Winter's Heart: Chapter 10
Author: Ilissa a'Nari
A Plan Succeeds
Chapter Icon: Dream Ter'angreal
Elayne wakes up not being seriously hurt and later on meets with Nynaeve and Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod where at least two people overhear their conversation. It turns out that one of those people was Temaile, a Black sister. We witness a meeting between several darkfriends in Lady Shiaine's house.
Elayne's Point of View:
Setting: Elayne's bedchamber, the Great Chamber in Tel'aran'rhiod
She wakes up in her own bedchamber, surrounded by Aviendha, Birgitte and Nynaeve. She reaches out for saidar, and touches it but does not draw on it. She asks for Dyelin and the Guardsman, learning from Nynaeve that both are alright and from Birgitte that Nynaeve did not Heal her with the Power; instead she used her herbs. Nynaeve is prickly about her ability in that field since it became clear that several of the Kin are outstripping her, and while Aviendha seems to be content to have returned to being a Wise One Apprentice, she is still delighted to say that she has been allowed to stay with Elayne after the attack on her life. Birgitte finally gets Elayne's approval of a bodyguard, and after a brief discussion they decide that the former Lieutenant Doilin Mellar, who was the one saving her life in the past chapter, shall be raised to Captain and put in charge of her bodyguard as a reward.
The faint sound of a gong atop the palace's tallest tower reminds Elayne that she and Nynaeve had agreed to meet Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod that same night, and after a brief discussion that includes Aviendha and Birgitte, Nynaeve agrees that Elayne will go with her, even if she originally intended her patient to stay in bed and heal further. Nynaeve goes to her own bedchamber after telling Birgitte and Aviendha to guard Elayne's body in her sleep. The two of them dislike her commanding tone and presence, but after muttering for a bit and watching Elayne drink the tea Nynaeve has laced with something to make her sleep they agree on a system for guarding their charge. Aviendha stays in the room with Elayne while Birgitte goes out into the sitting room.
In Tel'aran'rhiod, Elayne awakens in the Grand Hall, the throne room of the palace, and sees a young girl dreaming herself there as well. She, however, disappears as soon as she notices and recognizes Elayne, and other details about the interior shifts as well according to the rules of Tel'aran'rhiod. She imagines a stand-mirror to check her own appearance, and Nynaeve enters as Elayne tries to tell herself that she will do well as Queen of Andor. The elder woman tells her to allow her to do the talking once Egwene appears in order to avoid blundering, but becomes very flustered indeed when her "apprentice" from their last days in Emond's Field appears. Elayne tells Egwene about the attempted murder and adds the news about the day's events. Egwene does not seem too impressed; she already knows about Rand and gives a "dismissive shake" at the news that Vandene is no closer to finding the Black who killed her sister.
Egwene says that she would tell them all to join her in Murandy if it had not been for the Kin, but since the Sitters would probably have "issues" with the Kinswomen she tells them to stay where they are for now, until Egwene has gained more control. Egwene tells them about the problems she has with the Sitters; that they obey her in word but hardly in spirit, that several of them are working towards stopping the acceptance of new novices, especially the elder ones, and that most sisters still treat Faolain and Theodrin as Accepted. She also tells Elayne and Nynaeve that they will be required to swear the Three Oaths on the Oath Rod as soon as it can be recovered, and that the full weight of Tower justice will be used against those who refuse taking the Oaths but continue to call themselves Aes Sedai.
She also tells them just how she intends to bind the Kin to the Tower; by allowing those sisters who choose to resign from being Aes Sedai to free themselves of the Oaths and join the Kin instead. Since the Kin is and still will be ruled by age, this means that former Aes Sedai will have to accept standing below elder women who could never reach Accepted, and for Nynaeve especially this seems to be somewhat hard to contemplate. At the end of their discussion, the three girls discover and pursue a man that looks like he could be Rand's mean uncle, dressed in a Shienaran coat, as well as hearing a door close and thus realizing that at least two people have listened in on their discussion. The Shienaran coat reminds Elayne of the Borderlanders in Braem Wood, and as she tells Egwene about them she also realizes that she might be able to use them to secure the Lion Throne.
Asne's Point of View:
Setting: , Sitting room of Asne, Chesmal, Eldrith and Temaile
Asne sits together with Chesmal, another of the thirteen Black sisters who fled the Tower with Liandrin, and tries to avoid conversation with her. She does not want to be regaled "with tales of her own (Chesmal's) importance," both because she finds it boring and because she is afraid that the Supreme Council might not approve, and so she pretends to be as busy with her embroidery as Chesmal is.
Someone knocks on the door, and she and Chesmal both embrace the Power and weave a nasty surprise just in case the wrong person comes in. It is, however, only another Black sister, the Brown Eldrith whom Moghedien left in charge when she left them to their own devices even if Chesmal seems to give only cursory notice to that fact. Eldrith and the others feel forced to flee from Eldrith's Warder Kennit; he knows she is a murderer, suspects she is Black and is determined to kill her despite the less than comfortable consequences to himself.
The next to enter is Temaile, and we quickly learn that she is the second person watching the meeting between Elayne, Nynaeve and Egwene as well as that the other three Black sisters are somewhat afraid of her after Moghedien made them watch her breaking down Liandrin. Temaile is supposed to defer to Eldrith as well, but instead she is very clearly the leader among the four Blacks. Her goal is to take Nynaeve and possibly Elayne in the bargain and use the two of them to gain the protection of one of the Chosen.
Mili Skane's Point of View:
Setting: Sitting room of the Lady Shiaine
Mili Skane - or "the Lady Shiaine" as she usually thinks of herself - sits in her sitting room and is waited on by Falion, who is forced to serve her as part of a punishment for her failure in Ebou Dar meted out by the Forsaken Moridin. Mili Skane ended up becoming Shiaine Avarhin after killing the original and her father, and came into possession of the house she now owns after the former owner died just after signing her gold over to her "heir". It is not stated that she has killed her, but it is very strongly implied.
Another Aes Sedai of the Black, the otherwise Brown Marillin Gemalphin, has been ordered by Moghedien to aid the Lady Shiaine in any way possible, but refuses to enter the palace on the grounds that there are so many sisters and wilders in there that she would not be able to get ten feet. When the Lady Shiaine tells her bluntly that since the Brown is under orders from Moghedien to obey her and that she suspects Moghedien obeys Moridin absolutely, she should not talk about what she will not do, the Brown informs her that there is a Black sister in the palace. Another man, Daved Hanlon, enters, and he is quickly revealed to be none other than the man who "saved" Elayne and was made Captain of her bodyguard.