— Rand on encountering the Choedan Kal
|<<< Saidin >>>|
|Setting: northern Cairhien|
Point of view: Rand al'Thor
Rand, Hurin, Loial and Selene continue through the night toward Cairhien and away from Fain and his Trollocs. Selene says she wants to see the Horn of Valere again, and Rand stops her, saying the Ruby-hilted dagger is in there, and they should keep it shielded. They come upon a village, and nearby Rand can see what looks like an enormous statue with a hand coming out of the ground which is the male Choedan Kal. Selene tries to get him to move away from it, but Rand won't leave. Everyone tells Rand to come away from the stone, but Rand finds that he cannot let go of saidin. To the others he appears in a trance, to himself, Rand feels glorious, and like he could hold more saidin than ever. Finally he breaks free but the guards at the bottom of the excavation have noticed them.
They come to The Nine Rings (inn) in the village of Tremonsien, which is also one of Rand's favorite adventure stories. Again, Selene asks Rand to continue on that night without stopping but Rand says the horn is not his. She turns her back on him and refuses to speak.