TGH: Chapter 21
The Nine Rings
Rand POV - Rand, Loial, Hurin and Selene enter The Nine Rings inn. There are several Cairhienin soldiers and an officer. The innkeeper, Maglin Madwen, is originally from Lugard. Her husband, Barin, left her the inn. She asks if Loial is from Stedding Tsofu. She asks if they are Hunters of the Horn because there have been two in the last month at the inn. She notes that it is too soon for them to have come from Illian, so they may be hunting without the blessing. Catrine, a serving girl, brings them a meal. Mistress Madwen notes the flute and Rand offers to play. With one of the tunes, the soldiers sing a song about defeating the Tairens at the River Iralell. The officer comes over and introduces himself as Captain Aldrin Caldevwin. He is suspicious and quizzes Rand, asking him about Gareth Bryne to determine if he is really Andoran. He then asks Selene's name. Just after he asks, Catrine drops a lamp causing a small fire.1 Selene says she is not feeling well and wants to go to her room. Maglin Madwen offers to summon Mother Caredwain, a healer. Another serving girl, Lidan, carries Selene's things upstairs. Rand asks Caldevwin about the giant statue making him even more suspicious. Caldevwin is in charge of the excavation party. He says King Galldrian ordered the excavation of the giant statue so it could be brought to Cairhien.2 When Rand says they are leaving in the morning, Caldevwin says he will send a company of men to escort them to the city of Cairhien. After they go to their room, Hurin and Loial explain that Caldevwin is suspicious because of Daes Dae'mar, the Great Game or Game of Houses.
The next morning Selene is gone having left a message for Rand with a crescent moon and stars seal.3 She does not like Caldevwin. There are too many people around so she will go ahead and wait in Cairhien. They go outside where Caldevwin is waiting with a younger officer, Lieutenant Elricain Tavolin, and fifty men. Caldevwin's banner is a white star. Tavolin's banner is two white bars crossed. Caldevwin is angry that Selene slipped away without him knowing. Caldevwin leaves and the rest depart for Cairhien.
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