Posted by Barid Bel on January 21, 1998
Category: WoT Third Age

Barid's PoD Prologue

First Version

Background story: After Nynaeve, Elayne, Aviendha and the rest used the Bowel of the Winds. They think Mat is dead, they were at the sun palace and from there sent to Illian. The point of view belongs to Aviendha. Characters: Rand, Min, Aviendha, Elayne, Birgitte, Lan, and Nynaeve.

The Story Part 1:

Letting the gateway disappear, Elayne trotted toward the king's rooms in Illian. The palace was dark, the drought that lasted so long finished. Aviendha was proud that she and Elayne Trakand were part of it, yet in Illian even winter was hot, not compared to Three-fold land, of course. Elayne quickened her step to almost running. Aviendha understood fully. She was away from Rand Al'Thor for about a month, yet she still had to fight the urge to run. Near the tall ornamented doors stood a dozen maidens, they recognized her, of course and opened a way for her. Handtalk flickering between them, Aviendha didn't even bother to look; Rand was behind those doors; that was all she could think of now. Elayne stared strait ahead, head high and eye full of determination, yet there was something in her that hinted of tensions, she doubt if any man would have seen it, they never seemed to.

Yet, she was sure that her first sister was on the brink from fear of what going to happen in here. She pushed the doors open and entered the chamber, Birgitte right on her heel, not even trying to hide a very amused grin. Nynaeve followed immediately and so did Lan, but as soon as they entered the room they stopped dead, goggling at the sight of it. The room looked like nothing Aviendha ever saw before and from the other's faces, they saw nothing like this either. Chairs and tables of unknown design hovered in the air seemingly without any thing to hold them, with colors and shapes that shouted of the one power, twisted and odd, a turning globe showed a map of nowhere that Aviendha knew, others things that she couldn't even recognize. Tied weaves of saidar cross the room, of fire and air and spirit, what they meant to do she had no idea. They looked... cut, twisted around something that just wasn't there. There was the only thing that could have describing this. Weaves that ended in the air, weaves that couldn't do anything, the way they were arranged and weaved all wrong. Everything she had ever learned told her that those weaves couldn't ever be created, saidar had done whatever you want it to as long as you remember that it was far stronger than you, but this.... Those weave looked as if somebody had forced its flow to shape against something that wasn't there. And the power that was needed to weave these flows, she was part of a circle of 13 once, when they had fixed the weather, and she doubted if they could have managed to reach a half of the power of those weaves. Yet that wasn't what stopped them, on the wall right in front of them, a painting of a man and woman hung in midair. The man, not young anymore but also not old, with brown hair and eyes, as tall as Rand, just short of handsome wearing breeches and coat in a strange fashion, all in shades of gray and brown; the ancient symbol on his breast shining as it caught the light, and the woman, in blue and green dress as odd as the man's clothes, with bright blue eyes and golden hair.
Both of them looking as happy as any human can be.

"She... she looks just like me" Elayne murmured in small voice. Now that she was looking, the woman truly looked like Elayne, only with self-confidence and certainty that could have matched any women that Aviendha ever met. If you would have took off these woman ten years or add ten to Elayne, they could have been mirror reflections. But that she thought in the small part of her mind that was not captured by the man's portrait, he looked nothing like Rand save maybe his height, yet there was something in him, something in the eyes that she couldn't pin down that she saw in her dreams every time she dreamed about Rand, somehow she was certain that he was Rand. The blood drained off her face, as she understood who he must be. When she looked at her friends, Elayne's eyes were as wide as they could go, she goggled at the man as she would have done had the creator appeared right here to have a chat. And Birgitte's face could make gai'shain's robes look like fade's, Nynaeve's jaw dropped to her chest and she hung on Lan as if he was the only thing that held her up. Only Lan looked unaffected by the portrait in front of them. He eyed it briefly and returned to his silent scan of the room. "Lord of the Morning, Prince of Dawn, Lews Therin Telamon, Lews Therin Kinslayer and Illyana Sunhair his wife, on their wedding day." Said a man's voice behind them, Rand's voice but in an accent she never heard before.

She spun back, reaching for saidar as she turned, the sweetness of the power held her up, helped her to stand straight. She felt Elayne and Nynaeve doing the same, Birgitte held a long knife in her hand and Lan's sword was in his hand. The voice was Rand's, in that she had no doubt, despite the strange accent, yet the man that was standing in front of her looked like the one on the picture behind her; not in the way he looked -his features was just as she remembered-but in the way he stood and walked. He somehow managed to combine the wolfish grace of a warder and the self-confidence of ten Aes Sedai without looking absurd. He had an air of arrogance around him and power, power of will that Aviendha had seen in a man and only on two women. Sorilea was one and the second was the Mistress of Ships. She had known him for little less than a year and even at the beginning he was hard, she watched him harden as the time passed, but this.... Face cold as winter and eyes that showed no human emotions. He scanned all of them briefly, yet Aviendha was sure that he missed not one single thing, from her dress to Birgitte's way of standing, which was like a wolf meeting another, not knowing if the other is a friend or an enemy. Shifting her feet uneasily; she remembered what the wise ones said about entering the world of dream in flesh. Right here she could have believed it easily.
Elayne started to move forward, gliding toward him and stopped short as he shifted those cold eye to her, gray blue eyes that could have overpowered Sorilea's best. They seemed to know all your secrets, all the things you held close to yourself. Plainly Elayne had felt the same, and more plainly was that she didn't like it one little bit. Yet, even with those unreadable face and eyes she could see that something happened to him, something very unpleasant. He aged in years in the few weeks since she left, lines of pain and grief grooved in his face, and his eyes looked as if he saw all the world agony, all the sorrow he could. Sadness imprinted in his eyes. He looked tired to death, arrogant as a mountain, and so beautiful that she wanted to take his head in her arms, to stare at him till the end of time.

He, though, payed her no attention, he fixed all his attention on Birgitte, face expressionless, eyes that revealed nothing, showed nothing of what he thought.
"Once, on Falme you told me that I always choose women that make me trouble," he said softly in that strange accent, "you were wrong, Birgitte. I never choose those whom I fall in love with. The wheel choose the price I get and the price I pay, never me."
Startled, Birgitte looked at him as if he had just grew a third eye. "How much do you remember, Lews Therin?" She asked just as softly, "How much of you is Rand Al'Thor and how much is Kinslayer?" Nynaeve and Elayne looked at her in surprise, they apparently understood no more than she did.

Rand Al'Thor did not even bother to answer her, instead he looked at Nynaeve in… it was hard to tell what it was exactly, respect and suspicion was minor but there was also scorn and amusement. That sent chill in her back and stabs of fear that turned her stomach to ice. She had known that he would go mad eventually, she had known that since the first time she saw him, yet he couldn't be mad, not yet. He couldn't, if the man let himself go mad before she even had the chance to tell him that she loved him she… she… she didn't know what she would do.
"Logain is on the black tower, Nynaeve, he can channel, in that there is no doubt nor there is doubt that he is Logain. He claims that you have healed him, have you done so?" was all he said.
That was the last thing Nynaeve ever expected him to ask and she met his look wide eyes and startled look; after a moment she nodded.
"Good, good news at last" he muttered and his lips twisted in something that was very close to a grin, it didn't touch his eyes, though. A gateway opened in the air, a line rotating in the air as it opened into a large clearing of trees and leaves. The half finished black tower, five hundred paces tall already, slender and shining black in the sun, a golden dragon wound around a silver sword on it side stoodbeyond the trees. Men and women trotted around, and she saw some Ogiers standing about. The men, from every place and country on this side of the spine of the world wore all black, sometimes with silver sword or golden dragon on the collar, moved around with deadly grace, wrapped in pride and arrogance like cloak, the only drop of color on them save the collar was one strip of color from shoulder to waist. In blue and red, gray and brown, yellow and white and green, all the ajahs colors, a green band was the most common there and about third of them in blue, yet there was also large numbers of brown and yellow and gray. Few wore a white strip and even fewer reds. The women, mostly wetlanders, yet she though she saw here and there two or three of Far Dareis Mai in cadin'sor, usually encircling men with green strips. They have heard rumors about this for a long time, she never had been there yet she recognized the Black Tower.
As if she had read her mind Elayne gasped and turned from the gateway to look straight at Rand Al'Thor, "This is the Black Tower, isn't it?" Fear and unbelief mixed in her voice, "This is the bloody Black Tower. But… this already almost as tall as the white one, and you going to make it twice as high, aren't you?"
Rand did not bother to answer the obvious answer, instead he turned to Nynaeve and ordered her to go there, in voice winter cold and anvil hard.
"Ask any asha'man with yellow strip to lead you to Logain. He will know what to do with you, some of the asha'man burn themselves out and I want you to heal them." He added, looking at Nynaeve he went on in a stronger voice if that was possible. "Nothing will harm you on the Black Tower unless you start it. And you will go eventually, and it will easier for both of us if you just agree." Turning to Lan he scanned the man for a moment, then added in a much friendlier voice "Keep an eye on her, Lan. Make sure she will watch her mouth and sit straight, if you will not do so one of my asha'man might decide that she might need to learn how to do it. I believe that your method will be … gentler to her than those of the guardians."

Nynaeve's eyes widened by the word and outrage shown on her face. She opened her mouth, no doubt ready to lecture what she thought about Rand Al'Thor's orders, when Lan touched her arm and whispered something that made her shut her mouth in embarrassment and blushed, she stepped trough the gateway furiously, hand clutching her skirt and knuckles white. The gateway closed in the moment she and Lan passed it, but she could see that Nynaeve addressed herself to a yellow striped asha'man, face paint with fury yet managing to keep herself under control. That was all she could see before the gateway closed the view. Aviendha stared at Rand stunned, Nynaeve wasn't the sort of women who reacted to orders from any man that way. She half expected Nynaeve to snap his head off. For that matter she wasn't sure herself if she meant for Rand or Lan.
When she shifted her eyes to Rand again the cold disappeared, the lack of humanity was gone. She thought that she might want the coldness again, fury was clear on his face and strangely also relief. In three long stride he closed the distance between him and Birgitte, right hand raising as if to hit her, the dragon on his arm glittering as it caught the lamps' light. Birgitte stepped away from him, tried to anyway. Something seemed to seize her as Rand put his fingers on her forehead, Elayne and Birgitte gasped at the same time, as if thrown into hot water.
"What are you doing to her?" Elayne asked in anger. Birgitte was her warder after all. And the glow of saidar surrounded her. "What are you doing, Rand Al'Thor? Answer me, burn you!"
Rand answered with only part of his mind on the words, whatever he was doing to Birgitte taking his full attention. "I want to know if she if still bond to -" He cut off suddenly, cursing in low angry tone. He took his fingers away from Birgitte as she collapses on the floor. Rand channeled to lift Birgitte and than dropped her gently on a settee all in colors of green and brown. Birgitte looked as if she hadn't slept for a week, every drop of energy gone from her body. As soon as she touched the settee her eyes closed, her breath slowed, she seemed to sleep peacefully
"I rebound her, Elayne. That is all, not an easy thing to do, not for her nor for me." And he indeed looked just slightly better than Birgitte.
"Come" He said and went to a door that Aviendha hadn't noticed. They followed him after a moment of quick and wary conversation.
"Something is wrong with him, Aviendha. He talks like Moghedien did, and the way he moves…" Elayne whispered to her and shivered. Aviendha looked at her in surprise, the possibilities of that freezing her. She watched Rand changing from day to day since the day he came to the Three-Fold Land, yet he changed much since she saw him first.

Then she trotted after him frowning, she meant to find answers to this if it will kill her, or him! Elayne followed her with the same expression as she had.
The room Rand lead them to was full of furniture gild in gold and silver, large opened windows chilled the room. The moon shining brightly through one, silvery light and shadows covered the room; beside the moon the only light there was a large ball that shine with a light of its own. Inside three bracelets laid. One, made of ivory and ebony, for a man's hand, dozens symbols in black and white on it, each like the symbol on the crimson banner of light, made a chain about a inch or two wide. The two others were for women's hands, one of ruddily metal and ivory that creates the white lion of Andor on a red field. The second, of ivory too, the one who made this bracelets seemed to like ivory, was a simple circle at first look yet when you look at it again there were carvings on it, black on the ivory white, a thousand symbols too small to be done by anything save the power covered it. Each almost invisible unless you stare right on it, circling around its length.

A sleeping pretty young woman laid on the bed, naked arm and shoulder sticking out of the sheet, brown hair not much longer than her covered her face. By Elayne description it could be only the Min woman she hasn't meet yet. Elayne's face tried to match the sun, and for her felt like two or three. There could be no doubt at the reason that a young woman would lay naked on Rand's bed.
Anger and jealousy babbled up in her mind, she slept many night near Rand Al'Thor, listening to his breathing and every night she had to force herself to stay on her blankets, not to move into Rand's arms. Every night that she had to spend around him was a torture she could barely stand in. Every night she dreamed of what had happened between them after she opened the gateway to the storm, and this… this woman entered right into Rand's bed. Jealousy showed on Elayne face too yet she controled it, barely but she did. A thing that was wonder to Aviendha as much as the snow once had. Elayne controled herself far better than she ever could. She agreed to share Rand. She wouldn't give the smallest part of him to anyone if she had the choice yet Elayne and this Min had part of him too. She agreed, yet it was hard. Rand stood in front of Min, waking her gently.
Min opened her eyes lazily staring at him and mumbled something about the hour and that she was too tired to do anything save sleeping, but when she opened her eyes and saw her and Elayne, her cheeks went crimson. Yet even so she rised smoothly, though her face looked as if might burst in flame any moment, she let the sheet fall and trotted to a wardrobe and dressed herself quickly.
If her cheeks reddened before now they felt like fire, Min wasn't naked as she thought at first. Aviendha believed that if she was naked it will be more modest than the way she dressed. She was in Ebuo Dar and she heard Elayne and Nynaeve talking about the dress that women wear in Tarabon and in Arad Doman, yet what Min wore could have made a blind man blush from a mile. Some sort of shift that left the arms and shoulders exposed, and that end high above Min's knees, very high. The cloth hid nothing, offered every thing.

"I heard that blushing is good to the skin," Rand said in amusement poorly hidden. "But don't you think you carry it too far." His cheeks haven't even redden, while all the three of them were blushing furiously. The hardness in his face remained, yet his eyes weren't cold any more. He grinned at Min in more than fondness; eyes full of love, but he directed the same toward her and Elayne.
A tray with wine cups rose from a table on the far side of the room, flying to Rand's side who took one of them and sent the tray toward her. Aviendha snatched one of the cups from the tray and drank deeply from it. Much changed in Rand when she wasn't here. Yet the only thing that she could think of was that he loved her, he was so cold toward her before she left that since the moment when Elayne told her they could share him she wasn't sure whatever he loved her still or not. The look on his face and more important the expression in his eyes told her that he did.

"We should talk." He said as soon as crimson Min finished to tie the lace of her shirt. She eyed Min curiosly when they began to talk, she still wished she could have worn cadin'sor, and breaches and shirts should be more comfortable than dresses to her. Then Rand began to talk, and all thoughts of clothes flew right over her head, he talked in soft voice, the strange accent that Elayne claimed to come from the age of legends strong as he talked.
What he told made her seat stiffly, yet from the corners of her eyes she saw stunned expressions on Min and Elayne faces, what she felt made stunning look like a scratch compared to a death wound. Drinking more from the wine she leaned forward to listen to Rand.

The Story Part 2:

(Point of view belongs to Elayne. Characters: Various asha'man, Logain, Rand, Elayne, Min, Aviendha, Nynaeve, Lan, Ogiers and maidens)

Elayne still felt dizzy, and the wine had only little part on it. Despite the promise she made for herself never to drink again more than one cup of wine, last night she hadn't even noticed how much she was drinking. The excitement of finally seeing Rand again, and what he told them, made her ignore any thing save him. That he learned from Asmodean was as big shook as learning what Allanna had done to him. Yesterday he talked about what happened to him since the moment he saw Moiraine in the first time, talking in a quite voice, half to himself. He told her about the eye of the world and the green man, about Falme and Ishmael hunting him in his dreams, about callandor and saidin, the taint and the confusion that the letters she gave him caused him, he talked about the great sa'angreals and Lews Therin, that was really shocking to learn. That a three thousand years dead madman talked to him; tried to take his body away from him. Talking till the sun climbed high in the sky and until his throath dried. He told them about the forsakens and Lanfear's offer, about Aviendah's death and how he erased Rahvin's actions, about love and hate, being what he was and who he was. Baring his soul to them as he had done to no one, he spoke about his fears and hope, every thing he felt or though, revealing everything, hiding nothing. The only thing he refused to talk about was the time he was prisoner in the Tower Aes Sedai's hands. That he passed quickly, only mentioning it before he continued, he wasn't ready to talk about it and when she tried to push him to telling them what happened there Min stopped her, whispering that she would tell her what happened there later. He trusted them fully, that was clear, what was also clear from what he said was that he would do anything they asked. That bothered her almost as much as Allanna's bond.

Men weren't supposed to act that way. That he told them that he would do anything for them was warming, but … She was not sure why she didn't like it, maybe it was that he bared his soul to them. Letting them enter to places he won't let himself see and expect nothing in exchange was what it was. When Aviendha started talking about her life he looked… stunned, as they were when he talked. But at the same time she noticed that he didn't expect this, he was glad that they trusted him enough to talk to him as he talked to them, he was stunned by this.
Trying to understand why was beyond her, and though she knew that he would answer her questions if she asked him she just couldn't ask him this. The bracelet on her wrist caught the light as she held her arm up so she could look at it. It wasn't a real bracelet, of course, but a ter'angreal that made from saidin. The lion of Andor from ivory on a field of red blood metal. These created something very close to the Aes Sedai warder link, only stronger, and there were others on the linking. She could feel the taint on saidin sinking into Rand as he opened a gateway into the black tower, feel the wound on his side. The wound that Healing had done nothing about. Feel that he loved her and Min and Aviendha, feel the love that beamed from Min and Aviendha. Feel every thing about them just if they were her warders. The bracelet on Rand's arm covering the dragon on his forearm was made of an inch wide chain, each link in the shape of the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai on the age of legend. And the one on Min was an ivory circle - Rand apparently liked ivory very much; he was the one who made all these bracelets - carved with symbols that appear on stone portals. Rand claimed that they represented all the ways the pattern worked. Though he didn't seem able to explain it. The bracelet on Aviendha wrist was her old ivory bracelet of roses and thorns, Rand had some talent in making ter'angreal, he tried to explain her how he did it, but she was ready to admit that her knowledge didn't get close to Rand's in that area. Memories from his life as Lews Therin Telamon carried him farther than she believed she would reach in her lifetime, though she had the stronger talent in making ter'angreal.

Of course, some of the things they told was just as big surprise. Like that Aviendha had known that she was going to fall in love with Rand after the time she entered Rhuidean. Or what Min told her and Aviendha later about what the Aes Sedai had done to Rand. For herself she told them about tel'aran'rhiod and Birgitte, Rand apparently already knew and Birgitte agreed to let her tell Min and Aviendha two days ago. She glanced at the warderess, sleeping on the bed, the ring hold tightly on her hand. She was in tel'aran'rhiod doing something for Rand.
Rand, wearing black as the asha'man, with golden dragon and a silver sword on his collar. Green wide strip from right shoulder to the left side of his waist. For some reason he grinned at the strip as much as he grinned at them. Amuse for unknown reason. Or it might be the madness.
A sickening filling from Rand reminded her that he would go mad eventually if she could ever forget about that. Aviendha on his heels and she and Min on either side he went through, hundreds of miles cover in one step.
Not the madness, Elayne. Not yet. That wasn't her thought. One of the strange things about the bracelets was that they carried thoughts through the link, strong thoughts only, yet it was frightening to hear Rand's thoughts answering hers.
Aviendha looked at them oddly, she could hear the thoughts too, of course, but she would never let herself be worried about something she could do nothing about. Min on the other hand, looked as if the reminder of Rand's and every man-channeling path wasn't welcome.
She turned away to look on the black tower, yesterday she was able to see only little part of it through the gateway. A half build tower, six hundreds pace tall ruled the view, a dragon wound itself on a silver sword on its side, both at least hundred feet tall and half a wide. The tower was already one of the tallest building in the world, and if she wasn't missing her guess completely the asha'man meant to add to this building at least two hundreds paces. She knew that Rand had probably gathered every man who could learn to channel on the lands between the Arith ocean and the spine of the world, but these… she counted at least eight hundreds men in black, nearly twice that number women and children, she even thought she saw a few aiel women among them.
"All those in black are asha'man." Rand said, pride in his voice. "And any man a weapon."
Aviendha nodded in appreciation, that also came from the part in her mind where Aviendha took space. But Min shivered and Elayne barely stopped herself from doing the same. Men channeling were a thing of nightmare, and now there were eight hundreds of them. The breaking was caused by men, male Aes Sedai who had gone mad because of the taint on saidin. Because of the actions of Lews Therin Kinslayer and the hundred companions on the slopes of Shyol Ghul.
Don't you think I blame myself enough? Rand's voice whisper sadly in her mind. Every day is pain for me, for each one who dies I bled. For any man that has gone mad because of the taint I cried. Yet if I had to do it again I would, knowing what will happen. If I have to kill again those I love, I will do it. I have done so more times than I can count; I will do so as long as the wheel turns. To the end of time. He started walking quickly, toward the half finished tower, Min and Aviendha with him, Elayne followed them after a moment shuddering. She didn't like being forced to remember that Rand was Lews Therin, that he remembered his life as Lews Therin Telamon. Trying hard to think about something else she scanned the men in front of her. Each clad in black, grim faces and wrapped in pride. Carrying a sword on hip or back, they moved like warders, with the arrogance of a king with an army on his heels.
One of the strange things she noticed was that every man wore the same wide strip, in all the ajahs colors. Blue and red and white and gray, Green and brown and yellow. About half of than wore green strips, about a third carry a blue one, the rest split more or less equally, only the red strips were rare, only a dozen men or so wore them.
"What do the color mean, Rand Al'Thor?" Aviendha asked softly, she watched the men with flat eyes only the small knot of emotions in Elayne's head told her that her friend was uneasy. Rand to her surprise didn't looked as stone faced as he usually was near other people save the three of them, in fact he looked more… free than she saw him around other people.
"Just like the Aes Sedai's ajahs, they use different methods, of course, and there is no limit to the number of warderess you can bond. The colors are created to reflect what they support of, the greens are usually lechers, most of the blues are married, yellows heal, browns think too much, whites live in the void and the grays negotiate." Suddenly he barked with laugher. " Once a gray toldl his warderess to shut up or he would turn her into a chicken and eat her. She hadn't believed him of course, so he took her into tel'aran'rhiod and turned her, he didn't eat her, of course, but since then she refused to even look at birds." He finished with a wide grin, amusement in his voice. Aviendha burst out laughing and Min grinned, but Elayne didn't see anything laughing in that. If the asha'man could enter the world of dreams… she needed to tell Egwne about that, to warn all the Aes Sedai who followed Egwene, if one of them would find herself in front of an asha'man she would probably try to shield or kill him, without thinking twice about that he was stronger than her, and that unless she entered the world of dreams in the flesh because of the ter'angreal she was using she couldn't channel strong enough to scratch the man.
"What about the reds, Rand?" That was Min, she glanced at Elayne and a thought came to her. You can do nothing about it now, and I doubt if those women will listen to reason. Elayne laughed in spite of herself. Min described the Aes Sedai perfectly.
Rand smiled at that exchange of thoughts and answered Min's questions, save the grin he seemed to ignore what she thought.
"The reds study the taint. Not the loveliest thing to do; they try to prevent another breaking. Though like the rest of the asha'man they use other method. You will not notice much of them here, almost all of them are in the white tower now." Elayne tripped on flat ground and would have fallen if Rand hasn't catched her arm, stunned shock was the only thing that reached to her through the bracelet, two sets of emotions that duplicated each other, and third one from which no emotion reached her.
Rand rose his hand the brand heron on his palm showing, forestalling all the questions they were about to ask, and changed. A woman stood in front with blue eyes and golden hair, she look like her, yet… she wasn't able to pin down how this woman was different, only that it was a reflection of her, and the reflection looked much more beautiful than she. Startling even more was a sense of kinship for the woman, the same as she felt for Aviendha, the sense of a woman that can channel.
Rand returned to his own appearance, which was much better than the illusion.
"No one in the tower will recognize them." Rand said coldly, the lack of emotion fade slowly from the place that Rand's emotions were.
"We need ter'angreals, Min. And knowledge, they both exist inside the white tower." This time his voice warmer.
A figure started glowing about a hundred feet from them, the glow of a woman touching saidar she and Aviendha exchanged looks, as far as they knew Nynaeve was the only woman that could channel in the black tower. She wasn't so sure about to how to think to the other yet she formed the thought and directed it to the little knots of emotions in the back of her head. A little like what she was doing if she was wearing an a'dam bracelet and tried to make the woman with the collar feel something. Wait here a moment, I'm going to check this. Aviendha and Min stayed where they were, but Rand's hand suddenly lied on her shoulder. Stopping her short before she managed to step more than two steps.
"I've told you I will not let you die, woman. Do you think that you would have survived that long in here without being on my side. " he growled at her angrily.

Both thing were true she supposed, he told them that the only thing that he would not do if they asked was to watch them die, which came right after he told them why he had no intentions to marry them. She had to admit that his reasons were good, the forsakens, the black ajah, Padan Fain and the Dark One would not rest if they knew that there was some way to hurt Rand, and killing his wife or turning her to the shadow would be a good way to do so. And as for her surviving without him, see thought that this was true too, she saw few of those men looking at her, cold eyes like hawks at a mouse. "If Nynaeve is safe here so do I." She told him in her best regal voice, which did no impression on him. Love is more addictive than the one power, and more dangerous than surrendering to saidin. Always remember that, Elayne, always. he thought to her. The only emotions that reached her from him were anger and fear, both for her she was sure. Aviendha and Min were a few paces away talking to each other urgently. "What do you mean, Rand?" she asked loudly. She really didn't like others' thoughts in her head, even if they were of Rand and Min and Aviendha. She meant that for the quote he thought to her, yet he decided to misunderstand the question.

"Fifty Aes Sedai attacked the black tower a week ago, with thousand soldier. I've lost fifteen asha'man in this, only three of them were soldiers and one dedicated. Eleven trained asha'man died there, men worth ten times their weight in gold. Anybody in here know that you are Aes Sedai, and those aren't welcome here. You would be lucky if you managed to open a gateway and run in time. If not… you might be stilled or dead! Do you understand that! Do you! I will not have you killed for being too proud! " He spoke quietly and urgently, every word with enough power behind it to make Suian obey to him without hesitations. She opened her mouth to tell him what she thought about that last remark of him. He wore pride like a cloak and arrogance was a term too little to describe the way he acted. Then a familiar face looked at her. A man with black long hair and broad shoulders, scorn in his eyes that never touched the face, Logain. He disappeared after a moment in the crowd, before she could regain enough breath to speak.

~Barid Bel



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