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Setting: Cairhien

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand is surveying his forces camped a few miles from the city of Cairhien while talking with the Tairen High Lord Weiramon. Weiramon is very arrogant and assumes that if he attacks the Shaido with his cavalry he will win without any other help. Aviendha is nearby with the Wise Ones and so are the Aiel clan chiefs. Aviendha has been acting friendly but not intimate to Rand since their return from Seanchan. Rand makes his way to a log tower that has been built for observing. Egwene has agreed to use the One Power in the coming battle with the Shaido, but Moiraine can't because the Three Oaths of an Aes Sedai prevent it.

Rand climbs the tower along with the clan chiefs. Kin Tovere is setting up the second of his far-seeing tubes which allows Rand and the chiefs to observe the Shaido much better than they could otherwise. Couladin has blockaded the river to prevent supplies or reinforcements from reaching the city. Rand spots Couladin on a hilltop, then sees something streak past his field of vision, which kills two of the Shaido on the hilltop. It appears to be a spear, but it was shot from the city. Rand can't understand how it was done.