Knife of Dreams: Chapter 21
Chapter Icon: Ancient Aes Sedai Symbol
Point of View: Rand
Characters: Agardo Saranche, Alanna, Alivia, Anaiyella Narencelona, Astoril Damara, Bera Harkin, Caraline Damodred, Cadsuane, Com, Darlin Sisnera, Doni, Iagin Handar, Master Poel, Min, Nynaeve, Rand al'Thor, Weiramon Saniago
Rand, Cadsuane, Min, Nynaeve and some Maidens arrive in Tear and meet with a few nobles getting news about the negotiations with the rebels and Rand pronounces Darlin a king of Tear and tells him to prepare an armed force to be taken to Arad Doman and ready to ride for Tarmon Gai'don.
Rand, Cadsuane, Min, Nynaeve and the Maidens guarding them arrive in Tear after being refused entrance at Stedding Shangtai. There are no guards in the guardhouse. The party is in plain clothing so as not to attract attention. They hear a strange noise, a "rhythmic racketing clatter" with periodic whistles. The noise startles pigeons, who fly into one another (Rand's ta'veren effect); commoners and nobles alike rush to strangle the birds so they can be eaten. Min has visions of all the people dying of starvation.
Rand and the party see a steamwagon for the first time as it arrives and Rand comments that Master Poel had made his idea work. Two street urchins named Com and Doni tell Rand that they have seen it many times, including seeing four or six hitched together at one time pulling fifty to one hundred wagons from Cairhien. Rand gives the boys gold coins for their information.
Rand and the party continue to make their way into the city, Rand's ta'veren effect causing many strange incidents. Rand intends to go to the Stone of Tear but will not go through the heavily guarded gates as the guards will not let him through in his current disguise and he doesn't want to have to kill men. Rand instead stops at the inn of Agardo Saranche and asks for a room with a good view of the Stone. Rand hears a man talking with a Seanchan accent and demands that the innkeeper tell what he knows of the man. Agardo knows nothing and asks if Rand is sure he only wants one room as he has such a large party. Rand insists one room, the largest, and says its only for the day, he will be able to rent it out again tonight. Agardo tells Rand that all of his rooms with a view are taken and he should go up the street to the The Three Moons Inn.
Cadsuane steps in, pushing back her hood to show that she's Aes Sedai, and tells the innkeeper they will have the room and he should find a way to make the room available. Agardo quickly does so and Rand and the party are soon inside. Rand weaves a gateway from the room into the Heart of the Stone. They startle two guardsmen but fortunately one, Iagin Handar, recognizes Rand. The guards ask if they should fetch anyone for him but Rand tells them he can find Darlin. The guards warn him that the corridors have been changing lately - not being there or not leading to where they are supposed to. Rand assures them he will be fine and sets off in search of Darlin.
Alanna is in the palace and so Rand uses his bond to find her, sure that Darlin will be with her. Alanna pretends to be surprised when Rand enters the sitting room where she is with several other people, including Astoril Damara, Anaiyella Narencelona, Darlin Sisnera, Weiramon Saniago and Caraline Damodred. Rand is surprised that Alanna didn't inform her company that he was coming.
Rand asks Weiramon and Anaiyella what they are doing there when they are supposed to be in Cairhien. He finds out that they attacked the rebels, causing negotiations to break down. He angrily orders them back to Cairhien. Rand asks why people are starving and is informed that Estanda and the rebels have seized grain supplies and herds of animals. Rand asks that the urchins Com and Doni be found and taken care of.
Bera Harkin enters the room and announces that Sunamon, Tolmeran and the other High Lords and Ladies Rand left with orders to stay in Illian are only a day west of the Erinin. Rand is angry and orders messengers sent to tell them to return to Illian or be hanged.
Bera announces that she has reached an agreement with the rebels. Darlin will be accepted as Steward of Tear for the Dragon Reborn, all laws remain unchanged and the rebels pay to feed the city for one year; in return, the nobles' titles are restored, Darlin is crowned King of Tear and the nobles swear fealty to Darlin, not Rand.
Rand gets angry, again, that the nobles have asked for their titles to be restored. Cadsuane channels a switching and tells him that he will learn to mind his manners. She then advises him to take the agreement negotiated with the rebels as all of his terms have been met. Rand raises a toast to the new King Darlin, who seems a little shocked as there have been no kings in Tear for a thousand years. Bera tells him it was the rebels' suggestion; she says they prefer to swear fealty to him and not the Dragon Reborn. Plus, as Caraline points out, they'll give him titles which will diminish the impact of the title of "Steward of Tear for the Dragon Reborn".
Darlin asks Caraline if she would marry a king; he will accept the crown if she will. Min tells him she knows what his crown should look like. Caraline says he should have Min's crown made and if he looks pretty in it then maybe she would consider it.
Rand tells Darlin that as soon as he is king he should arrest all Seanchan in the city and organize a fighting force to be taken to Arad Doman. Rand allows Weiramon and Anaiyella to accompany Darlin to Arad Doman instead of going back to Cairhien. Rand tells them that they are to prepare for Tarmon Gai'don.
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