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|<<< Tellings of the Wheel >>>|
|Setting: The Winespring Inn|
- Point of view: Rand al'Thor
Rand dreams that he is running across barren hills, under a blood-red sun. He can hear Trollocs on his trail, though he cannot see them. He scrambles to the top of a ridge and finds himself on the edge of a sheer cliff. In the middle of the great valley, there is a single tall, dead black mountain. He feels unseen hands trying to pull him towards the mountain, but he fights them. He hears a voice in his head, saving "Serve me," and he shouts out in defiance to Shai'tan, then turns and scrambles away.
Suddenly he finds himself in a different place, on a rolling plain covered with winter-dead vegetation. There is another mountain, broken-peaked, which does not make him afraid. A river circles the mountain, and on an island in the river he sees a white city. Joyfully he moves towards the city, then begins to flee from the cold presence he can feel behind him. The city begins to recede as he draws closer, though; his pursuer's fingers touch him, then he trips and falls.
He lands on paving stones, near one of the bridges to the city. Smiling people speaking an unknown tongue pass him, beckoning him into the city. The city is filled with wondrous things, but ahead he sees the a white tower that is his destination. When he tries to take a detour, though, he finds the tower ahead of him every way he turns. The people urge him desperately towards the tower. He walks towards it; children throw flowers at his feet, and voices are raised in song. He reaches a palace at the base of the tower, and inside a Myrddraal says it has been waiting for him.
Rand awakens suddenly from these nightmares to find he's slept most of the day away by Tam's bedside. The fire has been tended while he slept, and the cooled dinner has been replaced with warm food, indicating Mistress al'Vere's persistent hand at work.
As Rand begins eating ravenously, Tam wakes up. Rand tells his father of the recent events since the Trolloc attack on their farm, and that the Aes Sedai claims that Rand must leave Emond's Field since the invaders were searching for him or one of his friends. Tam doubts Moiraine's story, and asks Rand to repeat it word-for-word as much as he can remember, because while Aes Sedai cannot lie they can twist their words.
Lan knocks on the door, advising Rand to say his goodbyes quickly, because there may be trouble. Rand begins to unbuckle the sword belt, but Tam advises him to keep it as he may have more use for it. They exchange a hug, and Lan drags Rand out. Mat is waiting outside the room with his bow, and the two of them hurry down the stairs after Lan.
Downstairs a crowd of villagers, led by Hari Coplin and his brother Darl, have gathered outside the inn to attempt to run Moiraine and Lan out of the village, blaming them for the arrival of the Trollocs. When Hari threatens to burn them out, Haral Luhhan and Bran al'Vere manage to shame most of the crowd to silence by pointing out the lives and limbs that Moiraine and Lan saved during and after the attack.Moiraine gets the crowd's full attention by twirling her staff and making it spout flame from both ends. She laments that this is what Aemon's blood has come to, that they have forgotten where they came from. She then tells them a story about the great city of Manetheren and how it was destroyed during the Trolloc Wars. Manetheren never rose again, and its memory was all but lost, but its descendants continued to live in the Two Rivers.
After Moiraine's tale, some of the villagers come forward and say that Moiraine can stay if she wishes, and the others slink off in shame. As they leave, Lan pulls Rand and Mat around the back of the inn, towards the stables.
- Rand al'Thor
- Tam al'Thor
- al'Lan Mandragoran
- Matrim Cauthon
- Moiraine Damodred
- Hari Coplin (first appearance)
- Darl Coplin (first appearance)
- Bili Congar (first appearance)
- Cenn Buie
- Brandelwyn al'Vere
- Haral Luhhan
- Paet al'Caar (first appearance)
- Eward Candwin (first appearance)
- Dark One
- Marin al'Vere
- Nynaeve al'Meara
- Thomdril Merrilin - as the gleeman
- Abell Cauthon - as Master Cauthon
- Oren Dautry
- Jon Thane
- Aemon al Caar al Thorin
- Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan
- Wil al'Caar as Paet's boy
- Mountains of Mist
- Tar Valon
- Forest of Shadows
- Field of Bekkar
- Shayol Ghul