Gawyn and a few other Younglings lead the Aes Sedai party north. Dumai's Wells are just off the road to right. It is four days to the next water at Alianelle Spring. Gawyn just learned a few days ago that the Aes Sedai hold Rand prisoner. He thinks the beatings are disgusting. Even Erian refused to participate after the second day, but Galina insists. He reads Egwene's letter several times a day. He hopes that he can somehow rescue Min. She does not deserve to be a prisoner. Benji Dalfor rides in from the north. He was mortally wounded by Aiel and dies after reporting to Gawyn. Gawyn sends Jisao to halt the wagons and Hal Moir to ready Rajar and the other Younglings at the rear. Galina is angry that he called a halt. She tells him that the Aiel are the Shaido that Sevanna sent as escort. Gawyn tells her they killed one of his men, so they might be Rand's Aiel. She agrees that they should be cautious.
More Gawyn POV
Rand is suffering in the chest. He can feel that Alanna is near. Lews Therin moans about the dark. Only Galina, Erian and Katerine beat him more than once. He spends his time feeling the shield. He feels the box being moved from the wagon, but it does not open. Fearing that they will leave him in the chest all night, he screams for them to let him out.
More Rand POV
Perrin, Rhuarc, Sorilea, Dobraine and Kiruna peer over a rise. Forty thousand Shaido surround a bunch of wagons. Kiruna says there are two or three hundred women channeling. Back below the rise, they prepare their attack. Dannil leads the Two Rivers men, Dobraine leads the Cairhienin and Nurelle leads the Winged Guards. The Wise Ones and the Aes Sedai are to stay back from the fighting. Amys is near the Aes Sedai led by Bera and Kiruna. Perrin goes on foot because he does not want to ride Stayer or Stepper into such a battle. Aram smiles in anticipation.
As they attack the Shaido, Perrin calls to the wolves to come. Loial is deadly with his huge axe. Perrin sees Kiruna, Bera, Faeldrin and Masuri in the thick of battle and wonders what they are doing there. Perrin hears a hollow boom, then a gateway opens up and Asha'man pour through. Perrin thinks that he will never come home to Faile.
More Perrin POV
In the chest, Rand feels three points of the shield tied off. Following Lews Therin's instructions he unknots them. He breaks through the shield and crushes the remaining three points with Spirit. He can only channel where he can see, so he blows up the box with Air. There are three Aes Sedai by the box. Two are unconscious and one angular woman is screaming. Rand stilled them. Min is also near the chest and she is okay. She wants him to make a gateway, but he does not know the area yet. Rand begins knocking out and shielding the other Aes Sedai including Erian, Katerine, Sarene Nemdahl and Coiren. He cannot find Galina.
Gawyn rides up and offers to take Min away, but she says she is staying with Rand. She tells Gawyn that Elayne also loves Rand. Gawyn tells Jisao to rally the Younglings. He tells Rand that he will see him dead one day. As Gawyn rides away, a full Asha'man starts to attack him, but Rand knocks him down.
Taim arrives and addresses the man as Gedwyn. Taim says he went to visit Rand in Cairhien. He offers to Heal Rand but Rand refuses. Lews Therin screams about killing everyone. There are about two hundred Asha'man there. They have created a dome of Air that secures the camp area. A dozen Asha'man are holding a dozen Aes Sedai including Nesune prisoner. Rand sees Alanna in another group of nine Aes Sedai and realizes they were the ones who followed from Caemlyn. Perrin, Aram, Loial, Dobraine, Nandera and Sulin are also there. Rhuarc and most of the other Aiel, the Mayeners, the Cairhienin and the Two Rivers men are still out with the Shaido.
Taim wants to let the dome stay until they learn the area well enough to Travel, even if their allies outside all die. Perrin argues telling Rand that Dannil, Ban, Wil and Tell are still out there. Rand orders him to open the dome, then have the Asha'man kill the Shaido. He wants to send a message to Sevanna. Of the Asha'man he knows, Jur Grady, Damer, Fedwin, Eben, Jahar and Torval, only Torval is full Asha'man. The Asha'man use Earth and Fire to slaughter thousands of Shaido. The Shaido finally break and run.
The rest of the rescue forces, including Rhuarc, slowly join the others in the camp. There are twenty-three Tower Aes Sedai prisoners, Galina not among them. Kiruna, Bera and Alanna lead the nine Aes Sedai to congratulate Rand. Merana stays at the back. Rand is furious telling them that he said only six could come. He will now place them on the same level as the other Aes Sedai. They must kneel to him. At first they refuse, but Taim again orders them and nearly smiles. The nine Salidar Aes Sedai swear fealty to Rand, "the unstained tower, broken, bent knee to the forgotten sign."
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Kiruna later explains that they had to be in danger or else the Three Oaths would prevent them from helping. (ACoS,Ch2)
[#2] Quite remarkable timing as the Asha'man appear at almost the exact moment that Rand frees himself from the box.
[#3] They are Irgain Fatamed, Ronaille Vevanios and Sashalle. (TPoD,Prologue, WH,Ch13)
[#4] His horse is Challenge. (TGS,Ch4)
[#5] Jonan Adley, Dashiva, Gedwyn, Kisman and Rochaid are also there. (ACoS,Ch2) Another of the Asha'man is Donalo Sandomere. (WH,Prologue)
[#6] Irgain Fatamed, Ronaille Vevanios and Sashalle were stilled and captured. Twenty others were captured including Coiren Saeldain, Sarene Nemdahl, Erian Boroleos, Nesune Bihara, Katerine Alruddin, Elza Penfell, Beldeine Nyram, Nalaene Forrell, Janine Pavlara, Turanna Norill and Marith Riven, Chisaine Nurbaya, Innina Darenhold, Vayelle Kamsa and Fera. Twelve escaped including Covarla Baldene and Lusonia Cole, Vasha and her Warder Marlesh and Hattori and her Warder Sleete. Three were killed including Amira Moselle and Laigin Arnault. Galina was captured by the Shaido for a total of thirty-nine. Mayam is also among the thirty-nine, but her fate is not yet disclosed.
[#7] The nine are Bera, Kiruna, Alanna, Faeldrin, Masuri, Merana, Rafela, Seonid and Verin.
[#8] Quoting from the Karaethon Cycle. (LoC,Ch27, LoC,Epilogue)
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