The Shadow Rising: Chapter 21
From Tar Valon Library
Author: Inanna Landred
Into the Heart
Chapter Icon: A Dragon
Point of View: Moiraine
Setting: The Heart of the Stone
The Tairen nobles all gather in the Heart of the Stone, by Rand's summons and Moiraine and Egwene also make their way there. The Tairen nobility has never been called to the Stone this way. The packed crowd gives way as Moiraine and Egwene make their way through and Moiraine stares down a Noblewoman. Moiraine wonders where Lan went to, as she can not see him in the crowd, even though she senses he is near. They have no clue about what Rand is planning on telling these nobles who stand around in nervous crowds. Moiraine suggests that Egwene wins Rand's confidence and she is not too happy about Egwene's persistence about going to the Waste but she thinks to herself it might be better in the end. At least Elayne and Nynaeve are safely on their way to Tanchico on the Windfinders ship. Moiraine ponders if her suspicions about the WindFinders will prove to be correct.
Thom Merrilin also seems to have disappeared from the Tower but Moiraine suspects he went with the two girls. Moiraine also received the most amazing letter from the Aiel Wise Ones'. Moiraine regrets him leaving as he was very useful in keeping the nobles and their intrigues out of Rand's way. She notices the High lady Alteima and Estanda giving each other looks that go beyond mere rivalry.
Mat is standing across from them, his clothes looking like he slept in them and his boots all scuffed. They wonder where Perrin is, as he does not seem to be among the crowd gathered.
To Egwene's surprise Moiraine mentions Faile has been trying to talk him into leaving. Rand appears at this moment with a hundred veiled Aiel in his wake. Rand tells the gathering about the treaty with Mayene and orders the Tairen army to march to Cairhien, not to go to war with them but to try and help them restore law and order. Then, in a historical moment he drives his sword Callandor into the Heart of the Stone, challenging anyone to take the sword if they dare while he is gone. Rand storms out, followed closely by Moiraine and Egwene demanding an explanation for why he would give up on a great power like Callandor. Rand says he was merely fulfilling the prophecies and tells them about the trap he has set with the One Power should anyone try to take it.
After that he tells them he means to go to Rhuidean.