TFoH: To Caemlyn

Rand POV#

Rand returns to the Sun Palace accompanied by five hundred Maidens led by Sulin. They join Aiel of all the other societies led by Bael. The only non-Aiel is Pevin who holds Rand's banner. Mat, Aviendha and Asmodean are also with Rand. Back at the docks, Rand overheard a conversation between Aviendha and the Wise Ones, Amys, Bair, Melaine and Sorilea. Bair wishes Aviendha had been successful with Rand. Amys says she was more successful than the others know.[1] He briefly wonders if the Wise Ones are using her as Colavaere uses young women against him. He wonders how Kadere found out to tell Lanfear. He thinks Lan was right in warning him to stay away from women.

Rand opens a gateway for Skimming. He steps through and makes the platform as large as he can. Mat feels the dice rolling again. Aviendha, Bael, Pevin, Asmodean, Mat, Sulin and a whole string of Aiel follow. They include all the societies, Maidens, Thunder Walkers, Black Eyes, Water Seekers, True Bloods or Tain Shari, Brothers of the Eagle or Far Aldazar Din, Red Shields, Dawn Runners, Stone Dogs and Knife Hands. Lamelle, Enaila and Somara are among them. As the platform travels, Rand hears a murmur. Meciar, a Night Spear or Cor Darei, reports that one of the Aiel fell.

The platform stops and Rand opens another gateway. They are outside the wall of the Royal Palace. Seeing the palace, he thinks of Elayne, then of Min. Everyone exits the gateway and it closes. Rand suddenly notices that there is no one else in sight. The whole area is empty of people. Then Trollocs and Fades push through the palace walls and pour out of nearby buildings.[2] Lightning of Fire and Air flashes from the sky and Rand counters with a shield of the same. Rahvin knows he is here. Pevin is still standing by him, but Aviendha, Asmodean and Mat are dead.[3] Rand notes that Mat's foxhead medallion did not save him. Several Trollocs approach and Enaila kills one of them. Rand burns the others and cuts them in half as he opens a gateway directly into the throne room.[4] Rahvin is with a dozen soldiers and lords. He starts up in surprise[5] as Rand steps through the gateway.

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Nynaeve POV#

Theodrin has been trying to break Nynaeve's block and Nynaeve is furious because of her failure. The six leaders of the Aes Sedai have kept her and Elayne busy taking them to Tel'aran'rhiod. Faolain has been raised to some level above Accepted. She is still not full Aes Sedai because she has not held the Oath Rod.

Nynaeve has been studying Siuan, Leane and Logain. She is now in Tel'aran'rhiod again, this time with Siuan. Siuan wears the twisted ring. Nynaeve is using the amber plaque. She gibes Siuan one time too many about Gareth Bryne and they start fighting. Suddenly Siuan is laughing. She tells Nynaeve she thought she was twelve again and fat Cian was going to stop their fight. Ashamed, Nynaeve thinks of the other fights she had with Cerandin and Latelle.

Nynaeve spots a face in a window and, fearing it is Moghedien, she snatches the twisted ring from Siuan forcing her back to the real world. Panicking, she flees and finds herself back in Jurene. Because of the amber plaque, she can barely channel. She worries that Moghedien now knows about Salidar so she will have to tell Sheriam. Moghedien appears and is way too strong for Nynaeve. Then Birgitte appears. She makes the mistake of warning Moghedien before killing her and Moghedien traps her, turning her into a little girl. Nynaeve crawls toward Moghedien begging. When she is close, she imagines Moghedien wearing an a'dam and it is true. She forces Moghedien to restore Birgitte. Birgitte explains that she saw Siuan wake up. When Nynaeve did not, she took the twisted ring and used it. Finding Nynaeve was as easy as finding feather-dancers in Shiota.[6]

Moghedien offers information. Lanfear, Graendal, Rahvin and Sammael are plotting against Rand. Nynaeve says she knows all of this already. Moghedien says that they plan to draw him to Sammael. At least Rahvin and Graendal do. She thinks Lanfear has other plans. Nynaeve threatens her and Moghedien begins babbling. Rand is going after Rahvin today because he thinks he killed Morgase.[7] Rahvin never trusted any of them. He has Wards set so that if a man channels in Caemlyn he will know.[8] Rand meant to leave at sunrise so the trap is probably already sprung. Nynaeve and Birgitte are worried about how Elayne will take the death of her mother, but they have more urgent issues at the moment. Nynaeve can now channel strongly using Moghedien and the a'dam. Just then, Birgitte wakes in the real world and so fades away. Nynaeve takes Moghedien to the Royal Palace in Caemlyn to try to help Rand.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Does this refer to Aviendha sleeping with Rand or does it imply that Amys thinks she might be pregnant?
[#2] This is not a spur of the moment defense. Nor is it a defense that could be maintained for more than a short time without panicking the entire city. Clearly Rahvin found out about the impending attack sometime during the night.
[#3] Robert Jordan confirmed that this fulfulls Mat's destiny to die and live again. But is he still linked to the Horn of Valere or was the link severed?
[#4] Rand is surprised to see the throne room rather than darkness, so this is apparently the first time he Travels rather than Skimming.
[#5] Rahvin knows Rand is outside the palace. He knows Rand can Skim. So why is he surprised, rather than prepared, when Rand shows up in the throne room?
[#6] The first mention of Shiota, but at least this reference turns out to be from the current Age.
[#7] How did Moghedien find out about the attack?
[#8] Rahvin had a lot more than Wards set up. Did Moghedien omit this information or did she just not know about the Trollocs?

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