"Men scheme and women plot, but the Wheel weaves as it will"
   — Saying in Tear

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Setting: Illian (city), Sun Palace, Outside Caemlyn, Shadar Logoth


Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand is dreaming of Elayne, Aviendha, and Min, that they look at him with scorn but then wakes up with Min's arms around him. Amys, Bera, and Kiruna are one faction, Cadsuane and some of her Aes Sedai are another, and both are faced off against some of the Asha'man who are holding saidin. Rand has been unconscious for two days. Rand asks all of the women to leave except Min.

Adley gives his report of the fight at the palisaded forts that guard Illian. Sammael arrived as soon as they started channeling and he is very strong in the Power. Rand plans to go after Sammael right away and Min agrees to distract the Maidens even though they will be very angry when they find him gone again without them. Rand makes a Gateway to Bashere's camp near Caemlyn, which is the strike force for taking the city of Illian. He has nine thousand Saldaean horse and fifteen thousand crossbowmen, composed primarily of men passed along by Taim. Rand makes a large Gateway to the Square of Tammuz and runs through followed by the Asha'man. As the army begins to come through Rand travels to the highest spire of the King's palace.

Rand and the Asha'man channel flows all over the city to disrupt any wards Sammael may have placed. Sammael arrives and Rand travels to meet him. Sammael challenges Rand, the makes a gateway to Shadar Logoth and Rand follows. Rand sees some movement and follows, doubtful that it would be Sammael. Darkness falls and Mashadar, the evil of Shadar Logoth, begins to flow from some of the windows. Trollocs begin to appear and Liah, who Rand thought was lost some time ago, leaps down to attack them. Liah flees when she recognizes him. He encounters a Myrddraal and some Trollocs and channels a sword of fire to deal with them. Sammael attacks then with lightning bolts. The floor beneath him gives way and he barely catches himself on a ledge. A strange man, dressed in black, extends a helping hand saying he doesn't choose to see Rand die today.

As Rand reaches the ledge he sees a large tendril of Mashadar descending toward them and channels balefire and the other man does the same. The two bars intersect and both men are jarred; Rand starts seeing double. Lightning bolts from Sammael come again as they run away. The other man leaves Rand and he realizes he didn't feel the man channeling when he created balefire. Rand climbs to the top of a tower overlooking the Waygate, where he expects Sammael to be waiting. Rand spots Sammael and then sees Mashadar descending toward him. As Rand begins to channel balefire to kill Sammael Rand hears a scream. He looks around and sees Liah being touched by Mashadar. Rand changes target to mercifully kill Liah instead. When he turns his gaze toward Sammael there is only a lake of Mashadar, so he assumes that Sammael is dead.

Rand returns to the King's palace in Illian where Bashere, the Asha'man, and the Illian Council await. Gregorin den Lushenos and the Council offer Rand the Laurel Crown as the new King of Illian. They reveal they choose to follow him because of the grain he had Tear send to Illian even when both countries were preparing for war against the other.

The Council members chant "The Light illumine Rand al'Thor, King of Illian".

Point of view: Omni

Stories and rumors fly, some more fantastic than others. But one rumor is constant, that the Laurel Crown of Illian is now called the Crown of Swords.





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