Submission 5 - Alistair Bell


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LoC Plot

During Lanfear's visit to the Snakes and Foxes (where she was separated from Moiraine) she had to pay a price, as Mat did. In this case, she knew enough to negotiate it, but it involved leaving this age and travelling two ages back in time through the worlds of 'if'. [Yes, you know the rest...] She arrived in a place known by its inhabitants as Am'erica. Not a place she had heard of, but she soon found a willing minion in the form of a man crouched in front of a strange ter'angreal he called a 'computer'. Oddly enough, he seemed to know a little about her. Using small flows of Spirit, she persuaded him to teach her about them, and after some amount of teaching, he pointed her at the concept of 'anonymous mail'. At the end of the book, she was seen heading northwest...

In the meantime, Thom, off searching for Moiraine, came across a small oblong object of a soft material and construction he had not seen. It had obviously been burned, since it was charred and twisted, but he could clearly make out some markings on it. Using some form of ink, the word 'Casio' seemed written on the front, and the letters 'JSN' seemed to have been carved on it using some form of sharp tool. He threw it away, deciding it was of no value, and certainly no proof that Moiraine was alive or dead.

[OK, silliness over...]

The Seanchan have indeed taken much of the west, and their Ever Victorious Army marches into Amadicia and meets the Whitecloaks. Galad sends for help to Elayne at Salidar seeing the way the Seanchan fight using damane. El and Nyn persuade the AS to come to the aid of the Whitecloaks (much to everybody's chagrin) and they drive the Seanchan out of Amadicia. However, the victory is achieved at the expense of a total realignment of the AS and the Whitecloaks; the Whitecloaks split much as the Aiel did over Rand and Couladin, since they see that these AS are not DFs, and the AS find they have suddenly become an army (they were in dire peril of their lives facing channelers not restricted by the Three Oaths, so could kill the damane etc., and indeed there are a fair number of Greens at Salidar who discover they quite like battle). What remains of the Whitecloaks and the AS go off to confront the BA, now openly in control of the White Tower, having turned Elaida to the Shadow using a circle of thirteen. Morgase and her friends join up with the Whitecloak/AS partnership. Morgase and Gareth Bryne make up, which SS doesn't like one bit.

Before Perrin and Faile leave the TR, they are visited by a strangely familiar character who has some good ideas about fire. Having checked out their effectiveness, they decide to trust Aludra with the civil defence of Emond's Field.

Perrin's expeditionary force joins up with Rand and the Aiel in Caemlyn. The Aiel who were with Perrin vouch for the TR army to a very suspicious Aiel army who eventually accept them. They march north to deal with the White Tower.

Mat joins up with Davram Bashere's army which heads back in the direction of Saldaea looking for Taim. Their way is blocked by another party of Seanchan. In the ensuing battle, most of Bashere's army is zapped, but Mat survives due to his foxhead amulet and nifty staff-cum-sword, and gets through to the Seanchan HQ. Here he finds that the Empress is actually a puppet ruler controlled by Graendal. Graendal thinks she can just reach out with the Power and stop Mat's heart, but of course fails. She's so complacent she doesn't notice Mat's spear-thrust. Exit Graendal. The Empress, of course, is so grateful that she offers him her daughter's hand in marriage. Thus Mat marries the Daughter of the Nine Moons (there and then, pretty much) and starts commanding the Seanchan army, having told the Empress a few home truths about how things are these days and what AS are really like. The damane are freed and given places of honour, to persuade them to stay with the army. The sul'dam are told they can be Tower-trained if they wish, provided they come and defeat the existing Tower. They will then get the new honour bestowed on ex-damane. Surprisingly few desert, and the army agrees to join up with Rand outside Tar Valon. (Mat's ta'veren nature strikes again)

All the armies meet up on the plain around Dragonmount: Rand, Perrin, the Aiel and the TR army arriving from the south, the Andor/Amadicia/Salidar people from the south-west with Elayne and Nynaeve, and the Seanchan/what's left of Bashere army with Mat from the west. The Salidar army is initially extremely antipathetic to the Seanchan one, but they are soon appraised of the changed situation. Egwene, seeing the freed damane, meets some of them and discovers some friends she made at Falme. Of course, their names have all changed, since they are using their own names rather than the ones the sul'dam gave them.

But Rand knows that the destruction of the Tower by force will solve nothing. It must be turned back to the Light, otherwise there will be too few channelers at Tarmon Gai'don. So he enters Tar Valon and goes to the White Tower. As he enters, he is pounced on by the circle of thirteen who subverted Elaida. However, Egwene, knowing what may happen having spied on Elaida and co in T'A'R, has learnt how to use balefire. With the aid of an angreal she picked up from Moiraine's stock left at the docks, she BF's Alviarin who is one of the circle, and the ensuing confusion is enough for Rand to be unshielded and deal with the rest.

Even with Alviarin and her senior cronies dealt with, the Tower refuses to crumble. So Rand calls on Mat's Seanchan damane to give a little demonstration of their abilities. The Tower is defeated, the rest of the BA stilled, and the Salidar AS take control. They install Egwene on the Amyrlin Seat, not knowing she is not bound by the Three Oaths. She chooses as her Keeper an ex-damane, which surprises the Tower but makes a lot of sense really. Her real name of course is Beldeine.

The last seal is found shattered, and the effect of Shai'*** on the world begins to be felt. However, with very few Forsaken to aid him, he can do very little to start with. But he starts massing Trollocs and Fades in huge numbers for an attack on Rand. On hearing this, Rand and his combined army march north, massing around Shienar where Demandred is stirring up trouble. Rand quietly finishes Demandred off. End of book.

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