Knife of Dreams: Chapter 32

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Author: Kyria d'Oreyn

To Keep the Bargain


Chapter Icon: Two gulls, wings outspread, facing each other

Point of View: Birgitte

Settings: Full Moon Street and Royal Palace in Caemlyn, Andor

Characters: Birgitte, Ned, Venr, Cieryl, Tavan, Jaem, Yurith, Guybon, Dyelin, Mistress Anford, Julanya, Keraille, Chanelle, Renaile, Rainyn, Kurin, Rysael, Senine, Perival Mantear, Brannin Martan, Elvaine Martan, Conail Northan, Branlet Gilyard, Reene Harfor, Catalyn Haevin, Caseille, Kelwin Janevor, Laerid Traehand, Barel Layden, Asne and the Black Ajah

Summary

Birgitte is thinking of Gaidal, when her bond abruptly feels different. She knows something is happening to Elayne, even though the other woman feels unafraid. The other Warders note that their bonds also feel odd. A few minutes later, the male Warders speed off into the night, ready to take revenge on the Black Ajah, because they have felt their Aes Sedai die.

The Guardswomen want to join them, but Birgitte stops them in their tracks, letting them know that Elayne is still alive and that they will need more swords to rescue her. They ride back to the Palace as fast as they can. Upon arriving, Birgitte sends off Sanetre to get Guybon and Hadora to have the Windfinders meet her in the Map Room.

When Birgitte reaches the meeting room, Guybon and Dyelin are already there, studying maps that are studded with red discs showing where the city is being assaulted. Birgitte asks Guybon to give her every horse and halberd he can spare and tells them what has happened. She calculates that the Darkfriends will have passed the gates by the time they will be ready to move, so they are going to Travel to the site. Dyelin, however, puts in that a few hundred men will have to suffice, unless she wants to give Arymilla Caemlyn.

Birgitte informs Guybon what exactly they will be facing, which does not diminish his determination to get Elayne back. Just then, a Guardsman enters to announce that Julanya Fote and Keraille Surtovni have returned. They report that Ellorien, Luan and Abelle, as well as Aemlyn, Arathelle and Pelivar are moving towards Caemlyn. Birgitte estimates they will reach the city by afternoon and Dyelin is sure Ellorien was able to convince the others to support her for the Lion Throne.

Chanelle then enters with the other Windfinders in tow, complaining about having been threatened, before Birgitte interrupts by telling her Elayne has been kidnapped and they are going to provide them with a gateway big enough for thousands of men and horses. Chanelle is indignant at first, because according to their bargain, the Windfinders are to take no part in any kind of fight, but Birgitte assures her that Arymilla won't care about their bargain if Elayne is lost. Out of fear of Zaida's wrath should she fail the bargain, Chanelle grudgingly agrees to transport them only.

Along with her one hundred and twenty-one Guardswomen, Birgitte arrives at the Traveling grounds, where close on twelve thousand soldiers, more than one thousand Guardsmen, and the young lords and ladies who came to support Elayne with their armsmen are already waiting. Just as Chanelle asks where exactly they are going to Travel, Mistress Harfor comes running up to Birgitte with a wounded soldier, who reports that three or four mercenary companies are attacking the Far Madding Gate from the inside. Quickly, Birgitte decides that the cavalry and one thousand halberdmen will have to suffice and tells Dyelin to take the rest and scrape together every man capable of holding a sword.

Once the Black Ajah notice soldiers appearing behind them, they begin hurling lightning bolts and fireballs at them. Birgitte makes Chanelle watch the scene in front of them and tells her Elayne will be lost, and with her the bargain, if she does not help the soldiers. After a moment's hesitation, Chanelle strikes down the woman holding the rod that produces balefire (Asne Zeramene) and shields the others. The chapter ends with Birgitte riding toward Elayne.

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