Crossroads of Twilight: Chapter 9
Author: Serenla Tamowith
Chapter Icon: A falcon
Point of View: Faile
Aravine pledges herself to Faile who is punished for hiding a knife by being tied naked to a table for the night. She survives thanks to Rolan who was also the one who captured her.
Faile is reporting to the Wise One Someryn everything she has heard Sevanna say. Faile wants to hurry on. Her feet are cold from the slush on the ground and it is dangerous to be noticed stopped and speaking to a Wise One. Sooner or later, Sevanna will find out that other Wise Ones are questioning "her" gai'shain. She and the others are walking a fine line. They must report on Sevanna or risk death, but if Sevanna finds out they will face unknown punishment or death.
When she peeks at Someryn to see why she hasn't been dismissed, she sees her staring in shock. She looks around and all the Wise Ones who can channel are staring to the North. Faile is surprised when Someryn clouts her and sends her on the way.
She moves away thinking that she must find a way to escape before Perrin finds her, and hopes the Wise Ones staring has nothing to do with the Aes Sedai and Wise Ones with him. She stops to converse with Chiad discreetly. Chiad says that Lacile and Arrela escaped three days earlier with her and Bain's help. She doesn't think anyone noticed. It will not be so easy for Faile and the others as Sevanna's servants. Chiad tells Faile again that she and Bain will not escape until their year and a day has been served.
Faile is nearly captured and dragged off by Nadric, an unusually large algai'd'siswai. She is rescued by another Aiel who tells Nadric that though Sevanna has claimed her, he captured her and has not given her. He still considers Faile his. Rolan, her rescuer, escorts her to the place where gai'shain are doing laundry and carries her basket. Faile decides that she should befriend him in the hopes that he will help her escape. She is surprised when he lets her know that he would like to attract her interest. Alliandre notices his interest in her and comments that if it would help her escape, she would encourage his interest, and a husband would never have to know. Faile informs her that Arrela and Lacile have escaped. Alliandre tells Faile that Maighdin is trying to sneak into Therava's tent and she is worried that she is becoming reckless.
Galina Sedai, who is also now gai'shain approaches to needle the women. She is alarmed that Maighdin has not yet returned. Maighdin returns and tells them that she was caught by Therava. Therava thought she was there to steal, but was distracted by something and left her tied up in the tent. Maighdin asks what has the Wise Ones so upset. Galina sets her down, and tells her it is none of her affair. Aravine arrives and pulls Galina away from Maighdin. She tells Faile that Sevanna wants her. On the way to Sevanna's tent, Aravine takes her past two women staked out naked on a cart bed. It is Arrela and Lacile. Aravine pledges herself to Faile in the hopes that Faile will take her when she escapes. Faile accepts her pledge after a moment of thought.
As she enters the tent, Sevanna and Therava are arguing over whether to move the camp away from the disturbance in the West. Sevanna decides that they will stay, to Therava's displeasure. Sevanna turns to Faile and shows her the knife that Faile had hidden away. She says that Galina found it and brought it to her. For her punishment, she is tied and left on a table outside Sevanna's tent until morning. Rolan comes to keep her company and brings a brazier of hot coals to place under the table to give her some warmth. He then begins to massage her aching muscles. Faile's resolve is hardened and she knows that she will escape.