"Far Dareis Mai carries the honor of the Car'a'carn. Far Dareis Mai carries the honor of the Car'a'carn. Far Dareis Mai carries the honor of the Car'a'carn."
   — Sulin and the Aiel Maidens of the spear outside of Rand's tent, protesting his plan of action.

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Setting: Outside Cairhien (city)

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand wonders if there was anything he could have done during his time in the Waste that would have prevented this day of battle where so many would die. The clan chiefs arrive for a few last words before battle. They mention that the Maidens are unhappy with the role Rand has chosen them, which will keep them out of the main battle. Lan arrives without Moiraine, who will be Healing those who are injured. When he and Lan exit the tent they find the hilltop surrounded and wall-to-wall with Aiel Maidens and his horse is not there for him to mount. The maidens were assigned to guard Egwene and Aviendha while they channeled from the tower. They plan to force Rand to also go to the tower and channel rather than try to engage in fighting with his sword. After thinking a bit and listening the Maidens chanting, Rand announces that he has decided he can aid the battle most by going to the tower to channel.

Egwene and Aviendha channel a storm, then start using lightning to attack the Shaido positions. Rand channels a massive fireball that makes a hilltop glassy and lower than it was. Then from nowhere he hears inside his head, Ilyena, my love, forgive me!, which almost makes him lose the Void he needs for channeling.

Point of view: Matrim Cauthon

Mat is making his escape from Rand, but is delayed by Aiel that are moving here and there for the coming battles. He reaches the top of a high hill and spots a force of Tairens and Cairhienin moving in three groups through the valley below him. He notices some movement ahead of the column and uses his looking glass to spot a group of Aiel moving to attack the column. Mat hardly understands why when he rides down to intervene in the coming slaughter. He starts giving orders to the different groups in the name of the Lord Dragon, which he hopes will be enough to be obeyed. He gives orders that will have the lead cavalry group encircled by the pikes for the initial Aiel attack.

He goes to the trailing group of cavalry and has them split up to flank the Aiel when they attack the pike formation. The leader, Talmanes, agrees but only if Mat leads one of the flanking groups. Mat agrees and so loses his opportunity to escape. Mat leads his four hundred men to the crest of the hill above the fighting. Not all of the Tairens followed orders and are outside of the pike formation getting slaughtered. Mat and Talmanes lead their groups in a charge upon the unsuspecting Aiel.