A wind rises in Cairhien. It crosses the Erinin River at Maerone and Aringill and arrives in Caemlyn. It is a few weeks since the end of The Fires of Heaven. The setting is the Royal Palace courtyard at the heart of the Inner City of Caemlyn. Rand practices the sword against five men while a host of nobles and Maidens watch. After the fight, Sulin pays the men and Enaila brings a towel. Jalani is the youngest of the Maidens. High ranking Andoran nobles in attendance are Lady Arymilla, Lady Elenia, Lord Jarid, Lady Karind, Lady Naean, Lord Lir and Lord Nasin. The lesser nobles include Lord Henren, Lady Carlys, Lady Daerilla and Lord Elegar. They praise Rand for his performance, comparing him to Souran Maravaile and Jearom. Souran Maravaile was Hawkwing's greatest general and husband of Ishara, first Queen of Andor. Davram Bashere watches from a gilded chair. He asks why Rand is practicing since Rand does not need weapons to protect himself. Bashere then throws a dagger at Rand. Rand uses saidin to stop the dagger and tells Bashere that he could kill him for throwing that dagger. Bashere says his wife Deira would not like that and would probably set out hunting Taim again. Rand recalls his surprise at learning that of Bashere's nine thousand horse, the nobles and officers brought wives.
Rand hears Lews Therin in his head moaning about Ilyena. Enaila and Somara eye him closely. They talk of Aes Sedai, Whitecloaks in Amadicia (ruled by Ailron) and Sammael in Illian. Mention of the Forsaken unsettles the nobles, especially since Lord Gaebril was Rahvin. Bashere mentions the plan by Rand and Mat for taking Illian. Bashere wonders if Mat studied under Agelmar in Shienar. He mentions the Green sister, Egwene, in Cairhien. Somara appears with Rand's clothes. Bashere again mentions Rand needs the Aes Sedai. The one young Aes Sedai they found in the city ran screaming when she heard Rand's name. Rand says there are hundreds ready to support him. Bashere realizes the White Tower really split. Everyone knows Siuan Sanche was deposed and stilled. As he thinks of Aes Sedai, Lews Therin moans that the Hall of the Servants is broken forever. The only Aes Sedai Rand trusted was Moiraine and she warned him to trust no others.
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Other Maidens with Rand are Desora, Liah and Maira. (LoC,Ch3)
[#2] In early printings Lir is incorrectly identified as High Seat of House Anshar. More recent printings correct this to High Seat of House Baryn.
[#3] The young Red Ajah sister sent by Elaida whom Rahvin was controlling. (TFoH,Prologue)
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