The Shadow Rising: Chapter 27
Author: Manora al'Sara
Within the Ways
Chapter Icon: A large leaf with two smaller leaves next to it
Point of View: Perrin
Setting: The Ways
Perrin is in the Ways with Loial, Gaul, Faile, Bain, and Chiad. He and Gaul are following behind Loial and the others because Perrin is still angry about Faile coming along and Faile is still refusing to let him be part of her and Loial's party. Perrin won't even let himself acknowledge that it's Faile's group he and Gaul are following. As they continue he observes that the Ways do not seem to bother the Aiel man but Perrin is alert and listening for the slightest sound of Machin Shin, knowing that his ears will be the first to pick up any sound. Perrin notices that Faile and Loial's party in front have stopped so he draws rein in the middle of the bridge he was crossing. He notices that the bridge looks like it is about to crumble underneath him. The horses are nervous and Perrin sympathizes with them and thinks that it would be more comforting if there were more people around. But regardless of his feelings he will not go closer to the small group of people ahead of him. Not after what had happened on the island just after they had left Tear.
He remembers the event... Perrin had led his horse Stepper over to the Guiding and he walked around the island studying the bridges leading from it. Gaul had seemed to not be at all bothered by being in the Ways. When Loial had arrived on the island with Faile she had immediately hopped from her horse and strode over to Perrin with a very fixed expression and he began to speak to her but she slapped him across the face and told him off for going on and rushing off like a wild boar. He says that he had asked her not to do that and she hit him again. Faile had been furious with Perrin for going off ahead and with Loial for trying to intervene and also furious with Bain and Chiad for not intervening. Bain had replied that she did not think that Faile would have wanted them to seeing as she had picked the fight herself. Faile then had seemed to lose her anger toward Perrin, which had made him nervous. She had stared at him then with unshed tears in her eyes.
Gaul brings Perrin back to the present by telling him that the party in front were moving again. And they carry along their way down the next ramp. Perrin muses to himself that he hates the ramps, sided by darkness and seeming to curve in circles with no visible means of support. Gaul is looking slightly confused at the next island as it seems that they are directly below the one they had just left and Perrin is glad that he is not the only one to notice. Once more Faile and Loial stop by the Guiding but they do not move on. Faile calls to Perrin asking him to come over. He goes over and asks what she wants and she tells him that she just wanted to see if he would come when she called. She smiles at him, Perrin thinks probably because she heard his teeth grinding. Perrin scrubs at his nose as he has noticed a faint rank smell. Gaul chuckles and comments on the way of women and how it is easier to understand the sun as a woman. Bain whispers to Chiad and they both laugh and from the way the two women look at him and Gaul, Perrin thinks he would rather not know what they were laughing at.
Loial says that was not the reason at all and that the real reason is because they have arrived. He points to the Guiding and tells them it is the Waygate to Manetheren. Perrin nods, not wanting to suggest anything for fear of Faile's reaction. He rubs his nose again because of the smell of rankness. Then suddenly his ears pick up the distant sound of hooves and the smell hits home to him. He shouts that there are Trollocs. Gaul reacts and immediately kills one of the approaching monsters. A fight begins with all of them defending themselves against the Trollocs, until they have defeated them all. Perrin looks around and assesses everyone's injuries - he is glad to see that Faile is unhurt. He believes the only reason they managed to fend them all off is due to the Trollocs' eyesight not adjusting quickly enough coming from the darkness into the light of the lanterns. They have only moments respite before a Fade leaps into the light. The Aiel fight the Fade, Gaul with his spear and Bain and Chiad shooting at it with their arrows. Suddenly one of Faile's knives blossoms in the Fade's face but the Fade does not give in. Perrin manages to swing at it with his hammer and it goes down. They leave the Fade thrashing wildly on the floor.
Perrin could hear more Trollocs approaching and tells the others that they have to hurry to the Waygate. Faile turns about and heads off much to Perrin's surprise and he asks her why she isn't arguing. She replies that it's because he is speaking sense. As they head towards the gate Perrin's ears catch another sound, like a sighing which sends shivers into his bones. The sound is getting louder and Perrin calls to Loial to hurry - he has heard the sound too now and rushes to open the gate. The gate opens up and Loial urges Faile through and Perrin tells the Aiel to follow her, that they cannot fight this. Perrin asks Loial if he can lock the gate at all and he replies that he can but they must hurry. By the sound of the Trollocs muttering they have heard the sound of Machin Shin too. Perrin backs Stepper through the Waygate. The Aiel had spread out across the slope facing the Waygate with arrows knocked and ready. Faile is picking herself up from where she had tumbled from going too fast through the Waygate. Loial comes hurtling through with two Trollocs on his heels but before the Trollocs were halfway out the shimmering surface of the gate turned black, Perrin could hear voices wailing madness in his head, the Trollocs are beating at the boiling blackness until it had sucked them back in and the Waygate closed. Loial rushes forward and replaces the two Avendesora leaves on this side of the gate to lock it. He tells Perrin that it is the best that he can do and that now the gate can only be opened from the outside. He says he could have locked it permanently by not replacing the leaves but that he could not ruin a Waygate because he hopes that one day they can be cleansed of Machin Shin. Perrin tells him it will do and he wonders if it was just coincidence that the Trollocs were there or if they had been heading for that Waygate.
Faile is unsteady and the Aiel look shaken for once. Faile asks was it Machin Shin and Loial replies that it was. Perrin looks around and identifies that they are in the Mountains of Mist and he watches two white-winged hawks wheeling above the valley. Perrin's eyes catch the streak of an arrow and one of the hawks went cart-wheeling from the sky. Perrin frowns and cannot imagine why anyone would be shooting hawks up on the mountain. The second hawk swooped after his mate and then starts climbing desperately. A cloud of black ravens bursts up from the trees and surrounds it and when the ravens settled again the hawk is gone. Perrin is disturbed by this as he knows that the Dark One uses ravens and other creatures as his spies. Faile asks him what he is staring at and he replies just birds. He doesn't want to alarm them right after their escape from the Ways. Perrin dropped down from Stepper and cleaned the blood from his hammer and from himself. Faile begins to tend to his wounds for him. The cuts on his face are small but Faile needs to stitch the gash in his side. She grumbles the whole time she is tending him. Perrin dresses in clean clothes while Faile stands fingering the slash in his coat. He reaches for the coat and she flings it at him saying he better not expect her to sew that as well and she goes off to help tend the others. Perrin sends his mind questing out over the valley searching for wolves. He thinks that way he will get answers on who is in the forest and whether there are any more Trollocs. But he is surprised to find no wolves at all. They should have been there, as there had always been wolves in the Mountains of Mist, but they aren't. He hopes he can find the wolves tomorrow and doesn't want to think about what the alternatives are if he can't.