Rand prepares for his attack on Natrin's Barrow as Min watches. She used to see herself as a last defense for Rand but after she failed twice with Semirhage and was used as a tool against him, she now sees herself as more of a liability. His peace with the Seanchan failed so now he will abandon Arad Doman and move forward to the Last Battle. Min has a new viewing:
- Dragonmount cloaked in dark shadows, as if shaded by clouds high above, with a tiny prick of light shining from the heavens down onto the point of the mountain.
She asks if Rand considered that the boy might have been a trap. He says no. Moghedien might set a trap like that but not Graendal. Rand has his sword and the access key. He sends for twenty Maidens lead by Nerilea, Nynaeve and Lord Ramshalan. Min worries that he has not planned this out. He spent months maneuvering Sammael.
Rand describes Natrin's Barrow. It was once a fortress to watch the Mountains of Mist then a retreat for Domani kings, but it has not been used in many years. King Alsalam probably did not even know about it. Ramshalan and Nynaeve arrive and Rand tells him that he is to be the negotiator. Min worries that he will flip like he did with Milisair. Graendal will not be goaded like Rahvin or Sammael. Rand says remember what happened to Torhs Margin. Rand opens a gateway to a hilltop near Natrin's Barrow and sends Ramshalan on his way to negotiate with the owner.
In a couple of hours he returns, reporting that the owner is pleasant and wishes to cooperate. At Rand's command, Nynaeve Delves him and learns that he is, indeed, under Compulsion. Min tells him he should ask for advice before acting rashly, perhaps Cadsuane. Rand says Cadsuane held him in a box. Callandor is another box, requiring a circle to be used safely. He was angry when he used Callandor. He must be unemotional. He must kill with a purpose as when he killed Liah at Shadar Logoth. The access key glows and he balefires all of Natrin's Barrow. Nynaeve and Min are horrified that he callously murdered dozens of people but Rand calls it a mercy. Nynaeve Delves Ramshalan again. The Compulsion is gone proving Graendal is dead.
Rand turns to Ramshalan. He knows of his bragging to Lords Vivian and Callswell and exiles him. The others return to the mansion in Bandar Eban. Nynaeve wishes Moiraine were there. She thinks Cadsuane is right; no one person can handle Rand. Nynaeve and Min head for the cottage where Cadsuane is staying. They pass Alivia on the way. Merise, Cadsuane, Amys, Bair, Melaine and Sorilea are there. Nynaeve relates what happened and says she wants to be part of their plan. Cadsuane will give her a chance if she can be obedient. She thinks Nynaeve may be salvageable and Amys adds that Egwene also has great honor. Cadsuane gives Nynaeve an assignment, to find Perrin Aybara. Rand may know where he is. Min thinks her job is to get Rand to the Last Battle alive and sane with his soul intact.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Sadly, Rand completely misinterprets her feelings. (TGS,Ch35)
[#2] Again indicating the unnatural nature of the omnipresent clouds. The peak of Dragonmount is normally above the clouds.
[#3] We see this fulfilled in TGS,Ch50.
[#5] The original text read Sulin but has been corrected in later printings.
[#6] An old memory of someone from the Age of Legends. Rand is having more and more trouble distinguishing his own memories from Lews Therin's.
[#7] This event comes as a particular shock to a certain fan segment. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson promised to resolve the murder of Asmodean in the final books. For those who believe Graendal was the culprit, they are stuck with two difficult options. Either they are wrong, or there will have to be some very creative writing to make the disclosure! We learn more in ToM,Prologue.
[#8] How convincing is this proof? See the discussion in the FAQ, Section 1.1.10.
[#9] We find out why in TGS,Ch47.
[#10] Cadsuane has probably heard Rand speak of Perrin. She has also done some digging on her own elsewhere that directs her to Perrin. (TGS,Ch47)
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