The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 49
Chapter Icon: Waves
Point of View: Nynaeve
Nynaeve pays Neres the money for the extra passengers. The refugees are grateful for her paying their passage, but she is embarrassed by their gratitude. Captain Neres leaves his cabin to Nynaeve and Elayne; Thom, Juilin and Uno seem to have "persuaded" him to do so. The boat is terribly crowded because of the refugees. Elayne voices her suspicion that Captain Neres is a smuggler because he only wanted to travel by night. Elayne and Nynaeve blackmail Neres into emptying his hold so that the refugees have a place to stay. Nynaeve contemplates about Neres' dislike of women. He seems to think that they only cause trouble.
Thom, Juilin and Uno start "tormenting Neres with darkly smiling comments about cracking heads and slitting throats." Nynaeve wants to give them a tongue-lashing but cannot because she never gets them alone.
Nynaeve finds out that Elayne channeled favorable winds. At first she is mad that Elayne channeled without asking her. Elayne argues that Samara is far enough behind them, and that Moghedien could not have located where the channeling came from. Nynaeve is relieved that the trip on the boat will be shortened by Elayne's channeling, but she has trouble admitting it. The two of them fight with smiling faces so as to not raise suspicion. Birgitte has to threaten them to make them stop. The men on board think that they must be happy to have left Samara. The women, however, seem to realize the masquerade and stay clear of the three.
Day by day the atmosphere becomes more friendly. Nynaeve starts Healing people. She tries to hide the fact that she channels by using herbs and ointments. Elayne and Birgitte follow her example and start playing and having fun with the refugees' children. Elayne continues to study the a'dam in the privacy of her cabin.
The refugees tell their stories and Nynaeve and Elayne let a coin slip here and there. The men seem to have lost hope over what happened to them, but Nynaeve admires the women. They have lost as much as the men, but having children does not allow them to lose hope. Nynaeve becomes fond of three women especially, because all of them remind her of a certain aspect of her own life. Nicola had been engaged but Hyran, her fiance, became a Dragonsworn following the Prophet until he was killed. She wanted to get as far away from the Prophet as she could. Marigan was a mother of two, Jaril and Seve, who had been dealing in cures and herbs, which was a dangerous business so close to Amadicia and the Whitecloaks. She had had to flee after she had healed a man from a fever and people started to say that she had brought him back from the dead. Areina had traveled to Illian to keep her younger brother, Gwil, from taking the oath as a Hunter of the Horn. She ended up taking the oath herself, traveling the world in the hope of finding her brother somewhere and bringing him back home. She had a hard time traveling but didn't intend to let that stop her.
Birgitte learns that Elayne is the Daughter-Heir of Andor. Elayne and Birgitte wash the black dye out of their hair. After seeing Birgitte's blond braid, Neres mutters something about "Birgitte stepping out of the bloody stories."
Whenever Neres looks longingly at a place where he could stop and hide during the day, Nynaeve mentions how glad he must be to soon get the people from Samara off his boat.
When the boat reaches Boannda, most of the Samarans leave the Riverserpent. Nicola, Marigan and Areina want to keep traveling with Nynaeve. Elayne and Birgitte agree. Nynaeve convinces Neres to take them as far as Salidar. He has to accept Nynaeve's conditions since he needs to avoid dealing with the authorities in Boannda and since he needs to travel south anyway.
Nynaeve remembers a trip to Tel'aran'rhiod during their first night on the Riverserpent. She stood in the Heart of the Stone in Tear calling Egwene's name, terrified to death that Moghedien might be there or might be watching her. When she comes back to the waking world, she breaks down and cries, feeling like coward. Elayne and Birgitte try to convince her that she is not a coward. Elayne and Nynaeve go back to Tel'aran'rhiod.
They start at the Stone of Tear, go to the Royal Palace in Caemlyn, to Emond's Field and to Elaida's Study in the White Tower. Nynaeve sees the changes in Emond's Field and wonders what the banners and the new buildings mean. Going through the documents on Elaida's and the Keeper's table, they learn that Elaida knows that Rand has crossed the Dragonwall into Cairhien and other things that are of no immediate importance. They return. Nynaeve is glad that she went back to the World of Dreams, almost forgetting about her fears. They take more trips and practice control of the World of Dreams.
They meet with Egwene and Amys. Egwene tells them everything that has happened since the last time they saw each other. She even tells them things that she had told them before, when she had been talking to Elayne and Nynaeve in their dreams when the Wise Ones had forbidden her to dreamwalk, so as not to let Amys know that she had disobeyed the Wise Ones. Egwene and Amys report what Rand has been up to. Egwene asks whether Nynaeve and the others are still with Valan Luca. They tell their story.
Egwene hints at meeting the two in Sheriam's study afterwards. When Egwene sees Nynaeve and Elayne there she furiously tells them not to reveal her secret visits to Tel'aran'rhiod.
After five days of travel they reach a beach close to Salidar. Nothing along the shore hints at a village existing near-by. The small party starts their way inland.