TDR: The Price of the Ring

Egwene POV#

Sheriam meets Egwene in the hall. She has been hunting Egwene because it is time for her Accepted test. She asks about Egwene's papers and Egwene answers that they are study material from Verin. Egwene asks if it has to be immediately and Sheriam responds that Siuan said now. Elayne has already been tested. With some trepidation Egwene recalls Nynaeve's reaction to her test. At the three arches, Elaida and Alanna are waiting along with a Yellow and a White whom Egwene does not recognize. Sheriam and Elaida have a brief spat. Elaida does not think Egwene should be tested, but Sheriam reminds her that she had no complaints about Elayne being tested. Turning to Egwene, Sheriam says that she refused her first time, but Egwene accepts the challenge. Alanna mentions that she feels an echo or resonance,[1] but it does not seem strong enough to delay the test. Egwene places the twisted ring and papers under her clothes hoping no one will look at them. Sheriam begins the ceremony and Egwene enters the first arch.

Egwene is married to Rand and they have a baby girl named Joiya. Tam is out in the fields. Jaim Dawtry came by and told Rand stories of war and chaos outside the Two Rivers. Rand has severe headaches that Nynaeve cannot help. Strange things happen and Egwene suspects he can channel. Egwene knows that she has Healed people as Nynaeve's apprentice. Rand experiences the worst headache ever just as the silver arch appears. Egwene enters the arch instead of helping Rand.

Egwene mumbles about her baby and Sheriam comforts her. Egwene asks if it was real and Sheriam replies that no one knows. Egwene enters the second arch.

Egwene is in the Royal Palace in Caemlyn. It has been destroyed by Fades, Trollocs and Darkfriends. Rand is pinned under the wreckage. He is afraid to channel because he is barely holding on to sanity. He begs her to kill him before the Dreadlords and Fades can turn him to the Shadow against his will.[2] The silver arch appears and Egwene enters instead of helping him.

Where only Sheriam can hear, Egwene asks if it is true that Dreadlords and Fades could turn Rand to the Shadow. Sheriam is startled, makes sure that no one else can hear, then tells Egwene that it is custom not to talk about her experiences in the three arches.[3] Egwene asks again and Sheriam whispers that it has not been done since the Trolloc Wars and few even know of it. Thirteen Dreadlords weaving through thirteen Myrddraal can turn anyone who can channel to the Shadow against their will.[4] Egwene notes that that is the number of Black Ajah who fled the White Tower. Sheriam tells her to forget it. Egwene enters the third arch.

Egwene is the Amyrlin in her rooms with her Keeper, Beldeine of the Green Ajah.[5] She has an ageless face.[6] Something feels wrong. She thinks of thirteen of the Black Ajah but then thinks they were destroyed in the Great Purge.[7] They go to the Hall of the Tower where Elaida presents Rand and demands that Egwene issue the order for him to be gentled. Egwene says she cannot and Beldeine knocks her unconscious. She wakes in a cell with thirteen Aes Sedai and thirteen Myrddraal. The Aes Sedai are Black Ajah. One is Gyldan,[8] Elaida's closest ally. Egwene manages to kill them all and escape. She finds Beldeine in her study. Beldeine breaks down and admits that she was stilled by the Black Ajah. Elaida told her if she helped them the Dark One could restore her ability to channel. They took Rand to Traitor's Court for gentling. Egwene says she never held the Oath Rod[6] and intends to help Rand. The court will be surrounded by guards. This is because followers of false Dragons Guaire Amalasan and Raolin Darksbane tried to break into the White Tower to rescue them. She thinks she might use balefire[9] against them, then wonders what balefire is. At the Traitor's Court she sees that Elaida is now Amyrlin. Before she can help Rand the silver arch appears and Egwene jumps into it instead of helping him.

More Egwene POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

Compare with TGH,Ch23. Nynaeve saw nothing that could not reasonably be expected to come from her own knowledge or imagination.

[#1] The resonance is between the three arches and the twisted ring.
[#2] This information seems to be true.
[#3] Strange. Nothing was said about this after the first ring or at Nynaeve's testing.
(TGH,Ch23) Is this an outright lie?
[#4] And how is it that Sheriam knows of it? Egwene's words clearly imply that Rand can channel, yet Sheriam's reaction does not seem right.
[#5] Beldeine is real. The description matches exactly.
[#6] A contradiction here, having an ageless face but never holding the Oath Rod.
[#7] A reference to true events in TGS,Ch45, et al.
[#8] Gyldan is never mentioned again so it is not clear if she is real or imaginary.
[#9] Again, real information comes from the three arches. This is the first mention of balefire.

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