Rand does not sleep that night thinking about the men who will die the next day. Aviendha gets up and leaves an hour before he rises. Still before dawn, the clan chiefs arrive for a final briefing. As they leave, Bael asks Rand if he is certain about the Maidens' assignment. Sulin has been after the Wise Ones. Rand realizes that this must be what Melaine was talking to Bael about.
Lan arrives. He tells Rand that Moiraine plans to use her strength to Heal the wounded. Rand figures she is angry because he took Egwene from her. Lan asks why he is wearing a sword and Rand admits that it is to kill Couladin. Outside, Rand finds his tent surrounded by Maidens. Egwene and Aviendha are in front. Sulin leads the Maidens. They refuse to move until he agrees to let them escort him to the tower with Egwene and Aviendha. Aviendha got permission from Amys, Bair, Melaine and Sorilea to participate in the battle along side Egwene. They all go to the tower and Rand, Egwene and Aviendha climb to the top. Egwene and Aviendha channel a lightning storm over the Shaido. He recalls a weave and channels a giant fireball on a hill five miles away. In his head, a voice moans about Ilyena. Rand nearly loses the void in shock, but he concentrates on channeling and searing the hills.
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Mat rises two hours before dawn when Melindhra goes to a meeting of the Maidens. He heads south on Pips. He is diverted back toward the Alguenya River by bands of Aiel. As he heads south again, he encounters a force of Tairens and Cairhienin. With the looking glass he won from Kin Tovere, he can see that they are headed into a Shaido trap. He thinks Weiramon must be a fool to have no scouts out front. The Tairens are led by Estean and Melanril of House Asegora. Melanril tells Mat that Rand sent Weiramon back to Tear to deal with the pirates and brigands. Daerid commands the Cairhienin pikemen. The other Cairhienin soldiers are led by Talmanes of House Delovinde. Mat warns them of the Shaido trap and tells them how to counter it. Talmanes is doubtful and agrees to lead half the men only if Mat will lead the other half. With a shout of "Los! Los caba'drin!" - "Horsemen forward!" in the Old Tongue, Mat reluctantly takes the job and leads his men against the Shaido.
More Mat POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Enaila, Somara and Lamelle are among them. (TFoH,Ch52)
[#2] Rand thinks that Aviendha organized the Maidens to make this stand, but Aviendha later claims that Sulin and the others did it on their own. (TFoH,Ch52)
[#3] Lews Therin's second clear thought. The first is in TFoH,Ch2.
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