The Gathering Storm: Chapter 39

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A Visit from Verin Sedai

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, Verin, Turese, Meidani, Nicola


Verin tells Egwene she is a Black sister because she wanted to study the Shadow and she took poison in order to circumvent her oaths and reveal the names of most of the members of the Black Ajah and the fact that Mesaana is in the Tower disguised, then she dies. Egwene finds out that Alviarin, Sheriam and five Sitters both in the White and the rebel Tower are darkfriends which she tells Siuan before being woken up from the Seanchan invasion.


Egwene tells Verin she never trusted her and Verin says she was right not to, as she is Black Ajah. She compliments Egwene on what she achieved, telling her she chose not to get involved in the factions. She talks about the Dark One and the Forsaken, telling Egwene she believes the thing the Dark One prizes most of all in his servants is selfishness as it makes them predictable. She tells Egwene that some years before, she was given the choice of either swearing oaths to the Dark One or dying and chose to join the Black as she wanted to live and it gave her the opportunity to study the Shadow. She tells Egwene that the oaths the Black Ajah swear prevent anyone from betraying their secrets until the hour of their death. They consider this a strange flaw, but Egwene suggests that no Black Ajah would willingly die to get around it. Verin tells her she has drunk poison and will die soon. She gives Egwene two books, one of which has details on all the darkfriends and their plots Verin identified including the majority of Black Ajah members, and the second book is the code to translate the cipher of the first. She then gives Egwene a ter'angreal, which when wrapped around the books, turns them invisible. Verin tells her that suicide was a back up plan and that she had hoped to use the Oath Rod but wasn't sure it would work as the process of making the oaths to the Dark One was distinctive. She hadn't been able to find it anyway. She tells Egwene that Mesaana is in the Tower, masquerading as an Aes Sedai, though she couldn't identify who, then dies.

Turese comes to check in on Egwene, so Egwene makes her think Verin fell asleep after which Egwene starts reading the books and finds names on the list including Katerine, Alviarin and Sheriam. All together, there are over 200 names on the list, including five Sitters, two in the rebel camp and three in the Tower, all of whom voted to depose Siuan. Nicola comes in with food and curtseys, earning a scowl from Turese. Nicola tells Egwene the food is for Verin and she shouldn't have it. After Nicola and Turese leave, Egwene fishes in the soup and finds a vial with the word "wait" in it.

Meidani visits and notices Verin. Egwene tells her that she was poisoned by a darkfriend when she was bringing her important information. Meidani tells Egwene that the Hall censured Elaida and told her that things could not continue as they were, with her acting independently of them. She was given penance and some had called for more, but according to Saerin, it was Egwene's insistence that the Reds not fall that saved her. Egwene tells Meidani that Alviarin is Black Ajah and that they should test her with the Oath Rod, which they currently have, having tested Nicola with it before allowing her near Egwene. Meidani tells her they removed her fourth oath. Egwene has her perform a set of complex weaves to distract Turese, then Travel to dispose of Verin's body.

Egwene enters Tel'aran'rhiod and wonders about Sheriam and what she has plotted. Siuan arrives and Egwene tells her that Moria and Sheriam are both Black Ajah and they should be watched. She feels herself being pulled out of the dream. Nicola tells her the Tower is under attack, fearing it is Tarmon Gai'don. Egwene realizes it is the Seanchan attacking them.

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