Crossroads of Twilight: Chapter 15
Chapter Icon: Dragon's Fang
Elenia tries to gather support for her own claim for the Lion Throne while being in Arymilla's camp. Hanlon meets with Shiaine exchanging news with Falion beforehand.
Elenia's Point of View:
Setting: Camp outside Caemlyn
Elenia is riding through the camp accompanied by her maid Janny and four of her men. She thinks the winter siege is a dire mistake, because those in the camp will go hungry before the city will. Still, she uses the opportunity to nod to everyone who looks her way to make them feel as though she took notice of them; she considers it building a foundation of her power. She is irritated over the uncertainty of where she is going to sleep this night, while she imagines Elayne being comfortable in the Royal Palace with "scores of well-trained servants and likely without two thoughts in her head beyond what to wear tonight at a supper prepared by the palace cooks". She is certain Dyelin is the brain behind the Daughter-Heir.
On her second round of the camp, she encounters another mounted party with Naean at the head. When the other noblewoman sees Elenia, she rides toward her. Naean is certain Elenia is planning to escape and does not wants to be left behind. Elenia has no notion of it yet; if she does, however, she wants a signed letter by Naean repudiating her support of House Marne and swearing to support Elenia for the throne before she is willing to include the other woman.
Now that she eliminated another claimant for the throne, Elenia is certain other powerful High Seats will flock to her as well. Her good mood lasts until she spots Nasin coming her way, accompanied by his armsmen. He seems to think Elenia's husband Jarid was bothering her and wants to challenge him. Elenia manages to distract him from that thought, when suddenly Arymilla arrives with her coterie. She sends Nasin off with her maid Arlene. Then she invites Elenia, Naean and Sylvase to a repast made by Aedelle Baryn's cook and asks whether Elenia does not mind sharing a tent with Naean. Elenia does not know whether Arymilla already knows about their talk this evening or not. But when Arymilla asks a meaningless question, Elenia is assured of the other woman's brainlessness. She thinks of the only way to clear her path to the throne and wonders whether Arymilla or Nasin should die first.
Daved Hanlon's Point of View:
Setting: New City in Caemlyn
Hanlon makes his way through the night-shrouded streets from the Royal Palace, followed by a man. At the next turn, he surprises the follower and kills him. He wonders who sent the man after him all the way from the Palace and suspects either Birgitte or an Aes Sedai. He searches for Shiaine's house and Falion opens the door. She tells him Shiaine has a visitor so he may need to wait a little. Falion goes to tell the other woman Hanlon has arrived and meanwhile he makes himself comfortable in the kitchen. When Falion returns, she describes the visitor and the two others that came in the afternoon the day before.
He wonders what Shiaine's plan is going to look like. He was sure he would get to have his fun with Elayne as queen, but meetings with House Sarand and House Marne - the two men had worn their sigils the day before - could mean that she was to die before ascending the throne. When Falion is done describing the men, Hanlon tells her of what had happened inside the Palace, that some of the Sea Folk women went away. Before she can ask questions, Shiaine calls for Falion to bring Hanlon upstairs.
When Hanlon enters, Shiaine has already killed her visitor. She wants him to free some of the sul'dam and, if possible, damane as well and shift the guards away from the warehouses containing food, because she is tired of failed attempts to burn them. He says the Seanchan women are guarded closely so it will be hard to free them and shifting the guards will be all but impossible, because they keep very strict records of orders and who issued them. She then asks him how he would like to see Caemlyn looted and he replies "Well enough, if I have a good company at my back and a clear path to the gates." He says he would be able to help her more efficiently if he knew more of her plan.