"That's right! The Dragon's banner! Moiraine wants me to be a puppet on Tar Valon strings, a false Dragon for the Aes Sedai. She's going to push it down my throat whatever I want. But - I - will - not - be - used!"
   — Rand to Mat and Perrin
For the chapter with the same title in Crossroads of Twilight, see Crossroads of Twilight/Prologue.

External summary

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Setting: south of Shienar

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

After seeing the Fade nailed to the door and the guards hanging from the trees, everyone is a bit shaken.  Ingtar decides to rest for the night, past the town.  Rand receives a package from Ingtar that he says is from Moiraine.  Ingtar also tells Rand that he is now second in command of the party. He waits until most of the party is asleep, and opens.  It is the Dragon Banner!  Mat sees him and begins teasing him again about the fancy clothes and now a banner!  Perrin comes over, too, just as Rand is ranting about “won’t be a Tar Valon puppet” and other such things.  Rand explains that the Aes Sedai want him to be a false dragon. Perrin ask if he can channel and Rand admits that he can.  Mat is mostly worried that Rand may be going mad.

Rand joins Loial and Hurin in the center of the hollow where they will camp. Loial is examining a tall, weathered stone[1] which he thinks may have been worked in some fashion. They go to sleep, Rand holding the flame and the void, and the others having fitful dreams.

Point of view: Padan Fain

Fain reflects on the changes that have been made to him. “Ba’alzamon summoned him and set him on the path of finding these young boys from Emond’s field”.  Fain has the Ruby-hilted dagger that Mat is looking for along with the Horn of Valere in a locked chest which he can't open.  He has several darkfriends at his side and trollocs, doing his bidding. This time Rand must do the following. They will meet again on Toman Head.









  1. Later identified as a Portal Stone.