Rydan was alarmed. Linaer felt it clearly in their bond, and looked at Mansur worriedly. Nevertheless, Linaer deemed to continue walking, for their destination was yet a half-day’s walk. Mansur edged closer to the Aes Sedai, his alertness heightened. Not much alarmed Rydan. Linaer halted when she felt Rydan near, and turned to meet him. The young warder slipped through the trees almost unnoticeably, and ran toward them. He pointed south, then said, “Aes Sedai, with an Asha’man.” He paused, to catch his breath. Linaer raised an eyebrow. Not only did the Asha’man flaunt their tainted gift, but now were associating with Aes Sedai. It was humiliating. She motioned for Rydan to continue. “It appears that the Aes Sedai are under restraint.” He paused, almost cringing in anticipation of Linaer’s response. He was relieved when his news received only a sharply indrawn breath. Linaer’s face darkened. Although she did not socialize much with the Tower, of late, she had not lost the bond that had been built for the Tower, that sense of protection. Without a word, she spun and headed south, Rydan and Mansur trailing behind. Linaer’s thoughts were black as she moved, her long stride covering ground swiftly. Before long, Rydan touched her shoulder, signaling that the encampment was not far ahead. Slowing the pace, Linaer heightened her guard, and her warders moved silently ahead. Soon Mansur was out of sight, but Linaer could feel every move he made. Rydan fanned out to her right, and they moved in practiced formation. Shouts and cries of pain were heard before the clearing was in sight, and Linaer quickened her pace, thinking up suitable punishments for renegade men. Men who could channel. Such transgressions could not go with impunity. Linaer stopped dead when she caught sight of the whitecloaks. A moment later, Rydan’s alarm become even more apparent. From Mansur, she felt nothing but his usual calm. She hoped he would not do anything unrational. She inched forward, lest the whitecloaks or the Asha’man should catch sight of her. When the scene became clear, she saw several wounded whitecloaks rushing away, and knew they must be going for reinforcements; such was the way of the whitecloaks. Brash fools, who thought life naught more than a game in which they were the gods. Deeming to follow the Asha’man and Aes Sedai, and await the return of the whitecloaks, Linaer signaled to Rydan and Mansur, who began to trail the fleeing group. From the evidence left behind, at least one person who could channel had used his or her power – she had to assume that it was the Asha’man, from what Rydan had told her. Her first priority was to attempt to aid her sisters. When the trio was close to the captive Aes Sedai, Linaer saw that they were hastily packing their horses. What startled her was that she saw only two women. Ignoring her instincts, Linaer slunk through the trees, and emerged not far from where the women stood. One of them turned, and let out a cry of surprise.