Elayne returns to her rooms where her maid Essande helps her change out of her riding clothes. Elayne wants to dress impressively to meet with some merchants. She also wants Birgitte with her. She can sense that Birgitte is frustrated over the paperwork she is doing.
Halwin Norry is waiting for her in her sitting room. He reports that large deposits of alum have been discovered on her estates at Danabar. That will make the bankers more amenable to lending her money even though Danabar is some distance from the Lugard Road making transportation difficult. Elayne is delighted at the news. It will allow her to fund the Academy of the Rose. Rand started another school in Caemlyn and Elayne has taken it over as her own project in memory of Morgase. Halwin Norry then tells her about Elaida's proclamation regarding Rand. Elayne is stunned and can hardly believe that Elaida would do something like that. He does not ask her allegiance; all but a crofter in Seleisin must know of the White Tower split. He then tells her that the Sun Palace was attacked with the One Power almost a week ago and that Rand has disappeared.
The Blight is still unusually quiet and the rulers of the Borderlands nations seem to be unavailable. King Roedran is raising an army in Lugard. Elayne knows all about this from Egwene. He tells her that she has support for the Sun Throne in Cairhien. She tells him to write letters to all the major Houses stating her claim to the Sun Throne as daughter of Taringail Damodred. She will come to claim it when things are settled in Caemlyn. Halwin Norry leaves.
Three maids bring her lunch, then Dyelin storms in with news of an army in Braem Wood. A reliable Illianer merchant named Tormon brought the news from New Braem. There are thousands Arafellin, Kandori and Shienarans. Elayne thinks they must be there because of Rand, but she has no idea why.
As Elayne drinks her tea she feels woozy and realizes it was spiked with forkroot. She tries to send a feeling of panic and need to Birgitte, then tells Dyelin that she has been poisoned. Three servants come in and draw knives. Dyelin screams murder and attacks them. One of the men slashes Dyelin wounding her badly. As she passes out, Elayne sees two of the men are now dead and the third is struggling with an axe-faced guardsman who has come to her rescue.
More Elayne POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Of course, it was Alviarin's doing. (TPoD,Ch25)
[#2] They are on their way to Andor! (TPoD,Prologue, WH,Ch27)
[#3] Including Mat's Band of the Red Hand. (TPoD,Ch18)
[#4] He is Doilin Mellar aka Daved Hanlon.
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