—Elayne Trakand on helping Rand with Channeling saidin'
|<<< Playing With Fire >>>|
|Setting: Stone of Tear|
Point of view: Egwene al'Vere
In the morning, Egwene and Elayne presented themselves to the Shae'en M'taal guarding Rand's rooms, using an excuse to "check on his wounds" in order to see him instead of telling them their real plan. Gaul tells them to be careful but does not bar the way.
—Gaul on Rand's mood
They enter and Egwene notices little evidence of last night's attack aside from the lack of mirrors and a few scorch marks on the wall. Books lay cluttered everywhere, Callandor sparkled atop a gaudy stand, and Rand sat comfortably in a chair with a book in hand. He rose with a scowl upon their entry but changed his expression upon recognizing them. Egwene notices the hardness in his face, the change in his movements; a little like Lan and the Aiel.
Rand asks if the women can help keep the High Lords in line, or with nightmares, or with the Old Tongue. While rifling around for a book, Egwene passes a look to Elayne. Without words, they agree to not help with Old Tongue translations even though the Daughter-Heir possesses the knowledge. Egwene tells him that they are here to help him with the One Power, with Channeling. Rand becomes suspicious again, knowing that a woman using Saidar cannot teach a man how to wield Saidin; anymore than a bird can teach a fish to fly. He asks them if this is all part of some plot from Moiraine. He puts on a coat, ready to leave for another meeting with High Lords until an emotional outburst from Elayne changes his mind.
Egwene embraces saidar and asks Rand if he feels anything. She claims that she is now stronger than Moiraine. She channels flows of Air and water and Spirit, the powers for Healing to Rand's wound and her stomach churns as it feels as if all the darkness in the world had gathered at his side. When Elayne embraces the True Source, Rand shivers and rubs at goosebumps. They discover that Rand can tell when a woman embraces the Source by this. She compels, with slight trepidation, Rand to embrace the male half of the Source, and is baffled that she cannot tell that he has done as asked. Rand pinches their bottoms for an answer, and earns a bigger pinch in rebuke from Elayne. After further prompting, Rand uses the power, lifting them off the ground and shielding them from saidar while making the table legs dance, filling the hearth with fire, melting a sculpture into silver and gold threads before making the tables burst into flames, books spin in the air, and blowing up the mattress. Rand notices the damage and composes himself. The shield on the duo vanishes and Rand apologizes, claiming that it runs wild sometimes. Egwene realizes that for all the accolades of her strength in the Power, she cannot compete with Rand, who easily had woven a dozen different weaves at the same time without tiring.
They sit down and discuss how Rand embraces saidin. The discussion teaches Egwene the similarities and differences between saidin and saidar. Rand dismisses them, claiming a meeting with the High Lords over taxes and noting that they have Darkfriends to question.
Before leaving, Egwene admits that she cannot marry Rand. Rand claims that he understands, no woman would want to marry the Dragon Reborn. Egwene clarifies her statement, shouting that she does not love him. Rand's face changes from hurt to relief, yet Egwene believes that he is simply hiding the hurt as she leaves him ready for Elayne to pick up.
- The Treasures of the Stone of Tear
- Travels in the Aiel Waste, with Various Observations on the Savage Inhabitants
- Dealings with the Territory of Mayene, 500 to 700 of the New Era