WH: To Surprise Kings and Queens

Elayne POV#

Elayne sends Merilille back to the Borderlanders with word that she is coming. Birgitte and Aviendha try to talk her out of going because she is so tired. Aviendha says even Sha'mad Conde know when to be cautious. She says she will go alone with her Warder and her sister. Doilin Mellar agrees easily, but Caseille and the other guardswomen are incensed. Essande comes to help Elayne dress appropriately. Reene Harfor will have to handle her appointments for the rest of the afternoon. Careane groans when she hears that she will have to take the lesson with the Windfinders this evening. Elayne already got advice from Vandene on the Borderlands. Elayne makes sure the Sea Folk do not learn what she is doing as she does not want Zaida butting in.

Reanne weaves another gateway for them. Elayne rides Fireheart and Birgitte rides her horse Arrow. Elayne also wears the amber turtle angreal. They arrive at the Shienaran camp. Lord Kayen Yokata of Fal Eisen greets them and takes them to a large tent where the four rulers await. Merilille is in the tent with King Easar, Queen Ethenielle, King Paitar and Queen Tenobia. They comment on Elayne's age, but Merilille assures them that she is Aes Sedai. To put them off guard, Elayne identifies Aviendha as her sister and Birgitte as her Warder. She tells them she knows that they came because of the Dragon Reborn and her connection to him.

They acknowledge that they are looking for the Dragon Reborn, but will not say why. Easar says that the Last Battle will be fought in the Blight, yet the Dragon Reborn ignores the Borderlands and stays in the south. Elayne tells them that they are going in the right direction to find Rand. They quickly understand her tactics. A huge army marching toward Caemlyn will allow Elayne to unite Andor. Then she will "negotiate" peace when they pass.

Tenobia demands to know where Davram Bashere is. Elayne says he is near Caemlyn. The four rulers agree with Elayne, then she tells them that Rand is near Murandy.[1] Elayne is thrilled. Egwene moved from Murandy to Tar Valon today. This move may force Arathelle, Luan and Pelivar to side with her. Strangely, the Borderlanders do not seem excited on learning where they can find Rand.[2] Elayne asks if they have seen Aes Sedai, but the rulers waffle instead of giving her a clear answer.

Elayne, Birgitte, Aviendha and Merilille leave and ride until they are sure they have not been followed. Elayne then opens a gateway and they Travel back to a field south of Caemlyn that she knows well.[3] By the time they make it back to the Royal Palace, Elayne is dozing. As Birgitte carries her into the palace, Halwin Norry insists that he has urgent news. There are four small armies, twenty or thirty thousand men, marching toward Caemlyn from the east.[4] They will arrive within a week. Elayne heads to her apartments to begin planning the defense of Caemlyn.

More Elayne POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] He is actually currently in Far Madding which is pretty close.
[#2] We finally learn their exact intentions for Rand in ToM,Ch51.
[#3] This appears to be an error like the one in KoD,Ch2. If Elayne goes from a place she does not know to a place she knows well she would Skim, not Travel.
[#4] The forces of Arymilla, Nasin, Elenia and Naean. (CoT,Prologue, CoT,Ch15)

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