Rand and his forces are five miles east of Cairhien. The Shaido surround the city. Rand is on a hill studying the three camps below him. One camp holds some eight hundred Tairens, of which half are Defenders of the Stone. The second camp is the Cairhienin camp, and it has around nine hundred men. The third is the infantry, which is mostly Cairhienin and it has at least seventeen hundred men. They were all brought in from the south by Lord Weiramon the day before. For a moment, Rand examines Weiramon who is nearby with two young Tairen nobles. The two talk about the news from Tear that Weiramon has brought - pirates and brigands from Illian. The king of Illian is Mattin Stepaneos den Balgar. Sulin and a hundred Maidens surround the hilltop. Enaila and two Maidens hover near Weiramon and his lordlings. Aviendha is talking to a dozen or more Wise Ones, including Amys, Bair and Sorilea. Lately she has been almost friendly towards Rand. Melaine is with Bael. He then encounters a gathering of Aiel: Heirn, chief of the Jindo Taardad, Mangin, Juranai, leader of the Red Shields and Roidan, the leader of the Thunder Walkers. Rand thinks that he could be friends with Mangin.
Rand then heads to the highest point on the hill where there stands a log tower twenty spans tall. Egwene, Moiraine and Lan are there. Egwene reluctantly tells Rand that she will help in the battle. Moiraine asks Rand why he is wearing a sword. Rand, several of the clan chiefs and Lan climb the tower's ladder to the top. On the platform, Kin Tovere and his two helpers, Jol and Cail, are setting up two large looking glasses. Rand looks through one of them and sees a group of Shaido about a mile from Cairhien, Couladin among them. Asmodean admitted marking Couladin's arms. He then sees a spear skewer two of the Shaido. Swinging the looking glass he sees another come from the tops of Cairhien's walls. Rhuarc also sees the spears as he is looking in the other telescope. Rand thinks he will do what he must to stop the Shaido.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] One is Melanril. (TFoH,Ch43) The other is never identified.
[#2] Is this more of Sammael's work?
[#3] She is interceding on Sulin's behalf. Rand ordered the Maidens to guard the tower while he goes to battle. (TFoH,Ch43)
[#4] Idrien Tarsin built the giant crossbow that launches these spears. (LoC,Ch18)
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