Knife of Dreams: Chapter 26
Chapter Icon: Wheel and Serpent
Tuon sees Mat in different light as a commander of the Band of the Red Hand. Perrin is preparing to attack the Shaido's camp. Faile agrees to meet with Galina in town the next day and give her the binding rod.
Tuon's Point of View:
Setting: Riding through the forest on their way out of Altara
Tuon and Selucia are riding close enough to eavesdrop on a conversation between Mat and Talmanes about the new crossbow crank and Mat’s Band who learned to make them from an inventor they encountered on his way to Caemlyn. They finger talk between themselves about the crossbow crank and Mat’s Band. This is the first Selucia had heard of it.
Tuon thinks of the many sides she has seen of Mat. As Tylin’s pet, as part of the circus, but how he handled himself in the brawl surprised her. Now she hears of him leading an army? Talmanes changes the conversation to talk of the book "Fog and Steel" by Madoc Comadrin and Tuon becomes frustrated at the change. The conversation ended, Tuon amused herself with looking for omens.
Thom and Aludra came riding up to join Tuon and she commented to Thom about how odd it was they encountered Mat’s Band. Thom explains to Tuon about Mat being ta'veren. Tuon chuckles about how superstitious they are, then sees a bird circling three times above Mat’s head and interprets it as an omen to stay close to Mat. About an hour later they encounter a sentry and are soon in the midst of the Band who spontaneously break out singing choruses of "Jak o' the Shadows".
Master Roidelle shows Mat the maps with the Seanchan camps noted on them while Tuon questions Talmanes, Reimon and Carlomin. As she observes Mat and the men answer her questions, she realizes Mat is more than she had thought.
Perrin's Point of View:
Setting: Near Malden
Perrin reaches out to Snowy Dawn, his wolf brother, to make sure they are going to be ready in two days as Gaul and the Maidens check the windmills and aqueduct is clear of Shaido. Once assured the windmills are deserted, the Seanchan allies Perrin made move in the carts loaded with forkroot to put in the aqueduct. Seonid, Elyas, Tallanvor and the others immerse themselves in the aqueduct to travel down to Malden in the water for their part of the raid. Gaul goes into the aqueduct to rescue Chiad much to Perrin’s surprise until Gaul explains he overheard the Maidens plotting to keep Chiad from him. Perrin longs to follow Gaul into the aqueduct, but he knows his place is to remain where he is to assure the success of the mission.
Perrin returns to the gateway to find Grady looking weary. Perrin knows how tired the Asha'man are but he needs them for the raid in two days, so he offers to let Grady stay at the Seanchan camp. He refuses citing how the damane creep him out because they don’t want to be free. Grady opens a new gateway for Perrin to return to his camp. Perrin is bone-tired wishing Faile was there to warm his bed but in her absence, he’d just like to rest alone in silence. As he approaches camp, he sees a raken which means a message has arrived. At his tent Athan Chandin takes Stepper. Inside are Berelain, Annoura, Breane, Lini, Aram, Balwer and Tylee. Aram and Lini have words and Aram leaves, most likely to go to Masema's camp. Scouts found seven thousand Whitecloaks fifty miles from the Seanchan camp heading north. The rumor is that Pedron Niall died fighting the Seanchan and that his successor, Eamon Valda, swore fealty to the Empress. Then Galad killed Valda and led this band in desertion. Balwer feels he owes a debt of gratitude to Galad. There is also news that two more bands of Shaido are approaching Malden from the southeast and southwest. They should arrive in three days. Then everything ripples, Breane dropps a pitcher, Berelain trembles and Perrin feels as though the world is fog and a high wind is coming. No one knows what it means, but Perrin says in three days it will all be over and Faile is all that matters.
Faile's Point of View:
Faile and Alliandre had already been beaten before noon because Sevanna's bath was not hot enough. Twenty more gai'shain begged to swear fealty to Faile telling her they want to attack the Aiel. Rolan catches up with Faile, wanting her to play a kissing game. Faile notices there are many drunk Aiel about and it isn’t even noon yet. Galina approaches Faile and Rolan wearing clothes once again and her hair is less than an inch long all over her head with a red bow in it. Rolan leaves after Faile tells him she has to think about his game. Once he leaves, Galina demands the Oath Rod. She is nearly broken from Therava's treatment. After arguing and slapping each other, Galina says she will leave tomorrow and take Faile and her friends with her. Faile says the Rod is hidden in town and offers to get it immediately. Galina gasps "No!" and tells her to take it tomorrow morning to a building marked with a red scarf at the south end of town. Faile questions why because nothing is there. Galina tells Faile that is precisely why, so no one will see them. Faile believes her.