As they ride through the forest, Tuon and Selucia keep close to Mat so she can hear his conversation with Talmanes. She failed to catch Mat's lie that he did not know the Dragon Reborn. Mat's was her first kiss. Talmanes left Estean in charge in Murandy; he is the only noble who will listen to Daerid, a commoner. Talmanes brought Edorion, Reimon and Carlomin. They are all Banner-Generals now. Talmanes and Daerid are Lieutenant-Generals. Tuon is intrigued by the Red Hand symbol, Mat's ring, and the fact that he remembers Hawkwing's face. Tuon is bemused by Mat's complexity and capability. Mat is concerned about the crossbowmen riding, but Talmanes says they all ride well. They also have the new crank that lets them fire seven or eight times a minute. A mechanic in Murandy invented it and was taking it to the school in Caemlyn. Talmanes cites Madoc Comadrin in Fog and Steel, "It is always better to kill your enemies far off than close at hand." King Roedran has two copies of the book. Gorderan and the other Redarms keep a watchful eye out. Thom and Aludra ride up near Tuon. She thinks Thom is a spy but does not know who sent him to Ebou Dar. Thom tells her the chance encounter with Talmanes must be because Mat is ta'veren, "tied to the Pattern" in the Old Tongue, like Artur Hawkwing. She thinks that is a myth.
In about an hour they reach the Band. They have not seen any raken but they are still cautious. Most of the Seanchan are to the north or south. Talmanes' scouts have located most of their camps from the Malvide Narrows to their current location. The men sing two verses of Jak o' the Shadows. The Band has its own mapmaker now, Master Roidelle. He made detailed maps of eastern Altara to the Damona Mountains. Soldiers take Akein and Rosebud.
Lopin serves them tea. Nerim is delighted to be back with Talmanes. Leilwin, Domon, Noal, Olver, Juilin, Amathera and Mistress Anan sit nearby. Mat has a reunion with Edorion, Reimon and Carlomin. They bow to Edesina, Joline, Teslyn and even Bethamin and Seta. Master Roidelle brings his maps. Mat studies the one with the Seanchan camps marked and begins planning a war. Tuon now thinks he more a lion than a buffoon.
More Tuon POV
It is night with a fat crescent moon. Perrin rides Stepper near the windmills and aqueduct east of Malden. Tomorrow will be the fifty-fourth day since Faile was taken. Snowy Dawn confirms that the wolves will be ready in two days. Gaul and Sulin confirm that the windmills are still deserted. Perrin gives the word and Mishima orders the six carts to come forward. It took the woman in Almizar two days to deliver all the forkroot. They lift a lid off the aqueduct and Seanchan soldiers including Arrata start dumping in the forkroot. Seonid arrives with Furen, Teryl and Rovair Kirklin. He does not like being separated from Masuri.
They enter the aqueduct to get into the cistern and then to the fortress to wait for Faile. Alyse was not sure how late the Shaido stayed in the town. Elyas, Tallanvor, twenty Cha Faile led by Selande Darengil and fifty Two Rivers men led by Ban al'Seen follow them. The Two Rivers men include Tod al'Caar, Leof Torfinn, Kenly Maerin, Bili Adarra and Had al'Lora. At the last minute Gaul joins them so he can be the first to reach Chiad. He does not care about Bain. Perrin heads down the hill while the Seanchan continue to unload the forkroot. Perrin would like to go with them but he does not trust Gallenne and Arganda to stick with the attack plan. Perrin rides down to the bottom of the hill where Grady waits. He opens a gateway back to Perrin's camp. He will return the Seanchan to their camp when they are done. The two camps are far apart because Perrin wants to keep the Aes Sedai and Wise Ones far from the sul'dam and damane. He wants to keep Grady and Neald from getting too tired.
Perrin's camp is near Brytan. There is a raken outside the camp which means someone arrived with a message. At his tent Athan Chandin takes Stepper. Inside are Berelain, Annoura, Breane, Lini, Aram, Balwer and Tylee. Aram leaves, probably for Masema's camp. Scouts found seven thousand Whitecloaks fifty miles from the Seanchan camp heading north. Rumor says Pedron Niall died fighting the Seanchan. His successor, Eamon Valda, swore fealty to the Empress. Over a month ago Galad killed him and led this band in desertion. Balwer feels he owes a debt of gratitude to Galad. The other piece of news is that two more bands of Shaido are approaching Malden from the southeast and southwest. They will be there in three days. Reality seems to ripple as though the world were fog. It happens three times. No one knows what it means, but Perrin says Faile is all that matters.
More Perrin POV
It is before noon, but Faile and Alliandre were already beaten because Sevanna's bath was not hot enough. Twenty more gai'shain begged to swear fealty to her just this morning. They want to attack the Aiel. Rolan is with her. He wants her to play a kissing game. Many of the Aiel are drunk. Galina approaches. She is wearing clothes again and her hair is less than an inch long. Rolan leaves and Galina demands the binder. She is nearly broken from Therava's treatment. After arguing and slapping each other, Galina says straight out that she will leave tomorrow and take Faile and her friends with her. Faile says the binder is hidden in town and offers to get it. Galina declines and tells her to take it tomorrow morning to a building marked with a red scarf at the south end of town. Faile believes her.
Follow Perrin and Faile
More Faile POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] All components of Lidya's Foretelling. (WH,Ch14, KoD,Ch36)
[#2] The school is the Academy of the Rose founded by Rand and maintained by Elayne. Is this the same crank that Elayne's troops have in KoD,Ch33?
[#3] In the first printing Perrin thinks of her as Galina though he knows her only as Alyse. This is corrected in later printings.
[#4] The same direction Perrin and Faile will head. (KoD,Ch30)
[#5] The rumor is wrong. He was assassinated on orders from Eamon Valda. (ACoS,Prologue)
[#6] The Morai and White Cliff septs. (KoD,Ch5)
More Category Chapters, Wheel Chapter Icon