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2.6.7: What did Toveine's note say?

[Donald Crankshaw, Patrick Cotrona, Leigh Butler]

In [COT: 22, One Answer, 525-526], Pevara (a Red Sitter in the Tower, and one of the Black Ajah Hunters) shows Tarna (Elaida's new Keeper, and possibly Mesaana in disguise - see section 1.1.2) a note from Toveine (one of Logain's AS Warders) that had come via one of the Red agents in Cairhien.

(Why Cairhien? This confused a few people. Remember that in the Prologue of COT, Logain's party went first to Cairhien, then to Rand in Tear. So Toveine must have given the note to a Red agent in Cairhien while she was there.)

We're not told what's in the note, only Pevara and Tarna's reaction to it:

"This changes nothing," [Tarna] said flatly. Coldly. "It only makes what I suggest more urgent."

"On the contrary," Pevara sighed. "That changes everything. It changes the whole world."

The thing that Tarna had just suggested was that Red sisters must bond all the Asha'man as Warders, in order to "handle" them [COT: 22, One Answer, 524-525]. So, in light of that, what news could the note have held?

The three most likely possibilities are:

  1. That someone had found a way to Heal gentling and/or stilling.
  2. That the Asha'man had bonded Aes Sedai as Warders.
  3. That the taint on saidin was cleansed.

All of these possibilities have obvious relevance to the topic at hand, and all three could be considered of monumental, "world-changing" importance to the Tower AS. It's possible, of course, that Toveine's note mentioned all three events, but the note seemed to be very brief, so for the hell of it we will just assume it only related one piece of information.

The first thing to remember is that due to Logain's "extra bit" bonding of Toveine, she almost certainly could not have sent the note without his permission. That makes it less likely that she wrote about AM bonding AS, since Logain probably has enough sense to see how badly that would sit with the White Tower.

The second is that Logain and Co. were at Cairhien while the Cleansing was happening. Although finding out that Flinn had Healed Irgain et al of stilling would be big news, surely the Asha'man all claiming that saidin was clean would trump it in importance.

The last thing to recall is Toveine's avowed purpose: to bring down Elaida (a goal which I'm sure wouldn't bother Logain either). So Toveine would have wanted to send whichever piece of information was most likely to put a serious crimp in Elaida's style.

Given that, it's most likely that the note talked about the third option, the Cleansing. Seeing as the absence of the taint means that the entire raison d'etre of the Red Ajah is suddenly gone, it certainly would hit Elaida where it hurts, especially since she just tried to wipe out the Black Tower at a stroke. There's also no reason to think Logain wouldn't have wanted that news spread far and wide.

As to why Tarna would still insist that it changed nothing, Bill Woolsey suggests, "while it does 'change everything' in a sense, I'm not sure that the Reds wouldn't think that the Asha'man need to be bound as Warders anyway. Great, they won't go mad, but they will no doubt cause trouble like most men unless properly controlled by women. Just like no independent group of channeling women are permitted by the WT, no independent group of channeling men can be allowed."

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