The Shadow Rising: Chapter 48

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Author: Estyrien al'Halien

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An Offer Refused


Chapter Icon: Spear and Shield

Point of View: Rand

Setting: The Aiel Waste

Characters: Rand, Aviendha, Isendre, Kadere, Keille, Natael, Bair, Amys, Melaine, Seana, Egwene, Moiraine, Lan, Rhuarc, Mat, Aiel and wagon drivers

Summary

It is eleven days into their journey to Cold Rocks Hold and Rand is being lectured by Aviendha. She is angry because she thinks that he is "caressing eyes with this milk-skinned wench", Isendre, even though he is not. She believes that he belongs to Elayne and is contemptuous of Isendre because "she is soft...weak". He sees that Isendre is watching him again from one of the wagons and that Kadere does not seem to mind. Rand also notices that Keille and Natael are arguing again and that "sometimes they looked at Rand" before quickly looking away again. He has gotten used to this treatment because everybody, including the Shaido, "wanted to know what he was going to do".

Rand asks Aviendha to talk to him about Aiel customs again. When she first started walking with him she would not talk to him but a talk with the Wise Ones made her demand "that he let her teach him about Aiel ways and customs". Her lectures are often enjoyable, even though she tends to fly into a rage sometimes, and Rand has learnt a lot about the Aiel Waste. Aviendha has taught him which plants are edible and which are not followed by which plants indicate that water is to be found near. She has talked about the poisonous animals that live in the Waste including the gara, a brown and yellow lizard, and the two-step, a small brown snake. Rand still doesn't understand about the Aiel roofmistresses and the holds. Aviendha tries to explain that "a man cannot own a roof any more than he can own land"; it is the women in Aiel society who own the land. A woman is built a roof by her family before she marries and it is her roof and not her husband's when they marry. A man must ask permission from his new wife to enter her roof.

Moiraine spends most of her time with the Wise Ones but she sometimes rides with Rand to try to find out what he is up to. Rand refuses to tell her and this makes her angry, something that causes Aviendha to mutter "It is stupid to anger Aes Sedai... I did not think you were a stupid man". Egwene doesn't leave the company of the Wise Ones even though they believe that she is full Aes Sedai. In fact they seem to treat her as they do Aviendha, "though her (Aviendha) they seemed to bully rather than argue with". Rand notices that the Wise Ones don't force Egwene to dress like a little girl although he hadn't realized the meaning behind the clothes.

During the journey Kadere talks to Rand several times. He hints that he has valuable knowledge to sell but Rand is uneasy because Kadere wants amnesty to crimes he has committed in the past. He rebuffs Kadere's deal because "there's always a question of price... some prices I might not want to pay". Natael, the gleeman, also talks to Rand during the journey, claiming that he wants to write "a grand epic to tell your tale". He tells Rand that he "would not take your place for all the world, not with the fate that accompanies it". Natael asks rather morbid questions about madness and death and when Rand refuses to answer, Natael stops coming to see him. He instead spends most of his time with the Shaido, much to Rhuarc's annoyance but nothing can be done to stop him.

On the other hand Aviendha spends a lot time with the Wise Ones. Rand thinks that they simply want to know what information she has gained from him but soon realises that they are teaching her to channel. Rand would have enjoyed Mat's company during the journey but Mat seems uncomfortable around Rand. He refuses to talk about Rhuidean but sometimes lets slip about what happened there. Instead he spends most of his time in wagons dicing with the drivers and pursuing Isendre. Seeing Mat's interest in Isendre, Keille offers to sell her for a gold mark, "a chit like that cannot be worth more than two", but Isendre storms off in anger. Keille finds it funny that Mat has refused an offer from her twice and warns that she might have to do something about it.

On the twelfth day Rhuarc announces that they are at Cold Rocks Hold, the hold of the roofmistress Lian.

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