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Setting: Royal Palace of Andor, Caemlyn

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand still wants Perrin to help with the plan to take Illian, but Perrin insists he needs to stay close to Rand to avoid a disaster. Loial comes in to the room after having a brief rest at an abandoned stedding. They tell Loial that his mother, and Elder Haman are looking for him with Erith, who is to become his wife. Rand plans to have Loial help place guards on all of the Waygates since they are all located near stedding.

Min rushes in to warn Rand that the Aes Sedai are coming―more than the three they agreed would be the limit. Seven are coming and Rand is not sure he can handle that many, even with the fat man angreal. Rand hastily goes to the throne room and gathers as many Aiel as he can. When the Aes Sedai arrive, they force their way in without ceremony. Demira Eriff speaks to Rand while the Aes Sedai channel an Illusion to make themselves larger. Demira says they will no longer follow Rand's rules that limit their moving about the city and palace, they will decide themselves how many to bring to an audience with him, and he must show them proper respect. Rand channels, breaking the Illusion and shocking the Aes Sedai. He informs them that the restrictions stand, that they owe him respect as the Dragon Reborn, and they are dismissed.

Point of view: Min Farshaw

Despite Rand's orders, Min observes the audience from a doorway, but doesn't see much that helps. She does realize that there is some missing information that the Aes Sedai know and Rand does not that is causing the tension between them. She talks with Mahiro Shukosa, one of the warders staying at the inn.

While Mahiro is considering whether to tell Min anything, Bera Harkin and Kiruna Nachiman enter the room from the baths. Min knew they were sent to the Waste to find Rand so is surprised to find them here. They both show a bruised aura. Both make comments antagonistic to Rand. With the nine sisters from the embassy, Alanna and Verin, and now Bera and Kiruna, there are thirteen sisters, which is a dangerous number since linked they can overwhelm any man and gentle him. She excuses herself from Mahiro as quickly as she can without seeming to be in a hurry.

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand is unhappy about the thirteen sisters in Caemlyn and decides to leave for Cairhien. He gives orders for those that wish to leave to gather at Perrin's room. He won't leave Perrin behind, so Faile and Loial are coming also. He sends for paper so he can write letters. He writes a letter to Taim warning him to stay away from Caemlyn. He writes a letter to Merana. Then he opens a Gateway for everyone to Travel to Caemlyn.

Point of view: Merana Ambrey

Merana has Rand's letter which allows her to bring five other Sisters to Cairhien. She realizes her embassy has failed and is not sure how things will progress, now. When Alanna finally arrives, Kiruna berates her for not controlling Rand after bonding him. Alanna retorts that it is like uprooting an oak tree with bare hands. Alanna speculates that the bond does not work on channelers as it does on others. Kiruna firmly takes control of the group from Merana and chooses the embassy to Cairhien. The other sisters are to escort the Two Rivers girls to Salidar. Kiruna ignores Rand's letter that allows only five Sisters and selects eight to accompany her.[1]

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  1. They will pay for this mistake later. See Lord of Chaos, Chapter 55.