WH: Bonds

Rand POV#

Rand is in his room in The Counsel's Head that overlooks the Nethvin Market.[1] The Counsel's Head is better than The Crown of Maredo. He is playing the flute Thom gave him - a tune he learned from Lews Therin. Min is with him. Alanna has been in Far Madding for a day and he knows that she is coming. Min is upset about Alivia. She had a viewing:

Lews Therin says that death is a relief. Rand recalls being told, "To live, you must die."[2]

There is a knock on the door and Cadsuane and Alanna enter. Rand can feel joy in his bond to her. Rand asks Cadsuane where she learned to Travel but she will not say.[3] He asks what she is doing in Far Madding and she just says she has a right to visit her birthplace.[4] She tells him she brought Nesune, Sarene, Erian, Beldeine and Elza with her. Sorilea insisted, saying they were good for nothing until they could see Rand. She also brought the three Asha'man and Harine, Shalon and Moad. She plans to send the Sea Folk and the Aes Sedai to Rand and let him deal with them. He politely asks her not to and she agrees. She then tells him that Merise bonded Narishma, Corele bonded Damer and Daigian bonded Hopwil. Rand swears and she slaps him hard.

Cadsuane leaves taking Min with her. Rand asks why Alanna told Cadsuane where he is. She demands to know what Rand did that rendered her unconscious for three days. Rand tells her that he let someone else bond him and she is outraged. Rand asks her to release his bond. He learned about that from Lan and his bond to Myrelle. She refuses because he will not tell her who bonded him. She says she did not tell Cadsuane where Rand was. Alanna doubts that there is a shepherd in Seleisin who does not wonder where Rand is. She begged to come along when she learned that Cadsuane and Verin were coming here.[5] Cadsuane also taught Alanna to Travel, so Rand cannot evade her so easily from now on. She says she heard Merise ask Jahar to be bonded. The three Asha'man were afraid to go back to the Black Tower after the attack.[6] She tells him that Damer Healed Irgain, Ronaille and Sashalle. All of the Aes Sedai prisoners now have sworn fealty to Rand, but Cadsuane does not trust them. She would not let the five bring their Warder. Alanna begs Rand to let the Aes Sedai help him. She tells him that many do not like Dobraine in Cairhien and might support Toram Riatin if he reappears. Darlin is ruling in Tear, but the rebels in Haddon Mirk have not returned. Elayne may or may not support him in Andor.[7] She reminds Rand that Rafela and Merana got everything he asked for in the treaty with Harine.

Rand realizes that fear of manipulation kept him from making use of the Aes Sedai until now. Lews Therin says, "A man who trusts everyone is a fool and a man who trusts no one is a fool. We are all fools, if we live long enough." Rand tells Alanna to go back to Cairhien and send Rafela, Merana, Bera and Faeldrin to Haddon Mirk to negotiate with the rebels there. Those were the four besides Alanna that Min said he could trust.[8] Rand tells her she can come back to Far Madding after that. Alanna leaves and Rand decides that he must repair his relationship with Cadsuane.

More Rand POV

Verin POV#

Verin returns to Aleis Barsalla's palace.[9] She uses the false name, Eadwina, because Verin Mathwin was exiled from Far Madding.[10] The women of Aleis Barsalla's family have been involved with trade and politics since Far Madding was called Fel Moreina. Verin finds Cadsuane in a sitting room with Elza. Elza is furious that Cadsuane let Alanna leave. Now they have no way to track Rand. Cadsuane listens to her for a minute, then dismisses her. Elza departs. Cadsuane asks Verin to pour tea. Verin asks if Cadsuane has any idea why Rand came to Far Madding. She deduced he was here when he stopped moving.[11] Cadsuane confides that she does not care what Rand does as long as he lives to reach Tarmon Gai'don and she can teach him to laugh and cry again. She learned that Min told him that he needs her, but she must still move carefully. Sure of Cadsuane at last, Verin slips the small vial back in her purse unopened.[12]

More Verin POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] The three Strangers' Markets are named after the three most revered women in Far Madding history, so there was a famous First Counsel named Nethvin.
[#2] From the Aelfinn. (TSR,Ch15, LoC,Ch26)
[#3] Sorilea taught her. (TPoD,Ch12)
[#4] The A Crown of Swords,Glossary entry on Cadsuane says she is believed to be from Ghealdan, but at signings Robert Jordan confirmed that she is from Far Madding. It is not clear if the Glossary entry is an error or an intentional deceit.
[#5] Verin somehow deduced that Rand was in Far Madding.
[#6] It may well be that Cadsuane blackmailed them into allowing themselves to be bonded as the price for remaining in Cairhien. (WH,Ch13)
[#7] Alanna is only guessing here. She does not know about Rand's and Elayne's relationship.
[#8] There is an error in early printings where Rand tells Alanna to take Rafela, Merana, Bera and Kiruna. This is corrected in later printings.
[#9] No clue where she has been.
[#10] The nature of her crime is a complete mystery. The only thing that is clear is that it was a long time ago.
[#11] Was this a simple exercise in logic and a general direction from Alanna, or did Verin have some way of knowing where Rand is?
[#12] This is undoubtedly the small vial that Sorilea gave her. (WH,Ch13) Three drops induce sleep. A few more can kill.

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