TGS: Tears from Steel

Rand POV#

A wind rises around the White Tower and passes over the Alindaer Bridge and the town of Alindaer. Nearby is the rebel army numbering 50,000 whose Amyrlin, Egwene al'Vere, is held by the White Tower. The wind passes Dragonmount and over the Black Hills and Caralain Grass to Arad Doman. A countering wind from the north brings a stench of death. Rand and Min are in a log manor house in far eastern Arad Doman.[1] His eyes are slowly getting better.[2] He thinks of himself as hard as steel. He has been moving a lot since Lord Algarin's manor was compromised. Bashere's army is camped on the green near the house. He wears an unusual sword recently unearthed.[3]

Rand can feel that Aviendha is coming closer. She is with Rhuarc.[4] He can sense Elayne and Alanna as well. Elayne feels relieved.[5] Lews Therin moans about Ilyena and Rand thinks about what Semirhage said while impersonating the Daughter of the Nine Moons. There are ten Asha'man in camp; only Flinn, Narishma and Naeff are full Asha'man. Bashere is touring the Saldaean camp with Lord Tallaen, owner of the manor. Rand wonders if Tenobia will really give him her support. Ituralde has been very effective in his fighting against the Seanchan. Rand wonders if Graendal is still in Arad Doman as Asmodean told him. He still does not know what became of Asmodean. Rand's goal is to fulfill his answer from the Aelfinn, that he must unite the south and the west, the north and the east.[6] He intends to bring peace to Arad Doman and make a truce with the Seanchan.

Cadsuane arrives with Nynaeve and Alivia. Min stiffens when she sees Alivia, as she always does, because of her viewing that Alivia will help Rand die. They have been questioning Semirhage. Rand will not allow torture on a woman, even one of the Forsaken, so they have learned nothing. Cadsuane suggests turning her over to the White Tower and Rand asks which one, Elaida or Egwene? Lews Therin grumbles about the women Aes Sedai not helping him, then moans about Ilyena. Rand shouts at him out loud and the others in the room stare at him. Rand is losing control. There may be nothing left of him to fight at Shayol Ghul. He should cry, but tears cannot come from steel.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Lord Tallaen's manor house
[#2] From the flash damage of Semirhage's fireball. (KoD,Ch27)
[#3] This is probably Artur Hawkwing's sword Justice.
[#4] They are returning from scouting Domani refugees. (TGS,Ch3)
[#5] This is some time after her victory in Caemlyn so the source of her relief is unclear.
[#6] Rand interprets his answer from the Aelfinn in purely geographic terms though it seems likely that this is incorrect.

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