Lord of Chaos: Chapter 33

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Author: Val a'Shain

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Courage to Strengthen

Chapter Icon: Spear and Shield

Points of View: Egwene, Mat


Egwene prepares to leave for Salidar but before that she decides she needs to meet the toh she has towards the Wise Ones because of the lies she told them. Rand sends Mat, Aviendha and the Band to Salidar in order to help Egwene and escort Elayne to Caemlyn where she is to be crowned.


Egwene's Point of View:

Setting: Cairhien

Characters: Egwene, Sorilea, Amys, Bair

Egwene is getting ready to leave. She has made arrangements to have a message delivered to Gawyn and now she is packing. Sorilea, Bair and Amys come to see her in her tent. Egwene is afraid they have come to punish her but the Wise Ones say she stopped being their pupil when her sisters summoned her. They are not angry at her either for going to attempt to enter Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh. Egwene realizes what bothers them is the lie. She said she wouldn't even think about it but went ahead and figured out how to do it.

Egwene's other lies bother her as well. She decides to confess and tells the Wise Ones she lied about being Aes Sedai and that she entered the World of Dreams unsupervised after she said she wouldn't. She could walk away now. She's not Aiel. But somehow that seems wrong. Salidar will have to wait. She steels herself and asks the Wise Ones to help her meet her toh.

Mat's Point of View:

Characters: Mat, Olver, Daerid, Rand, Aviendha

Location: The Plains of Maredo

Mat is playing Snakes and Foxes with Olver. It is a game you can't win unless you break the rules but Olver doesn't realize that yet. He is convinced they will win the next game. He speaks the words to start the game: 'courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to dazzle, iron to bind'. That line tickles something in Mat's memories but he can't bring it up.

Daerid comes in and Mat sends Olver to bed. Daerid reports Rand has arrived in the camp. He wants to talk to Mat. Rand brought Aviendha with him and asks to speak to him alone. Mat asks if Rand decided to change the plan. He has. He wants Mat and the Band to go to Salidar, of which he somehow learnt the location, and get Elayne so she can be crowned in Caemlyn. Rand will make a gateway and will put them several days from Salidar so the Aes Sedai there can see him coming. Not that Rand believes there are as many as Egwene seems to think. He estimates there are maybe fifty. After he gets Elayne he is to march straight through Altara and Murandy towards Caemlyn, picking up the Dragonsworn he finds along the way.

Mat thinks it is a mad plan and tries to convince Rand but he soon gives up. Rand tells him Egwene ran into trouble with the Salidar Aes Sedai and might arrive there before he does. Mat should see what he can do for her. He also tells her Aviendha will join him and hands him a letter for Thom, who he expects to be in Salidar. Rand also mentions Mat's sister is in Caemlyn with a group of Two Rivers girls heading for the Tower to become Aes Sedai. Rand doesn't intend to let them go to Tar Valon of course. Rand wants to know how long it will take Mat to get the Band ready to move. Mat tells him two hours. He can do it faster but he's not in a hurry. Two hours suits Rand fine, he has something else to do in the meantime. Mat rounds up his officers and introduces them to Aviendha. Then he gives orders to get ready to leave.

Egwene's Point of View:

Setting: Cairhien

Characters: Egwene, Sorilea, Amys, Bair

Egwene is facing the Wise Ones and all other Aiel she told she was Aes Sedai. Everything between her hips and her knees feels like fire and she is crying her eyes out. It is met by silence from the Wise Ones who are having tea served by a gai'shain. She asks the Wise Ones if it is over yet. Amys replies only she can tell the worth of her honor. Egwene steels herself and tells them to get on with it. She has a journey to make. The Wise Ones now tell her she has no toh towards them. It is finally over. Egwene is not going to enjoy sitting for a while.

The Wise Ones chase everybody away so Egwene can get on with the preparations for her trip. The goodbyes are very warm, she met her toh so her lies might as well not have been spoken. Bair offers to continue teaching her. Egwene will take that offer if the Aes Sedai allow. Not that they can really stop her. With a final mention of a suitable Aiel husband for her, the Wise Ones leave and Egwene gets ready to begin her journey to Salidar to face whatever it is the Aes Sedai have summoned her for.

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