The Shadow Rising: Chapter 24
From Tar Valon Library
Author: Inanna Landred
Chapter Icon: Five dice, arranged in a ring
Point of View: Mat
Rand and Mat pause for a second and look at the wall of fog in front of them.
The fog stretches out a good mile either side and Mat hopes they will find some water behind it. They are both hesitant to enter the fog even though Mat saw Aviendha running straight for it. Rand asks Mat if he is absolutely sure he wants to do this and reminds him he can still turn back now. Mat tells Rand he has to enter, even though the thought is not very tempting. He challenges Rand on why he thinks he has to go into Rhuidean, as if being the Dragon Reborn is not enough, but he also has to be an Aiel clan chief.
Abruptly Rand steps into the mist and with a moments hesitation Mat follows him. The fog seems to go on forever but they finally step out into a hollow dome. Rhuidean is not as big as Tear or Caemlyn, but the streets are very wide, if deserted, with great fountains and statues. The city appears unfinished for all its splendor. No water fills any of the fountains. The fountains make Rand think though and suddenly realises when looking at the city that it must have had access to water at some point.
Rand channels water up through the ground from an underground lake that he can detect with the Power. Rand mentions the Wise Ones told him to go to "the heart" and he assumes this means the center of the city. They drink their fill and move on to the centre of the city. After they walked for about a mile, the street suddenly ended at a great plaza. In the middle of the plaza they see a huge tree and they would have wondered how it could have survived without sunshine all this time, if it was not for all the items scattered across the plaza attracting their attention. Mat thinks the objects might be ter'angreal. Rand stops briefly at two statues of a man and a woman holding a crystal sphere, but quickly walks on towards the columns and the Avendesora tree in the middle of the plaza.
Rand enters the arches after they agree Mat will stay behind. Mat walks around and finds another strangely twisted doorframe. Thinking he will be able to get more answers, he steps through. In the doorway he does not find the snake people like before, but is met by a fox-like creature that leads him through a long narrow hallway. He enters a room that was not there before and finds himself facing three more of these fox-people. He demands answers to his questions and when they do not respond he gets angry, making a comment about the holes in his memory. They reply it "is done" and he demands to be let out if they are going to cheat him and again they say it is done. The last thing he remembers after is something around his neck, not being able to breath and everything going dark.