The Great Hunt: Chapter 16
Author: Estyrien al'Halien
In the Mirror of Darkness
Chapter Icon: Dragon's Fang
Point of View: Rand
Setting: A strange land that is uninhabited
Rand and company encounter a mysterious woman, Selene.
Rand, Loial and Hurin are leaving the campsite they stayed at. Loial notices the heron mark on Rand's hand but only sees that it is an injury. Rand does not welcome Loial's concern over the injury.
Whilst traveling, they come across a "tapering column" that they believe could be Artur Hawkwing's spire for his victory against the Trollocs despite the fact that it had been torn down many years before. As they ride closer, a bird is visible on the spire and Rand believes that it is Hawkwing's hawk. On closer inspection, they see that it is a monument for Trollocs and that the 'hawk' is actually a raven. Loial explains that he believes that the world they are in is "just a shadow of the real world. In this world, I think, the Trollocs won". The spire is a Trolloc creation and celebrates their victory over Hawkwing.
There is no time to contemplate this as Hurin thinks that he spots a woman. Rand thinks of the Ways and warns the party to be very careful, despite the fact that they haven't been so far.
A scream is heard, although in a different direction from where the woman was last seen, and Rand immediately goes to find out what is happening. He finds a woman cornered by a creature, later found out to be a grolm. He tries to kill it by shooting an arrow in to its hide but this doesn't work, only angering the beast as it charges at him. At the woman's urging, he uses the void and shoots an arrow in to the beast's eye, thus killing it.
The woman rides to meet Rand and Rand notices that she is extremely beautiful. She mistakes him for a Lord and Loial and Hurin for his retainers. Due to her beauty, Rand stutters and stumbles over his words as he explains his actions; "A man who will not die to save a woman is no man". She introduces herself as Selene, from Cairhien, and explains that she is not from the strange world; she entered it like Rand, Loial and Hurin did. Selene agrees to follow Rand and Hurin explains that they are after "Darkfriends and Trollocs, my Lady", as well as the Horn of Valere.
They ride, with Hurin following the trail, and Rand and Selene talk. Selene soothes Rand's heron mark injury while they talk about power. She says that "Some men... choose to seek greatness, while others are forced to it" and asks which one Rand will be, since sounding the Horn will give him power. This reminds Rand of what Moiraine has told him and asks if Selene is Aes Sedai. Selene denies this strongly; "I am not offended, but I'm no Aes Sedai". After this, Selene rides with Loial and Rand is left alone to wonder how they have managed to travel so far; "More than a hundred leagues in less than three days".
After Loial's conversation with Selene, he explains to Rand that she has told him that they are in another world. "These worlds... are reflections of the real world, she says". They also find out that "The Pattern has infinite variations... and every variation that can be, will be". After this, Loial rides with Hurin and Rand and Selene talk.
Selene praises Rand's ability with the bow and he tells her about the void. She recognizes this and calls it the Oneness, telling Rand, "You'll learn uses for it that you never suspected". Rand questions how Selene knows all about the Portal lands and then Selene tries to convince him to follow her to another Portal Stone. Rand becomes slightly angry and tells her to find the Portal Stone by herself and get herself out through it. Selene maintains that she does not know how and stays with the group. However, the conversation is broken by the "coughing grunt" of a grolm, followed by others. They discover that grolm are following them, "a small pack, but they have our scent it seems".
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
- Who is Selene and how did she get there? Is she the woman in white seen earlier?
She is Lanfear.
- How does Selene know so much about the Age of Legends?
Because she is Lanfear.
- What are grolm?
They are creatures that were found in one of the worlds visited through a Portal Stone. Lanfear probably brought them here. None of the other three think to ask how she knew what they were.
- First Mentioned
- First Appearance
It is confirmed that they traveled to another world through the Portal Stone.