Towers of Midnight: Chapter 42
From Tar Valon Library
Author: Gedhan Audax
Stronger than Blood
Chapter Icon: A Sword
Egwene explains to Gawyn about the aftermath of her battle in Tel'aran'rhiod. He suggests an immediate marriage, but Egwene is horrified at the lapse. They part and he takes the ring ter’angreal from the Assassins' bodies. Lan becomes aware of the change in his bond. As he arrives at the border with Arafel, Lan sees a huge camp of borderlanders around the border fort. As he passes through the fort he is recognised and is at last forced to raise the banner of Malkier, the Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don.
Gawyn's Point of View:
Gawyn is in Egwene’s quarters feeling the worse for wear after his battle and healing and yet he is almost overcome by the feeling of having Egwene’s awareness inside him, placed securely by the Warder bond. The bond alerts him just before Egwene enters with news; another Bloodknife had been found and killed, but at a cost of two soldiers and a warder. Gawyn feels her pain as Egwene is telling him the news, this makes him realises that a warder sees through the Aes Sedai mask and knows the person behind that emotionless exterior. Mesaana is revealed as masquerading as a Brown sister called Danelle, her mind was completely gone.
The discussion turns to the events in Egwene’s chamber the night before and of his disobedience at saving her life. The contradiction in having Gawyn save her life by his disobedience has Egwene worried, but he is quite relaxed about the situation and says that they will work things out between them.
Egwene says that she will have a bed moved into this outer chamber as she’d always intended it as the station for her Warder, but Gawyn leaps in and suggests that they get married instead, immediately. This produces a horrified reaction from Egwene. What about her parents and what about Elayne? Ever the enthusiast, Gawyn tells her that he will see to things and make the proper arrangements and as she attempts to argue, he points out that as she is Amyrlin, she has more than enough to do in watching over the world and he can contact the relatives.
Just to emphasise the point Silviana and a pair of soldiers arrive to escort Egwene to another unnamed duty.
Gawyn takes the opportunity of her absence to examine the bodies of the men who had died the night before in the battle in Egwene’s chamber. He promises his dead comrades that he will contact their families and then removes the ring ter’angreal from the dead Bloodknife assassins.
Lan's Point of View:
As Lan and his small party approach the Silverwall Keeps he sees a large gathering. Many of the groups present are flying the Golden Crane, the banner of dead Malkier. Lan quickly jumps to the conclusion that one of his companions has somehow managed to get the word out that their party was coming this way, but Andere points out that this is the only route that he could take and that the Silverwall Keeps were the most logical place to find him on his route to Malkier.
Ordering his party not to admit that he is the King, Lan leads them down to the pass. The gathering of his people brings back the cost should he lead his people in an assault upon the Blight. The sight of men wearing the emblems of the Malkieri Royal guard amongst the crown brings to mind Lan’s old comrade and teacher Bukama. Lan thought that could he have lived to see this day, it would have had the stoic old campaigner in tears.
The party, posing as a caravan heading to Shienar passes the gate, but as he goes through Lan is recognised and he hears his name called. Looking around he sees the Kaisal Noramagu approaching him. The Prince explains that Nynaeve had warned them that he may try to disguise himself, but that he would never abandon his war horse and Mandarb is easy enough to recognise. With his anonymity gone Lan has little choice but to announce his identity and proclaim that the Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai’don. The Malkieri are going home, however many Trollocs or other Shadowspawn stand in the way.