ToM: Near Avendesora

Aviendha POV#

Aviendha completes her trip through the glass columns of Rhuidean. She can see that Avendesora is already completely regrown from its burning.[1] She thinks she is the first person to pass through the glass columns since then. Many do not survive the experience but she already knew what to expect. All of the One Power objects have been removed except for the three rings and the glass columns. Moiraine claimed many for the White Tower. As she rests, she wonders if she can test the glass columns with her Talent to read ter'angreal. She touches an outer column but the sensation she feels is too vast to comprehend. Removing her hand, she turns to leave.[2]

She is Malidra, eighteen years old, scavenging for food at the camp of the Lightmakers. They ride in a large wagon on wheels with no horses. Jorshem told her they are building a road on pieces of metal.[3] There are two Lightmakers by the wagon. They have dark hair. She digs through trash but a light shines on her. One of the men, Flern, points a rod at her and something hits her in the back. The last thing she hears is, "Bloody Aiel."

Aviendha is in the same place in Rhuidean, but hours have passed. She is confused by what she saw. Was this even further in the past, in the Age of Legends? She returns to the glass columns. What she saw before is no longer a challenge but this was something new. It is forbidden to enter a second time. Nevertheless, she steps in.

She is Norlesh with her baby Garlvan and daughter Meise. Her husband Metalan talks with the outlanders about food. These outlanders seem to be ordinary folk, not Illuminated Ones. Metalan wants to trade for food but the outlanders say that the Raven Empress forbids it.[4] They have not had a home since the time of her greatmother Tava. As they hide for the night she notices that Garlvan is not breathing. She can hardly feel sorrow.

Aviendha cannot believe these people were her ancestors. She has no choice but to step forward.

She is Tava, fourteen years old. Her hold is under attack by strange flying beasts with men who fire arrows and weapons of fire.[5] A Stone Dog Tadvishm falls before her; Anyone trying to fight dies immediately. Her father Rowahn attacks one of the riders and manages to kill him, taking his sword. The attack is over. He orders them to put out the fires and begin rebuilding, but some of the men start to leave. Whenever they gather they are attacked. The Raven Empire send word to the Far Ones[6] to attack from the east as well. They are a clan no longer.

In horror, Aviendha realizes the attackers were Seanchan soldiers on raken. This is not the past; it is the future of the Aiel. She takes another step.

More Aviendha POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] At the end of TSR,Ch58.
[#2] Aviendha still has the twisted ring with her. Recall the resonance it caused with the three arches in TDR,Ch22. Is this ensuing vision the result of another such resonance?
[#3] A railroad across the Aiel Waste.
[#4] So the Seanchan are involved in this future.
[#5] The creatures are raken, again implying Seanchan control in the future.
[#6] Shara

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