"A cat for a hat, or a hat for a cat, but nothing for nothing."
   —Taren Ferry saying

External summary

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Setting: Sun Palace in Cairhien, School of Cairhien

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand decides that Mangin will hang tomorrow, then heads off to see the school he set up in Cairhien. He is met by Idrien Tarsin who heads the school, and many of the students and researchers. Idrien leads him on a tour, showcasing many of the inventions and research produced by the school so far, including a way to make finer paper, a better printing press, a wheeled plow capable of making six furrows at a time, a hay harvester, a loom that was easier to use, viaducts, a new sewer system, a new way to pave roads, a telescope (made by Kin Tovere), something for collecting and burning methane from cow dung, the beginnings of a hot air balloon or glider (made by Maryl Harke), and an attempt at a steam engine (made by Mervin Poel). After the review and a speech, Rand seeks out Herid Fel, a historian and philosopher. Fel rambles on about the Wheel of Time and how the battle with the Dark One must go in cycles as the Wheel turns. Rand hopes to get some insight as to how to fight the Last Battle or escape Alanna's Bond, but doesn't appear to get anything this trip.

Point of view: Egwene al'Vere

Egwene is wandering the palace in Cairhien, disgruntled because she couldn't talk to Aviendha before Amys and the other Wise Ones. Sorilea sees her and questions her purpose, which is to find Rand. Eventually, she leads Egwene to where Rand will come after his visit to the school. Niella, a gai'shain and Aviendha's sister, is tidying up Rand's room. Egwene questions her, but gets no useful information. Rand arrives and Egwene asks his help with the Wise Ones. Egwene wants to return to Tel'aran'rhiod as soon as possible. He asks her where Elayne and Nynaeve are and his ta'veren nature almost makes Egwene give away what she promised to keep secret. He refuses to help her since she won't help him.

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand is disappointed that Egwene is acting more like an Aes Sedai than like a friend trying to help him. He has meetings to arrange with the nobles, the Wise Ones and the clan chiefs and he is very tired.

Point of view: Sulin

Sulin is upset that Rand will only allow two Aiel to guard him in the palace. Instead, they are communicating whenever he moves around so they can keep watch out of his sight. This is a challenge for Sulin, but she is determined to not fail at it.