Winter's Heart: Chapter 1
Author: Leora Oldessroth
Chapter Icon: A Wolf
Point of View: Perrin
Perrin leaves Masema's camp.
Perrin is leaving Masema’s house in Abila; he walks past Masema’s followers and guards who look at him with a mixture of awe and hostility. Perrin is glad he did not let Faile come with him to Masema’s camp. Perrin returns to his horses, where Elyas Machera and several Asha'man are guarding them. Elyas tells Perrin he thought they would have to fight their way out of the camp for a while. Perrin says that’s the only thing that didn't go wrong today. Masema refuses to Travel to Cairhien, even at Rand’s command; Masema believes it blasphemy for anyone but Rand to touch the One Power. Masema will go to Rand, but he and his followers will march the whole four hundred leagues.
Elyas says they could just incapacitate Masema, fight their way clear of his camp and then take him to Rand. Perrin acknowledges that’s an option, but he does not want Abila to become a butcher’s yard. Perrin’s thoughts turn to Faile — he is getting used to her strange Saldaean ways. He thinks fondly of how she trims his beard for him.
Masuri and Seonid return to the horses. Masuri tells Perrin that Masema is rabid and must be killed. Perrin tells her that she could choose a better place to say something like that; he doesn’t want to hear arguments right now. Edarra and Carelle return and the Wise Ones say that Masema’s camp is no place for talking; they order Masuri and Seonid to their horses. Everyone mounts their horses and they ride out of Abila.
After they are out of the city, Balwer approaches Perrin with news that he thinks Perrin will be interested in. Elyas and Aram, who had been riding with Perrin, fall back to give them privacy. The first piece of news is that King Ailron battled the Seanchan at Jeramel about one hundred miles west of Abila ten days ago. The report is that the Amadician army is dead, captive or scattered and that Ailron was taken prisoner. Perrin takes the news in stride, noting that this means the Seanchan will be able to sweep through Amadicia too and that he should move east as quickly as possible. Balwer then tells him that the Whitecloaks took part in the battle but Eamon Valda got most of them off the field at the end; no one knows where those Whitecloaks have gone. Balwer tells Perrin they probably moved this direction, east, away from the Seanchan. Perrin says that the Whitecloaks are probably more interested in escaping the Seanchan than harming them.
The second piece of news is that the Seanchan fought a battle in southern Altara against Aes Sedai or men who could channel. Balwer reports that whoever they fought, the Seanchan lost and were sent reeling back into Ebou Dar. Perrin says this is good news and has a brief flashback to the fighting at Dumai's Wells. Perrin thinks of Faile and orders everyone to pick up the pace. He wants to reach Faile and resolves not to shout at her today.