Rand tries to get up, but he cannot find his clothes. When he insists on rising, Aviendha threatens to call Sorilea and Bair, then Enaila, Somara and Lamelle. They treat him like a ten-year-old son. He eventually finds his clothes - under Aviendha. After he is dressed and shaved, he takes the Dragon Scepter and goes outside.
Sulin readies the Maidens and Asmodean brings Jeade'en. A refugee named Pevin now carries Rand's banner. Rand and Aviendha ride off. They pass the captured Shaido and Rand is amazed at how many there are. He also notes other Aiel wearing scarlet headbands with the Aes Sedai symbol on them. Aviendha says they are siswai'aman (the spear of the Dragon in the Old Tongue). They believe serving Rand expiates their sins in failing the Aes Sedai.
They pass Hadnan Kadere's wagons guarded by Stone Dogs. Moiraine examines the twisted red doorway. Rand wonders why Kadere is still around, considering that Isendre and half his drivers have fled. The Maidens nearly tore the wagons apart looking for her. Asmodean swears he has had no contact with Kadere since Rand captured him. Moiraine notices Rand, but to his surprise she shows no interest in accompanying him.
They ride on to Cairhien and enter the Jangai Gates. The guards at the gate hastily send riders to the Sun Palace. The commoners greet Rand enthusiastically. Soon, Meilan rides up accompanied by several Tairen nobles and Defenders of the Stone. The nobles include Edorion and Reimon. Meilan is angry at being caught by surprise. They all ride to the Sun Palace. Sulin chooses twenty Maidens to accompany Rand, Aviendha and Asmodean inside. They include Enaila, Lamelle and Somara. The other High Lords, Torean, Gueyam, Simaan, Maraconn, Hearne and Aracome, greet Rand at the entrance. They are all angry that Meilan went out to meet him without telling the rest. Thinking that Moiraine and Thom would be proud of him, he puts the High Lords off guard by greeting some warmly and giving a cool response to others. In the Grand Hall, all the Tairen lords stand in front while the Cairhienin are relegated to the rear. Meilan leads the way to the Sun Throne, but Rand asks for a chair saying the Sun Throne belongs to someone else.
He orders the Cairhienin nobles to join the Tairens in order of rank. Then he orders that all but one of his Dragon banners be replaced with the Rising Sun of Cairhien to join the Crescent banners of Tear. The Cairhienin nobles shout for joy while the Tairens appear stunned. The nobles swear oaths of fealty to Rand in order of rank, Meilan, then Colavaere, Torean, Dobraine and Aracome. Moiraine said this was the right way to do things and in Rand's head Lews Therin agrees. He must secure Cairhien before he can move on Sammael.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Lanfear's orders. (TFoH,Ch29)
[#2] She is dead, of course. (TFoH,Ch29)
[#3] Is this because she is preoccupied with Kadere's wagons or is she concerned about the wrong people seeing and recognizing her?
[#4] He intends the Sun Throne for Elayne.
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