Towers of Midnight: Chapter 38
Author: Gedhan Audax
Chapter Icon: A serpent twisted through a square
Egwene fights with the Black Sisters and a Forsaken in Tel'aran'rhiod; she defeats them. She then returns to her rooms and finds Gawyn in a pool of his own blood and bonds him to save his life. Perrin plays cat and mouse with Slayer in a Tel'aran'rhiod nightmare and regains the Dreamspike momentarily before destroying it. Returning from the dream, Perrin escapes Graendal’s trap by moving his people through a gateway. Graendal is not pleased, she decides to carry on with her plan and see what comes of it.
Egwene's Point of View:
During the battle inside the White Tower, Egwene sees a group of Black sisters sending deadly weaves at unknown targets. Egwene attacks the group by blasting a wall down on them; she notices with some satisfaction that she has killed Evanellein. As she is assessing the damage she has done to the Blacks, Egwene is attacked from behind by Mesaana and sends herself away. Egwene evaluates her situation in relation to her environment, and taking Perrin’s appearance as a lesson, comes to the conclusion that she must use her combination of skills, both those of a Dreamer and a channeller in order to win this battle.
As Egwene moves through the chaos of the battle she sees, much to her disappointment, Nicola. Almost instantly after Egwene sees her Nicola is killed. Melaine appears while Egwene is checking over Nicola’s body and warns her of an attack, which she avoids. Two Black sisters, Alviarin and Ramola, are behind the attack. As she plans to retaliate them, Bair warns her that she is using a predictable pattern and she realises that this may well be an ambush with the two Blacks as bait. Shifting into the room behind the two Black sisters, Egwene prepares for Mesaana’s attack. Mesaana appears, but Egwene is waiting for her and kills her with an Aiel spear. The corpse turns out to be Katerine, who appeared in Mesaana’s disguised form.
Too late Egwene realises that this attack was also a ruse and in the same instant she feels the snap of an a'dam fastening around her neck; Mesaana has captured her. Mesaana shifts herself and Egwene to a location without windows or doorway and Alviarin is waiting there for them. Mesaana in her triumph tells Alviarin to order the remaining Blacks upstairs to flee and await punishment for their pathetic performance in the battle.
Egwene realises that in Tel'aran'rhiod an a’dam has no power other than what she gives it and simply believes it off her neck as Mesaana attempts to question her about Perrin and the Dreamspike. On equal footing now the final showdown between Egwene and Mesaana becomes a challenge of wills. With Egwene calling on all of the strength of the Amyrlin Seat she is so strong that Mesaana’s mind is destroyed utterly in the struggle.
Egwene returns to the Tower of Tel'aran'rhiod and meets with Nynaeve, Siuan, Leane and the Wise One dreamwalkers. On seeing the state of Mesaana, Bair explains that she has seen this before and that it is caused by a dreamwalker encountering something that her mind could not affect. As the fleeing Black sisters can’t get very far with the dome of the Dreamspike still over the city the Wise Ones decide to hunt them down.
Egwene thanks the Wise Ones for their help and orders the Aes Sedai back to the Tower proper and just as she is waking she hears Bair lamenting that it was such a shame that Egwene went to the White Tower rather than return to the Wise Ones.
Perrin's Point of View:
Characters: Perrin, Slayer
Perrin is racing through a nightmare of Tarmon Gai’don in the Tar Valon of Tel'aran'rhiod. Finding Slayer amongst the cataclysmic vision of death and destruction that forms the nightmare, Perrin quickly takes action. He makes the wall nearest Slayer become red hot and melt. Perrin, now in the form of another Two Rivers man saves Slayer from a flow of molten lava and as he does so takes back the Dream Spike. As Slayer notices the missing ter’angreal in Perrin’s hand, Perrin strikes with a knife he has just thought into being in his other hand.
Remembering Hopper’s words of how nightmares are very strong, Perrin throws the Dream Spike into the nearby flow of lava, taking this moment of respite to destroy the ter’angreal once and for all.
Hopper sends to Perrin that he should flee now and that to complete his answers he should find Boundless and with that Hopper dies in the Wolf Dream.
Egwene's Point of View:
Setting: The Amyrlin’s quarters
Characters: Egwene, Gawyn
Egwene wakes to find her quarters in disarray following Gawyn’s desperate battle to protect her while she was fighting Mesaana and the Black sisters in Tel'aran'rhiod. Noticing Gawyn lying on the floor dying from serious wounds that he took in her defence, Egwene calls for help. Gawyn tells of his message and that the assassins weren't the Forsaken, but Seanchan Bloodknives. Gawyn also tells that no help is going to come as he has already shouted and nobody alive is within earshot.
As Gawyn nears the cusp of death Egwene tells him that she will bond him and save his life in that way, but Gawyn refuses and says he will only accept if it is what she really wants. In answer Egwene tells him that she has always wanted him as her Warder and her husband and so saying she touches Gawyn with the weaves that will seal their bond.
Perrin's Point of View:
Location: Perrin’s Camp
Perrin wakes in his tent with Faile and Masuri with him. As he wakens the Aes Sedai heals him. Faile tells him that the people are mostly gone with only a few thousand soldiers left in the camp.
Perrin immediately orders the Asha'man to make a gateway for the people remaining in the camp as he fears that an attack of some kind is imminent. As soon as he reaches the gateway the remainder of his army move through to a location near Whitebridge.
Graendal's Point of View:
Setting: Graendal’s Hideout
Graendal is displeased about the failure of the plan to destroy Perrin and his escape from her. However she has the remainder of her plan still in place and this plan could well bring Perrin back into the fray and create just enough chaos to counter his ta'veren nature and leave him vulnerable to a carefully placed tool, one that she has held in reserve for just such a need.
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
- Several prophecies said Gawyn might marry Egwene.
- Straps at waist and shoulder held her tightly to the block, and the headsman's axe descended, but she knew that somewhere someone was running, and if they ran fast enough, the axe would stop. If not.... In that corner of her mind, she felt a chill (ACoS, Ch. 10.
This may have been fulfilled when Gawyn rushed back to save her life.
- What is the tool Graendal has placed near Perrin?