The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 2
From Tar Valon Library
Chapter Icon: A Dragon
Point of View: Rand
Rand looks out a tall window of one of the bigger rooms in the ruins of Rhuidean. Outside he sees Moiraine direct the salvaging of Power-related objects. Rand already took what he needs. Aiel have been moving in the city, occupying many of the buildings and starting to cultivate crops with water from the new formed lake. Rand can see the burnt remains of the Tree of Life. Moiraine says the tree still lives and will produce shoots again.
Rand turns his attention back to the six Aiel clan chiefs in the room. Only six of the twelve Aiel clans represented. Rand wants to know what he has to do to get the others to join him. The clan chiefs agree that there is not much to do but to wait. The revelation Aiel descending from pacifists has shocked the clans to the core. They need time to deal with it. Even now Aiel are throwing down their weapons and simply walk away from their way of life. The bleakness as it is called has taken many Aiel already. The Shaido are unlikely to join Rand though. Couladin leads them now, even though he is not a clan chief. He has been telling people he is the Dragon Reborn and that Rand lied to them. There isn't much news from the other side of the Dragonwall either. Rand sees Moiraine and Egwene waiting for him to conclude the meeting. There is nothing more to discuss so Rand tell the clan chiefs to keep an eye on the Shaido and bring in the other clans.
Jasin Natael is still playing his harp in the background as Egwene and Moiraine approach. Moiraine tells him the wagons with Power-related objects will be loaded soon. Rand says she'd better send a strong guard with them or Kadere won't deliver them in Tar Valon. Rand wants to know what Moiraine came to do. His rude demand is punished by one of the women by a weave of Air striking him. Rand can't tell which of them did it but he won't be provoked. Moiraine wants him to send Jasin Natael away but Rand refuses. Jasin can hear whatever Moiraine has to say. Egwene thinks Rand's head is getting big indeed.
Moiraine shows him one of the seals she found in Rhuidean. It is so brittle that it could be smashed with a hammer. The seals that hold the Dark One imprisoned are weakening. The one she brought with her from Tear is in the same condition. Rand is not ready to fight the Last Battle yet. Moiraine wants to know what Rand is planning. He refuses to tell her and she accuses him of hiding. He left a trail of destruction behind him but he can't stay in the waste forever. Thus provoked Rand tells he means to bring eleven Aiel clans over the Dragonwall to unite the lands. By force if need be. Moiraine seems to think this is the worst thing he can do. Surely the White Tower is uniting the lands behind to Dragon Reborn as they speak. Rand laughs and tells Moiraine if she still thinks she and Siuan know everything she is a fool. Moiraine just tells him to be very careful and leaves him with an upset Egwene.
After Moiraine leaves Egwene tells him he is an ill-mannered lout and a few more things like that. Rand is amazed at the tirade. Then a voice in his head speaks up and Rand freezes. He has no idea where it came from. Egwene stops her tirade and looks at him worried. She asks if something is wrong, if she should get Moiraine to Heal him. Rand says this is not something that can be Healed. He changes the subject and asks how Elayne is. Egwene just wants to say she is well and gets ready to leave. She tells him to get some rest. A goblet of wine floats up to Rand and he snatches it out of the air. He promises Egwene he'll get some rest. Before she leaves Egwene tells him Elayne loves him. When she is gone Rand throws the goblet away and furiously turns around to face Natael.