The Farce of Heaven, Part 1

Angamael looked around the conference room without much enthusiasm. Black-clad Aes Sedai and nervous-looking Chosen looked back at him expectantly. The overall effect was of a Historical Recreations society being invaded by rubber-clad Goth chicks, some of whom weighed in at over three hundred pounds. He wondered how long it would be until the merchants selling white face-paint in Tar Valon retired and bought Caemlyn as a holiday villa.

“Right,” he started off the meeting in his usual manner, giving everybody a serving of endless-fire-cavern just to keep them on their toes. “Here’s the sitch.”

“Question, Nae’blis,” Elaida raised her hand diffidently, “what does ‘sitch’ mean?”

“It’s short for ‘situation’,” Rahvin explained. “I thought I told you not to talk while we were here.”

“My apologies, Chosen.”

“Honestly, she’s worse than Morgase,” Rahvin said apologetically. “But at least she can channel properly.”

“As I was saying,” Angamael went on pleasantly, “we have an opportunity here. What I am proposing is a change in power here in Tar Valon. Miss Sanche, you will be deposed as Amyrlin Seat. And, um, Elaida, you will take over.”

Nae’blis…”

“Hear me out,” Angamael raised a hand and the assembled minions shifted uncomfortably. In a corner of the room that had once been the Amyrlin’s study, the giant shape of Shaidar Haran unfolded its arms and leaned forwards expectantly. Shadows moved sinuously in the other corners, ready to unleash the Nae’blis‘s ‘Eyeless Inquisition’ which, as he liked to say, nobody expected. Especially when they flooded, screaming and waving their dead black swords, out of the shadow underneath Shaidar Haran’s clipboard. “The Blue Ajah – that is, the Aes Sedai here who used to be in the Blue Ajah – will react to Siuan’s dethroning by separating from the White Tower and going into hiding. There will be a division in the Tower, both sides claiming that the other is a group of Darkfriends involved with False Dragons.”

“The Prophecies,” Liandrin murmured, nodding.

“The rebel Aes Sedai will go somewhere into hiding, and our enemies will be drawn to them,” Angamael said. “And when they are, we’ll catch them and convert them. That is the first prong of our attack. For the third … Sammael, how go your plans in Andor?”

“Sammael is dead, Nae’blis,” Rahvin said, judging his master’s mood to be cheerful enough to risk the correction. “But plans go well. Morgase is eating out of my hands.”

“Literally,” Elaida said. “It’s disgusting,” she saw Rahvin’s warning look, and once again lowered her eyes. “Apologies, Chosen.”

“And you are entering negotiations with the Whitecloaks?” Angamael pressed.

“Yes, Nae’blis,” Rahvin said, scratching at the white streaks of hair at his temples. “Though I don’t see what-”

“Never mind about that,” Angamael waved his hand dismissively. “When the Children of the Light move into Andor, we’ll attack Amadicia. And wipe it off the face of the world.”

“Aes Sedai attacking Amadicia?” Siuan frowned politely. “That would be just the thing the Whitecloaks have expected all these years, Nae’blis, and it would give the other countries all the more reason to distrust us…”

“They’re going to blame the Aes Sedai anyway,” Angamael said, “so we might as well be involved. When we pool our resources with this new ally, and win them over the way we won over the channelers of the White Tower, we’ll be that much closer to invincibility. And once Andor and Amadicia are wiped clean, it’ll be two less enemies we have to deal with.”

“New ally, Nae’blis?” Mesaana asked.

“That’s the second prong. Suroth, won’t you come in here?” Angamael called.

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