Knife of Dreams: Chapter 25
Chapter Icon: Five dice, arranged in a ring
Elaida orders Egwene to serve during her dinner with Meidani. Chel Vanin and Talmanes meet with Mat and his company and warn them they need to take another road since there are Seanchan ahead.
Tarna's Point of View:
Setting: Elaida's Office
Tarna is walking up the stairs to Elaida's office; she is thinking about Pevara's question about bonding Asha'man. She is concerned that, even with Tsutama's blessing, a Red will run to Elaida to tell her about the proposal to bond Asha'man.
She enters Elaida's office and finds Meidani sitting there, dressed to seduce. Elaida smiles at Meidani and asks her to leave, which she does. Elaida laughingly tells Tarna that the two of them were pillow-friends as novices and Meidani seems to want to renew that relationship; she offers Tarna wine. Elaida is letting Meidani visit because she is letting information slip. Tarna thinks that pillow-friends should be left behind when you are no longer a novice or Accepted.
Tarna notes that Meidani seems frightened. Elaida says that that's good; she wants her to be afraid. She asks Tarna if there is word on the other ferrets. Tarna says there is not and asks if she can at least tell the Sitters why the ferrets are to be watched. Elaida refuses.
Elaida asks if there is any word on the seals of the Dark One's prison; Tarna says that there isn't. Elaida then inquires about the repairs to the harbor. Tarna says that most of the work is being done by Reds. Elaida is infuriated and says that she will have obedience; she dictates an order that the Sitters of any Ajah that fails to send a fair share of sisters to work on the harbors every day will take a penance from Silviana, daily. Tarna tries to suggest that that may not be the best approach, but Elaida refuses to listen.
Elaida questions Silviana's progress in breaking Egwene; Tarna admits that she doesn't think Egwene will be broken but that Egwene will see the sense in submitting soon. Elaida is pleased and says that Egwene will serve supper to her and Meidani that evening.
Mat's Point of View:
Mat, Tuon and the others, having parted ways with Valan Luca's circus, are hurrying to get out of Altara and into Murandy. During their break for lunch Tuon is using sign language with Selucia and laughing over Mat. Setalle says that they're probably insulting him. Mat observes the company. Leilwin and Domon are talking with Juilin and Amathera. Noal is playing Snakes and Foxes with Olver. The Aes Sedai and their Warders are talking with Bethamin and Seta, the former sul'dam. Bethamin has come around and is learning how to channel; Seta was not being taught because she is too old to be a novice until she showered the Aes Sedai with sparks - then Joline and Edesina agree to teach her, though Teslyn won't. Mat's wounds have not yet healed from the fight in Maderin; Tuon thinks that he is foolish for refusing Healing.
Amathera screams and Mat sees a seven foot snake wriggling away from the camp. Juilin is about to kill it but Mat tells him to let it go as it's leaving the camp and not hurting anyone. Mat tells everyone to clear the area so they can get on the move.
Tuon asks Mat to confirm that the snake is poisonous and he says that it is. Tuon tells Mat that he may kiss her - she calls it a whim "for a man who lets poisonous snakes go". Mat kisses her lightly but Tuon tells him not to treat her like a sister or a mother. Mat kisses her again, this time for real and sets out to curl her toes. Tuon only responds by saying he's hot - he must be feverish from his unhealed wounds. Mat doesn't know how to respond to this but refuses to have her put ointment on his wounds.
Their argument is interrupted by Harnan announcing that riders are approaching - Chel Vanin and Talmanes. Mat asks what Talmanes is doing away from the Aes Sedai and asks whether he's brought the Band with him. Talmanes says that Egwene is still Amyrlin and about how the Aes Sedai Traveled to Tar Valon. Teslyn demands to know what he means that Egwene is Amyrlin - she's just a runaway Accepted! Mat tells her she can ask questions later and prompts Talmanes again to tell him about the Band.
Talmanes says that he left them in Murandy and tells Mat that it has grown in size since he left. Mat is furious; he demands to know how he is supposed to pay for that many men. Talmanes tells him that King Roedran has given them enough funds to operate for a year. Mat then introduces Tuon to Talmanes. Introductions over with, Mat says they need to start moving.
Talmanes says he saw a lot of scattered Seanchan camps on his ride down and that the pass through the mountains Mat had planned to take is blocked by Seanchan. Mat tells Vanin that he will have to find another way through. Vanin says that if they go in any other place it's very likely they won't come out as passes through mountains are hard to find. Mat orders them to ride anyway; he needs think about what to do next.