Rand and Mat are inside The Queen's Blessing. Master Gill gives them a small meal. Rand tells Master Gill an abbreviated version of their tale so far. Master Gill advises against going to Elaida for help because of their connection with Thom. The cook then calls Master Gill away. As he leaves he tells them there is a recent infestation of rats. The boys finish their meals and then a serving girl shows them up to their attic room. They put their things down. Mat lies down on a bed and Rand goes back downstairs. A guardsman enters the inn, looks around, and then leaves.
Rand asks the serving girl if there is another place where he could sit. She suggests the library. Rand enters the library and is amazed at the number of books. They include The Travels of Jain Farstrider, Essays of Willim of Maneches and Voyages Among the Sea Folk. He meets Loial, son of Arent, son of Halan there, who he first thinks is a Trolloc. They introduce themselves and Loial tells Rand that he has run away to see the Ogier groves and cities. The groves have Great Trees hundreds of feet tall. He has been in Caemlyn four days. Ogier rarely leave the stedding any more since the Ways started going bad six generations ago, just after the Hundred Years War. He has already seen Cairhien, which he calls Al'cair'rahienallen, Hill of the Golden Dawn in the Old Tongue. The Tear grove is now pasture and the Illian grove is the King's park. Loial quotes, "Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared screaming defiance with the last breath to spit in Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day." Confused, Rand asks Loial if the Great Trees are like Avendesora. Loial is now confused, saying Rand should know better than he does. He thinks Rand is Aiel. Rand explains that he is from the Two Rivers. Loial looks blank and Rand adds that it used to be Manetheren. When Rand mentions Manetheren, Loial says, "We could not come in time." Loial asks Rand what brings him here. Rand tells Loial the whole story, including Trollocs and Fades and even his dreams. Loial names him ta'veren and explains the term. Elder Haman said Loial does not listen, but sometimes he does. He explains that the Pattern bends to make the Web, ta'maral'ailen. The first bending is ta'veren. He also talks about Talents. Loial decides he wants to travel with Rand.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Her name is Coline. (TDR,Ch45)
[#2] Spies for the Dark One.
[#3] Early printings read, "just after the Trolloc Wars." This error was later corrected.
[#4] Rand later repeats this Aiel phrase when he is nearly overwhelmed by the Choedan Kal near Tremonsien. (TGH,Ch20)
[#5] Interesting that the Ogier know that the Aiel have Avendesora.
[#6] Well, okay, it is not really a mistake, but Rand thinks it is.
[#7] So were the Ogier the ones called to help or was it someone else who truly betrayed Manetheren? (TEotW,Ch9) Siuan notes that Tetsuan was stripped of her stole for betraying Manetheren out of jealousy for Ellisande.
[#8] Why is Rand compelled to spill his guts to Loial? Is Loial, perhaps, ta'veren as well?
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