The Great Hunt: Chapter 11
Author: Estyrien al'Halien
Chapter Icon: Wheel and Serpent
Points of View: Rand, Fain
Ingtar tells Rand he is second in command. Perrin reasons that Rand is able to channel.
Rand's Point of View:
Ingtar had called a halt to the day's march with the sun still golden above the horizon because the group are still suffering after going into the village. Uno is still insisting that he saw "the same flaming woman as at the flaming ferry" in the village they just passed through, though it is thought impossible for someone to travel that fast and stay out of their sight. Rand is still reeling from what he saw in that room; "Maybe I'm finally going mad". Ingtar insists on a strong watch during the night and that they are all prepared to leave quickly. Ingtar is obviously realizing that "it isn't just some Darkfriends, and a few Trollocs and maybe a Fade anymore". The camp was chosen because it could be defended easily in case of an attack.
Ingtar tells Rand that the village was deserted because the Trollocs had taken the inhabitants for food. Trollocs maim their victims, often without killing them first, "and Halfmen like to have their fun". However, he doesn't know what could have killed the Fade, or decides not to tell Rand. He instead gives Rand something from Moiraine and tells him that "she said to tell you to take care of it; your life may depend on it". He also tells Rand that if he is killed, Rand will be in charge. Rand is stunned at this revelation, "I've never led anything but a flock of sheep", and points out that Uno should be second. When they were in Fal Dara, Lord Agelmar told Ingtar and Uno that Rand was to be second, though Moiraine was obviously involved with this. Rand realized that Moiraine is still manipulating him, "Moiraine's hand was bright and clear in it". Every Shienaran soldier knows about this since "every man knows who is next in line if the man in command falls". Rand tries to protest again but Ingtar insists that he will do his duty and leaves, calling for scouts to be sent out.
Rand takes the package into the woods, not wanting anyone else to see what is in it. Moiraine had obviously wrapped the object herself and Rand finds that the package contains the banner of the Dragon. Mat and Perrin walk in on him and Mat is angry because he thinks that "we'll hear no end of lording it now". Then they both notice what the banner depicts and know what it means. Rand tells them that Moiraine is trying to set him up as a false Dragon, "Moiraine wants me to be a puppet on Tar Valon strings". He then admits that he can channel; Mat is very scared while Perrin takes the news calmly. Mat thinks that if the Shienarans know of it, "they will cut our bloody throats for Darkfriends". Mat wants to know why the Aes Sedai didn't gentle him and Rand explains that "they are trying to use me".
Mat thinks that Rand should "be halfway to the Aryth Ocean by now" and Perrin asks Rand why he is still with them. He adds that Ingtar would kill them if he knew. Rand explains that he wanted to help Mat find the dagger and the Horn, "I thought I could stay with you until we found the dagger". Mat is surprised by his answer, thinking that Rand was too busy acting like a lord to care. Rand explains that he "was trying to get rid of you" so that they wouldn't be hurt because he can't stop himself from channeling. Mat tells Rand that he won't stay near him much on their journey, "you just are not the same any more", and leaves. Perrin advises Rand to run, "I'd run so far, so fast, no Aes Sedai would ever find me", but then says that Rand might not be able to run. When he talks about not being able to run, Perrin is talking about his connection with the wolves. He then leaves Rand alone.
Rand thinks about his options and that perhaps Moiraine "gave me this to make me run". He decides to keep the banner and returns to the camp with it wrapped back in the packaging. Rand goes to join Loial and Hurin on the opposite side of the camp from Mat and Perrin. Loial is looking at a strange stone buried in the ground. Loial tells him that the stone was once a "column of some kind" and though he doesn't know what it could be, the markings "look familiar, somehow". Rand then lies down to go to bed next to the stone and drifts off into an uneasy sleep, surrounded by the Void.
Padan Fain's Point of View:
Fain is to the south of Rand's group. He thinks of how he was a Darkfriend and then how "Ba'alzamon summoned him and set him on the track of the three young men"; Rand, Perrin and Mat. What he learned about them was fed back into him "so that he could feel them, smell where they had been". Then something happened to him in Shadar Logoth. Fain has the ruby dagger now and like Mat, he is addicted to it, "it felt like a part of him". Fain is surrounded by the remaining twelve Darkfriends and the twenty Trollocs who are waiting to feast on the captured villagers. Fain remembers how he killed the Myrddraal, "the feel of the hammer in his hand, driving the spikes in". He turns to the Trollocs and orders them to kill all the prisoners but to "make a pile of everything that remains - for our friends to find".
The Darkfriends are afraid of Fain and the Trollocs, aware that the Trollocs might kill them. Fain does little to ease their fears, "What are you to me? Less than peasants". The Darkfriends hurriedly tell him of their influence and powerful friends "whom they knew in the Borderlands, in Cairhien, and other lands". Fain doesn't listen to them and instead looks at the chest, wondering how to open it. He lays the dagger on top of the chest, a better guard than a Trolloc because "they had all seen what had happened when he used it". He stares towards the north, though he cannot feel Rand now. Sometimes, like now, "the boy had suddenly vanished from his senses". Fain thinks of Rand and how "We'll dance on Toman Head, and I'll be free of you".
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
- Was it the same woman? How did she get ahead?
It is Lanfear, and she probably Traveled.
- How does Rand vanish from Fain’s mind?
Using the Flame and the Void.
- How did he kill the Myrddraal?
He is developing unnatural abilities.
Moiraine wants him in charge if Ingtar dies.
He works out Rand can channel when Rand says the Aes Sedai want him as a False Dragon.
He reacts hysterically to learning Rand can channel.