In Knife of Dreams the Black Ajah is gradually revealed to more characters, but is not publicly known until the end of the book.
This post will look at those Black sisters mentioned in Knife of Dreams.
With the Rebels:
Sheriam’s performance as Mistress of Novices was considered mediocre by Silviana:
“I’ve browsed her punishments book. She let the girls get away with too much, and was far too lenient with her favorites. As a result, she was forced to deal out correction much more often than she should have had to.”Who were Sheriam’s favourites? And why? Were they prospective Darkfriends? Sheriam didn’t like the job (The Path of Daggers, Out on the Ice) and obviously it shows. (And Sheriam’s true commitment in time and effort was to the Black Ajah).
- Knife of Dreams Prologue
When Sheriam heard that Egwene was not to be tried and executed, she pushed for rescuing her since Aran’gar was of the opinion that the Tower split depended on Egwene leading the rebels. Sheriam blabbed the news to Lelaine:
"Siuan says Egwene is alive," Sheriam said as though relating the price of delta perch on the dockhead. "And Leane. Egwene spoke to Siuan's dreams. She refuses any attempt at a rescue." Myrelle gave her a sidelong glance, unreadable, but Siuan could have boxed her ears! Likely Lelaine would have been the next she sought out, but to tell her in her own way, not spilled out on the wharf like this. Of late, Sheriam had become as flighty as a novice!It’s unlikely that Sheriam believed Lelaine would want to rescue Egwene, so it looks like she was ordered by Aran’gar to support Lelaine now that Egwene was not available. Presumably someone else was told to support Romanda to maintain the stalemate. Alternatively Sheriam was trying to limit Siuan’s influence, something both Sheriam and Aran’gar would like.
- Knife of Dreams, When Last Sounds
When the rebel Hall met, Sheriam hung around outside it, embarrassing everyone, including herself, probably with the intent of keeping Egwene’s claims alive:
Sheriam's green eyes were tight, as usual, and she fidgeted in an unbecoming manner, like a novice who knew she was due another visit to the Mistress of Novices.It sounds like she didn’t want to do this but was told to by Aran’gar.
- Knife of Dreams, Call to a Sitting
Delana was openly instructed by Aran’gar on what to say and do in the Hall:
Indeed, the woman was gesturing emphatically while Delana merely nodded in the meekest manner imaginable. Meek!This was politically stupid of Aran’gar since it would only erode Delana’s credibility further.
- Knife of Dreams, Call to a Sitting
When Narishma mentioned the Forsaken who channelled saidin to the Hall, Delana didn’t wait to hear any more but rushed out to tell Aran’gar, especially since the rebels now know a weave to detect saidin being channelled. They fled the rebel camp. Delana’s judgement was correct: Romanda soon worked out who the Forsaken was.
As Romanda observed, Moria seemed anxious when Lelaine called for a Sitting:
Moria, in blue wool embroidered with silver, was striding up and down in front of the blue-covered platforms. Was her frown because she knew why Lelaine had called the Hall and disapproved, or because she was worried over not knowing?Moria knew something of what Merise and Narishma would say since she was asked by Lelaine to fetch them from the Blue Ajah tents, so I think she didn’t want this offer made, but couldn’t stop it without exposing herself.
- Knife of Dreams, Call to a Sitting
When she (and Malind and Escaralde) suggested the rebels make an agreement with the Black Tower it was never meant to succeed:
Romanda and the others might have stood in favor of this nonsensical "alliance" with the Black Tower, but from that moment on they had fought like drunken cart drivers over how to implement it, how to word the agreement, how to present it, every single detail corn apart, put back together and torn apart again. The thing was doomed, thank the Light.but merely to cause as much contention within the rebel Hall and the rebels as a whole as possible, knowing that such contention would prevent anything actually being done about contacting the Asha’man, and to make it almost impossible for the Tower to reunite.
- Knife of Dreams, The Dark One’s Touch
Ironically Moria accelerated the exposure of Aran’gar in an attempt to erode Narishma’s credibility when she asked him about a woman channelling saidin. Therefore she never reported to Aran’gar – this is backed up by the way Delana seemed to work the Hall factions by herself.
Nacelle invented a weave for detecting a man’s channelling and tried it out on Narishma in the rebel Hall. At the least this would have limited Aran’gar’s channelling (even if s/he reversed the weaves her channelling might still be detected with the weave), so it was an added reason for Aran’gar had to flee.
While Rand’s group was assembling to meet “the Daughter of the Nine Moons”, Elza
was frowning at Rand, too, one hand on the shoulder of her tall, lean Warder Fearil as if she were gripping a guard dog's collar and thinking of loosing him. Not against Rand, certainly, but he worried for anyone she thought might be threatening him.Likely Elza felt the Seanchan might ambush Rand at the meeting. She would lose access to him then and wouldn’t be able to ensure he live to be killed by the Dark One.
- Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box
According to Pevara, Duhara left Tar Valon by ship, but no one knew where to. There is no proof either way as to whether Duhara was taught Travelling by Alviarin (she is strong enough to Travel). Duhara might have been ordered to do a few errands for Mesaana or Alviarin when she went ashore, before Travelling to just outside Caemlyn a feasible time later. She could not be seen to arrive in Caemlyn too soon. Or she spent the whole time on her arduous journey as she emphasises:
"A poor welcome, Elayne, when I came to the palace as soon as I arrived. And after a journey that would be as torturous to describe as it was to endure.(I think she protested too much, myself.)
- Knife of Dreams, House on Full Moon Street
Elaida sent Duhara to be Elayne’s advisor. Duhara knew a lot about what is going on in Caemlyn before she arrived; she was well-briefed. She said that the political opposition to Elayne’s claim is due to Elayne not having Tower backing and when Elayne refused to even have her in the Palace threatened to make trouble:
"You won't fend me off so easily, child. No one fends off the White Tower easily. Think, and you'll see I'm your only hope." Silk whisked against silk as she left the room, and the door clicked shut behind her. It seemed very possible Duhara would cause trouble trying to make herself needed, but one problem at a time.Duhara might try to rescue the Black Ajah prisoners unless forbidden to by a Forsaken. She might encourage Jarid Sarand to make trouble. (Her opportunity to do this openly is dwindling: soon her allegiance will be known by Elayne, at least.)
- Knife of Dreams, The House on Full Moon Street
On the other hand, what would Duhara do to try forcing her acceptance as an advisor? Duhara would try to meddle somehow, but she could not see how. Burn her, she did not need any more difficulties between her and the throne.
- Knife of Dreams, The House on Full Moon Street
It was to arrest Falion and Marillin as Darkfriends that Elyane raided Shiaine’s house. She didn’t know four other Black sisters were there.
Marillin had heard Elayne had a woman Warder but disbelieved it and didn’t pass on the information. She revealed that Careane was Black and Vandene killed Careane in revenge for Adeleas.
Asne showed a fondness for weapons. She stunned Elayne and co with an Age of Legends ‘gun’ and used the balefire rod to carve through Elayne’s rescue forces. The Windfinders killed her with lightning.
Chesmal killed Vandene and Sareitha and their Warders with the Power.
Temaile took pleasure in binding, blindfolding and gagging Elayne cruelly.
Erith deduced that Elayne’s group had disguised their weaves and the glow of the Power and wanted to learn this.
These Black sisters were captured by Birgitte and the Windfinders and are now held prisoner. Duhara may rescue them unless forbidden to. The only Black sister in Caemlyn who knew how to do the Travelling weave, Careane, is dead unless Alviarin taught Duhara. Other Black sisters could yet stop by though to tell Duhara to leave Caemlyn, or to help her free the prisoners.
In the Tower
The rest of the White Ajah consider Alviarin to have brought shame upon the Ajah with her demotion. She is beaten every morning by Silviana at Elaida’s orders.
Alviarin told Katerine to spread news of Dumai’s Wells (Knife of Dreams Prologue) and ordered that news of the Black Tower debacle be spread in a similar way.
Alviarin collected three Black Ajah reports. One was about Talene leaving the Greens’ quarters with luggage, and the other two were that Yukiri and Doesine slept behind wards against intruders. She wrote orders that Talene is to be found and brought back and that Doesine and Yukiri are to be closely watched. Whenever she encountered Egwene she tried to lure Egwene into her clutches by saying that she must want to escape.
Katerine told the Red Ajah that Galina died at Dumai’s Wells. Sashalle’s letter indicated otherwise but was disbelieved.
Katerine obeyed Alviarin’s orders to inform other sisters of what happened at Dumai’s Wells to discredit Elaida which meant she disobeyed the Highest’s orders to do the opposite.
She helped capture Egwene and was one of the Reds who watched over Egwene regularly.
After Alviarin saw how Talene looked to Doesine and Yukiri for guidance during a meeting with Elaida, Talene was ordered to appear before the Supreme Council. She knew this boded ill and begged to be hidden way. She was taken to the Tower basement. Black sisters were ordered to search for her. In The Gathering Storm A Visit From Verin Sedai, we learn that Talene fled the Tower during Knife of Dreams.
Atuan was broken with the Chair of Remorse and named the other members of her heart, Karale and Marris, who were treated in the same way. The extra sisters they know are out of the Tower. All three are passing on whatever they hear.
Consistent with Alviarin’s orders to undermine Elaida by talking of the failure of Toveine’s expedition, Evanellein called for Elaida to be deposed due to the debacle at the Black Tower but was overruled by the other Grey leaders on the grounds that the Tower must be mended and the Seanchan and Asha’man dealt with.
Miyasi argued logic with two other Whites about reality changing while they guarded Leane.
Nesita was one of Egwene’s guards. The one time Egwene refused to drink forkroot Nesita forced it down her gullet.
Zanica was one of those who caught Leane and insisted on rushing back to the Tower with her.
With the Shaido
Therava makes Galina abase herself for a chance to touch saidar.
Neald and Gaul captured Galina and took her to Perrin, whom she tried to manipulate into not attacking the Shaido. When this failed she tried to delay him. She asked Perrin to hit her in the face to provide evidence for her excuses to Therava but he refused. Berelain did it.
Therava beat Galina severely anyway – the injustice just added spice - and singed off all the hair on her body and made her wear nothing but the gold belt and collar until the bruises on Galina’s face healed. When Galina was finally clothed again, Therava added a big red bow to the short regrowth of hair on her head.
Galina planned to revenge herself on Elaida and others once she was free. When Faile and co told her they had the Oath Rod, she lured them to the deserted part of Malden and trapped them under rubble. She tried to flee the Shaido but was caught by Therava and is now accompanying her to the Waste as her slave. She is forbidden to ride, or touch the Oath Rod, or to try to escape.
With the Seanchan
Liandrin killed Alwhin with poison in a mistaken attempt to gain favour with Suroth. She was beaten for not being a proper dacovale.
Suroth said she would have Liandrin collared and paired with a Darkfried sul’dam but probably didn’t get to do so. Collared or not, Liandrin is now the property of Tuon.
There are plenty of other Black sisters, including Verin, but they aren’t onscreen in Knife of Dreams.