Winter's Heart: Chapter 11
Author: Val a'Shain
Chapter Icon: Two gulls, wings outspread, facing each other
Rand and Min arrive in Caemlyn so Rand could meet with Mat and Nynaeve. He changes his appearance using the mirrors of mist. Nynaeve and Lan meet Rand who wants Nynaeve to help him clean saidin using the most powerful sa'angreal ever made.
Rand's Point of View:
Setting: Royal palace in Caemlyn
Rand steps out of a gateway into a storeroom at the highest level of the Royal Palace in Caemlyn. The sickness that accompanies channeling makes him want to throw up. Min follows him. She again tells him he should go see Elayne and Aviendha as both are probably in Caemlyn. Rand still can't believe they both love him. He came here to see Nynaeve and Mat and get out as soon as possible.
Using a weave called mirrors of mist Rand disguises himself. Min now takes the lead as they make their way down into the palace. Rand is acting as her servant. Soon after they leave the storeroom they run into mistress Harfor, the head of the servants in the Royal Palace. She recognizes Min immediately. She tells Min she doesn't know Mat but that Nynaeve is in the Palace. Min sends Rand, or Nuli as she calls him, off with mistress Harfor to find Nynaeve while she goes on an errand of her own. Mistress Harfor makes it no secret she doesn't trust Nuli one bit but he does manage to get out of her there are five Aes Sedai in the Royal Palace. Rand is already beginning to regret this trip.
Nynaeve's Point of View:
Setting: Royal palace in Caemlyn
Nynaeve is stuck teaching the Sea Folk Windfinders again. All the other Aes Sedai seem to have a stream of excuses to get away from it. Nynaeve is explaining shielding to Talaan, a very talented Sea Folk girl who is very strong in the One Power. Nynaeve manages to shield her without too much problems though. The other Sea Folk give the girl some instructions and demand that Nynaeve take her through the exercise again. This time Talaan shields Nynaeve. Nynaeve wants to end the lesson but the Windfinders, Zaida in particular, have other plans.
They have Talaan shield her as tightly as possible and demand Nynaeve try and break free. Nynaeve already told them repeatedly you can't break through a shield unless you are a lot stronger in the power than the person shielding you. The Windfinders never seem to believe her on anything unless it is shown to them though. As an encouragement Talaan has to lift Nynaeve upside down. Nynaeve of course protests but it is of no use. They don't let Nynaeve go until she has pitted every ounce of strength against Talaan's shield and fails to break it.
Outside Nynaeve meets Alivia, a captured Seanchan damane with extraordinary strength in the One Power. She has come to tell Nynaeve mistress Corly would like to see her for dinner. Nynaeve wants to know why she was left unguarded, Alivia says there was no one available to go with her. Nynaeve declines the invitation. Alivia says she will carry the message but that she doesn't think it was an invitation.
When the Seanchan woman leaves Talaan catches up with her. The social structure of the Sea Folk make sure that Talaan, despite her enormous potential will never get much higher in their hierarchy. She wants to go to the White Tower and becomes Aes Sedai. Talaan seems to believe Nynaeve announcing that she will go to the Tower will not be challenged by the Sea Folk women. Nynaeve finds that hard to believe so short after the lesson. She begins to object but Talaan thanks her and runs off before she can finish talking.
Lan catches up with her on her way though the palace. He seems to sense her bad mood. She hopes for some private time with him but when they get to the quarters they share that hope is dashed immediately. Mistress Harfor is there with a fellow Nynaeve doesn't know. She fears he is trouble and tries to embrace the source. He mentions women's circle business though, Nynaeve tells mistress Harfor all is well. After she leaves Rand drops his disguise.
There seems to be some tension between Lan and Rand but the depth of it escapes Nynaeve. Rand seems to be poorly informed about events in Salidar and he seems to be hurt. Nynaeve checks his health with the Power and steps back, shocked from what she finds. The two evil conflicting wounds in his side are enough to make any Aes Sedai shiver. Rand now reveals why he came. He gives her the statue that is the key to the most powerful female sa'angreal ever made and tells her he intends to use it to cleanse the male half of the source. Lan again challenges him. Why didn't they do that in the Age of Legends if it could be done? Rand says he doesn't know that but feels it has to be tried. Nynaeve agrees given the alternative, but she has her own ideas on how to go about it neither of the men will like. She is right about that, they don't like it.