TPoD: Chapter 23
Fog of War, Storm of Battle
Rand POV - Rand rides Tai'daishar among dead Seanchan. They have won their first skirmish with the Seanchan, but lost fifty men in the process. Weiramon is pristine even though he led a charge through the mud followed by Torean, all the other Tairens, and even Semaradrid and Gregorin Panar. Anaiyella who was with Sunamon earlier is now with Weiramon. She and Ailil did not participate in battle, but their armsmen did. Anaiyella's Master of the Horse was killed. Aracome is dead.1 Gedwyn has the Asha'man bringing supply carts. The Tairens, Cairhienin and Illianers are now mingling. Semaradrid is with Gueyam and Maraconn is with Kiril Drapaneos. Flinn, Adley, Morr and Hopwil are with the wounded. Rand, Narishma and Dashiva are poor at Healing.2 Gedwyn and Rochaid are talking. Ailil consults with her Lance-Captain Denharad. Bashere consoles Rand telling him they will do better next time. One of Bashere's patrols returns having captured Nerith. Her damane, Gille, was killed. Nerith is defiant, but when Rand says he will hand her over to the Aes Sedai she screams in panic and runs. A soldier, Varil Nensen, gates in. Rand remembers seeing him at the Black Tower the first day he gave out pins to Taim and the others. Varil reports that there are more Seanchan thirty miles west.
Furyk Karede POV - Furyk Karede of the Deathwatch Guard has a force of over two thousand men and twelve sul'dam, but only two damane. According to his family, an ancestor of his accompanied Luthair Paendrag to Seanchan at Artur Hawkwing's command. There are lots of patrols of raken and morat'torm scouting the area. Two of his officers are Jadranka and Nadoc. They think the force against them is at least forty thousand soldiers. Suddenly the ground explodes around them as they are attacked. Jadranka foolishly orders a counterattack so Karede cuts his throat. He orders Nadoc to rally the men and fall back. He orders Anghar to ride east and report. He suspects High Lady Suroth in Ebou Dar already knows what is going on.
Rand POV - They have been fighting for five days. Rand is on a ridge with Dashiva, Flinn, Ailil and Anaiyella. The rest are down in the valley engaging the enemy. They have now suffered about three hundred casualties. A gateway opens and a soldier, Arlen Nalaam, brings another prisoner sul'dam. He complains that saidin feels strange. Flinn, Narishma, Hopwil and Morr have mentioned it also. They now have twenty-three sul'dam and two damane prisoners.3 Rand sends Flinn and Dashiva with orders for Gedwyn to push harder. They are concerned about leaving him alone, but Denharad commands Ailil's and Anaiyella's armsmen nearby. Weiramon is to the north, and Bashere is to the south. Suddenly, Rand is hit in the arm with a crossbow bolt and Seanchan attack, from the north. The armsmen fight back while Ailil and Anaiyella huddle over Rand. He cannot decide if they intend to protect him or if they are considering murdering him. Bashere and Gregorin Panar arrive from the south with Morr who Heals Rand. Weiramon, still clean, arrives. He claims he saw Seanchan advancing on the ridge so he left his post.4 Gedwyn arrives and reports that all the Seanchan are falling back. They have won. Weiramon and Gedwyn recommend pressing on to Ebou Dar. Bashere and Gregorin recommend stopping with their current victory.
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