Reading The Wheel of Time

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Choice to Channel in Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt (Part 10)

I have a weird and frivolous complaint to start off week 10 of reading The Great Hunt. And that complaint is; why so many italics? And for that matter, why so many capitalizations? Generally species names aren’t considered proper nouns, but in The Wheel of Time everything from Ogier to Myrddraal to Mashadar gets its own capitalization. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word “human” capitalized, however.

Similarly, italics can be used to indicate words in a different language, so it makes sense, for example, that when Selene calls Loial alantin, that term would get italicized. A lot of Aes Sedai words, like saidar, saidin, angreal, etc, also get italicized, probably because they also come from a different language. But if that’s the case, I’d love to know more about how language works in the world of The Wheel of Time. Is there any memory or record of the languages from which these words come? Are there some words that have become accepted as belonging to modern languages that no longer would get italicized?

I’m probably reading a little too much into this, and the italics are just there to guide the reader as they encounter so many new words. And of course, if I didn’t have to worry so much about typing everything correctly, it’d be easier to gloss over formatting that way. But as I typed out grolm over and over again this week, I just kept asking myself why the italics were there. And for that matter, what the heck is this plot-convenient creature that only seems to exist in the ‘if’ world—or does it exist in Rand’s as well? Selene seems to know all about them, which raises some interesting questions that Rand and his friends have been too busy to think of.

But before I get into that, let’s do the recap and see how Rand fares against his dangers, both seen and unseen.

With the sound of the grolm coming for them in the distance, Rand suggests that they make a run for it, hoping to follow the trail while galloping. But Selene tells him that it is no use, that grolm keep coming once the have your scent, never stopping until they catch you. She urges Rand to ride to the Portal Stone, insisting that the only options are to kill all the grolm or to go back to the other world. But Rand is determined, and takes them to a low, treeless hill from which he can see the grolm coming, and ignores Selene’s continued insistence as he readies his arrows and bow. He finds the void, reminding himself that he doesn’t have to touch saidin just because he can sense it, and then he is in the void, all his thoughts and worries about the Power and the danger of it sliding off him. “He was one with the bow, with the arrow, with the things topping the next rise.

One by one, he shoots the grolm down, sinking each shaft into the creatures’ center eye. Rand doesn’t have to think, he shoots unconsciously and takes them down with ease. Hurin is astounded, but Rand doesn’t hear the sniffer expressing his admiration because he is entranced by the call of saidin, and he embraces it as it reaches for him. Only Hurin touching his arm stops him, startling him out of the call of the light and out of the void.

Selene tells Rand that the “Oneness” grows easier to access, easier to live in, the more you do it, or so she’s heard. Rand deflects her comment, too busy being horrified by how he was drawn to the light that is saidin.

He wanted to go back into the void, wanted to feel that light filling him again. It had seemed as if he were truly alive then, sickliness and all, and now was only an imitation. No, worse. He had been almost alive, knowing what “alive” would be like. All he had to do was reach out to saidin….

“Not again,” he muttered. He gazed off at the dead grolm, five monstrous shapes lying on the ground. Not dangerous anymore. “Now we can be on our–”

Just then, Rand is interrupted by the sound of more grolm in the distance, their barking calls coming from more than one direction. He reaches for his arrows, but Selene asks him how many he has left, if he could kill a hundred grolm, and insists again that they have to make for the Portal Stone, and Loial agrees. Angry and frustrated, Rand agrees and gets on his horse, and the three men follow Selene in the direction of her Stone as the barks of what sounds like hundreds of grolm follow them.

The ride into the foothills of the mountains, their horses struggling on the steep slopes, Loial forced to dismount and toss his staff aside to make it easier for himself and his horse to climb. But they are finally able to reach the spot where Selene says she woke up, an area just like the one they found themselves in, with the steps in the colors of the Ajah and the tall Stone in the middle of the hollow.

With a sigh, Rand got down from his saddle and led Red into the hollow. Loial and Hurin followed hastily. He stared at the symbol-covered column, the Portal Stone, uneasily. She must be able to channel, even if she doesn’t know it, or it couldn’t have brought her here. The Power doesn’t harm women. “If this brought you here,” he began, but she interrupted him.

“I know what it is,” she said firmly, “but I do not know how to use it. You must do what must be done.” She traced one symbol, a little larger than the others, with a finger. A triangle standing on its point inside a circle. “This stands for the true world, our world. I believe it will help if you hold it in your mind while you. . . .” She spread her hands as if unsure exactly what it was he was supposed to do.

Hurin nervously reminds Rand that there isn’t much time; he and Loial agree that the grolm are only ten minutes or so distant. Selene, meanwhile, merely watches Rand put his hand on the symbol without the slightest appearance of concern, and he thinks that he must save her, for she trusts him so much. He finds the void easily, without effort, and he can feel the symbol, feel saidin. He embraces it, and then–

Light filled him. Heat filled him. He could see the Stone, see the others watching him–Loial and Hurin anxiously, Selene showing no doubt that he could save her–but they might as well not have been there. The light was all. The heat and the light, suffusing his limbs like water sinking into dry sand, filling him. The symbol burned against his flesh. He tried to suck it all in, all the heat, all the light. All. The symbol….

Suddenly, as if the sun had gone out for the blink of an eye, the world flickered. And again. The symbol was a live coal under his hand; he drank in the light. The world flickered. Flickered. It made him sick, that light; it was water to a man dying of thirst. Flicker. He sucked at it. It made him want to vomit; he wanted it all. Flicker. The triangle-and-circle seared him; he could feel it charring his hand. Flicker. He wanted it all! He screamed, howling with pain, howling with wanting.

Flicker . . . flicker . . . flickerflickerflicker….

Suddenly Rand feels himself pulled away from the Stone and he lets go of saidin regretfully, and finds Selene holding his shoulders and staring wonderingly into his eyes. She tells him that they are home, all of them and their horses, and that it is remarkable that he could do so much without even knowing what it was that he did. Rand tells her that he wishes he knew what he did, and Selene suggests that perhaps one day he will, and reiterates that he is destined for great things. Rand considers what it would be like to kiss her, and then stops himself and disentangles from her.

He asks Selene not to tell anyone about what he did, saying that he doesn’t understand what he did and neither will anyone else, and people aren’t good about things they don’t understand.

Her face wore no expression at all. Suddenly he wished very much that Mat and Perrin were there. Perrin knew how to talk to girls, and Mat could lie with a straight face. He could manage neither very well.

Suddenly Selene smiled, and dropped a half-mocking curtsy. “I will keep your secret, my Lord Rand al’Thor.”

Rand wonders if she is angry with him, suspects she would be if she knew that he had just been contemplating kissing her, and wishes she wouldn’t look at him as though she knows what he’s thinking. He asks Hurin if the Darkfriends could have used the Stone before them, but Hurin doubts it. He believes they are still in that other world, but suggests that he could easily refind the place where he last smelled the trail in the other world and see if he picks up the scent in this one. Rand decides that it is best to wait until morning, and he fears that they have lost the Darkfriends, and with them, their chance to recover the dagger for Mat.

He tells Selene that if they have indeed lost the trail then they will turn their attention to taking her home, but she interrupts him, explaining that all might not yet be lost. She tells him one of the things she read in her books on the other place was that the other worlds can be mirrors to the real one, sometimes reflecting great events, sometimes reflecting things that are yet to be.

Hurin is shocked by the suggestion that he was smelling where violence was to be, not just where it had already been.

“The Light help me, I wouldn’t like that. It’s bad enough smelling where violence has been, without smelling where it will be, too. There can’t be many spots where there won’t be some kind of violence, some time. It would drive me crazy, like as not. That place we just left nearly did. I could smell it all the time, there, killing and hurting, and the vilest evil you could think of. I could even smell it on us. On all of us. Even on you, my Lady, if you’ll forgive me for saying so. It was just that place, twisting me the way it twisted your eye.” He gave himself a shake. “I’m glad we’re out of there. I can’t get it out of my nostrils yet, all the way.”

Rand tells Selene that they really need to get her home, but she’s impatient with his insistence, pointing out that it will only take a few days to see if her theory is correct. She reminds him of the glory of finding the Horn, which Rand is still uninterested in, but he privately weighs the question of what would happen if Ingtar lost the trail without Hurin’s guidance, and it is the potential loss of the dagger that makes up his mind. He decides that they will wait a few days, hoping to at least meet Ingtar, who would likely have remained heading south, and Selene praises his choice and decision making, and her reaction makes Rand want to kiss her again.

He asks Hurin to find them a camp away from the Stones and closer to where he lost the trail, somewhere up high where they can watch the spot that either the Darkfriends or Ingtar might eventually show up. They ride off, and Rand finds himself watching Selene, puzzled by her cool poise and self-possession, by the nobility of her, by the feelings her smile evokes. He thinks that Egwene would not have praised him, and the thought irritates him as he follows Hurin.

Meanwhile, Egwene and Nynaeve are on the River Queen with the rest of the Aes Sedai, traveling under saidar-powered wind and water down the Erenin. Egwene, on deck, watches the sailors, clearly made nervous or at least disgruntled, by the saidar-powered sailing. She goes below to the cabin she shares with Nynaeve, who is in bed struggling with motion sickness. She tells Nynaeve that she’s worried about Rand; she’s still having the dreams, which Nynaeve has started taking seriously because the Aes Sedai do. Egwene explains that she knows that Rand has either done something or is going to do something that will put him in danger. She’s also frustrated by Anaiya’s response to the dreams, which is to wait and see what happens after Egwene’s abilities are tested. Plus, Egwene can’t tell Anaiya everything; she has to protect Rand from too many Aes Sedai knowing about his abilities, and she has an instinct not to talk about the man in the mask. She doesn’t know why, but she can just sense that it’s better to keep it a secret that she sees this man who sometimes has flames for eyes, who taunts her and laughs at her. She tells Nynaeve how much he frightens her, but Nynaeve asks, clearly not for the first time, if Egwene is sure that they aren’t just regular dreams.

The beginning of an argument between the two is interrupted by a knock at the door, and to their immense surprise, the Amyrlin comes into the cabin, cheerfully asking how they are both feeling, clearly making a dig at Nynaeve’s sickness. She tells them that it’s tremendously boring sailing on a ship with nothing to do, and that she will be conducting their lessons.

Nynaeve declares she would like to go out on deck, and persists in trying to get up despite the Amyrlin’s harsh command for her to sit. But in the end her sickness gets the better of her and she sits back down on her bed, saying that she has changed her mind. The Amyrlin finds this amusing.

“They told me you had a temper in you like a fisher-bird with a bone in its throat. Some of them, child, say you’d do well for some time as a novice, no matter how old you are. I say, if you have the ability I hear of, you deserve to be one of the Accepted.” She gave another laugh. “I always believe in giving people what they deserve. Yes. I suspect you will learn a great deal once you reach the White Tower.”

Nynaeve insists that she’d rather learn something useful, like how to use a sword. The Amyrlin counters that she never thought swords were much use, but if Nynaeve really wants a sword…  the Amyrlin holds up a sword, telling Nynaeve that it is made from air, with Air. As useful as any sword, but not very useful. The sword changes to a paring knife, which the Amyrlin says is useful, but continues, as the knife disappears and she puts her hand back in her lap, that it is much better and easier to let a blacksmith make knives and to not use the Power too much, lest one become too fond of its use. That way, she says, lies the danger of trying to channel too much, and burning oneself out.

Nynaeve interrupts to complain about the useless things she’s been asked to do in her lessons, like making the air stir or lighting and extinguishing a candle flame, and reiterates her desire for something useful. The Amyrlin, pondering aloud, considers the question, and what useful thing she might do if a man came at her with a sword.

Egwene thinks she seems a momentary glow around the Amyrlin, then the air seems to thicken around her, immobilizing her from the neck down. When Nynaeve demands to be released, Egwene realizes that they are both trapped by whatever the Amyrlin did. She continues to talk casually about how it is still nothing but Air, but now the hypothetical “big man with his muscles and sword” is as useless as the hair on his chest. Again Nynaeve demands to be freed and again she is ignored, as the Amyrlin lifts her off the bed in her sitting position and into the air as she explains that she can move “the man” wherever she wants, although she’s always been disappointed that the ability doesn’t allow her to fly; with the thickened air one can pick up anything but oneself. For a third time Nynaeve demands to be released, drawing the Amyrlin back to the matter at hand.

“So,” the Amyrlin continued, “big, hairy man, and so forth. He can do nothing to me, while I can do anything at all to him. Why, if I had a mind to”—she leaned forward, her eyes intent on Nynaeve; suddenly her smile did not seem very friendly—“I could turn him upside down and paddle his bottom. Just like—” Suddenly the Amyrlin flew backwards so hard her head rebounded from the wall, and there she stayed, as if something were pressing against her.

Egwene, who has been watching all of this in alarm, is horrified to see that Nynaeve has used the power against the Amyrlin, but other than the fact that she seems to be struggling a little to breathes, the Amyrlin is calm, remarking that she had been warned that it took getting Nynaeve’s temper burning to see what she could really do. She suggest that the release each other simultaneously, but when Nynaeve demands to be freed, the Amyrlin cuts her off from the True Source entirely.

Sitting up, the Amyrlin reminds Nynaeve of how little she yet knows, such as how the Amyrlin had the ability to cut Nynaeve off from the True Source. She explains that by the time Nynaeve becomes a full Aes Sedai, no one woman will be able to do such a thing to her, and that the stronger she grows, the more women it will take to perform such a feat. She asks Nynaeve if she wants to learn now, and when Nynaeve stubbornly refuses to answer, she tells her that if she had even a little less potential the Amyrlin would never let her rise beyond the level of novice. Then she drops Nynaeve abruptly.

As the Amyrlin is about to continue with the lesson, Egwene has to remind her to free Egwene as well. The Amyrlin asks if they are ready to learn; Egwene responds respectfully, and after a moment, Nynaeve begrudgingly does as well.

After the Amyrlin leaves them, Egwene is excited that she now has the ability to summon and control a small flame balanced on her fingers, while Nynaeve is furious after the difficult and humiliating lesson. The Amyrlin continued trying to get a rise out of Nynaeve to get her to channel better, but Nynaeve, knowing that was the Amyrlin’s aim, had kept herself under control, even when the Amyrlin held her with the Power and forced her to eat something noxious, and even under more humiliating treatment. Egwene, wishing she had not been there to witness it, promises not to tell anyone what she saw, or even to remember what she saw. She tells Nynaeve that at least her seasickness is gone.

Nynaeve grunted, then gave a short, sharp laugh. “I’m too angry to be sick.” With another mirthless laugh, she shook her head. “I’m too miserable to be sick. Light, I feel as if I’ve been dragged through a knothole backwards. If that is what novice training is like, you will have incentive to learn quickly.”

Egwene scowled at her knees. Compared to Nynaeve, the Amyrlin had only coaxed her, smiled at her successes, sympathized with her failures, then coaxed again. But all the Aes Sedai had said things would be different in the White Tower; harder, though they would not say how. If she had to go through what Nynaeve had, day after day, she did not think she could stand it.

Just then the motion of the ship changes, and they realize that they must be at their destination. Going on deck, they can see the island of Tar Valon, so big that it hardly looks like an island at all, and Egwene marvels at the size of it, the tall shining walls, the bridges that cross to each shore, and then catches sight of Dragonmount in the distance. It makes her think of Rand.

The ships dock and the Aes Sedai depart with the Amyrlin without paying any heed to Nynaeve and Egwene, who make their own way off the ship with their belongings. Even the sailors seem irritated by their questions, and Egwene follows Nynaeve feeling dejected that the Aes Sedai apparently don’t care at all whether they are there or not. They marvel at the city for a few moments before being greeted by a woman who Egwene pegs as Aes Sedai even though she is not wearing a shall. The woman introduces herself as Sheriam, the Mistress of Novices, and that she has come to find them.

Nynaeve immediately informs Sheriam that she is to be an Accepted, which seems to amuse Sheriam. She tells Nynaeve that she is in charge of both, and reminds Nynaeve that it is possible for an Accepted to get in trouble, too. Then she greats Egwene, telling her how good it is to see a novice come, how few there are these days and how even fewer are ever raised to Accepted. She warns Egwene that the work is hard, because if she cannot stick to it, or if she breaks under the strain, it is better to know now than when she is a full Aes Sedai and people depend on her. Egwene is a little alarmed, but resolves not to break.

Nynaeve, however, is concerned for Egwene, and asks (while forcing herself to be polite and use the proper title) Sheriam Sedai if it must really be so hard for Egwene, if she must really be broken to see how strong she is. Sheriam tells Nynaeve not to worry too much about her friend; the sort of treatment she received from the Amyrlin is reserved for the Accepted, to make sure no one slipped in who shouldn’t have. Nynaeve is basically in shock from the revelation, and Sheriam takes them both under her arms and steers them toward the White Tower.

 

So if the grolm belong only to the mirror universe, how could Selene possibly know so much about them? And if these creatures exists in Rand’s world too, where do they come from and why have none of the other characters ever heard of them? Given that we have yet to see any non-shadowspawn creatures with features as bizarre as the grolm’s, I have to infer that they aren’t “natural” by any definition Rand or his friends would have. Maybe Selene just created them with the Power or something? There is a bit after Rand shoots the first grolm that does make me wonder; “…one of its companions leaped on it as it fell, beak of a mouth ripping gobbets of flesh. It snarled at the others, and they circled wide. But they came on, and as if compelled, it abandoned its meal and leaped after them, its horny maw already bloody.

Granted, she also says that grolm never stop coming once they have your scent, so maybe they’re more about the hunting and killing for hunting and killing’s own sake, and that is what is “compelling” the creature. But I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it was Selene’s influence, in some way.

Rand meanwhile, is getting very good at summoning the void. Selene did say that the more he used it the easier it would be to find. She actually said it was best to wear it all the time, which Rand is averse to because of the temptation to use saidin, but I think there is another danger that he seems at least obliquely aware of. While use of the void might promote a sense of “oneness” (as Selene calls it) with things, the separation from his thoughts means that while Rand in the void he isn’t connected to his sense of morality, his judgement, even his fear; fear which is useful when it, for example, reminds him to be careful around saidin.

I was really struck by the description of how Rand felt in that first moment when he was about to embrace saidin; “It had seemed as if he were truly alive then,… and now was only an imitation. No, worse. He had been almost alive, knowing what “alive” would be like.” It reminded me again of back in week 6 of The Eye of the World, when I compared Nynaeve struggle to accept her abilities to someone who is queer struggling with an identity they have instinctively suppressed for their own safety. Rand’s identity has lain more or less dormant until recently, but now that he is discovering it, he is beginning to see how much less his life is without this part of himself. Despite his fear of madness, despite the dangers that untaught channeling can pose, Rand is compelled towards this completeness and I think, even if he lived a life of perfect security and safety, now that he has touched saidin he will always be drawn back to it.

Selene’s backstory is starting to sprout some real holes, I think. The suggestion that she can know enough about the Stones to tell him what symbol he needs and that he should hold it in his mind, but has no idea how to try it herself, and yet somehow is perfectly confident that this man she just met will. I know Rand is too busy being flustered and uncomfortable about how to deal with her confidence in him, but at some point I do hope he questions where the heck it comes from. And now that Selene has intimated that she is aware that channeling is a part of using the Stone, will Rand wonder why she isn’t reacting to a man who can channel the way that everyone else has? His friends were driven away from him by the knowledge, why the heck would a woman he just met not be at least a little alarmed?

Also, I get that Hurin’s a little in over his head, but the man needs to trust his instincts more. The fact that he smelled violence on Selene in the other world, and still smells it, would be super useful to Rand right now if only Hurin wasn’t convinced it was just him being muddled and thrown off by the strangeness of the other place. If he could smell a future trail amid a world that basically killed itself off, he can probably tell the difference between the taint of violence of that place and the violence committed by one of the Forsaken.

Continuing on from last week’s commentary, Selene continues to play the wrong tactics with Rand, pushing the idea of glory no matter how many times Rand snaps at her or tells her he’s not interested. I can’t decide if she herself is just obsessed with the idea of power and fame, or if she really does believe that Rand does want it. It just seems that she’d be better served with a strategy that plays on his sense of duty or loyalty. But then, someone who is probably Lanfear, a follower of the Dark One, probably doesn’t easily recognize pure motivations like that.

Now that everyone’s back in the real world, I have to say that the whole ‘if’ world Portal journey feels like a really strange detour. Perhaps the existence of these worlds will be important later when Rand needs to get someplace quickly, but right now it, and everything in it, are mostly just a device for Lanfear/Selene to get some time alone with her old boyfriend and to make Rand work on his leadership skills. If the grolm felt too convenient to me, the fact that the ‘if’ world showed Hurin a trail that was yet to be is intensely so. But without Ingtar and his forces, Rand, Hurin, Loial, and possibly Selene will be forced to deal with Fain alone, if he shows up, and that will be a dangerous thing, for sure.

But Rand’s not the only one dealing with some compromised judgement this week. I feel so much for Nynaeve, even though a lot of her suffering is of her own making. Her need to be disrespectful and rude to the Aes Sedai is born, I suspect, from a number of factors. There’s her anger towards Lan and her resentment of Moraine for starters, and I think also she is still dealing with how much of her life is out of her control now. She can’t choose not to be a channeler or to forget what she has learned about herself. She could abandon Egwene and the others but it’s against every instinct in her body. She has to walk this path towards being an Aes Sedai, no matter that she doesn’t want to be one, no matter than she is, I think, afraid of them. Afraid of the Power. In this world, after all, how could anyone not be. Verin pointed out that Egwene was unusual in her desire to keep trying to channel without instruction, that most novices have to be coaxed along for a while before they can overcome their fear in any meaningful way. Nynaeve would never admit to such a fear, even to herself, but it’s certainly there. Until she gets angry enough to overcome it.

But as an Aes Sedai, I imagine that Nynaeve is going to have to learn how to pick and choose her battles. Refusing to use the honorific is a slight that doesn’t get her anywhere, as is continuing to pretend she might choose not to accept lessons. She has made a choice to commit to Aes Sedai training, and her stubbornness and fear is getting in the way of her thinking logically.

But boy do I empathize with her all the same. The use of titles like “Mother” and “child” would sure irk me too, and I can see myself in Nynaeve’s position, silently keeping tally of every indignity suffered and who was responsible for my planned retribution once I’m at the top of the heap. I wonder if everyone remarking to Nynaeve about her considerable potential has sunk in yet, if she’s even considered what it will mean to become an Aes Sedai other than that she might be able to take Moiraine in a fight.

The Amyrlin’s display made me really uncomfortable, though. The suggestion that potential Aes Sedai must be put through the wringer because of the risk of having them break under the pressure of fighting the Shadow is a bit morally questionable, but it makes sense. The indignity of turning someone upside down and spanking them seems extreme, though, and while I can certainly imagine a scenario in which a woman in this world might have just cause to treat an attacker in such a way, the Amyrlin’s flippant description and her belief that the best way to teach Nynaeve is to goad her and demean her from the Amyrlin’s ridiculous position of power over her… I don’t know. It reminds me of the beginning of X-Men First Class when Sebastian Shaw decides that anger and pain are the ways to access Eric Lehnsherr’s mutant abilities. Nynaeve’s use of the One Power when she loses control is not healthy, and certainly not what anyone wants from a fully trained Aes Sedai, so why encourage it now? I guess because they haven’t yet found a better way, but it’s hard to see how the humiliation is going to lead Nynaeve to become a better person or a better Aes Sedai, even of it eventually makes her less stubborn in her training.

Then again, who knows what the Aes Sedai really want from their sisters. Maybe they want Nynaeve to endure and build resentment and use it against the Shadow in the future. Maybe they believe that the resentment will ebb once she becomes a sister; that she’ll feel she has proven her worth and forced them to recognize it. Or maybe the Aes Sedai are just a little bit drunk on their own power. I guess time will tell. But if Nynaeve takes what she learns and uses it to tear the whole system down… I gotta be honest. I just might be rooting for her.

Then again, people keep saying that the coming of the Dragon will destroy the world. Maybe that means all the old systems need to die. The Aes Sedai of this Age have been under an enormous amount of pressure, only half the Power at their disposal and a dwindling number of new recruits who can use the half they can still access. If Rand can bring male channelers back into the world somehow, a lot of things will change. Maybe that’s what the prophecies really mean.

Rand and Nynaeve both were pushed into channeling this week, manipulated into it by women who are older and more knowledgeable and (at least right now) more powerful than they are. Though technically Rand could have chosen not to channel, Nynaeve could have resisted the Amyrlin’s treatment. But those are hardly real choices, and although the Amyrlin is on the side of the Light and Selene is almost definitely of the Dark, I don’t think it’s coincidence that the two scenes follow each other so closely. I just haven’t quite decided what it means.

Next week we get even drama than we had this week, including some Fain (yay!) and Selene’s composure starting to unravel. I can’t wait to cover Chapters 19 and 20 with you all! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you down below!

Sylas K Barrett believes in politeness but has a distrust of authority figures and the systems that empower them. He would probably not make a great Aes Sedai.

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