"That surprises you? After everything he has done already? The man would cheat at dice with his mother."
   — Mat giving his opinion of Couladin
For the route through the Spine of the World, see Jangai Pass.

External summary

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Setting: Spine of the World, Jangai Pass, Taien

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand, Moiraine and the Aiel enter Jangai Pass through the mountains called the Spine of the World. Moiraine is teaching / lecturing at Rand, trying to impart as much of her knowledge and experience into him as she can. The town just inside the pass, Taien, does not look right, with blotches on the walls and birds circling overhead. Memories from Lews Therin continue to bubble up, but Rand intents to win and remain Rand al'Thor. The blotches are bodies hung from the walls and the birds are vultures and ravens. Several residents escaped from the Shaido and approach Rand for succor. They tell him the condition of the town is a message to Rand.

The Shaido took some residents of Taien as gai'shain and took them away and killed most of the rest and burned the town. They left six days ago. Rand makes camp while scouts make sure the pass ahead is clear. The Maidens are unhappy because Rand is no longer choosing their society for scouting duties.