The Gathering Storm: Chapter 12

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Unexpected Encounters


Chapter Icon: A black head on a white background facing a white head on a black background

Point of View: Egwene

Setting: The White Tower.

Characters: Egwene, Bennae, Nagora, Suana, Meidani, Yukiri, Saerin, Seaine, Doesine

Summary

Meidani has finally summoned Egwene, but first she is taken to Bennae's room, the first time she has been to the same Aes Sedai twice. Bennae has her perform some weaves, with which she has no problem and then says she wishes to see if Egwene has the sharpness of mind required of an Aes Sedai. She asks how Egwene would react if she were in conflict with her Ajah because she had come into some information she wasn't supposed to know. Egwene realises Bennae is talking about herself. She tells Bennae that from the perspective of the Ajah leaders it would suggest a leak amongst their most trusted members. Egwene says she'd explain where the information really came from and offer them a solution, that they make her one of the caretakers of the information. Bennae bows her head in thanks, even after Egwene calls her by her name.

After leaving Bennae, she is taken to Nagora, who frames a request for advice on dealing with an aging Warder as a logical puzzle. She is also impressed. Next, Egwene is taken to Suana, the first Sitter she has dealt with. Suana tells Egwene they would like her in the Yellow, even with her lack of Healing ability as being Yellow is about making and fixing things, not just Healing people. Egwene takes the opportunity to reach out to her about healing the divisions within within the Tower, suggesting that Sitters of different Ajahs might begin taking meals together, or walking in each other's company. She leaves, again without punishment to go to Meidani's room.

Meidani tells Egwene she is not certain how she regards her, having been captured and overthrown. Egwene tells her she is still Amyrlin and knows for a fact that the rebels haven't chosen a replacement. She demands to know why Meidani did not flee the Tower when Elaida discovered she was a spy, but Meidani tells her she cannot say. Egwene realises the Three Oaths are involved and asks if Meidani can show her instead. She has Meidani promise that she accepts her leadership and that she will not reveal the weave to anyone, and shows her how to Travel. They go through the gateway, hearing rats and Meidani warns her it could be dangerous. They go to one of the rooms and see Saerin, Yukiri, Doesine and Seaine.

Egwene realises they had made Meidani swear a fourth oath and calls it insanity. Saerin replies that it was necessity, not insanity. Yukiri threatens Egwene, barely in control of her anger, but Egwene replies that the rebels are not to blame for the divisions within the Tower. Seaine tells Egwene they are looking for the Black Ajah. Egwene decides their plan is reasonable, but that making Aes Sedai swear the oath of obedience is not. Egwene questions them and Yukiri tells her she will set penance until she runs out of tears. Egwene tells her it can't be any more than she has already and that even if it was set, it would draw attention to the group. Seaine says they would get Meidani to do it, but Meidani and Egwene both say they accept her as Amyrlin. Yukiri says they could order Meidani to do it, but Egwene reminds her the fourth oath was supposed to prevent Meidani from betraying them, not to control her in a way just short of compulsion. Yukiri continues her refusal to deal with Egwene, but Saerin insists they do as Egwene won't stop otherwise.

She tries to persuade Egwene to relent, firstly by pointing out that the forkroot makes her weak. Egwene makes her concede that an Amyrlin's power does not come from her ability to use the One Power to force people to her will. She then suggests that Egwene has been demoted to novice, but Egwene says she simply refuses to accept that and it should never have been allowed in the first place. Saerin tells her that if Elaida hadn't done it, Egwene would have been executed and Egwene replies that sometimes she thinks it might be better to be dead than to see what Elaida has done to the Tower. Seaine takes over, saying that as Elaida was properly raised, Egwene can't be Amyrlin. She asks Seaine if they found any Black Ajah amongst the Sitters. Doesine admits that they did, realising Egwene's point, but Egwene makes it anyway, that as any Black Ajah vote is invalid, Siuan was deposed and stilled illegally. Yukiri claims that is pointless as if they accepted it they would have to second guess every Amyrlin who was ever raised, but Egwene reminds them that Elaida was raised by a bare minimum and that others, including herself were raised by the full Hall.

She tells them she is impressed with the way they have worked together that they are to release Meidani, who she tells to continue working with them. She says they have a more important task, to work on healing the divisions within the Tower.

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