White Tower Mission to the Black Tower
Author: Atarah al' Norahn
Deciding that the Black Tower must be taken care of before Elayne can safely be crowned the Queen of Andor, Elaida decides to send sisters to the Black Tower to gentle any man who is there and can channel. She does not believe that there can be more than two or three men there who can actually channel, but she decides to send fifty-one sisters and two hundred of the Tower Guard, with Toveine Gazal of the Red Ajah at their head, just in case and to take care of the hangers-on and camp followers that might be there as well. Toveine has orders to hang the men after they have been gentled as a warning to any man who thinks of channeling (ACoS, Prologue).
Alviarin does not think that is a good idea, as she believes that there may be more men who can channel than Elaida believes. She plans to make sure that there are no Black sisters among the ones sent to the Black Tower (ACoS, Prologue). The sisters who are sent, other than Toveine, include Adrielle (KoD, Ch. 27), Aisling Noon (KoD, Ch. 20), Akoure Vayet, Ayako Norsoni, Carniele, Desandre, Gabrelle (WH, Prologue), Jenare and Lemai (TPoD, Ch. 26).
Toveine, the other sisters and the Tower guard travel to Andor by ship. Around the time they reach Andor, Elaida learns that there are, in fact, hundreds of men who can channel rather than just two or three. Although she wants to have Alviarin send a note immediately telling Toveine to return to the White Tower, Alviarin manages to use the impending disaster to gain some control over Elaida. She advises Elaida to abandon Toveine and the others, as warning them might lead to the Hall learning of Elaida’s misjudgement. Elaida, afraid of losing her position, agrees and lets Toveine approach the Black Tower (ACoS, Ch. 32). Despite the horrible odds, she still has hope that Toveine will triumph, as she once had a Foretelling that “The Black Tower would be rent in fire and blood […] and sisters would walk its grounds” (TPoD, Ch. 25).
Reaching Andor, Toveine and the others ride to the Black Tower. The Aes Sedai have been split into ten parties to approach it. Toveine’s contains four other Reds, Jenare and Lemai among them, and twenty of the Tower Guards (TPoD, Ch. 26).
Logain and some of his men from the Black Tower, including Hardlin, Norley, Kajima, Kurin, Malevin, Sandomere and Vinchova, happen to be out riding and encounter the Aes Sedai. They find the group that Gabrelle is with, and shield, capture and bond them (TPoD, Ch. 26; WH, Prologue; KoD, Ch. 20; Ch. 27). They later find Toveine’s group and do the same. Once Toveine realizes that she and the other sisters with her are shielded, she orders the Aes Sedai to break and ride in every direction. She also orders the Tower Guards with her to attack the Asha’man, and tells the Aes Sedai to help the Guards once they are far enough away to break the shields that have been placed on them. However, as they ride away, they are all captured. Toveine ends up being bonded by Logain, who orders her not to escape, not to attack any man in a black coat, nor to use the One Power unless he gives her permission (TPoD, Ch. 26). All fifty-one of the Aes Sedai are captured and bonded within two days (WH, Prologue). Aside from Toveine and Gabrelle being bonded by Logain, we also know that Jenare is bonded by Kajima (WH, Prologue), Aisling Noon is bonded by Malevin, Ayako Norsoni is bonded by Donalo Sandomere (KoD, Ch. 20) and Adrielle is bonded by Mezar Kurin (KoD, Ch. 27).
According to Logain, it was Taim who gave the order for the Aes Sedai to be bonded (CoT, Ch. 24). However, during the scene when Toveine is bonded by Logain, Vinchova comments to Logain that Taim won’t be happy that he has bonded two Aes Sedai, and that he doesn’t think Taim likes them bonding any (TPoD, Ch. 26). Logain assumes that the order from Taim was sent down from Rand, until Rand sets him straight about it (CoT, Ch. 24). This is possibly all a part of Taim trying to sow more confusion and chaos in the world.
The captured sisters are kept in a building lined with canvas rooms on the edge of the village at the Black Tower. Most of the Aes Sedai won’t look each other in the eye. All of them are very angry with Toveine, and blame their capture on her. If Logain hadn’t intervened, they would have had their revenge on her the first night. As it was, Logain forced them to stop and made Carniele Heal the bruises they had given her (WH, Prologue).
Although Toveine’s lapdesk, which contains the orders from Elaida to gentle all of the men at the Black Tower, is lost during the capture, Logain finds it. After reading the contents, he burns it. Gabrelle thinks it might be to protect them so as not to incur the wrath of the White Tower, or because the bond he has used on them is like the Warder bond and he does not want to suffer through their deaths (WH, Prologue).
After two days of debating with herself, Gabrelle decides to seduce and sleep with Logain in order to learn more about the Asha’man and the Black Tower. It takes her four days to convince him to sleep with her. Toveine is aghast when she finds out, but Gabrelle’s information is useful. Gabrelle suggests to Toveine that the Aes Sedai must stick together, so that they can make use of whatever information she can gather, and that the only way to do so will be if the two of them publicly submit to Desandre and Lemai, who stand the highest among them (WH, Prologue). Toveine agrees, though Gabrelle thinks that the only reason she can bring herself to do it is because Lemai is of the Red Ajah (WH, Prologue; CoT, Prologue). Toveine intends to use Logain, Taim and the rest of the Asha’man to bring Elaida down before they are destroyed, though she does not mention this to Gabrelle (WH, Prologue).
With Desandre and Lemai now in charge of the captured Aes Sedai, they order everyone to be friendly to the Asha’man who have bonded them, in order to lull the men into thinking that they are harmless. They still plan, however, to find a way to end the threat of the Black Tower. This will be aided by the fact that although the bond that the Asha’man have used on the Aes Sedai uses compulsion of a sort, they have not been given an order not to harm the Black Tower (TPoD, Ch. 26; WH, Prologue; CoT, Prologue). Gabrelle thinks that several other sisters have followed her lead and attempted to seduce their Asha’man. Toveine now all but simpers at Logain, and Gabrelle thinks to herself that Logain must know that Toveine’s smiles are a fraud (WH, Prologue).
Under the guise of going on a recruiting trip, Logain travels to Cairhien to find Rand, and then goes on to Tear when he learns that that is where Rand is (CoT, Prologue; Ch. 22; Ch. 24). Donalo Sandomere, Malevin, Mezar Kurin and Welyn Kajima accompany him, with their bonded Aes Sedai, Ayako, Aisling, Adrielle and Jenare. Rand is very angry to learn that the Asha’man have bonded fifty-one Aes Sedai and tells Logain that it has to stop. He says that he may now have to let the same number of Asha’man be bonded by Aes Sedai, to appease the White Tower, but he does not order Logain to release the Aes Sedai (CoT, Ch. 24).
When Trollocs and Myrddraal attack Lord Algarin’s manor in Tear, the Asha’man and their bonded Aes Sedai help in the defence. They also help with disposing of the bodies by helping to burn them after the battle is over (KoD, Ch. 20).
Logain, Toveine, Gabrelle, Kurin, Adrielle, Kajima, Jenare, Sandomere and Ayako, possibly among others, accompany Rand when he goes to meet with the Daughter of the Nine Moons (Semirhage in disguise). All of them except for Logain wait at a distance, since Rand is only allowed to bring six people with him (KoD, Ch. 27).
It is noted several times that the Aes Sedai and Asha’man are on good terms. While they are in Cairhien, Sashalle Anderly sends a letter back to the Red Ajah. Although she doesn’t know about the bonding, she writes that the Aes Sedai are on “tense yet often friendly terms” with the Asha’man (KoD, Prologue). While waiting for the meeting with the Daughter of the Nine Moons to begin, Rand notes the interactions between them as well. Adrielle and Kurin each have an arm around the other; Jenare and Kajima laugh together; and Ayako seems concerned for Sandomere’s safety (KoD, Ch. 27). Whether they are still acting on orders from Lemai and Desandre, or whether they have actually become attached to the Asha’man, is not known.
According to Elaida, the White Tower has been hearing a good many things about the Black Tower, but most Aes Sedai blame Toveine for the failure, thinking that she must have known how many Asha’man there were before attacking (CoT, Ch. 21). Until very recently, however, few of the Aes Sedai in the White Tower have known the full extent of what really happened. This is evidenced by the fact that Pevara and Tarna are both surprised by the contents of the letter that Toveine eventually sends to the Red Ajah, as are Yukiri and Seaine by the letters sent by Akoure Vayet and Ayako Norsoni. Yukiri tells Pevara that only the head of the Gray Ajah and the Gray Sitters know what is in Akoure’s letter, and that they will keep silent for the good of the Tower, even though Evanellein is all for pulling Elaida down because of it, which must not be allowed as the Tower must remain whole (CoT, Ch. 22; WH, Prologue).
Despite these attempts to keep things quiet, however, Alviarin has ordered the Black Ajah to spread rumors about what happened at the Black Tower. This is done in an attempt to keep Elaida from undoing the chaos that Alviarin has sowed. Alviarin thinks to herself that soon, the news of what happened at the Black Tower will be known by everyone in the White Tower, and that although this is no longer enough to bring Elaida down what with the rebels laying siege to the Tower, it is enough to make sure that discord and chaos remain within the Tower (KoD, Prologue).