AMoL: To Die Well

Lan POV#

Lan kills Fade and then a soldier points out the red beacon of light, indicating it was time for a rotation in forces. The Malkieri would retreat and the Kandori and Arafellin forces would come in. Two Asha'man and Coladara are setting Trolloc corpses aflame to make it tougher for Trollocs to advance. The army is fighting in one hour rotations and is holding the Gap, but Lan realizes sooner or later the Trollocs would be able to advance. The Trollocs didn't have to worry about a food supply as they ate the dead.

Bulen falls from his horse and Lan rushes over only to find him dead from a massive wound in his side that he had been hiding from Lan. Lan lifts Bulen's corpse and places it across the saddle of Bulen's horse. Andere and Prince Kaisel are watching solemnly nearby. Lan tells everyone he will not mourn Bulen but will cheer him because he died well. He then tells the story of Bakh, who also died well. This spurs Prince Kaisel to tell the story about Ragon and Andere to tell the story of Kragil, which spurs the rest of the camp to start telling stories. Lan finds Narishma, who is holding a gateway open for a supply cart, and ask him to find a cold place to store Bulen's body. Narishma closes his gateway and open another onto a mountain top. Lan take Bulen's body and places it there and removes Bulen's hadori and wraps it around the hilt of his sword.

On his way to Lord Agelmar, the ground starts to quake. Hairline cracks appear in the rocks, and Lan feels that there's something wrong with those cracks, like they open into nothingness. The quaking subsides and the cracks disappear.

Lan continues onward to Agelmar. He passes through the Saldaean and notes that, due to the officers' wives, it's the most well-kept camp, which is unusual because normally the Saldaean wives march with their husbands. He finds Tenobia arguing tactics with Agelmar. She has a descent grasp of tactics, but is too bold for Lan's taste. She tells Lan that they fight "a glorious battle" and Lan responds back with "the men who fight have glory, but the battle itself is not glory." Lan asks to have word with Agelmar.

Agelmar notes that Tenobia has become more rash since her uncle, Kalyan Ramsin, married Queen Ethenielle. They talk about the fight at the Gap and Agelmar says that when they cannot hold anymore, then they will retreat, which Lan does not like. They argue about this with Agelmar finally calling Lan selfish, noble and stupid. He also says that they have an exceptional force, but the number of Trollocs is far greater than they anticipated.

A blue light explodes in the air, indicating that the units that just rotated in need help. He calls for Bulen to help him with his horse before he remembers that he died and then he rides to join the rally.

More Lan POV

Egwene POV#

Egwene has her forces at the southern portion of the Field of Merrilor, ready to be sent to Kandor. She spent the morning with the Hall of the Tower going over reports and assessments. Gawyn is riding beside her as they cross into Kandor. They ride past the Illianer Companions. Gawyn doesn't like to wait, but she reminds him that she and the Hall trust Bryne's assessment. She and Gawyn were married the night before by Silviana Brehon. Bryne rides by, with Siuan riding by his side. He stops when he reaches Egwene, gets off, kisses her ring, remounts and then continues on.

Egwene takes a moment to look at the nearby hills. They show no sign of the battle raging past them. Chachin was rubble by now. Queen Ethenielle tried to save as many refugees as possible before turning rescue operations over to the Aes Sedai. The main Trolloc army was now headed southeast towards the hills. Silviana rides up and tells Egwene that Elayne wants just one stationary hospital instead of several smaller ones at each battlefield. Gawyn agrees that it would be more efficient and secure. Egwene agrees with this and tells Silviana to tell Romanda to gather all of the Yellow Ajah, not at the White Tower, but perhaps Mayene instead. Egwene also tells Silviana to tell Elayne all of this as well.

Egwene and Gawyn head to the command camp and find Chubain in charge of setup. The plan for Kandor was to harrass the Trolloc forces in the valleys, with archers on the hilltops. Chubain leads them to Egwene's tent where Leilwin and Bayle Domon sit guarded by three Tower Guard. Leilwin pledges herself to the Amyrlin. Egwene accepts this and then tells Leilwin to tell her everything she knows about the Seanchan.

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Rand POV#

Rand is in Elayne's tent, looking at the battle maps on a table. He is impressed with the plans. He feels a chill and knows a woman is channeling nearby. He looks up and sees Elayne standing in the tent doorway. His unexpected presence startled her. He kneels before her and touches her belly, telling her he didn't know about her being pregnant until the night before the meeting. They talk about death and duty and she says she forgot to teach him one thing: it's one thing to plan for the worst possibilities but you must not bask in them. They then talk about tactics for a few hours and then about his experience on top of Dragonmount. He explains that he had been too caught up in strength that he almost lost the ability to care and that for him to win, he must care. Her tea goes bad and he holds it for a moment and it tastes great again. He explains that the Pattern is balance, so with the Dark One doing bad things, the Pattern works through him to do good things. Rand then gives Elayne a Seed, which is an object created to draw your Power and instill it into something else. It's not an angreal, but it helps in the creation of an angreal. She, in turn, gives Rand a dagger with a short, dull blade and a deerhorn handle wrapped in gold wire. It's a ter'angreal that makes the Shadow unable to see you.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#