KoD: A Plain Wooden Box

Rand POV#

Rand is riding Tai'daishar with Min, Alivia, Cadsuane, Nynaeve, Bashere and eighty-one lancers, Nandera and two dozen other Maidens. They are in northern Altara a few miles from the Andoran border. They are a hundred and fifty leagues west of Caemlyn and Elayne so his sense of her is faint. Aviendha is even fainter in Arad Doman. The manor is to the west. He wears the Crown of Swords and carries the Dragon Scepter. Lews Therin calls him a fool for walking into a trap. Alivia revealed that the Daughter of the Nine Moons is actually the heir to the Empress. There are also more than twenty-five Asha'man, Aes Sedai and Warder including Logain, Toveine and Gabrelle, Mezar Kurin and Adrielle, Donalo Sandomere and Ayako, Welyn Kajima and Jenare, Beldeine and Karldin, Elza and Fearil, Merise, Narishma and her other two Warder.[1] Beldeine bonded Karldin with his permission. Rand wonders where Nynaeve sent Lan.[2] Cadsuane and Nynaeve have all their ter'angreal jewelry.

At noon Rand, Logain, Narishma, Donalo Sandomere, Cadsuane, Nynaeve and Min, ride to Lady Deirdru's manor. Narishma and Donalo Sandomere are the strongest of the Asha'man after Logain. Nynaeve and Cadsuane hold saidar but have it masked. The Asha'man are trying to duplicate what Nacelle figured out in reverse - how to detect women's weaves. Farther up the road is the village of King's Crossing where a bridge crosses the narrow Reshalle River.

At the manor house, six sul'dam and six damane come out followed by a short, dark woman. Nynaeve detects that one of them is channeling; Cadsuane can do something about it when they get a little closer.[3] As they approach the small dark woman flickers. Rand and Lews Therin both recognize Semirhage and fight for saidin. While they are fighting, Semirhage throws a fireball at Rand. It destroys the Dragon Scepter and blows off his left hand.

As Rand regains his senses he sees that Semirhage and the Seanchan are captured. Gateways open and the other Asha'man, Aes Sedai, Warder and Maidens arrive with Bashere and his men. One pair of sul'dam and damane are dead.[4] Donalo Sandomere and Narishma are injured. Nynaeve and Merise Heal them. Bashere sends Aghan and Hamad to search the house and Matoun to form the lancers for defense. Nynaeve Heals Rand's hand to a stump, the best she can do. There is something wrong with his eyes as well.[5] Rand tells them about Semirhage. Falendre, one of the captured sul'dam, says she is Anath Dorje, the Truthspeaker.

Semirhage tells them that Rand is insane, that he has Lews Therin in his head. Lanfear confirmed that he knew things only Lews Therin could. Graendal was an expert in hearing voices from past lives. She was known as the Lady of Pain. Everyone else is stunned at the revelation. Falendre swears they thought Semirhage was Tuon. Cadsuane and Semirhage try to outstare each other. Hamad and Aghan return from the house with a plain wooden box. The residents were killed. The box contains six a'dam and five copies of the sad bracelets. Nynaeve is furious that Egeanin failed to get rid of them. Rand says to send the sul'dam and damane[6] back to Ebou Dar with the message that the Dragon Reborn still wants to meet with the Daughter of the Nine Moons.

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Mat POV#

Mat carries his ashandarei as he rides Pips. Tuon is on Akein and Selucia is on her dun.[7] Mat and the Band are preparing a trap for a nearby force of Seanchan soldiers. Mat's plan is to create havoc among the Seanchan forces in northeast Altara to draw their main army out of the Molvaine Gap so that he and the Band can slip though into Murandy. According to Thom and Juilin, the next Seanchan target is Illian. That army is to guard against attack from Murandy or Andor. Captain Mandevwin leads two thousand of the Band. Reimon is attacking a supply camp.

Aludra sends up two green nightflowers, a message that the camp raken is heading west for help. Mat will intercept the help. Teslyn is with Mat. He would prefer Bethamin or Seta but they might refuse to help him against the Seanchan. Leilwin refused him outright. Teslyn, Joline and Edesina try to interfere in his plans. Tuon planned to call Joline "Rosi". Setalle always seems to take Tuon's side in arguments.

Londraed spots Aludra's signal. Mat orders Vanin to ride out as lookout. Mandevwin orders Connl to get the crossbowmen in order. Master Roidelle has all the Seanchan forces marked on his maps. The Seanchan avoid the Lugard Road until they reach the Malvide Narrows and the Molvaine Gap beyond. At the road, Mandevwin has Admar, Eyndel, Madwin and Dongal arrange their men half on each side. Talmanes convinced the lancers and nobles to wear dull colors for camouflage. Vanin returns with news that the Seanchan force is approaching. When they reach Mat's position Teslyn channels a ball of light above them and the crossbowmen cut them down using their bolt cranks to reload before the Seanchan can react. Mat quickly has them on the move to rejoin with Carlomin and the rest. They plan to hit the Seanchan again before sunrise.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Bassane and Nethan
[#2] He is riding east from Saldaea to Tarwin's Gap picking up an army on the way. (KoD,Ch20)
[#3] Cadsuane apparently has a ter'angreal that disrupts weaves at close proximity. Is this the one Setalle Anan refers to in KoD,Ch7?
[#4] They are Tanera and Miri. (TGS,Prologue)
[#5] Is this the beginning of the fulfillment of Perrin's dream of Rand with a bandage covering his eyes? (TSR,Ch53) We learn more in TGS,Ch49.
[#6] They include Nenci, Surya, Tabi, Malian, Ciar and Talha. (TGS,Prologue)
[#7] Rosebud

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