Rhuarc leads Rand and Aviendha forward. Heirn and the Jindo follow. The Shaido stop and begin to set up their tents. Amys joins Rhuarc, but Moiraine, Lan, Egwene and the rest of the Wise Ones stay back. Couladin also runs forward. Strangely, he seems to look amused. Mat rides up. He tells Rand that Cold Rocks Hold looks like a pretty good fortress, but not as good as the Stone of Tear or Tora Harad. Rand is amazed when they enter. Cold Rocks Hold is a fair sized town. Amys and Lian stand atop a boulder.
Rhuarc asks permission to enter using the format of a clan chief and Lian welcomes him. Heirn asks permission as a sept chief and is welcomed. Couladin then asks permission using the clan chief form. Lian welcomes him as a beggar, a grave insult. Couladin leaves in a rage. Rand then moves forward. He was instructed to ask permission as a clan chief, but instead he uses the form that Heirn used. Lian welcomes him as the Car'a'carn. While introductions are being made, Rand notes that Amys looks young, not ageless. Rand and Mat leave Jeade'en and Pips and accompany Lian to her house. Shortly, Moiraine, Lan, Egwene and the Wise Ones arrive. They eat a meal including Aiel staples zemai, t'mat and kardon. Amys and Lian lie on either side of Rhuarc. Rand has a random thought that he cannot see Elayne and Min doing that.
After dinner, Rhuarc reports the news he got from Lian. Jheran, clan chief of the Shaarad, and Bael, clan chief of the Goshien, are already at Alcair Dal. Erim, clan chief of the Chareen, will be there soon. Rand wants to go immediately, but Rhuarc tells him he should not. It is only three or four days to Alcair Dal and it would be an insult to clan chiefs who have not arrived yet. The Nakai have the farthest to come. Seana reports that she visited Alsera's dreams. Bruan is coming from Shiagi Hold as fast as he can and will be at Alcair Dal in less than a month. Rand asks how many of the clan chiefs will support him. Rhuarc says he will. Bruan and Dhearic of the Reyn will. Sevanna, Suladric's widow, will bring more Shaido that might make trouble. Han of the Tomanelle is hard to predict. Moiraine suddenly asks Rand where he plans to "lead the spears to war once more." Angrily he gets up and goes for a walk.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Is there something Asmodean has set up for Couladin?
[#2] Something dredged up from Mat's memories. There is no indication elsewhere in the series what Tora Harad was.
[#3] A line from the Karaethon Cycle. (TSR,Ch6)
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