— Aiel Maiden saying
|<<< Traps >>>|
|Setting: Cold Rocks Hold|
Point of view: Rand al'Thor
Rand wishes he could trust Moiraine and then wonders how he can use her―her and the Aiel. He has resolved to try to make peace with Aviendha, although he doesn't know the cause of the conflict. He makes his way to where the Maidens reside in Cold Rocks Hold. He asks the Maidens to suggest an appropriate gift for Aviendha's teachings. All of the Maidens come out to watch as he examines the potential gifts, finally selecting a bracelet decorated in roses with thorns. Adelin refuses payment for the bracelet and begins a tea ceremony where each maiden takes a sip of tea, and then Rand does. After each sip they say "remember honor" and kiss Rand on the cheek.
He approaches Aviendha, now beating rugs outside Lian's house. She is ungracious about receiving the bracelet. Rand mentions the tea ceremony which means that the Maidens approve of his interest in Aviendha, even though that wasn't the reason for the gift. He talks to Amys, Bair, Melaine, and Seana about Aviendha and tells them that he knows she is their spy. They hint that they had a different purpose in mind and that he could send her away if he wanted. Melaine starts a rant which Amys interrupts but not before she says, "…if I have to lay the―".
Rand shocks Chion, the gai'shain showing him his room, by requesting wash water. Rand dreams of swimming in the Waterwood when Elayne and Min join him while Aviendha watches from the bank. Another beautiful woman he almost recognizes stands on the opposite bank and wonders aloud if she should allow him to be unfaithful even in his dreams. The woman dives into the water and embraces him, and bites his neck. A man appears and speaks to the woman contemptuously. Rand awakes and finds tooth marks on his neck. Traps, he thinks, traps all around.
Rand realizes he is not alone and channels all of the lamps alight only to find that it is Aviendha sitting on the floor. Aviendha lets slip that the Wise Ones watch over him in his dreams. Rand senses some evil, some wrongness and channels his sword before exiting his room. He encounters a Draghkar just after it finishes killing Chion. Rand kills it, then another as Aviendha examines Chion. As he exits, Rand sees Seana dead on the path to his rooms. Rand rings the gong to rouse everyone and then hears shouts from Trollocs.
Point of view: Matrim Cauthon
Mat joins the fight, killing a Trolloc and cursing Rand for getting him into another mess. Mat recognizes that the Trolloc attack was a diversion so the Draghkar could reach Rand, then curses the memories of other men and battles he now has in his head. When the battle is over, Mat tries to impress Isendre, but she ignores him.
Rand and Moiraine have another argument, with Moiraine wanting Rand to confide in her and he wanting to keep his plans to himself. He tries to get Moiraine to promise not to interfere if he tells his plans, but she refuses. Rhuarc wants Rand guarded all the time, and the Maidens volunteer for that duty. Mat asks after the Shaido and Rhuarc says they left at dusk. Rand asks where, and Rhuarc replies north, toward Alcair Dal. Rand resolves to leave for Alcair Dal immediately since he cannot let the Shaido influence events there for a month while the rest of the clans gather. Rand insists all of the spears travel with him, not just the customary honor guard. Mat agrees to come along with Rand.
- Jasin Natael
- Chion gai'shain at Cold Rocks Hold
- ↑ They wish Aviendha to lay a marriage wreath at Rand's feet so he will be more committed to the Aiel and save as many of them as possible. Rand does not recognize the Aiel marriage proposal, though.
- ↑ This is Lanfear.
- ↑ This is Asmodean.
- ↑ The Draghkar and Trollocs were sent by Asmodean to keep Rand distracted while Couladin declares himself the Car'a'carn.
- At least one edition has the wheel icon for this chapter.