Chapter. 1. The Hook. A cold wind gusted through the night, across the snow- covered land where men had been killing one another for the past three days. wolves driven down into the Two Rivers was any guide. Wolves.. fiddle player, for the quickest The Eye of the World Wheel of Time 12 - The Gathering Storm. It is also the first of Jordan's works to be adapted to graphic novel format. The comics are adapted by Chuck Dixon, drawn by Mike S. Miller, colored by Etienne St Laurent, edited by Ernst Dabel, lettered by Artmonkeys, with design by Bill Tortolini. All eight issues were collected.

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by Robert Jordan War itself was a "new" discovery, it seems, though one . he air of Kandor held the sharpness of new spring when Lan returned to the lands. (c) >>> page 1 of 8 PDF File: da New Spring: The Novel (Wheel Of Time) By Robert Jordan EBOOK. (c) - page 1 of 8 - Get Instant Access to PDF File: da New Spring: The Novel (Wheel Of Time) By Robert Jordan [EBOOK.

He had fought the Aiel long before this war began, on the Shienaran marches, a matter of duty to friends. Aielmen were bad enough in daylight. Facing them in the night was as close to staking your life on the toss of a coin as made no difference. Of course, sometimes they found you without fires. Resting a gauntleted hand on his sword in its scabbard, he pulled his cloak back around himself and continued his round of the sentries through calf-deep snow.

It was an ancient sword, made with the One Power before the Breaking of the World, during the War of the Shadow, when the Dark One had touched the world for a time. Only legends remained of that Age, except perhaps for what the Aes Sedai might know, yet the blade was hard fact. It could not be broken and never needed sharpening. The hilt had been replaced countless times over the long centuries, but not even tarnish could touch the blade. Once, it had been the sword of Malkieri kings.

The next sentry he came to, a short stocky fellow in a long dark cloak, was leaning back against the trunk of a heavy-limbed oak, his head slumped on his chest. The hood of his cloak slid back, revealing his conical steel helmet for an instant before he hastily pulled the cowl up again. This was not his first battle, or even his first war. Men listened closer to calm tones than to the loudest shouts, so long as firmness and certainty accompanied the calm.

Basram knew that. Winters were nearly as cold in Arad Doman as in the Borderlands. Mumbling an apology, the Domani respectfully touched his helmet and moved three paces out from the tree. He held himself erect, now, and peered into the darkness. He shifted his feet, too, guarding against blackened toes. Rumor said Aes Sedai were offering Healing, closer to the river, injuries and sickness gone as if they had never been, but without that, amputation was the usual way to stop a man losing his feet to black-rot, and maybe his legs as well.

In any case, it was best to avoid becoming involved with Aes Sedai more than absolutely necessary. Years later you could find one of them had tied strings to you just in case she might have need. Aes Sedai thought far ahead, and seldom seemed to care who they used in their schemes or how. That was one reason Lan avoided them. Lan wished he had the answer, but there was no point in taking the Domani to task further. All of the men he commanded were bone-weary. Likely every man in the army of the grandly named Great Coalition—sometimes it was called the Grand Coalition, or the Grand Alliance, or half a dozen other things, some worse than uncomplimentary—likely every last man was near exhaustion.

A battle was hot work, snow or no snow, and tiring. Muscles could knot from tension even when they had the chance to stop for a time, and the last few days had offered small chance to stop very long. The camp held well over three hundred men, a full quarter of them on guard at any given time—against Aiel, Lan wanted as many eyes as he could manage—and before he had gone another two hundred paces, he had had to wake three more, one asleep on his feet without any support at all.

That was a trick some soldiers learned, especially old soldiers like Jaim. The Light sear my soul if it does! Some men would have been afraid that their friends would drub them senseless for putting the rest in danger, but given the company Jaim kept, more likely he dreaded the humiliation of having been caught. As Lan walked on, he found himself chuckling. He seldom laughed, and it was a fool thing to laugh over, but laughter was better than worrying over what he could not change, such as weary men drowsing on guard.

As well worry about death. What could not be changed must be endured. Abruptly, he stopped and raised his voice. Doubtless Bukama had thought he was being silent, and in truth, very few men would have heard the faint crunching of his boots in the snow, yet he should have known Lan would. Not an easy lesson for a boy to learn, but only the dead could afford oblivion. The oblivious soon became the dead, in the Blight beyond the Borderlands. Have you forgotten everything I taught you?

He had more concern for his duties than his rights, which was proper, but Lan wished he would not spurn his rights so completely. When the nation of Malkier died, twenty men had been given the task of carrying the infant Lan Mandragoran to safety.

Only five had survived that journey, to raise Lan from the cradle and train him, and Bukama was the last left alive. His hair was solid gray now, worn cut at the shoulder as tradition required, but his back was straight, his arms hard, his blue eyes clear and keen. Tradition infused Bukama. A thin braided leather cord held his hair back, resting in the permanent groove across his forehead it had made over the years.

Few men still wore the hadori. Lan did. He would die wearing it, and go into the ground wearing that and nothing else. Shelves: beautifully-broken-bastards , awesome-audio , want-to-throw-across-the-room 1. I totally admit the Robert Jordan has a fantastic and complex world full of intricately detailed world building with cultures, religions and landscaping.

So this is supposed to be an origin story or a prequel to the Wheel of Time series set a little less than 20 years before Eye of the World. The problem with preque 1. The problem with prequels in general is that they are really hard to pull off and make interesting because you know where the story is going to go.

Sullivan with the Riyria Chronicles. But then…. I mean things sort of happen.

We get another in-depth look into the daily life of an Aes Sedea and it makes me like them even less. Likely some of the crowd were cutpurses, slipfingers, and other thieves, finished with a morning's business higher up or headed there for the afternoon.

It would have been a wonder otherwise, with so many merchants in town. The second time unseen fingers brushed his coat in the crowd, Lan tucked his purse under his shirt. Any banker would advance him more against the Shienaran estate he had been granted on reaching manhood, but loss of the gold on hand meant accepting the hospitality of Stag's Stand. At the first three inns they tried, slate-roofed cubes of grey stone with bright signs out front, the innkeepers had not a cubbyhole to offer.

Lesser traders and merchants' guards filled them to the attics. Bukama began to mutter about making a bed in a hayloft, yet he never mentioned the feather mattresses and linens waiting on the Stand.

Leaving their horses with ostlers at a fourth inn, The Blue Rose, Lan entered determined to find some place for them if it took the rest of the day. Inside, a greying woman, tall and handsome, presided over a crowded common room where talk and laughter almost drowned out the slender girl singing to the music of her zither.

Pipesmoke wreathed the ceiling beams, and the smell of roasting lamb floated from the kitchens. As soon as the innkeeper saw Lan and Bukama, she gave her blue-striped apron a twitch and strode towards them, dark eyes sharp.

Before Lan could open his mouth, she seized Bukama's ears, pulled his head down, and kissed him. Kandori women were seldom retiring, but even so it was a remarkably thorough kiss in front of so many eyes. Pointing fingers and snickering grins flashed among the tables. Do you think -?

Racelle's fist caught his jaw so hard that his hair flailed as he staggered. Took it rather than gave. A sharp twist of his ears met every attempt to do Page 6 anything besides standing bent over and letting her do as she wished. At least she would not put a knife in his heart if she was kissing him. Perhaps not. The innkeeper still had Bukama occupied as Ryne led Lan to a small table in the corner. Five years older, Ryne was Malkieri too, but his hair fell in two long bell-laced braids, and more silver bells lined the turned-down tops of his boots and ran up the sleeves of his yellow coat.

Bukama did not exactly dislike Ryne - not exactly - yet in his present mood, only Nazar Kurenin could have had a worse effect. While the pair of them were settling themselves on benches, a serving maid in a striped apron brought hot spiced wine.

Apparently Ryne had ordered as soon as he saw Lan.

New Spring

Dark-eyed and full-lipped, she stared Lan up and down openly as she set his mug in front of him, then whispered her name, Lira, in his ear, and an invitation, if he was staying the night.

All he wanted that night was sleep, so he lowered his gaze, murmuring that she honoured him too much. Lira did not let him finish. With a raucous laugh, she bent to bite his ear, hard, then announced that by tomorrow's sun she would have honoured him till his knees would not hold him up. More laughter flared at the tables around them. Ryne forestalled any possibility of righting matters, tossing her a fat coin and giving her a slap on the bottom to send her off.

Lira offered him a dimpled smile as she slipped the silver into the neck of her dress, but she left sending smoky glances over her shoulder at Lan that made him sigh.

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If he tried to say no now, she might well pull a knife over the insult. Perhaps he fancied her himself. Maybe I ought to try some of that coy modesty, let women lead me by the nose. He should not have to explain, but Ryne's father had taken him to Arafel the year Lan turned ten. The man wore a single blade on his hip instead of two on his back, yet he was Arafellin to his toenails. He actually started conversations with women who had not spoken to him first.

Lan, raised by Bukama and his friends in Shienar, had been surrounded by a small community who held to Malkieri ways. A number of people around the room were watching their table, sidelong glances over mugs and goblets. A plump copper-skinned woman wearing a much thicker dress than Domani women usually did made no effort to hide her stares as she spoke excitedly to a fellow with curled moustaches and a large pearl in his ear.

Probably wondering whether there would be trouble over Lira. Wondering whether a man wearing the hadori really would kill at the drop of a pin.

Ryne shrugged. The luckiest trader in Arafel, they say. Much good it did him. We arrived yesterday, and last night footpads slit his throat two streets over. No return money for me this trip. I've not taken a wound worth mentioning since I rode Page 7 south. Indignation might take him out of his darkness. Chachin, now, I hear. Softly, but emphasizing her proper title.

She's raised the Golden Crane.

In your name, of course. Since the year turned, she's been from Fal Moran to Maradon, and coming back now. You, I mean. Some you'd not believe. Old Kurenin wept when he heard her speak. All ready to carve Malkier out of the Blight again. Suddenly Seroku's surprise that he intended to ride north took on new meaning, and the young guard's assertion that he stood ready.

Even the looks here in the common room seemed different. And Edeyn was part of it.

Always she liked standing in the heart of the storm. Ryne said something about making a round of the taverns that night, but Lan hardly heard. He hurried through the kitchens, hot from iron stoves and stone ovens and open hearths, into the cool of the stableyard, the mingled smells of horse and hay and woodsmoke. A greylark warbled on the edge of the stable roof. Greylarks came even before robins in the spring.

Greylarks had been singing in Fal Moran when Edeyn first whispered in his ear. The horses had already been stabled, bridles and saddles and packsaddle atop saddle blankets on the stall doors, but the wicker hampers were gone.

Plainly Mistress Arovni had sent word to the ostlers that he and Bukama were being given accommodation. There was only a single groom in the dim stable, a lean, hardfaced woman mucking out. Silently she watched him check Cat Dancer and the other horses as she worked, watched him begin to pace the length of the straw-covered floor. He tried to think, but Edeyn's name kept spinning though his head. Edeyn's face, surrounded by silky black hair that hung below her waist, a beautiful face with large dark eyes that could drink a man's soul even when filled with command.

After a bit the groom mumbled something in his direction, touching her lips and forehead, and hurriedly shoved her half-filled barrow out of the stable, glancing over her shoulder at him. She paused to shut the doors, and did that hurriedly, too, sealing him in shadow broken only by a little light from open hay doors in the loft.

Dust motes danced in the pale golden shafts. Lan grimaced. Was she that afraid of a man wearing the hadori? Did she think his pacing a threat? Abruptly he became aware of his hands running over the long hilt of his sword, aware of the tightness in his own face. No, he had been in the walking stance called Leopard in High Grass, used when there were enemies on all sides. He needed calm.

Seating himself crosslegged on a bale of straw, he formed the image of a flame in his mind and fed emotion into it, hate, fear, everything, every scrap, until it seemed that he floated in emptiness.

After years of practice, achieving ko'di , the oneness, needed less than a heartbeat. Thought and even his own Page 8 body seemed distant, but in this state he was more aware than usual, becoming one with the bale beneath him, the stable, the scabbarded sword folded behind him. He could 'feel' the horses, cropping at their mangers, and flies buzzing in the corners. They were all part of him. Especially the sword. This time, though, it was only the emotionless void that he sought.

From his beltpouch he took a heavy gold signet ring worked with a flying crane and turned it over and over in his fingers. The ring of Malkieri kings, worn by men who had held back the Shadow nine hundred years and more. Countless times it had been remade as time wore it down, always the old ring melted to become part of the new.

Some particle might still exist in it of the ring worn by the rulers of Rhamdashar, that had lived before Malkier, and Aramaelle that had been before Rhamdashar. That piece of metal represented over three thousand years fighting the Blight.

It had been his almost as long as he had lived, but he had never worn it. Even looking at the ring was a labour, usually. One he disciplined himself to every day. Without the emptiness, he did not think he could have done so today. In ko'di, thought floated free, and emotion lay beyond the horizon.

In his cradle he had been given four gifts. The ring in his hands and the locket that hung around his neck, the sword on his hip and an oath sworn in his name. The locket was the most precious, the oath the heaviest. To defend the Malkieri while one drop of blood remains. To avenge what cannot be defended. Twenty men began that journey; five survived to reach Shienar.

Nothing remained to be defended now, only a nation to avenge, and he had been trained to that from his first step. With his mother's gift at his throat and his father's sword in his hand, with the ring branded on his heart, he had fought to avenge Malkier from his sixteenth nameday. But never had he led men into the Blight.

Bukama had ridden with him, and others, but he would not lead men there. That war was his alone. The dead could not be returned to life, a land any more than a man. Only, now, Edeyn Arrel wanted to try. Her name echoed in the emptiness within him. A hundred emotions loomed like stark mountains, but he fed them into the flame until all was still.

Until his heart beat time with the slow stamping of the stalled horses, and the flies' wings beat rapid counterpoint to his breath.

She was his carneira, his first lover. A thousand years of tradition shouted that, despite the stillness that enveloped him. He had been fifteen, Edeyn more than twice that, when she gathered the hair that had still hung to his waist in her hands and whispered her intentions. Women had still called him beautiful then, enjoying his blushes, and for half a year she had enjoyed parading him on her arm and tucking him into her bed. Until Bukama and the other men gave him the hadori.

The gift of his sword on his tenth nameday had made him a man by custom along the Border, though years early for it, yet among Malkieri, that band of braided leather had been more important. Once that was tied around his head, he alone decided where he went, and when, and why. And the dark song of the Blight had become a howl that drowned every other sound. The oath that had murmured so long in his heart became a dance his feet had to follow. Almost ten years past now that Edeyn had watched him ride away from Fal Moran, and been gone when he returned, yet he still could recall her face more clearly than that of any woman who had shared his bed since.

He was no longer a boy, to think that she loved him just because she had chosen to become his first lover, yet there was an old saying among Malkieri men. Your carneira wears part of your soul as a ribbon in her hair for ever. Custom strong as law made it so. One of the stable doors creaked open to admit Bukama, coatless, shirt tucked raggedly into his breeches. He looked naked without his sword. As if hesitant, he carefully opened both doors wide Page 9 before coming all the way in.

Edeyn's face suddenly seemed everywhere, just beyond the edge of sight. Armies had died trying. But the memories of Malkier already were dying. A nation was memory as much as land.

When the last man who bound his hair was gone, the last woman who painted her forehead, would Malkier truly be gone, too? Some seem to think so. He might be one of those who did. Striding to the stall that held Sun Lance, the older man began to fiddle with his roan's saddle as though suddenly forgetting why he had moved. The Lady Edeyn. Custom ties strings to you, and whatever you choose, she will use them like a set of reins unless you find a way to avoid it.

Bukama had carried him out of Malkier tied to his back. The last of the five. Bukama had the right of a free tongue even when it touched Lan's carneira. Taking a deep breath, he went on in a milder tone. Ryne suggested a round of the taverns tonight.

Unless Mistress Arovni has claims on you. Oh, yes. How much will our rooms cost? Good rooms? Not too dear, I hope. I'm in Racelle's rooms. I'd like to make a round, but I think Racelle. I don't think she means to let me. Young whelp! The greylark still sang of spring. Six men were striding across the otherwise empty yard. Six ordinary men with swords at their belts, like any men on any street in the city. Yet Lan knew before their hands moved, before their eyes focused on him and their steps quickened.

He had faced too many men who wanted to kill him not to know. And at his side stood Bukama, bound by oaths that would not let him raise a hand even had he been wearing his blade. If they both tried to get back inside the stable, the men would be on them before they could haul the doors shut. Time slowed, flowed like cool honey. Relief was distant. He floated in ko'di , one with the sword that came smoothly out of its scabbard. One with the men rushing at him, boots thudding on the hard-packed ground as they bared steel.

A lean heron of a fellow darted ahead of the others, and Lan danced the forms. Time like cool honey. The greylark sang, and the lean man shrieked as Cutting the Clouds removed his right hand at the Page 10 wrist, and Lan flowed to one side so the rest could not all come at him together, flowed from form to form. Soft Rain at Sunset laid open a fat man's face, took his left eye, and a ginger-haired young splinter drew a gash across Lan's ribs with Black Pebbles on Snow.

Only in stories did one man face six without injury. The Rose Unfolds sliced down a bald man's left arm, and ginger-hair nicked the corner of Lan's eye. Only in stories did one man face six and survive. He had known that from the start. Duty was a mountain, death a feather, and his duty was to Bukama, who had carried an infant on his back. For this moment he lived, though, so he fought, kicking ginger-hair in the head, dancing his way towards death, danced and took wounds, bled and danced the razor's edge of life.

Time like cool honey, flowing from form to form, and there could only be one ending. Thought was distant. Death was a feather. Dandelion in the Wind slashed open the now one-eyed fat man's throat - he had barely paused when his face was ruined - a fork-bearded fellow with shoulders like a blacksmith gasped in surprise as Kissing the Adder put Lan's steel through his heart. And suddenly Lan realized that he alone stood, with six men sprawled across the width of the stableyard.

The ginger-haired youth thrashed his heels on the ground one last time, and then only Lan of the seven still breathed. He shook blood from his blade, bent to wipe the last drops off on the blacksmith's too-fine coat, sheathed his sword as formally as if he were in the training yard under Bukama's eye. Abruptly people flooded out of the inn, cooks and stablemen, maids and patrons shouting to know what all the noise was about, staring at the dead men in astonishment.

Ryne was the very first, sword already in hand, his face blank as he came to stand by Lan. She shivered delicately as each was revealed, but she discussed whether an Aes Sedai should be sent for to give Healing and how much stitching was needed in as calm a tone as Bukama, and disparagingly dismissed his hand on the needle in favour of her own. Mistress Arovni stalked about, holding her skirts up out of patches of bloody mud, glaring at the corpses littering her stableyard, complaining in a loud voice that gangs of footpads would never be wandering in daylight if the Watch was doing its job.

The Domani woman who had stared at Lan inside agreed just as loudly, and for her pains received a sharp command from the innkeeper to fetch them, along with a shove to start her on her way.

It was a measure of Mistress Arovni's shock that she treated one of her patrons so, a measure of everyone's shock that the Domani woman went running without complaint. The innkeeper began organizing men to drag the bodies out of sight, still going on about footpads. Ryne looked from Bukama to the stable as though he did not understand - perhaps he did not, at that - but what he said was, 'Not footpads, I think.

One of the others did, too, I think. The first she said of raising the Golden Crane was after we heard you were dead outside the Shining Walls. Your name brings men, but with you dead, she could be el'Edeyn. I'm sure she is full of all a woman's tender mercy. Lan shook his head. Edeyn might decide to have him killed if it suited her purposes, she might have left orders here and there in case the rumours about him proved false, but if she had, that was still no reason to speak her name in connection with this, especially in front of strangers.

Bukama's hands stilled, holding open a slash down Lan's sleeve. There was always a choice, but sometimes every choice was grim. I mean to depart at first light tomorrow. I'd as soon not go back to Shol Arbela until I'm sure Ceiline Noreman doesn't lay her husband's death at my boots.

And it will be good to see the Golden Crane flying again. To put his hand on the banner and abandon what he had promised himself all those years ago, or to stop her, if he could. Either way, he had to face Edeyn. The Blight would have been much easier. Chasing after prophecy, Moiraine had decided by the end of the first month, involved very little adventure and a great deal of saddlesoreness and frustration.

The Three Oaths still made her skin feel too tight. The wind rattled the shutters, and she shifted on the hard wooden chair, hiding impatience behind a sip of honeyless tea. In Kandor, comforts were kept to a minimum in a house of mourning.

She would not have been overly surprised to see frost on the leaf-carved furniture or the metal clock above the cold hearth. Perhaps thirteen or fourteen, standing close to their mother's chair, Colar and Eselle had her long black hair and large blue eyes still full of loss.

Their mother's eyes seemed big, too, in a face shrunken by tragedy, and her plain grey dress appeared made for a larger woman. The boys must have carried little Jerid out to see their father at his work, and. How could the whole stable be ablaze so fast? It makes no sense. She felt sympathy, but the woman had begun repeating herself.

Those words required dignity and weight her youth failed to supply. If only time could pass faster. At least for the next five years or so. Five years should give her her full strength and provide all the dignity and weight she would ever need.

New Spring - Robert Jordan.pdf

But then, the agelessness that came after working long enough with the One Power would only have made her present task more difficult. The last thing she could afford was anyone connecting an Aes Sedai to her visits. This outlander was a foolish child. The small blue stone of a kesiera dangling from a fine golden chain on to Moiraine's forehead and a dark green dress with six slashes of colour across the breast, far fewer than she was entitled to, made Mistress Najima think her merely a Cairhienin noblewoman, one of many wandering since the Aiel ruined Cairhien.

New spring-- the novel

A noblewoman of a minor House, named Alys not Moiraine, making sympathy calls in mourning for her own king, killed by the Aiel. The fiction was easy to maintain, though she did not mourn her uncle in the least. Perhaps sensing that her thoughts had been too clear, Mistress Najima started up again, speaking Page 12 quickly. Everyone spoke of it. They said if Josef Najima fell down a hole, there'd be opals at the bottom.

When he answered the Lady Kareil's call to go fight the Aiel, I worried, but he never took a scratch. When camp fever struck, it never touched us or the children. Josef gained the Lady's favour without trying. Then it seemed the Light truly did shine on us. Jerid was born safe and whole, and the war ended, all in a matter of days, and when we came home to Canluum, the Lady gave us the livery stable for Josef's service, and.

Colar began to weep, and her mother pulled her closer, whispering comfort. Moiraine rose. More repetition. There was nothing here for her. Jurine stood, too, not a tall woman, yet almost a hand taller than she.

Either of the girls could look her in the eyes. She had grown accustomed to that since leaving Cairhien. Forcing herself to take time, she murmured more condolences and tried to press a washleather purse on the woman as the girls brought her fur-lined cloak and gloves.

A small purse. Obtaining coin meant visits to the bankers and a clear trail. Not that the Aiel had left her estates in a condition to provide much money for some years yet.

And not that anyone was likely to be looking for her. Still, discovery might be decidedly unpleasant. The woman's stiff-necked refusal to take the purse irritated Moiraine. No, that was not the real reason. She understood pride, and besides, Lady Kareil had provided. The real irritant was her own desire to be gone. Jurine Najima had lost her husband and three sons in one fiery morning, but her Jerid had been born in the wrong place by almost twenty miles.

The search continued. Moiraine did not like feeling relief in connection with the death of an infant.

Yet she did. Outside under a grey sky, she gathered her cloak tightly. Ignoring the cold was a simple trick, but anyone who went about the streets of Canluum with open cloak would draw stares. Any outlander, at least, unless clearly Aes Sedai. Besides, not allowing the cold to touch you did not make you unaware of it.

How these people could call this 'new spring' without a hint of mockery was beyond her. Despite the near freezing wind that gusted over the rooftops, the winding streets were packed, requiring her to pick her way through a milling mass of people and carts and wagons. The world had certainly come to Canluum. A Taraboner with heavy moustaches pushed past her muttering a hasty apology, and an olive-skinned Altaran woman who scowled at Moiraine, then an Illianer with a beard that left his upper lip bare, a very pretty fellow and not too tall.

Another day she might have enjoyed the sight of him, in another city. Now, he barely registered. It was women she watched, especially those well-dressed, in silks or fine woollens. If only so many were not veiled. Twice she saw Aes Sedai strolling through the crowds, neither a woman she had ever met.

Neither glanced in her direction, but she kept her head down and stayed to the other side of the street. Perhaps she should put on a veil. A stout woman brushed by, features blurred behind lace. Sierin Vayu herself could have passed unrecognized at ten feet in one of those. Moiraine shivered at the thought, ridiculous as it was. If the new Amyrlin learned what she was up to. Inserting herself into secret plans, unbidden and unannounced, would not go unpunished. No matter that the Amyrlin who had made them was dead in her sleep and another woman sat on the Amyrlin Seat.

Being sequestered on a farm until the search was done was the least she could expect. It was not just. She and her friend Siuan had helped gather the names, in the guise of offering assistance to any woman who had given birth during the days when the Aiel threatened Tar Valon itself. Of all the women involved in that gathering, just they two knew the real reason.

They had winnowed those names for Tamra. Only children born outside the city's walls had really been important, though the promised aid went to every woman found, of course. Only boys born on the west bank of the River Erinin, boys who might have been born on the slopes of Dragonmount. Page 13 Behind her a woman shouted shrilly, angrily, and Moiraine jumped a foot before she realized it was a wagon-driver, brandishing her whip at a hawker to hustle his pushcart of steaming meat pies out of her way.

A farm was the least she could expect! A few men around Moiraine laughed raucously at her leap, and one, a dark-faced Tairen in a striped cloak, made a rude joke about the cold wind curling under her skirts.

The laughter grew. Moiraine stalked ahead stiffly, cheeks crimson, hand tight on the silver hilt of her beltknife. Unthinking, she embraced the True Source, and the One Power flooded her with joyous life. A single glance over her shoulder was all she needed; with saidar in her, smells became sharper, colours truer.

She could have counted the threads in the cloak the Tairen was letting flap while he laughed. She channelled fine flows of the Power, of Air, and the fellow's baggy breeches dropped to his turned-down boots, the laces undone. Bellowing, he snatched his cloak around him amid gales of renewed mirth. Let him see how he liked cold breezes and rowdy jokes! Satisfaction lasted as long as it took to release the Source.

Impetuous impulse and a quick temper had always been her downfall. Any woman able to channel would have seen her weaving if close enough, seen the glow of saidar surround her. Even those thin flows could have been felt at thirty paces by the weakest sister in the Tower. A fine way to hide. Quickening her step, she put distance between herself and the incident.Bukama had carried him out of Malkier tied to his back.

A lifetime. Edeyn's face, surrounded by silky black hair that hung below her waist, a beautiful face with large dark eyes that could drink a man's soul even when filled with command. The fiction was easy to maintain, though she did not mourn her uncle in the least.

This was a matter for experienced sisters. A nation was memory as much as land. None of the tricks Moiraine played were mean, but they were plentiful.