LoC: The Wheel of a Life

Rand POV#

Rand Travels to the Sun Palace in Cairhien six hundred miles away. Aviendha, Sulin and her Maidens and Urien and his Red Shields accompany Rand. He still vaguely feels Alanna to the west. Lews Therin mutters in Rand's head. The hall of the Sun Palace is guarded by Brothers of the Eagle led by Corman of the Mosaada Goshien. There are also Mayener soldiers led by Havien Nurelle, Lord Lieutenant of the Winged Guards. Aviendha quickly slips away.[1] Rand orders the men to take him to Berelain and Rhuarc.

On the way he notes the decorations of the palace and wishes Dyelin could see them to put her mind to rest. The Aiel took only their fifth in Cairhien and Bael reluctantly agreed to take nothing in Andor. Rand and his entourage finally find Berelain and Rhuarc. Lews Therin hums when Rand looks at her. Rand shouts at him and the voice disappears. Berelain asks after Perrin and Mat. They both tell Rand that things are going well in Cairhien. They all understand that he put Berelain in charge because she is the only one with leadership skills whom the Cairhienin would not see as a threat. Rand asks after Egwene. Berelain and Egwene do not like each other.[2] The Wise Ones said Egwene still needs rest and light exercise. Rand says he would like to see her.

In a courtyard below Rand sees women practicing swords. Berelain explains that they are mimicking the Maidens. Rhuarc is disgusted. He says they make a mockery of ji'e'toh and asks Rand to forbid it. Rand says let them be, supporting Berelain. They go to the study and Rand dismisses the Aiel guards except Sulin and Urien. Berelain says there is talk of Caraline Damodred and Toram Riatin in the streets. They are gathering forces in the foothills of the Spine of the World. Lots of Andoran soldiers have joined them.[3] Rhuarc says their force is small, but so is a yellowfly yet it is deadly. Rand asks what Sevanna is doing. Rhuarc says the Shaido are building holds in Kinslayer's Dagger. He adds that there is fighting in Shara for the first time since the Trolloc Wars. It is also known as Shamara, Co'dansin, Tomaka or Kigali. Sharans are compulsive liars. Rand remembers reading that in The Travels of Jain Farstrider. Rand stresses that they have to remain focused on Sammael. One step at a time. Commerce is starting up again with merchants arriving from Andor, Tear, Murandy and the Borderlands. A Sea Folk ship docked this morning.[4] Rand thinks that Berelain seems different.[5] Berelain likes Rand's School of Cairhien, but thinks they should make something practical.

Jalani enters and announces Mangin. Mangin tells Rand that he killed a Cairhienin man for tattooing a dragon on his arm. It happened six days ago. Rand tells him he is to be hanged for murder and Mangin agrees. Rand is angry that Rhuarc and Berelain knew about it but waited for him to do the dirty work. Lews Therin starts murmuring again.

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] To meet with the Wise Ones. (LoC,Ch18)
[#2] Egwene thinks Berelain is a trull, but it is not at all clear why Berelain should dislike Egwene.
[#3] Many of them are Gaebril's displaced White Lions. (ACoS,Ch35)
[#4] The ship is the White Spray with Wavemistress Harine din Togara Two Winds. It was docked at Aringill in LoC,Ch5.
[#5] Is this just a casual observation or does it indicate that something has changed with Berelain?

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