuko summons Moiraine and Siuan to the West Stable for another day of census. Setsuko is weak and has talked of running away until she was sent to Merean, but Moiraine knows she would certainly be caught.[1] Setsuko then goes to wake Sheriam. Lisandre is the novice sent to wake Moiraine. As the Accepted hurry to breakfast, Sheriam tells Moiraine and Siuan that the Aiel really are retreating. She heard it from three different sisters, Serafelle, Ryma and Jennet. Moiraine and Siuan are excited that they might now be sent near Dragonmount.

Before they leave their quarters Merean arrives and tells Moiraine that she is to remain behind because of her uncles' deaths. She argued with Tamra about sending sisters out instead of Accepted. Moiraine's job will be to recopy the lists of names. To Siuan's dismay, Merean assigns her to keep Moiraine company. After Merean leaves, Moiraine tells Siuan about her uncles. Siuan replies that she has six uncles who were good men, one died saving others,[2] and two who were scoundrels.

After breakfast, all the other Accepted including Sheriam and Katerine hurry off. One of the cooks, Laras, frowns at them till they leave as well. At their work in the anteroom to the Amyrlin's study, Moiraine is amazed at the number of names despite Meilyn's explanation. Myrelle wrote down the sad story of Salia Pomfrey. During the afternoon Elaida makes an appearance to examine their work. They watch for births that happened after Gitara's Foretelling. The next day Tamra sends two clerks, Martan and Mistress Wellin, to take over the task, but Moiraine and Siuan ask and are allowed to continue. Moiraine weaves Air, Water and Earth to remove an ink stain from her dress.

When Moiraine finds from Ellid's notes that Willa Mandair gave birth to Bili Mandair the day of the Foretelling in Lord Ellisar's camp west of the river, she writes this down on a separate page. She and Siuan continue to compile a short list of the most promising candidates.

Midmorning Jarna Malari, a Sitter for the Gray, summons Moiraine for a walk. She asks Moiraine's opinion on the Sun Throne.[3] Most of House Damodred is of dark character. Moiraine's half-brother Taringail is already married to the Queen of Andor. Moiraine comments that her older sisters, Anvaere and Innloine, would not be suitable. Six other Sitters, one from each Ajah including Tsutama Rath of the Red, come by later with the same discussion. Moiraine knows exactly what they want, her as Queen of Cairhien. She thinks the only way out is to test for the shawl as soon as possible, then flee.

More Moiraine POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] It is not clear how widespread knowledge of the Kin is among Aes Sedai, but it is evidently not taught until they reach the shawl.
[#2] This is her uncle Huan. (TDR,Ch20)
[#3] It is interesting to note that Barthanes, High Seat of House Damodred in The Great Hunt, is not even mentioned. Was this an oversight by Jordan or did he rise from obscurity over the intervening years? Barthanes' relationship to Moiraine is never made clear.

More Category Chapters, Cairhien Chapter Icon