|<<< The Caemlyn Road >>>|
|Setting: Caemlyn Road, Hills of Absher|
- Point of view: Rand al'Thor
The first day on the road, Nynaeve ignores Moiraine completely, but then spends the next two days talking to the Aes Sedai about herbs. During rest stops, Lan studies the surrounding countryside as well as the road ahead of and behind the group.
During dinner that third day, once again cold, just like breakfast and supper too, Egwene sighs that there was a time when she liked cheese. Lan chooses that moment to point out that there are Myrddraal and Trollocs following them, even if they haven't yet seen them. Then the blast of a horn is heard from somewhere behind them, Rand estimates no more than ten miles, and everyone knows it is time to be moving again. But instead of leading them on, Lan gallops back toward their pursuers while Moiraine takes them in the opposite direction.
When Lan catches up with the group some time later, he reports there are at least three fists of Trollocs chasing them, each with a Fade in the lead. When a horn winds from the direction they have been traveling, Moiraine knows they have been cut off. The only directions left open to them are north and south; south leads to the River Taren which there is no way to cross, but north ends at the Arinelle which may be crossable via boat. Lan tells Moiraine that there is a place where the Trollocs will not go, but she emphatically refuses the suggestion, and the two speak quietly for a while so that none can hear what is said.
Eventually, Moiraine leads everyone to the north. Lan puts the horses to a grueling pace through the hilly terrain, but the pursuing Trollocs slowly close the gap. Lan tells everyone that the Trollocs are nearby, and as they crest a hill, they see a Halfman leading a group of them up the hill. Telling the group to stay close to him, he leads them into battle crying "For the Seven Towers". Hearing this, Rand calls out "Manetheren! Manetheren!" and is soon echoed by Perrin. Mat, not to be outdone, shouts "Carai an Caldazar! Carai an Ellisande! Al Ellisande!"
Lan heads directly for the Myrddraal, while the others dive into the Trollocs.
The sound of Lan's sword meeting the Myrddraal's blade rings like a great bell and is accompanied by flashes of blue light like lightning. Rand tries to find Egwene in the chaos, and finally spots her near Moiraine. The Aes Sedai is lashing out at the Trollocs, killing them with fire from her staff, even as they try to flee from her.
A noose catches Rand and is about to pull him from his saddle when suddenly the pulling stops. Astonished, he looks around him to find all of the Trollocs shrieking because Lan has killed their Myrddraal by severing its head from its body. Thom, however, says it won't truly die until nightfall.
Lan shouts at the group to ride on, as there are more Trollocs still, and he doubles the pace he had previously set. Eventually, however, the pursuers again close in until there is only a hundred spans between them. Coming down the hill are a host of Trollocs led by three Fades. Moiraine climbs down from her horse and stands to face the oncoming horde. Unwrapping her Robed woman angreal, she holds it in one hand and her staff in the other, and stabs the staff down into the earth.
There is a brief instant of silence, and then the ground begins to shake. The earth trembles in great waves, tossing Trollocs like toys, throwing them into a mass of confusion, but the three Myrddraal continue forward, apparently unimpeded. But the Aes Sedai isn't through, yet. She lifts her staff from the ground and points to a hollow between the hills; twenty feet high, a fire springs up, then races to left and right for as far as the eye can see, forming a wall between the Dark One's forces and the Aes Sedai's company.
After riding a distance away, Moiraine crowds the group together and passes her staff over all of them, creating a false trail for the Trollocs to follow. She then leads them, at Lan's urging, to the ruins of a great city to take shelter for the night. Crumbling and overgrown with vines, Rand thinks it must be fifty times bigger than Baerlon. When Egwene wonders what city it was, Moiraine replies that during the Trolloc Wars it was known as Aridhol and was an ally of Manetheren.
She goes on to say that the city later died and came to be known as Shadar Logoth.
- Rand al'Thor
- al'Lan Mandragoran
- Egwene al'Vere
- Nynaeve al'Meara
- Moiraine Damodred
- Perrin Aybara
- Matrim Cauthon
- Thomdril Merrilin
- Aldieb (animal)
- Cloud (animal)
- Mandarb (animal)
- Brandelwyn al'Vere - as Master al'Vere
- Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan
- Aemon al Caar al Thorin - as last king
- Dark One
- Two Rivers
- Emond's Field
- Tarendrelle - as Taren
- Carai an Caldazar - "For the honor of the Red Eagle"
- Carai an Ellisande - "For the honor of the Rose of the Sun"
- Al Ellisande - "The Rose of the Sun"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "For the honor of the Red Eagle. For the honor of the Rose of the Sun. The Rose of the Sun."
- ↑ This is the first time we hear Mat speak the Old Tongue, and when the incident is brought up in later conversation, he realises uneasily that he does not know where the words came from nor, this time, what they mean. Moiraine tells them the ancient blood of Manetheren still sings.