—old Saldaean proverb
|<<< Embers and Ash >>>|
|Setting: Tel'aran'rhiod, a week out of Malden|
Point of view: Perrin Aybara
Perrin Aybara finds himself in the Wolf Dream, suspended in mid-air. Hopper whizzes by him, encouraging him to jump down, where it is safe. After Perrin lands on the ground, Hopper offers to run with him. Perrin initially runs as a human, out of fear of losing control of himself as a wolf while in Tel'aran'rhiod. Hopper insists that Perrin run and hunt with him, but Perrin is adamant about maintaining control. Angry, Hopper refuses to teach Perrin how to move while in the Wolf Dream. A rebuffed Perrin decides to look for other wolves to teach him. Hopper rebukes Perrin for inadvertently appearing too strongly in the Wolf Dream and slams into Perrin to throw him out of of Tel'aran'rhiod.
Point of view: Faile Bashere
Faile Bashere is awake in bed, hoping that Perrin would sleep soon. As he is tossing and turning, he suddenly denies he slept with Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron. After assuring Perrin that she believes him, she contemplates her recent time in captivity under Sevanna in Malden. Faile believes that during her captivity she finally realized what it means to be a noblewoman – to be responsible for the well-being of the people pledged to her.
Perrin then tries to forgive Faile in case she had to be unfaithful in dissimilar circumstances with her male captor in Malden, but she is affronted that he would think she would even consider that notion. She reflects on the Aiel in Malden who were not Shaido, particularly the Brotherless. She decides not to let Perrin know that the man he killed was actually her protector. After wondering aloud about the whereabouts of Masema Dagar, Perrin finally snores.
Faile leaves the tent and walks with Arrela Shiego and Lacile Aldorwin to two waiting Maidens, who escort them outside of camp, where they meet up with Bain and Chiad. Bain and Chiad banter to each other about Gaul’s bravery in their rescue. Before leaving her, they pass a bundle to Faile and remind her that Alliandre Maritha Kigarin awaits them by the trees. Faile thinks that Bain and Chiad also sent an additional Maiden to join the other two that were already guarding them.
Faile has a bundle with her, which she opens at Alliandre’s urging. In addition to a flask of oil, the bundle contains a leather belt, a black veil, a yellow silk handkerchief, and a leather band with a blue stone. Each item belonged to an Aiel who protected each woman, but who died during their rescue by Perrin’s people. Kinhuin was Alliandre’s protector and owned the belt. Arrela’s protector was Marthea, who owned the black veil. The yellow handkerchief belonged to Jhoradin, who was not only Lacile’s protector, but her lover. The leather band was Rolan’s, the Brotherless who looked after Faile.
Faile remembers how tragic the night of their rescue had been. Perrin killed Rolan, who did not know the latter was Faile’s protector. Lacile killed Jhoradin during a moment when Jhoradin was trying to guard her. And Faile stabbed Kinhuin in the back when he was running towards a fallen Rolan.
Each woman in turn douses each object with oil before setting it upon a pyre Faile had set up. They say a few kind words about their respective Aiel. Lacile mentions that a Brotherless named Niagen is in Perrin's camp, as gai'shain to the Maiden Sulin. She went to tell him of what his former clan members should be remembered for. The four women return to camp once the fire burns out. Faile keeps the blue stone in remembrance of Rolan.
Point of view: Perrin Aybara
Perrin has woken up in the tent and notices that Faile is not there. He ponders his recent stay in Ter'aran'rhiod. Perrin concludes that he has three decisions to make. The first is figuring out whether to extricate himself from the people who want him to lead them, or be resigned to being their leader. The second is to start making decisions instead of avoiding them. Finally, the last and hardest decision was whether to allow Faile to be in harm's way again.
Accepting that he has problems to contend with gives him a sense of peace that allows him to go back to sleep.
- Perrin Aybara
- Faile Bashere
- Alliandre Maritha Kigarin
- Arrela Shiego
- Lacile Aldorwin
- Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron
- Masema Dagar
- Haral Luhhan
- Rand al'Thor
- "Only the Dark One stays the same." -- Borderlands saying
- "The past was a field of embers and ash,...the remnants of the fire that was the present." -- old Saldaean proverb