After the attack on Cold Rocks Hold, the Maidens claim the right to guard Rand because he has no society of his own and was born of a Maiden. They have ceremonial drinks with oosquai until Rand can barely walk and has to be put to bed. Aviendha spends the night sitting by his blankets. They leave early the next morning, Rand riding Jeade'en.
Over the days, more and more Taardad join the procession until there are fifteen thousand representing the Nine Valleys, Jindo, Miadi, Four Stones, Chumai, Bloody Water and other septs. Adelin and nine other Maidens form an honor guard around him. Ten Red Shields guard Rhuarc and ten True Bloods guard Heirn. They reach Alcair Dal and see camps of five other clans. There is also a large fair of peddlers. The largest camp appears to be that of the Shaido who arrived last night. Couladin evidently wanted to stop Rand from entering Alcair Dal. The Wise Ones arrive with Moiraine, Lan and Egwene. Moiraine wants to go with Rand, but Amys tells her it is men's business. Melaine and Bair stare at Rand. The peddlers drive up with Kadere, Isendre, Keille and Natael in the lead. Egwene rides up and tells Rand he is not fighting alone. He thinks she might mean Perrin and Emond's Field, but she should not know about that. Moiraine then says that she and many others fight for Rand whether they know it or not. She asks Rand to let Lan accompany him, but he says the Maidens carry his honor. Finally, Mat rides up on Pips and asks if he can come and Rand says okay. Rand leads Mat and the spears into Alcair Dal.
As they pass the fair, a small group of men and women come out and confront Rand and Rhuarc. Their leader is Mandhuin, one of the Goshien. He tells Rhuarc that they arrived first, then the Shaarad. The Chareen and the Tomanelle arrived later, and the Shaido this morning. Sevanna wanted the chiefs to meet today, but Bael and some of the others did not want to. A Wise One says she has heard that the Car'a'carn will be announced today. Rand rides on and Mat mutters, "Mia dovienya nesodhin soende.". They ride past the Shaido to a ledge in the bowl. Words spoken on the ledge carry to the entire bowl. The four clan chiefs, Bael, Han, Jheran and Erim are there along with Sevanna and Couladin. As roofmistress of Comarda Hold, Sevanna stands for the Shaido until a new chief is selected. Sevanna insists that Couladin be allowed to speak, but the clan chiefs resist. Jheran says he wants to discuss water at Chain Ridge Stand.
When Rhuarc and Rand arrive, Couladin jumps to the ledge, claims he is the Car'a'carn, and shows dragons on his arms like Rand's. Rand shows his arms and says his mother was Shaiel, a Maiden of the Chumai Taardad and his father was Janduin of the Iron Mountain sept and clan chief of the Taardad. In the resulting turmoil, Rand challenges Couladin to tell what he saw in Rhuidean. The clan chiefs resist, but Couladin says he saw the glory of the Aiel. Rand then says he saw the Aiel when they followed the Way of the Leaf. Couladin calls him a liar. Most of the Aiel are horrified but the clan chiefs know who is telling the truth. All five of them declare Rand the Car'a'carn.
Couladin throws a spear at Rand that is blocked by Adelin, then fighting breaks out. Heirn and the other Jindo join the Maidens around Rand. Rand grabs the little fat man angreal and channels bringing on a rainstorm. Suddenly a dome forms around him and Lanfear is there. She is furious with him for ruining her plans and scaring off Asmodean by talking of his destiny. Asmodean is the only one who would cooperate. Demandred, Rahvin or Sammael would kill Rand before teaching him. She tells him that Asmodean was responsible for Couladin and the Draghkar. They were distractions while Asmodean made sure. He is now on his way to Rhuidean, but Lanfear does not know what he is after. Desperately needing to get to Rhuidean, Rand remembers how to open a gateway. Wishing he remembered how he shielded Egwene and Elayne, he opens a gateway and steps through.
More Rand POV
[#1] The translation of this phrase is never given and is not certain.
[#2] Put there by Asmodean
[#3] The access keys
[#4] From the Eye of the World (TEotW,Ch51) and from his battle with Ishamael in the Stone of Tear (TDR,Ch55)
[#5] At the Stone of Tear (TSR,Ch7)