The Shadow Rising: Chapter 50
Author: Estyrien al'Halien
Chapter Icon: Crescent Moon and Stars
Rand's Point of View:
Setting: Cold Rocks Hold
Whilst walking through the hold Rand notices many things about Aiel life. All men wear the cadin'sor although there are slight differences between the warriors and the craftsmen; for example, "a smaller belt knife or none at all". Young boys wear robes like the gai'shain except they are the brown/grey or the cadin'sor. Young girls wear their hair in plaits like Egwene used to except Rand doesn't realise that she wore them as punishment. He notices that the peddlers are selling many of their goods to the Aiel. To his surprise Rand notices that Natael is down with the wagons rather than with the Shaido but thinks that "maybe Keille just did not want him out of her sight".
Rand discovers that the Jindo have gone to "the roof of his or her society here at Cold Rocks Hold" and that the Roof of the [Maidens] is half way up the east side of the canyon. The Maidens guarding the Roof refuse to let him enter but carry a message to the Jindo and Nine Valleys Maidens from him instead. Rand knows that the Aiel have a love of ceremony and that gifts are often given as a thank you. He believes that if he gives Aviendha a gift in return for her teaching then perhaps she will not hate him as much as she seems to now. The Maidens come out of their roof, Rand is not permitted to enter, and show him several gifts that he could give to Aviendha; he finally decides on "a wide bracelet of ivory heavily carved with roses" presented to him by Adelin, a Jindo Maiden. Adelin will not let him pay for the bracelet and assures him that "it will not dishonour her". A ceremony is then performed where Rand and Adelin take a sip of tea and utter "Remember honour"; it is then repeated for every Jindo and Nine Valleys Maiden present.
Rand finds Aviendha beating carpets outside Lian's house and gives her the bracelet as "a gift in return for her teaching". Aviendha doesn't appear to want the gift and Rand thinks that she believes that it will harm her honour so he tells her that Adelin and the Maidens approved. Aviendha tells him that the Maidens have "approved of you, as if I stilled carried the spear" because they think that he is courting her. Rand cannot return the gift and reject the ceremony because that would harm her honour; they must let the Maidens believe what they already believe. Aviendha then apologises to him for being angry during the meal though Rand thinks that Amys told her to apologise.
Rand leaves Aviendha to her carpet beating and enters Lian's house to find that the Wise Ones are waiting for him. He asks Amys if she asked Aviendha to apologise to Rand but she denies it, "a forced apology is no apology". He then tells them that he knows that they use Aviendha to spy on him but they tell him that he "does not know as much as you think". Rand admits that he keeps Aviendha with him because "at least this way I know who the spy is" but tells them that he will not tell Aviendha what he intends to do. Melaine is angry because she feels that he is just using the Aiel. She tells him that she intends to "make you know our blood for yours if I have to lay the-" but she is cut off by Amys before she can say what she intends to lay for Rand. When Rand thinks about it later he thinks that Melaine means to lay a trap but some readers believe that she meant that she would lay a bridal wreath at his feet. Amys summons a gai'shain to lead Rand to his room and leaves them to go to bed.
Rand drifts off to sleep and dreams that he is swimming in the Waterwood. Elayne and Min are also swimming there but Rand tells himself that "he could not love both of them". He sees Aviendha on the bank and she tells him that "You do not know who you love" but he is distracted when he hears laughter from the opposite bank. Lanfear stands there and asks if she should "allow you to be unfaithful to me, even in your dreams". Rand does not recognise her and when she tries to kiss him, he pushes her away. Lanfear then bites him because she wants to mark him as hers but suddenly slips away from Rand when she hears another man's voice. Rand cannot see the man, only a blur the rough size and shape of a man; the man berates Lanfear for risking their plan but Lanfear sneers that "you fear risk as much as Moghedien". The man says that he is tired of pulling strings on a puppet and Lanfear is angry because she thinks that the man is betraying her. The blur disappears and then so does Lanfear; shortly after Rand wakes up.
Rand realises that he is not alone in the room and channels the lights on and binds the intruder in flows of Air, only to find that it is Aviendha. He releases her and she stands up, wary because "I do not believe I will ever become used to" a man channeling. Rand is angry at her because he could easily have mistaken her for an assailant and killed her. Aviendha lets slip that the Wise Ones had meant to watch him from his dreams; Aviendha was not allowed to help them because "Seana said it was too dangerous tonight". She doesn't really know why she is in his room, "I could not protect you very well", but she is cut off by Rand when he realises that "there was a feel in the air, a sense of wrongness".
Rand channels a sword into existence and motions for Aviendha to follow him "as he padded from the room". He moves through the silent house and spots one of the gai'shain with a man. Rand thinks that Chion is kissing the man but when the man turns round he sees that it is a Draghkar. The Draghkar tries to ensnare him with its song but the Void dispels its hypnotic effects allowing Rand to kill it. Aviendha checks Chion for signs of life but quickly realises that she is dead. She has to throw herself to the floor when "a bar of solid fire shot over her from his blade to strike the chest of the Draghkar just filling the outer doorway". Rand orders Aviendha to wake the hold while he strikes the gong, the signal that the hold is under attack.
Leaving the warmth of the house, Rand sees Seana's body lying on the path, "she had had no chance against a Draghkar". When Rand strikes the gong, chaos erupts in the hold as the Aiel prepare to fight. He can hear the howls of Trollocs as he kills another Draghkar with the One Power. Rand is joined by Rhuarc who offers him a shoufa but Rand refuses to wear it because "they hunt for me... they can't find me if they do not know where I am"; Rand runs towards the battle.
Mat's Point of View:
Setting: Cold Rocks Hold
Mat is pulling his ashandarei from the body of a dead Trolloc. He is angry that the pull of ta'veren to ta'veren has pulled him into yet another battle. He looks around the canyon and sees that Moiraine is Healing the wounded and that more Aiel are coming out of their houses to help. A Maiden tells him that "you dance the spear well" and comments that the Trollocs might have reached the hold had Moiraine not been there. Mat points out that "there weren't enough for that" but regrets it when the Maiden asks if he is "a battle leader among the Wetlanders".
Mat walks over to the peddlers' wagons and sees Isendre; he tells her that the Trollocs have been killed only to have her slam the door of the wagon is his face. Angry he turns towards the hold and sees Rand walking up towards him with Aviendha following him. Moiraine hurries up to them and tells Rand that "the Draghkar were surely aimed at you" only to be told that he already knows that. She warns him that "prophesy is most dangerous when you try to make it happen" and asks him to confide in her. Rand agrees to confide in her if she promises to stop manipulating him but Moiraine promises that she "will do nothing to hinder you fulfilling your destiny". This isn't enough for Rand so he refuses to tell her anything of his plans.
Rhuarc walks up to the group and tells Rand that the Trollocs were only a diversion for the Draghkar and that he expects the Gray Man to attack soon. He tells Rand that he should be protected at all times and that "the Maidens have volunteered for this task". Rhuarc also tells Rand that all of the Aiel will be on their guard in case the next attackers are "ten thousand Trollocs instead of a few hundred". Mat asks if the Shaido camp will be safe and Rhuarc replies that they needn't worry about the Shaido, "Couladin and the Shaido folded their tents at nightfall". He believes that they will have gone to join Sevanna and the other Shaido who are on their way to Alcair Dal. Sevanna acts as a clan chief because Suladric is dead but she will most likely follow Couladin since she only married Suladric because "she meant to wed a clan chief".
Rand decides that they must leave for Alcair Dal "when first light hits the sky" because he doesn't want Couladin to turn the Aiel against him. Rhuarc thinks that he should only take a handful of Maidens with him as custom demands but Rand insists that he will leave "with every hand that can carry a spear or draw a bow". Rhuarc is shocked but Rand maintains that "I have to make new customs". Mat agrees to go to Alcair Dal with Rand but only because he can feel the pull of ta'veren.