|<<< Into Cairhien >>>|
|Setting: Cairhien, Sun Palace|
Point of view: Perrin Aybara
Perrin is impatient as Rand's party nears the city of Cairhien. He notices Chiad avoiding him. Perrin gets the strange idea that if he brings Swallow, Faile's mare, safely into Cairhien, Faile will be safe. Min and Loial both vainly try to ease his fears. Loial's trying gets him to say that he can hardly wait to be married to Erith so he can tend her. Loial gets embarrassed about this statement and accuses Rand and Perrin's being ta'veren for pulling it out of him.
On the way Perrin notes that the drought brought on by the Dark One is even heavier and the people are bedraggled.
When they come near the city, Dobraine confirms Colavaere's banner flying, so she has to have taken the throne. He tells about the coronation festival and that the people in the city could riot when Rand disturbs that. Dashiva tries to get Rand to remain with the army and send someone else into the city, to no avail. Perrin deduces from Dashiva's jittery scent that he is quite mad. Rand goes to the city with Loial, Min, Dobraine, Nurelle, some Maidens, all of his Asha'man (except Flinn), Perrin, and Aram.
Just before the city, Perrin notices that the Foregaters once again live outside of the city in crudely built huts. The party enters Cairhien unhindered and unchallenged because of the coronation festival. At the Palace, the guards get wrapped up in Air by the Asha'man so as not to alert the people inside. The servants inside just curtsy or bow and seem to ignore them. In the entry hall they encounter Camaille Nolaisen, Selande Darengil, and a handful of others that follow the Cairhienin version of ji'e'toh. Camaille tells Rand that the nobles all are in the Grand Hall of the Sun for the third Sunset Convocation. Dobraine explains that means the coronation took place nine days ago. Perrin cannot restrain himself any longer and asks Selande where Faile is. She says that Faile is with the queen, as she is one of her attendants. Rand asks Selande to lead on to the Great Hall. He intends to dispense justice to all who deserve it.
- Perrin Aybara
- Dobraine Taborwin
- Havien Nurelle
- Corlan Dashiva
- Damer Flinn
- Camaille Nolaisen
- Selande Darengil