CoT: Chapter 27
What Must Be Done
Perrin POV - Perrin watches through the morning as the So Habor people winnow the grain and his carters load their wagons. Berelain and Annoura chide him for wanting to save everyone. Seonid and Masuri, with Furen, Teryl and Rovair, hassle him about staying until he threatens to send Edarra to bring them back. Latian reports that Balwer's friend is out of town for the day. They will stay behind to meet him.1 The winnowing will take more than a day. Perrin cannot stand waiting to hear if Gaul and the Maidens got news of Faile, so about noon he returns to his camp with Berelain, the Mayeners,2 the Two Rivers men,3 the Aes Sedai and Neald. Kireyin and his troops stay to guard the carters. Back at his camp, many of the Two Rivers men are using the stools that Ban Crawe made. Dannil, Sulin and Edarra approach from the Aiel tents. Dannil reports that the Maidens brought in five Shaido Stone Dogs. Arganda took them to question. Masema is with him. Perrin turns Stayer over to Dannil, then goes to the Ghealdanin part of the camp. Hari is torturing one of the Shaido with hot coals while Aram, Masema and Arganda watch. Berelain, the Aes Sedai and their Warders join the crowd. Perrin kicks off the coals and tries to question the Shaido, but the man just sings. Perrin chops off the man's hand with his axe, then commands Seonid to Heal the stump. He tells the Shaido that he will leave them as quadriplegic beggars if they do not answer his questions, then he walks out of the camp. Even Masema is shocked at what he did. Out in the woods, he throws away his axe. Elyas comes up and they talk. Perrin admits that he started liking the axe, feeling truly alive only in battle. It started with Gaul, then fighting Trollocs in the Two Rivers, then at Dumai's Wells. He likens his feeling to how Grady and Neald describe the One Power. Elyas tells him that it is just excitement, not real liking. He knows from experience. Neald and Aram find Perrin. The Shaido talked, but they really knew nothing. Aram says they must be killed, but Perrin says to guard them. They return to camp leaving his axe behind.
Three days later the last of the carts returns from So Habor. Balwer also returns accompanied by Tallanvor.4 He arrived at So Habor just before they left. He has been searching for Maighdin since he left the party, but the Shaido moved too fast for him. Tallanvor reports that he made contact with a Seanchan army of fifteen thousand that is also hunting the Shaido. They are mostly Taraboners and they have a dozen damane with them. It is like taking help from the Dark One, but Perrin agrees.
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