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The Fires of Heaven/Chapter 53

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"We are alike in many ways, you and I. There is a darkness in us. Darkness, pain, death. They radiate from us. If ever you love a woman, Rand, leave her and let her find another. It will be the best gift you can give her."
   — Lan to Rand after Moiraine's death

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Setting: Cairhien (city)

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand watches as Moiraine and Lanfear tumble through the twisted stone doorway and disappear. Lanfear's channeling stops and a white light blazes from the ter'angreal. Rand uses air to hold Lan so he won't charge after Moiraine through the burning doorway. His Warder bond with Moiraine is broken which happens on the death of the Aes Sedai. Egwene appears to have suffered greatly from Lanfear's torture while Aviendha appears to be alright. Amys and Bair rush in to see what they can do. Egwene needs a long period of rest and is forbidden from meeting Nynaeve and Elayne or making any trips to tel'aran'rhiod. The whole city seems to be watching the docks now as Rand decides what to do next. Moiraine passed Lan's bond to another Aes Sedai, to take effect on her death so Lan must go to her, somewhere in the far west.

Rand wishes to mourn, but can't find it in himself. He remembers the letter Moiraine gave him before they left the palace. Her trip to Rhuidean gave her some glimpses of possible futures. Many paths led to the events of this morning, but there were three possible outcomes. Lanfear and Moiraine dead, which is what happened, Rand dead or Rand captured and turned to the shadow by Lanfear. She cautions him about sisters from the White Tower who might be Black Ajah or might have plans of their own that will interfere. She also was aware that Natael is Asmodean and gives guarded approval.

Sulin arrives and finds him weeping. She begins to break her spears but Rand stops her from continuing, asking what she is doing. She asks in reply if he plans to force the Maidens to marry and tend hearths or act as pets to him. She is angry that no Maidens have been chosen for the battle with Rahvin, only male societies were picked. Rand finally agrees that Maidens can come along, as many as any other society. Outside all of the Maidens are waiting to see if Rand accepts them again as warriors. Mat joins him and they leave to docks to get ready to travel to Caemlyn.

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