“A sword. How did you ever come by a sword? How did any Aiel come by a sword? Don’t tell me Kadere had this hidden in his wagons.”
“I carried it in a blanket.” She sounded even more touchy now than she had about the price. “Even Bair said that would make it all right, so long as I did not actually touch it.” She shrugged uncomfortably, shifting and reshifting her shawl. “It was the treekiller’s sword. Laman’s. It was taken from his body as proof that he was dead, because his head could not be brought back so far. Since then it has passed from hand to hand, young men or fool Maidens who wanted to own the proof of his death. Only, each began to think of what it was, and soon sold it to another fool. The price has come down very far since it first was sold. No Aiel would lay hand to it even to remove the stones.”
“Well, it is very beautiful,” he said, as tactfully as he could manage. Only a buffoon would carry something this gaudy. And that ivory hilt would twist in a hand slippery with sweat or blood. “But I cannot let you…” He trailed off as he bared a few inches of the blade, out of habit, to examine the edge. Etched into the shining steel stood a heron, symbol of a blademaster. He had carried a sword marked like that once. Suddenly he was ready to bet that this blade was like it, like the ravenmarked blade on Mat’s spear, metal made with Power that would never break and never need sharpening. Most blademasters’ swords were only copies of those. Lan could tell him for certain, but he was sure already in his own mind.
Pulling the scabbard off, he leaned across the firepit to place it in front of her. “I will take the blade to cancel the debt, Aviendha.” It was long and slightly curved, with a single edge. “Just the blade. You can have the hilt back, too.” He could have a new hilt and scabbard made in Cairhien. Maybe one of Taien’s survivors was a decent bladesmith.
She stared wideeyed from the scabbard to him and back, mouth open, stunned for the first time that he had ever seen. “But those gems are worth much, much more than I — You are trying to put me in your debt again, Rand al’Thor.”
“Not so.” If this blade had lain untouched, and untarnished, in its scabbard for over twenty years, it had to be what he thought. “I did not accept the scabbard, so it has been yours all along.” Tossing one of the silk cushions into the air, he executed the seated version of the form called Low Wind Rising; feathers rained down as the blade sliced neatly through. “And I don’t accept the hilt, either, so that’s yours, too. If you have made a profit, it’s your own doing.”
”—Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time: The Fires of Heaven, Page 347/348 (via csi-middle-earth)
Leave is to Linsner to take a character who has always had an open sexuality and make her look cheap. Starfire is not only in a terrible outfit, but she is also contoured in a pose that has her bottom in full profile and both breasts fully…
““With luck,” the Aes Sedai went on, “we will not have to worry about Lanfear. The others Nynaeve saw are another matter. You and I must keep as close a watch as we can. I wish more of the Wise Ones could channel.” She gave a small laugh. “But I might as well wish they were all Tower trained while I am about it, or to live forever. They may be strong in many ways, but they are sadly lacking in others.”
“A watch is all very well, but what else? If six Forsaken come at him together, he will need every bit of help we can give him.”
Moiraine leaned over to put a hand on her arm, a look of affection on her face. “We cannot hold his hand forever, Egwene. He has learned to walk. He is learning to run. We can only hope he learns before his enemies catch him. And, of course, continue to advise him. To guide him when we can.” Straightening, she stretched, and stifled a small yawn behind her hand. “It is late, Egwene. And I expect that Rand will have us breaking camp in a very few hours now, even if he gets no sleep at all. I, however, would like to take what rest I can before facing my saddle.”
Egwene made ready to go, but first she had a question. “Moiraine, why have you started doing everything Rand tells you to? Even Nynaeve doesn’t think it is right.”
“She does not, does she?” Moiraine murmured. “She will be Aes Sedai yet, whatever she wishes. Why? Because I remembered how to control saidar.”
After a moment, Egwene nodded. To control saidar, first you had to surrender to it.”—Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time: The Fires of Heaven, Page 268/269 (via csi-middle-earth)