The Great Hunt: Chapter 14
Author: Estyrien al'Halien
Chapter Icon: A Wolf
Point of View: Perrin
Setting: Near the field of Talidar, a battle site.
In Hurin's absence, Perrin uses his wolf sense of smell to track Fain. Verin joins them.
Ingtar cannot believe that Rand, Hurin and Loial are nowhere to be found, "They cannot just be gone". Everyone is ready to go but they wait to see if Uno can track the missing members; he can't, "not a goat-kissing track, my Lord". Ingtar will not accept that they have vanished, "three men and three horses do not just vanish", and orders another search of the area. Mat suggests that they ran away, though the Shienarans do not take this well. Mat nearly lets slip of his, Perrin and Rand's conversation the day before, though manages to catch himself. Ingtar doesn't believe that Hurin would run away, nor Rand now that he knows his duty. Ingtar is very angry that Hurin has disappeared as they depended on his tracking skills.
Perrin doesn't know any reason as to why Rand, Hurin and Loial would leave together, though he too thinks back to their conversation. He thinks of the reason why he is there and realizes that they must continue to hunt the Darkfriends and that he can help the group. He contacts the wolves, though he is reluctant to do so at first. When he first learned that he could communicate with the wolves, he felt unclean and "he was still not past that entirely". He forms contact with the wolves who are surprised, "Wolfbrother. Surprise. Two-legs that talks", and ask if he is Long Tooth, the wolf name for Elyas Machera. He forms a picture of himself in his mind and finds that they have already given him a name, Young Bull. It surprises him that he has a wolf name and "wished he could not remember how he'd earned it".
Perrin sends the smells of Rand, Hurin and Loial to the wolves; his sense of smell has increased since he became a Wolfbrother. The wolves only know that the three entered the hollow and "that was the last they had seen or smelled Rand or the other two". Perrin knows that he will not find Rand or the others but he can help the group find the Horn, though it will mean telling Ingtar, "The next step would be useless unless he told Ingtar". He sends the wolves the smell of Fain, "not even Trollocs smelled so foul", and masks it with the smell of Trollocs.
The smell of the Trollocs drives the wolves into a frenzy, "fire and Trollocs they hated, and they'd go through fire to kill Trollocs". Strangely, Fain's smell is even worse to the wolves and they are eager to kill the Trollocs on their land. Perrin understands that the Trollocs are south of the group and that the wolves will leave immediately to start the hunt, "Kill them. Kill the Twisted Ones". "Their fury injected him" and Perrin snarls, much to Mat's surprise. Mat begins to feel that Perrin is not like he used to be either.
Perrin finds Ingtar and pulls him aside, "he made sure Uno and the rest were too far away to hear". He tells Ingtar that the Trollocs are heading south and admits that he can talk to wolves. Ingtar doesn't question this since "I have heard of things like this". Ingtar accepts his story but asks Perrin to say that he is a sniffer because "some of them (the Shienarans) would not understand". The soldiers accept the story and mount their horses; however, Mat is very sceptical, "I am the only sane one left from Emond's Field".
They start riding and Perrin keeps in contact with the wolves, straining to keep the wolves from going ahead too far. If the Trollocs were killed by the wolves, the Darkfriends would scatter with the Horn and they would not be able to track it. Perrin sees images from the wolves of the bodies of the murdered villagers and tells Ingtar, haltingly, of what he sees. Ingtar tells the group of some more bad news, "There is someone following us".
It turns out to be Verin Sedai who rides up to their group. She announces that "Moiraine Sedai sent me" and talks of the village she just passed though, the village with the Myrddraal. She suddenly notices that Rand is not with the group and Ingtar tells her that he "vanished last night, without a trace". He is unsettled to know that Verin knows that Hurin was a sniffer, "It was never easy discovering Aes Sedai knew the secrets you were trying to keep from them". Verin is very intent on finding out all about Rand and decides to travel with them, and rides with Ingtar at the head of the column. Mat is right when he says "It's Rand she's after... not the Horn".
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
- What is with Verin’s satisfied smile?
We learn later Moiraine didn't send her, but that Verin is Black Ajah so could have lied about this, though there would be no reason for such a satisfied smile.
- Deliberately makes contact with wolves.
- Still wants to be a Blacksmith.
- Still sees himself as a shepherd.