The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 52

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Val a'Shain

Characters: Rand, Aviendha, Asmodean, Mat, Moiraine, Egwene, Kadere, Lanfaer, Lan.

Setting: the Sun Palace and the docks, Cairhien

Point of view: Rand, Kadere, Mat

Rand's point of view

Rand is preparing for his trip to Caemlyn the next morning. Aviendha is with him, trying to tell him in her Aiel way that she wouldn't shame him in front of other men. Rand, as usual, doesn't understand what she says. Rand had met the clan chiefs last night to discuss his plans. None of them tried to talk him out of it, they seemed to think of it in terms of ji'e'toh. The Wise Ones didn't argue with him either, they just made it very clear that his obligation to Elayne didn't outweigh his obligation to the Aiel.

Aviendha mentions Lady Colavere came to see him last night. Rand forgot all about that. Aviendha says they had a talk and that he won't be bothered by women sent to him by Lady Colavere. She also says that the Lady would be able to hide the evidence. Not the methods which Rand would have chosen but it will work.

Asmodean comes in, he asks permission to join Rand on his trip. Originally the plan was for him to stay behind. Rand reluctantly agrees. Mat comes to see Rand as well. He tells how Melindhra attacked him and that he had to kill her. Now that the forsaken have noticed him he wants to join Rand too.

Moiraine and Egwene appear. Moiraine hands Rand two letters, one for him to read later and one for Thom, to be delivered the next time Rand sees him. She seems in a strange mood this morning. Rand wants to leave and get it over with but Moiraine tells him there is something on the docks he needs to see. Since everybody agrees he should go Rand decides an hour delay won't hurt. They leave for the docks.

Kadere's point of view

Yet again Kadere tries to think his way out of the difficult situation he is in. Lanfaer has not returned to him in his dreams but she left the burn as a reminder. The Aiel that slipped a note under his door hasn't contacted him but may yet offer a way out. Kadere sees the party of the Dragon Reborn arrive, the Aes Sedai among them. Moiraine came to see him last night and made him help her uncover the doorframe ter'angreal.

He is watching the group as a the voice of Keille interrupts him. He thought she died in the waste and isn't pleased to see her. They go into Kadere's wagon to talk. Once inside Lanfaer shows herself. She demands he tell her what the Dragon has been doing. Kadere starts reporting. Some of it is obviously not to Lanfaer's liking.

Rand's point of view

Arriving at the docks Rand wants to know why Moiraine brought him here. She remains silent though. She checks the seals hidden in Kadere's wagon. Rand is about to return to the Palace as Kadere's wagon explodes in a cloud of wood splinters. Lanfaer steps out furious at 'Lews Therin' because he let another woman touch him. Lanfaer hits Moiraine with a weave and the Aes Sedai flung aside. Rand grabs the source and creates a barrier to shield the surroundings from the forsaken's channelling. Memories of the Dragon float through Rand's mind as he tells her he will never love one of the forsaken. Lanfaer promises to kill him for that.

Egwene and Aviendha move in to help Rand. Lanfaer wants to know which one is Aviendha. Both girls collapse as a result of one of Lanfaer's weaves. Rand tries to distract her from the women. He manages to slice through her waves. Lanfaer staggers back to catch her balance and resumes her attack on Rand. Even with his angreal he is having difficulty keeping her from shielding him. He should call down lighting to kill her but the memories from Lews Therin keep him from trying. He can't kill another woman.

Moiraine's point of view

Moiraine recovers from the blow Lanfaer dealt her. She realizes this is the moment when she must do what she has know she must since her visit to Rhuidean. She made the arrangements, Lan will have to go on without her. Moiraine sees Lanfaer standing close to the doorframe ter'angrael on the wagon. She closes in on the forsaken, embraces the source and throws herself at Lanfaer pushing them both through the doorframe. White light swallows everything.

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