The Great Hunt: Chapter 20
Author: Estyrien al'Halien
Chapter Icon: Dragon's Fang
Point of View: Rand
Rand encounters a strange object that entices him to draw heavily on saidin.
The group have ridden through the night, passing the border of Cairhien. Selene wants to see the Horn of Valere again, "to see it in the light of day". Rand refuses because he is afraid of the dagger that is stored in the chest along with the Horn. Selene tries to convince Rand to get rid of the dagger but Rand remains strong. Since "Aes Sedai (are) trying to make me do what they want", he once more asks Selene if she is Aes Sedai because of that resemblance. Once more Selene becomes angry at the suggestion, "Aes Sedai! Always you hurl that at me!", and refuses to talk to Rand and "wrapped herself in a silent coldness".
The group set up camp for the night and Selene appears "to have regained some of her temper" as she talks with Loial and Hurin, though rarely to Rand. However, "whenever he looked at her, she was watching him and smiling".
At the end of the next day, they see "the village ahead, lights already twinkling" and Rand suggests that they sleep in the village inn. Loial and Hurin agree with Rand but Selene wants to sleep under the stars instead of in Tremonsien. Rand argues that she won't enjoy it if Fain and the Trollocs surprise them but Selene argues that "If Fain catches us, you will deal with him". She also says that they will be in danger if the villagers discover that Rand has the Horn and this time, Loial agrees with her. Rand's solution is to throw a blanket over the chest and it becomes "my Lady's chest of clothes".
When they start riding again, Rand spots "something very large, by the light it threw up" and rides over to see what it is. He finds a very large pit with armored men apparently guarding the site. He sees "a gigantic hand holding a crystal sphere" which is apparently attached to the statue of a man whose face "thrust out of the soil with the dignity of vast years". This reminds him of the "giant hand holding a huge crystal sphere" on the island of Tremalking that Bayle Domon told him about.
Rand summons the void unconsciously as "saidin sang to him". In the crystal he sees light that swirls like saidin and the sphere pulses. Selene warns him to get away from the edge of the cliff but Rand pays no notice to her, intent on the calling of saidin. Although he tries to let go of the void, it stays in place. Rand then begins to mumble something; "Till shade is gone... till water is gone... into the Shadow with teeth bared... to spit in Sightblinder's eye... on the last day". The cliff he is standing on crumbles beneath his feet and he scrambles on to safe ground, trance broken. The others didn't hear what he said but urge him to leave quickly since "those guards have finally noticed us".
They ride into the village of Tremonsien and find the inn, called The Nine Rings and decide to stay there. Selene seems unsettled and admits that "You terrified me... and I do not frighten easily", referring to Rand's trance by the statue. Once more she talks of the glory of the Horn but once more, Rand protests that "The Horn is not mine". Upset with that answer, Selene "turned her back on him, her white cloak walling him off".
- What did Rand shout?
- What is the glowing sphere
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