"Nothing is happening the way I expect."
   — Rand al'Thor
For other uses of the term, see The Nine Rings.

External summary

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Setting: Cairhien

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

The innkeeper asks if Rand is hunting for the Horn of Valere , and he says no, looking at Loial nervously.  They eat their dinner, and Rand plays several songs on the flute. Aldrin Caldevwin comes over to see if he can find any holes in Rand's story. When he begins to question Selene, a maid drops a lamp and Selene leaves to go to bed, claiming sickness.  Hurin is seen by everyone in the inn as a servant, and no one talks to him.  Rand asks about the statue he saw with a huge hand and a crystal sphere.  The officer he is talking to tells him it is from the Age of Legends.  The officer says he has a crew working on uncovering the statue, so it can be taken to the capital.  There are people guarding the worksite, and the officer says he needs to rotate them, and would Rand mind accompanying them tomorrow? (already assuming they will). When they get to their rooms, Rand asks what that was all about, the officer acting suspicious and all.  Hurin explains the Great Game, Daes Dae'mar.

In the morning, there was a note for Rand, and Selene was gone.  It was sealed with a crescent moon and stars. Confused by her departure, Rand, Hurin, Loial, and the others bound for Cairhien begin their journey, with an escort of fifty soldiers.