We start back up to utter chaos. Rand’s 6 Aiel guards are dead, along with three more Gray Men. He looks up to see soldiers are fighting trollocs and fades everywhere, how did he not hear any of this? It makes me suspicious of Lanfear and if she did some trick with the power to drown out the noise, but only speculation. You could argue the doors are thick, but the Gray Man had to open the door somehow to get in right? Anyway I liked this chapter a lot. Rand rallies the Defenders of the Stone, and leads troops throughout the stone, sometimes even fighting by himself. He sees his Moiraine and Lan fighting in the distance, Lan doing the work of ten soldiers. Then all a sudden he seems to get in trouble and a TROLLOC saves him! What the heck? Lanfear appears and she doesn’t exactly say if it was her or not, but still what an odd thing to happen. I guess Trolloc’s are so stupid and love killing, that they could easily kill each other as well as humans, but to have them know only to attack the Trolloc’s and not the humans must be a huge accomplishment. Also the Fades fighting each other, seems like that would be hard to get them to do. Then again, if it was one of the Forsaken driving them, probably wouldn’t be that hard. I can’t tell if it was Lanfear or not. She does end up reminding him about Callandor chilling in his room, waiting for anyone else to take it.
This next part was super badass. So Rand makes it back to his room and finds Callandor still there. As he runs back to the fight he realizes he’s killing things too slow (As if blasting Fades and Trollocs to pieces while calmly walking down the hall is bad). So he somehow builds up all this energy and releases this burst of lightning or something, which then spreads out going down all the halls and killing the rest of the Trollocs in the Stone. Still think you can match his power Egwene? Anyway it leaves him exhausted and the rest afraid of what he has done and wondering if he went mad. The man just saved all your butts, give the him a break. Anyway it ends with Moiraine healing him and Rand telling her that he will reveal his plan tomorrow.
We jump to Egwene as she prepares to enter TAR (borrowed someone’s abbreviation from the comments in past blogs. Seems a lot easier than trying to remember how to spell Tel’aran’rhiod each time). Anyway she is going to try to enter it without using the ring. She concentrates on a picture of a room in Tanchico, and manages to enter TAR successfully. Good stuff, which means that one of the other girls can enter also using the ring. It’s always good to have someone watching your back in a place like that. Before she enters she seems to either have dreams, or think over recent dreams which seem to be more of her dreamer talent. Most seem to foretell stuff that may happen, as I have no idea what most of it means.
So Egwene wonders about this room, and finds some different objects that sound like they could mean something eventually. The bracelets remind me of the Seanchan one that was used on Egwene, so how did she not recognize it? Another one of a woman holding a crystal sphere, and by Egwene’s reaction of the one power surging into her makes me think it is like that statue Rand saw on his way to Cairhien. Aside from that, nothing major sticks out to me, and she travels back and forth from the Waste as she tries to navigate around TAR. The Aiel she ran into turns out to be Amys, who is a dreamwalker, and tells Egwene she needs to come to her for training. Amys seems to know her way around this place.
Next chapter starts off with Egwene just waking up, and the girls freaking out over not being able to wake her up. How does that work exactly? Is it just like a deep sleep that is harder to wake up from, or was Amys somehow holding her in there, making it harder for the others to wake Egwene up? Anyway Egwene recounts what happened, and it’s decided that Elayne and Nynaeve will continue on to Tanchico while Egwene goes to Amys. Moiraine then appears with the bad news that the two prisoners were brutally murdered during the attack, yet none of the guards saw anything. Very interesting, maybe Lanfear killed them or one of the other forsaken. They seem to be able to get around without others knowing they are there when they want too. Oddly enough, Moiraine also has a letter from Amys saying that Aviendha needs to go to Amys as well, along with some other info that was not revealed. It ends with Moiraine saying that Rand will reveal his plans in the morning, making the timeframe pretty much right after the attack happened.
Back to my boy Mat. He’s recounting his particular rough night by drowning his sorrows in the local pub, which is where he hears the unfortunate news of the Whitecloaks in the Two Rivers. Though he only seems to be particularly worried over the fact that they are only searching for the Dragon reborn and a darkfriend with yellow eyes. As Mat goes to find Perrin, it looks like he has heard the news already, and is preparing to leave. The news still doesn’t seem enough for Mat to get away, as it does with Perrin. I do like the ending of the chapter where Mat tries to flirt with Berelain as she walks past him, only to be denied and she mutters “too much like me” as she walks away. Guess too flirts don’t work out together.
We continue on with Perrin as he continues to pack to leave. His plan is to get Loial to lead him back through the Waygates, hopefully getting back to the Two Rivers in a couple days. That’s when Berelain enters, and it appears that if she can’t get The Dragon Reborn, might as well settle for the next best thing. Even better when Faile enters and Berelain gets even more flirtatious. I guess I shouldn’t be happy about this, but Faile just bugs me. All Berelain has done is look good and flirt with the men, can ya hate a girl for that? Anyway you know right off when Berelain leaves and Faile doesn’t go off that you are in big big trouble. She talks about Perrin leaving and the rumors, but you know it’s just boiling up inside her. Perrin finally ends up basically saying he’d rather possibly be with Berelain, getting Faile to leave him and hopefully not go back to the Two Rivers, where he plans to give himself up. You’ve got to love Perrin, always doing the right thing.
Meanwhile Faile chases down Berelain and pulls out a knife declaring that Perrin is hers. Which in hindsight is probably the worst thing she could have done to have Berelain leave him alone. Now it becomes a competition to her, and she’ll probably go all out to win. Berelain seems to have some hidden skill too, as she easily disarms Faile as she tries to attack her. Unfortunately Rhuarc appears as Faile tries to attack again, and breaks up the fight, sending the two girls into time out.
Well well well, it appears Mat couldn’t resist the temptation and is on his way down to go into the twisted red doorway and get his three answers. It seems like the door travels you to a whole new place completely. It seems like these snake-like people inhabit the place, and the dimensions seem off. They also ask to make sure Mat has no light, musical instrument, or iron. Iron and I guess fire I could understand as potential dangers, but why music? The dude finally leads Mat to this room where these other snake people on columns meet with him. The whole encounter is a little weird, they seem to be enjoying and favoring his presence. Though something seems to be going wrong at the same time, and they rush his questions. Unlucky for Mat, he gets all flustered and doesn’t seem to ask the questions he wants, but at the same time he seems to get an extra question or two, as well as extra answers. I don’t understand much of his answers, but they seem to tell him he needs to go to Rhuidean as well as some of his future. We figure out the problem was that Rand was also in there, as well as Moiraine. Nothing makes sense now as Mat didn’t see them at all in there, which could be explained by different rooms, yet they seem to leave pretty close to each other. Who knows? None of them really want to say what their answers were. We do find out that the snakes were speaking in the Old Tongue, and that Mat can pretty much fluently speak it. How did he learn? It seems like he randomly was able to do it. It ends with Rand pretty much saying it is up to Perrin to do what he can to deal with the Whitecloaks back home.
There’s a lot of good stuff building up and a lot of signs pointing towards Rhuidean, at least with Egwene, Mat, and Aviendha going there. It seems like this is around the same night of the attack still, as we still have not found out what Rand’s plan will be “tomorrow”. Not sure what he’ll, so many options. Maybe we’ll find out what his questions and answers were. It does appear the group is about to split up in at least 3 different directions.