"To us it is the Three-fold Land. A shaping stone, to make us; a testing ground, to prove our worth; and a punishment for the sin."
   — Aiel saying

External summary

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Setting: Cairhien

Point of view: Perrin Aybara

Perrin, Mat, Ingtar and the Shienaran soldiers continue after Fain and the Horn of Valere. Mat seems paler than he once was, likely due to his separation from the stolen dagger, and healing by Verin seems to have no effect. Ingtar desparately wants the Horn and asks Perrin to relate events the wolves saw. The wolves saw Shadowkiller attack the darkfriend camp, and now the darkfriends are following Shadowkiller.

Uno spots an Aielman in the rocks, who then comes out to the path to meet them.  The Aielman gives his name, Urien.  Mat says the Aielman looks like Rand.  Ingtar talks to the Aielman and wants to know if he's seen the trollocs they follow, but he hasn't.  When Urien identifies Verin as a Wise One, she asks how they choose girls to become Wise ones.  There is a place Aiel have to send boys to be clan chiefs and girls to be Wise Ones.  Urien says he thinks Verin will kill him when he cannot give her a full answer.  Urien says he searches for He Who Comes with the Dawn.  There are signs and portents to know he has returned.  Urien says, "He will be of our blood, but not live among us," and draws the symbol of Aes Sedai in the dirt. Urien says, "...under this sign he will conquer."

Ingtar has the soldiers remove their armor and they continue on through Cairhien.