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The Gathering Storm/Chapter 1

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"I'm dry, like an overused well. I need to finish my work here and get to Shayol Ghul. Otherwise, there won't be anything left of me for the Dark One to kill."
   —Rand al'Thor

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Setting: Tar Valon, Arad Doman

Setting: Arad Doman

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand is hiding in a manor house in eastern Arad Doman. He has been jumping from place to place every few days as he tries to keep anyone from trying to rescue Semirhage. He feels as if he must be steel, but Min disagrees. Their argument is interrupted by Rand noticing that the wind is blowing in two directions at once. Eventually, one gust wins out and the tree branches go back to normal, but Rand is shaken. He thinks again about the information he received in the twisted redstone doorframe, about binding the land together, north with east and south with west. He doesn't know if it will hold long enough to reach Tarmon Gai'don, though; and why are the Borderlanders coming south? At least the Seanchan had agreed to a truce.

Just then, Nynaeve, Cadsuane, and Alivia walk in. They have been interrogating Semirhage, but Rand's insistence that they neither hurt nor threaten her is hampering their efforts considerably. Nynaeve yells at him, and Cadsuane wonders if perhaps they should turn her over to the White Tower. Rand says that Egwene might not like that; he muses that she might turn her loose and force him to kneel instead. At that moment, Lews Therin rants about the women not helping him and the Hundred Companions in the Strike at Shayol Ghul. Rand is so startled by this piece of information that he demands aloud that Lews Therin tell him what he means. Too late, he realizes that everyone in the room heard him, and may think him too mad already. He stands in shock, unable to laugh or cry, while Lews Therin cackles and sobs enough for both of them.

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