Crossroads of Twilight: Chapter 23

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Author: Atarah al'Norahn

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Chapter Icon: A Dragon

Point of View: Cadsuane

Setting: the Pendaloan estates in Tear

Characters: Cadsuane, Verin, Min, Nesune, Lan, Jahar, Merise, Beldeine, Nynaeve, Alivia, Elza, Algarin, Rand, Erian, Sarene


Cadsuane meets with Rand and both of them discuss various matters. They find out that several Warders arrived from Cairhien through a gateway. The question is whom they arrived with.


Cadsuane is in her rooms alone, until Verin enters to speak with her. Verin tells Cadsuane that the Sea Folk are in Tear. After assuring Cadsuane that she didn't go near the Stone, she also adds that the High Lord Astoril is supporting Darlin. Harine has gone "rushing out to the ships as soon as she could hire a boat, expecting to be declared Mistress of the Ships and set everything to rights". While Verin speaks, Cadsuane thinks on how Verin is not as vague as she pretends to be.

Min enters the room, and tells Cadsuane that Rand wishes to speak with her. Cadsuane replies that she will go to him when she is able to. Min leaves, and Cadsuane and Verin speak for a while longer about Rand and Min, and the High Lords of Tear. Cadsuane finally tells Verin that she must go see Rand. Verin makes as if to go with her, but Nesune Bihara shows up and she and Verin end up going off to discuss animals of the Drowned Lands. Cadsuane is troubled that they get along so easily, since Nesune supports Elaida and Verin supports Egwene.

On her way to Rand's room, Cadsuane passes a courtyard where the Warders are practising. Lan and Jahar are fighting, and Lan wins every time. Merise, who is Jahar's Aes Sedai, and Cadsuane speak for a while about a number of topics: Beldeine, who is thinking of bonding an Asha'man; Daigian, who has just recently lost her Asha'man Warder; saidin and the taint; and Jahar. Merise says that Jahar is growing stronger in the Power. She also says that Rand gave Jahar the dragon that symbolizes that he has been raised to Asha'man. Merise had to take it away, because "he is still at the stage where he has to learn to accept only what I say he can". However, she wonders if she should give it back to him because he is so agitated over it. Cadsuane knows that Merise must be very upset if she is asking advice on one of her Warders. Before she leaves, Cadsuane sees Nynaeve watching Lan and thinks about the relationship between the two.

When Cadsuane reaches Rand's rooms, it is to find that they are guarded by Alivia and Elza. Elza tells her that Rand is seeing someone and tries to keep her out. Elza finally goes into Rand's rooms to see whether he is ready to see Cadsuane. When Elza comes back out, she is followed by Algarin, the man who owns the estate. Cadsuane enters the room.

Rand is very polite to Cadsuane, offering her a chair and wine. He mentions that Algarin had had a brother who could channel, and Cadsuane tells Rand that she was the one who captured that brother and took him to Tar Valon. She thinks to herself that it is "[a] strange thing for Algarin to be grateful for, in some eyes, but his younger brother survived being gentled for more than ten years after she had helped him reconcile to it". Rand also mentions that Algarin wishes to be tested to see if he can channel.

Rand then begins to speak about the Seanchan army, which is called "the Ever Victorious Army" because while it has lost battles before, it has never lost a war. When they lose a battle, they sit down and work out what went wrong and change it. Rand is worried that it will be difficult to defeat them.

Erian and Sarene suddenly enter the room, with Elza trying to keep them out. Erian announces that her two Warders, who were left behind with many of the other Warders in Cairhien, are on their way. Someone is Traveling with them, because they keep suddenly getting closer. Sarene adds that her Warder is also getting closer, and Elza finally admits that so is her Warder. Rand says that he didn't expect it to happen so soon, but that he shouldn't have expected events to wait on him.

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