The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 5

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Author: Val a'Shain

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Among the Wise Ones

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Point of View: Egwene

Setting: Rhuidean, the Aiel Waste

Characters: Egwene, Moiraine, Bair, Melaine, Amys, Aviendha


Egwene is in her tent preparing hot water to wash when a gai'shain comes to get her. The Wise Ones want to see her in the sweat tent. She asks the gai'shain some questions but she doesn't seem to be very responsive. She must be one of the Aiel taken by the bleakness. When a shivering Egwene arrives at the sweat tent she finds Moiraine, Bair, Melaine, Amys and Aviendha already there. Bair thinks she took her time getting there.

Moiraine and the Wise Ones discuss Rand's plan to take the clans across the Dragonwall. Moiraine still thinks this will unite the lands against him rather than declare themselves for the Dragon Reborn. She fears bloodshed. The Aiel see it differently and will go if Rand leads them out of the waste. The discussion goes back and forth a bit but their positions don't change. Bair dismisses Moiraine politely.

When Moiraine is gone the Wise Ones tell Aviendha to pour tea. She flushes and says she hasn't made any yet. She hurries out of the tent to do so. Egwene notices she has been beaten recently. She asks Bair about it and she says Aviendha asked her to because she lied twice today. Egwene thinks all Aiel must be crazy. Amys brings up the bleakness. She has heard some of the Aiel who are taken by it join the Lost Ones, the Aiel name for the Tinkers. They seem to be in the Waste in greater numbers than ever before.

Aviendha returns with tea and Amys asks Egwene how Rand would take it if Aviendha asks to sleep in his room. Egwene is shocked because it just isn't proper. Aviendha asks the Wise Ones not to make her do it. She hates the man. The Wise Ones will have none of it though and in the end Egwene has to admit he might if they give him a good enough reason. The Wise Ones will think of one.

Then they turn their attention to Egwene's training. Egwene still has trouble finding other people's dreams. Amys tells her she expects to dream of Egwene tonight. Being so close Egwene should be able to find her. Bair breaks up the meeting after that. Melaine wants to discuss one more thing though. She wants Bair and Amys to talk to Dorindha, the wife of Clan Chief Bael about becoming sister-wives. Having two wives is another custom Egwene can't get used to.

When Egwene wants to go outside she notices her clothes are gone. Bair says she won't need them. She sets a punishment for Egwene for not responding promptly to a Wise One's summons and for Aviendha for neglecting her duties and failing to have the tea ready. Fifty laps around the camp. While they run Egwene tells Aviendha they can't make her sleep in Rand's room. Aviendha says her honour makes her obey the Wise Ones. Egwene says she doesn't understand ji'e'toh but Aviendha says Egwene lives by it none the less.

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