Rand is with Perrin in a courtyard when Loial arrives. They have a happy reunion until Rand mentions his mother. Rand tells Loial that his mother, Elder Haman and Erith were in Caemlyn and that he took them to Emond's Field a month ago. Loial is terribly upset until he starts thinking about how beautiful Erith is. He is sure he will be married to Erith and dragged back to Stedding Shangtai. Serden son of Kolom son of Radlin wrote about the Ways six hundred years ago. Rand asks Loial to help him find and put guards at all the Waygates. Perrin is furious with him for using his friends again.
Min arrives in a panic saying that seven of the Aes Sedai are coming. Merana and two other Aes Sedai visited three days in a row, but there have been no more visits in the last five days. All Rand knows is that Demira has been in bed. Lews Therin moans that he cannot handle seven Aes Sedai, but he fades away when Rand thinks of his little fat man angreal. Beralna goes to inform Nandera. Sulin goes to Rand's quarters to help him prepare and Jalani stays with Rand. He tells Min to stay with Perrin and Loial. Rand gets his coat and goes back to the Grand Hall to find Bael, Melaine and a hundred Maidens waiting. Bashere and Deira are out with their troops. Naean, Elenia, Lir and the other nobles are not there, which means they have heard there are Aes Sedai in the palace. As soon as he sits, Reene Harfor announces the Aes Sedai have arrived. Merana leads Faeldrin Harella, Valinde Nathenos, Demira Eriff, Rafela Cindal, Seonid and Masuri. As they approach him they seem to grow larger. Lews Therin is disdainful that they would try to impress him by spinning the Mirror of Mists. Rand also recognizes this from Asmodean's teachings as the Mirror of Mists, also called Illusion. Demira speaks for them and says they no longer agree to his restrictions. Rand channels Spirit, Fire and Earth and breaks through their Illusion shocking them. Rand tells them the restrictions still stand and dismisses them. The Aes Sedai leave in a huff. Melaine tells him he handled them well and Rand wonders what they were after.
More Rand POV
Min gets away from Perrin and Loial and watches the audience. She cannot view anything because all the channeling obscures the images. She gets Wildrose and gallops back to The Crown of Roses. Mistress Cinchonine looks sour because no one is drinking. Min talks with Mahiro Shukosa, Rafela's Warder. He tells her the Aes Sedai are furious but will not tell her why. Bera Harkin and Kiruna Nachiman enter the common room. Min views them:
- a brownish yellow and deep purple aura
As they pass the table, Kiruna says that Alanna should have brought Rand under control by now. Min wonders why they are not in the Aiel Waste. The Warder tells her that they were half way to Cairhien when they heard that Rand was in Caemlyn. He hints that Rand is in trouble with the Aes Sedai. Min realizes that Kiruna and Bera bring the total number of Aes Sedai to thirteen and gallops back to the Royal Palace on Wildrose to warn Rand.
More Min POV
- "It's the aura. Blood, death, the One Power, those two women and you, all in the same place at the same time."
Rand says he is leaving and taking Min with him. Outside, Jalani and Beralna stand guard. He sends Beralna to fetch Nandera and as many Maidens as she wants and send them to Perrin's quarters. He cannot leave Perrin because one of the Aes Sedai may bond him, too. Rand says to Min, "I will cut off my arm before I hurt you." Min reacts oddly. Faile, Loial, Bain, Chiad and Gaul are going as well. Sulin also joins them. Perrin sends word to Dannil Lewin and the Two Rivers men to follow. Faile writes a letter to her mother and father explaining why she has to leave. Min writes to Mahiro Shukosa and Loial writes to Erith. Rand sends a message to Taim warning him of the thirteen Aes Sedai. Finally, he sends a letter of warning to Merana. They give all the letters to Reene Harfor for delivery. Nandera brings five hundred other Maidens. Rand opens a gateway and they Travel to the Sun Palace. Rand is so exhausted that Loial has to carry him to his rooms.
Merana Ambrey POV#
Merana reads Rand's letter again. Rand says he has gone to Cairhien. She can follow him if she chooses, but only with six Aes Sedai total. They will then be on equal footing with the White Tower embassy. Berenicia is very quiet. Faeldrin, Masuri, Rafela and Seonid seem determined. Valinde and the rest are more placid. They are all there except Verin and Alanna. Kiruna and Bera are now in charge. Demira's informant confirmed that Rand is gone. Verin enters and announces that the Two Rivers men are preparing to move. Merana notes that Verin skillfully guided Demira into suggesting the unfortunate confrontation with Rand. Alanna arrives. She says Rand is now somewhere in the east. Kiruna asks why she does not control him. Alanna says she tried to compel him but it did not work. Merana says that they now need Rand more that he needs them. All the rest look shocked except for Verin. Kiruna assigns Demira, Valinde, Kairen and Berenicia to take the Two Rivers girls to Salidar. The rest will accompany her to Cairhien. Merana fervently hopes that the Salidar Aes Sedai have elected an Amyrlin as strong as Deane Aryman or Rashima. That is their only hope to make the Aes Sedai whole again.
More Merana Ambrey POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] He tried himself but the Stedding Tsofu Elders would not listen to a human. (LoC,Ch20) He will send Loial and Karldin on this mission in ACoS,Ch27.
[#2] Placing the time at five days since Perrin arrived in LoC,Ch45 and LoC,Ch46. Loial won his bet.
[#3] Giving a rough picture of relative strengths of Rand and the Aes Sedai.
[#4] In early printings, ACoS,Ch20, ACoS,Ch33 and ACoS,Ch40 call this weave Mask of Mirrors but these are being corrected to Mirror of Mists.
[#5] Is this a foreshadowing of some sort?
[#6] Milam Harnder?
[#7] Why? Yet another Verin mystery. See the discussion on her in the FAQ, Section 2.2.7.
[#8] Is this because Rand can channel himself or some other reason?
[#9] So Kiruna is bringing nine Aes Sedai, not six. They will pay a price for this. (LoC,Ch55)
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