TSR: The Traps of Rhuidean

Rand POV#

Rand makes a platform and wills it to follow Asmodean to Rhuidean.[1] Shortly he sees Asmodean ahead of him. Asmodean has black threads running off into the darkness like Rand has seen before.[2] Asmodean turns and Rand is surprised to see that he is Jasin Natael. Rand thought he was Kadere. Asmodean leaves a trail of fire and traps, but Rand counters them all. At last he sees a doorway open and Asmodean jumps through. Rand channels to hold the doorway open[3] and jumps through as well. They both run through the fog into Rhuidean[4] and Rand notes that it is more difficult to channel.[5] They both run to the center of the city and grab the male control statue at the same moment, each capturing half of the One Power from the giant statue in Cairhien. Much of the city is wrecked in the battle. Avendesora burns like a torch.[6] Rand is quickly exhausted, but finally he remembers the little fat man. Using the little fat man, he visualizes the black threads that he saw while following Asmodean and severs them.[2] Asmodean "quivers like a struck gong. For an instant there seems to be two of him shivering away from each other, then they slide back together."[7]

Lanfear appears and notes the remnants of the shield.[8] She sees Rand's control statue and comments that the only one she knew existed was broken.[9] Rand tells her he severed Asmodean from the Dark One. This was his plan so he could control his teacher. Lanfear is shocked. She did not know such severing was possible. She agrees to tell the other Forsaken that Asmodean turned on his own. Then she partially shields him so he is too weak to hurt Rand. She tells Rand that Asmodean cannot tolerate enough pain to break the shield.[10] She says the shield will dissipate in a few months.[11] Asmodean calls her Mierin and Rand realizes she was the one who originally opened the Bore to the Dark One's prison. He asks her if she hurt anyone at Alcair Dal. Lanfear says no, she does not kill or even hurt without cause. She calls him Lews Therin and tells him to use Asmodean well. Sammael, Demandred and Rahvin are still out there. A gateway opens to a palace chamber all in white.[12] As she leaves, Rand asks which one she was. Lanfear says she was actually Keille and Isendre is in serious trouble for stealing. She tells him to learn quickly before Sammael kills him or Graendal adds him to her collection, then she leaves and the gateway closes.

Rand notes that there is now a great chasm in the earth all the way down to the underground ocean. A three-mile lake is forming outside the city. Rand searches the plaza and finds the female control statue, then he travels back to Alcair Dal with Asmodean. They agree that he will continue to pose as Jasin Natael, gleeman to the Dragon Reborn. Rand says the first thing he wants to learn is how to shield his dreams. Back at Alcair Dal, the rain has stopped. Moiraine, Egwene, Lan, Aviendha and the Wise Ones have joined the clan chiefs on the ledge. Mat sits off to one side. Rand tells Adelin to send someone to the fair to tell them to stop beating Isendre. Moiraine, looking back and forth between Rand and Natael, hardly knows what questions to ask. Melaine, Bair and Amys scowl at him. Moiraine looks hard at the two control statues as Rand wraps them in his coat. He intends to hide them well. Rhuarc tells him Sevanna and Couladin left with the Shaido. Some from the other clans ran away as well.[13] They head back across the canyon to make camp and wait for the rest of the clan chiefs to arrive.

More Rand POV

"And when the blood was sprinkled on ground where nothing could grow, the Children of the Dragon did spring up, the People of the Dragon, armed to dance with death. And he did call them forth from the wasted lands, and they did shake the world with battle.

—from The Wheel of Time by Sulamein so Bhagad
Chief Historian at the Court of the Sun, the Fourth Age"

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] This is Skimming as opposed to Traveling. In the current Age, Skimming is unknown, even by name. (TFoH,Ch6, ACoS,Ch9)
[#2] Coming off of Ishamael. (TEotW,Ch51, TDR,Ch55) What are these threads? See the discussion in the FAQ, Section 1.3.1.
[#3] Asmodean later comments that this is extremely difficult. Only Demandred, Lews Therin and perhaps Semirhage had the ability to block a closing gateway. (TFoH,Ch32)
[#4] One can only Skim to a place one knows well. Apparently Asmodean never physically entered Rhuidean. He only scouted it from the outside in Tel'aran'rhiod.
[#5] Apparently something having to do with the shield about Rhuidean.
[#6] In early printings of The Shadow Rising, Avendesora had only a single broken branch. This contradicted TFoH,Ch2 where Avendesora is badly charred, but still alive.
[#7] Compare this with the effect of Rand severing Ishamael (TEotW,Ch51, TDR,Ch55) and with the crossing of the balefire beams. (ACoS,Ch41)
[#8] She apparently has not been in Rhuidean before.
[#9] The one in the Panarch's Palace in Tanchico.
[#10] This is another indication that a shield can be broken and hints at how Moghedien escaped from Nynaeve. (TSR,Ch54)
[#11] There is nothing to indicate whether or not this statement is true, but outside of her masquerade as Selene, Lanfear has never demonstrably lied to Rand.
[#12] Holding the One Power makes it possible to learn a place well enough to Travel in a matter of minutes. (TPoD,Ch5)
[#13] The beginning of the Bleakness.

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