The Great Hunt: Chapter 1
Author: Atarah al'Norahn
The Flame of Tar Valon
Chapter Icon: Wheel and Serpent
Point of View: Rand
Setting: Fal Dara
The Amyrlin Seat arrives in Fal Dara.
Rand and Lan are practicing the sword atop a tower in Fal Dara. Rand concentrates on the flame and the void, feeding all of his emotions into a single flame until emptiness surrounds him. For a few moments, he and Lan trade blows with bundled lathes. They are trading blows back and forth when something unexpected happens to Rand. The wind, howling across the tower, freezes as if it had turned to jello, and begins pushing Rand forward. Lan quickly gets the advantage, and demands to know what 'fool move' Rand was trying to use. "You know better by know, or should unless you have forgotten everything I've tried to teach you." Rand tries to explain what had happened, but Lan just stares at him and then helps him to his feet. "Strange things can happen this close to the Blight," he says.
Rand wonders how Lan can act as if nothing happened, but his thoughts eventually drift to his heron-marked sword, which he picks up. The sword leads to thoughts of his father, Tam, and he once again begins to doubt the fact that Tam really is his father. Lan seems to almost read his mind and tells him that in the Borderlands, if a man has raised a child, then that child is his no matter what.
Rand remarks that he has to learn how to use the sword, and Lan tells him that he could always sell it. "That blade is rare even among heron-mark swords. It would fetch a pretty price." Rand refuses, and says that he had thought all heron-mark blades were rare. Lan glances at him and says, "Tam didn't tell you, then? He must know. Perhaps he didn't believe. Many do not." Lan then proceeds to tell Rand that, during the War of the Shadow, many weapons had been wrought with the One Power - such as Rand's sword. Rand is startled and jerks away from his weapon. "I can't get away from them, can I?" he asks. Lan ends up asking Rand if that is what he really wants - to get away from Aes Sedai - and then asks that if this is so, why hasn't he left yet? Rand replies that he hasn't left because Mat and Perrin are still in Fal Dara and he doesn't want to leave before they do, for fear that he might not see them again for a long time. The conversation turns to Egwene, which seems to be another reason that Rand is staying in Fal Dara. Lan asks Rand if he would have her accompany him, to give up a life in the Tower for a life of wandering, and Rand replies that he wouldn't let her go with him even if she asked.
"And that is all the reason? You want to spend as much time as you can with your friends from home before they go? That's why you're dragging your feet?" Rand finally gives in and tells Lan that it is Moiraine, and Lan replies that he would be dead if not for Moiraine. They talk for a moment about circumstances between Rand and the Aes Sedai, and are about to get back to training when they hear a faint peal of trumpets. They see a large procession moving through the city, and upon seeing a banner bearing the Flame of Tar Valon, realize that it is a group of Aes Sedai. Rand asks Lan why there are so many of them, and Lan tells him that it is because the Amyrlin Seat has arrived in person. They end their lesson, and Lan tells Rand that it would be better if he was a week gone.
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
- What was the wind?
It was probably an early Bubble of Evil.
- Why is the Amyrlin coming to Fal Dara?
Rand and the group have been there long enough that they could have come in response to Moiraine. It is somewhat interesting that the Malkierie resented the Aes Sedai for not coming to help and letting their country be destroyed, whereas the Shienarans who would have been in a very similar situation, if not for Rand, seem not to be affected at all.
He tells Rand it would have been better to have been gone a week.