Rand is Adan, a Da'shain. Adan holds Maigran and Lewin as he watches bandits carry off his daughter Rhea. They killed his wife, Siedre, and his son, Marind, who was Maigran's and Lewin's father. His other children, Elwin, Sorelle and Jaren are dead, too. Sulwin confronts Adan. He and his followers want to leave to look for a place of safety and the song his greatfather told him about. They empty several wagons of the items the Aes Sedai gave the Aiel to safeguard. Adan sees the twisted red doorway fall to the ground. There are many chora cuttings as well. As they leave, Sulwin says he will keep the Way of the Leaf, but Adan shouts that they are lost. Adan is grateful that the children's mother, Saralin, is still alive.
Rand is Jonai. Jonai looks west where the city of Comelle used to be. It is now a sea. He wishes his wife, Alnora, were still alive to guide him with his dreams. His son, Willim, left when he began to channel and his daughter Esole died of illness because there were no Aes Sedai to Heal her. The last Aes Sedai he encountered told him that Ishamael was still free. He and his son Adan meet a band of Ogier. They cannot find the stedding and are suffering from the longing. The Ogier say it is bad to the north. The Sea of Jeren is to the south. Jonai has a heart attack. As he dies, he tells Adan to lead the Aiel south.
Rand is Jonai again. He is sixty-three, in his prime. He enters the Hall of the Servants and goes to a room where Aes Sedai are arguing. Someshta, a Nym, is there also. There is a crystal sword and the Dragon Banner on a table. Oselle, Deindre and Solinda have a plan based on Deindre's Foretelling. They are waiting for Kodam and other young male channelers who are not yet strongly affected by the taint. They will have a task for Someshta. They must hurry because Haindar and Jaric Mondoran are headed toward Paaran Disen. Jaric Mondoran already destroyed the city of Tzora. Solinda tells Jonai he must complete his task, to lead the Aiel as they take items of the One Power to find a place of safety. Jonai is embarrassed that his father, Coumin, gave up the Way of the Leaf. He goes to the wagons where thousands of his people are ready to leave. There are no longer jo-cars, jumpers, hoverflies or sho-wings for transportation. His wife, Alnora, has their children Willim, Adan and little Esole in their wagon. They begin their search for a place of safety.
Rand is Coumin, a boy of sixteen. He and the other Aiel are preparing to sing with the Ogier. There are soldiers nearby wearing fancloth capes. He is not sure he believes old Charn's stories of a time of no war, no Fades or Trollocs. Charn also claims he served Lanfear herself. Someshta arrives and they sing health to the field. Afterwards one of the Ogier, Tomada, talks to a soldier. The soldier gives them the news that Lews Therin led a strike on Shayol Ghul. The Bore has been sealed. Most or even all of the Forsaken were trapped as well so the war is over. As Coumin walks away, a townsman named Toma strikes him saying they will root out all who served the Forsaken. He runs back to his inn where he finds that Charn has been hanged.
Rand is Charn. He is near the Collam Daan and the streets are lined with chora trees. He just turned twenty-five. He plans to take one of the sho-wings to M'jinn to accept Nalla's proposal of marriage. That will mean transferring his service to Zorelle Sedai, but Mierin already gave her approval. A man named Jom wearing a stylish fancloth cape runs into him and immediately apologizes when he sees that Charn is Aiel. Charn is excited because today is the day Mierin told him she and Beidomon would try the new source of the One Power. Suddenly the Sharom, a thousand-foot white sphere floating above the Collam Daan, explodes in black fire. Everyone runs screaming.
Rand is back at the edge of the glass columns. Muradin is gone. He realizes he saw the formation of the hole in the Dark One's prison. He sees Mat hanging by his neck from Avendesora and runs to take him down. Mat is not breathing but Rand resuscitates him. Mat tells him about the other twisted red doorway. Mat now has the foxhead medallion and the ashandarei. He reads the label on the ashandarei:
Rand can see the script on the spear but cannot read it. As they walk through Rhuidean, dust figures attack them. Rand thinks they are more bubbles of evil. They fight their way through and finally break through the fog bank. It is dawn.
Follow Rand, Mat and Egwene
More Rand POV
Summary of the genealogy:
[#1] The beginning of the Tuatha'an.
[#3] They are preparing to create the Eye of the World.
[#4] At a 2004 signing Robert Jordan said that Mat was not quite dead yet.
[#5] The foxhead medallion is his freedom from the One Power and Aes Sedai. The ashandarei is a mystery. We will learn more of it later in the series.
[#6] It is written in the Old Tongue. Mat is now fluent.