The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 51
Chapter Icon: Five dice, arranged in a ring
Rand's Point of View:
Rand is taking a break from the endless meetings in a dried up garden of the Sun Palace. He hasn't managed to escape the company of Lady Selande though. The latest pretty young woman Lady Colavaere has been trying to get into his bed since he arrived in Cairhien ten days ago. Rand is getting very tired of the everlasting game of houses being played in Cairhien. He scares Selande off with talk of the male half of the source.
Deciding that this is no better than waiting inside Rand returns to his company. A number of Cairhienin and Tairen lords and ladies are awaiting him. All plotting to take over the throne or carve out their own kingdoms as soon as his back is turned. He has received news that Berelain, the first of Mayene is coming to Cairhien. Maybe he should put her in charge here so he can move against Sammael in Illian.
He makes sure the Tairen lords know he is aware of their attempts to keep their soldiers in Cairhien and that he expects them to be on the move as he ordered. He also invites Lady Colavaere to a private dinner tonight to stop her from sending any more women to him. He doesn't want Aviendha to repeat what she had done to the one she caught. Then he dismisses the party.
After they have left Moiraine, Egwene and Aviendha come to see him. Rand is still upset with Egwene's refusal to give him more information about the mysterious Aes Sedai that may come to his aid. Moiraine hands him two letters, both with the seal of Tar Valon on them. The first is from the new Amyrlin Elaida, telling him there is a delegation on its way to take him back to Tar Valon so the Tower can see to his safety until Tarmon Gai'don. The second is from Elaida's keeper Alviarin. It's a lot more polite than Elaida's and a warning of sorts.
Rand lets the women read both letters even though Alviarin tells him not to let anyone, even Moiraine see hers. They discuss the content. It is obvious Tar Valon has spies in Cairhien. And there seems to be a division in the Tower Elaida may be unaware of. Right now there is not a whole lot Rand can do about it though. Except for keeping Elaida's 'delegation' at a safe distance.
The Aiel guard announce Mat has arrived to see Rand. He asks the women to stay, it might unbalance Mat enough to get him to do what Rand wants of him. Moiraine asks Mat about his military activities over the past few days. Mat has been involved in a number of battles with the Andorans who have moved into the west of Cairhien. He and his Band of the Red Hand emerged victorious. She wonders if Mat finds battles or if the battles find Mat though. Mat feels attacked by this but the conversation turns in another direction when he reveals he has news that concerns Elayne.
Mat thinks Morgase, Queen of Andor is dead. The rumours among the Andorans point in that direction at least. Gaebril/Rahvin is king of Andor now. The first in the existence of the nation. Rand is furious about this news. He waited too long to remove Rahvin and now Elayne's mother is dead. Will she ever forgive him for that? At least he can still avenge her death. Rand is ready to leave for Caemlyn now. To his surprise Moiraine doesn't try to stop him. She just tells him to do it tomorrow. Rand sees she is right. After some discussion he allows the three women to accompany him. Who is to say only Rahvin will be in Caemlyn after all. When that is decided he asks the women to leave. Mat stays behind and Rand starts making it very clear he needs Mat's newfound military knowledge and how Mat is going to use it.
Egwene's Point of View:
When the three women are outside Moiraine tells Egwene to be careful. Rand will need her to tell him what he needs to hear. He will need people who will not be silent when he gets angry. Egwene says Moiraine is there to do that but the Aes Sedai insists she be careful and leaves them. Egwene asks Aviendha to accompany her for dinner but she has other duties. There is nothing to it but to find a meal for herself.
Mat's Point of View:
Mat returns to his chambers after his stormy meeting with Rand. He is still playing with the thought of leaving the Band behind and making a run for it. Melindhra enters his rooms while he is gathering his things. He tells her he is going away for Rand for a while. Melindhra seems to think he still isn't free of Rand's shadow. Mat lets it slip Rand is going to Caemlyn, something he was not supposed to do. While he tries to cover up his mistake Melindhra attacks him. Mat draws one of his knives and kills Melindhra. Before she dies she says he has the Great Lord's own luck. He's never killed a woman before. It upsets him a great deal. In her hand he finds a dagger with the nine bees of Illian on them. Illian, where Sammael rules. There can be no doubt, she was a Darkfriend. The Forsaken have definitely noticed him. Mat feels the dice spinning in his head.