The Shadow Rising: Chapter 28
Author: Manora al'Sara
Chapter Icon: A Wolf
Point of View: Perrin
Perrin and the others camp on the mountain outside the Waygate. Faile insists on there being two camps but Loial refuses and says that all of that is done with now. Faile remains stubborn and Perrin tells Loial that he will camp further away and motions him back to the women. Gaul joins Perrin and they look over to the other camp. The women are laughing together and Loial seems to be trying to hide in his book whilst keeping some distance from them. Perrin thinks that Faile believes they are far enough away for the Ogier not to hear and that they probably haven't realised that they are embarrassing him with their chatter. Gaul says to Perrin that this place looks more like the three-fold land than any other in the Wetlands and that it does not seem as strange to him as what they call forests. Perrin wishes to see Gaul's land and Gaul thinks that maybe some day he might. Gaul asks Perrin if this is where Manetheren stood and whether he is one of its blood, to which Perrin replies yes it/he is but that they are no longer a nation of great warriors. Gaul smiles and comments that he has seen Perrin and the other Two Rivers boys fight and that he disagrees. Perrin is surprised that Gaul knows about Manetheren but Gaul says that he read many books before crossing the Dragonwall although many things he had underestimated. Gaul then asks Perrin if he thinks it was chance that there were Trollocs heading for this Waygate and Perrin says no and that he had also seen ravens. Perrin feels out for the wolves again but finds nothing. He tells Gaul that he may find out something tonight but that he may need kicking awake if necessary. Perrin realises that this is a very strange thing to say but Gaul just accepts it like he accepts that the colour of Perrin's eyes are different, without comment.
Perrin goes to sleep and seeks the Wolf Dream. He finds himself near the Waygate in daylight but wearing the hammer on his belt instead of his axe. He frowns at it and the axe momentarily flickers back into place but does not last long and the hammer reappears. He doesn't remember that ever happening before but thinks that the wolf dream is full of oddities. As though the thought triggered it a dark patch of sky appeared, a window to somewhere else. Rand stood amid swirling storm winds laughing madly, arms upraised, hidden eyes watched him and Perrin could not tell if Rand knew or not. The window winked out and another appears, further over this time, showing Nynaeve and Elayne stalking through a landscape of twisted shadowed buildings hunting some dangerous beast. Perrin didn't know how he knew it was dangerous but he was certain of it. That window also winks out and another appears. Mat is standing at a fork in a road, he flips a coin and starts down one branch and suddenly he is wearing a wide brimmed hat and walking with a staff bearing a short sword blade. Another window appears and he sees Egwene and a woman with long white hair, they both stare at him in surprise while behind them the White Tower crumbles stone by stone, then they are gone too.
Perrin had seen these windows before and thought that they were real in some way or that they meant something. The wolves never saw them. Moiraine had suggested that the wolf dream was like Tel'aran'rhiod and then would say no more. Perrin calls out for Hopper but he does not come, so he carries on to see what he can find out. He "steps" into the spot where he had seen the ravens earlier and then makes his way east towards the Two Rivers looking for wolves. He calls for Hopper again but he does not come. Perrin is troubled because he can't even sense any wolves, but there are always other wolves somewhere in the wolf dream. Perrin suddenly sees another man standing on top of a hill, he is too far away to see clearly but he is tall with dark hair and is wearing a blue coat with a bow on his back, but Perrin feels there is something familiar about him. He catches the man's scent and he smells cold and something not really human. The man looks up and sees Perrin then disappears in a streak across the hills. Perrin leaps down to where the man had been and finds a half-skinned corpse of a wolf. Perrin is shocked that a wolf has been killed here in the wolf dream, something very evil must be responsible. Perrin chases the man until he sees a metal tower sparkling in the sun. The man heads straight for it and Perrin follows. Perrin can find no way into the tower but it also smells of that cold inhuman scent.
Perrin feels a raw emotion and his brain identifies it in one word - stop! It is Hopper. He tells Perrin that he is chasing the Slayer, who is here in flesh and can kill and also that there are other things of the shadow walking the dream and it is no longer safe. Hopper tells him he cannot chase Slayer into the tower and kill him because Slayer kills. Perrin senses a finality about the way "kills" is said and asks Hopper what happens if a wolf dies in the dream. Hopper tells him that wolves that die in the dream die forever. Perrin hears a voice behind him and spins around. A woman is there and she tells him that the Tower of Ghenjei is a bad place for humankind. The woman has her golden hair braided and is wearing wide yellow trousers and boots and carrying a silver bow which she hides under her cloak when she sees Perrin notice it. He asks if she is Aes Sedai, and she says that no, she only came to warn him, despite the prescripts. Once entered the Tower of Ghenjei is hard enough to leave in the world of men but here it is almost impossible. He asks what the Tower of Ghenjei is and that Hopper had told him of it. She is surprised that he can talk to wolves. She tells him that it is a doorway to the realms of the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn as though he should know who they are. Perrin looks at her blankly so she asks him has he ever played the game Snakes & Foxes. He says that he did as a child until he figured out there was no way to win. She says the only way is to break the rules and then she recites from the game "courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to daze, iron to bind" Perrin says he does not understand what this has to do with the tower. She says that the game is a remembrance of old dealings and that it does not matter as long as he stays away from the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn. The woman also says that they are not evil in the way that the Shadow is evil but that they are so different from humankind that they might as well be and they are not to be trusted. That he should stay away from the Tower of Ghenjei and to avoid the World of Dreams if he can because dark things walk there. Perrin asks if she means Slayer. She says that Slayer is a good name for him, that he is not old but that his evil is ancient. Then she stops and says she doesn't understand why she's telling him all this. Then she seems to think for a second and then asks him if he is ta'veren. Perrin does not answer but asks who she is and that he feels he has met her somewhere before. The woman replies that she has broken too many of the prescripts already. He asks her what prescripts but is distracted by a shadow behind him - a man with two sword hilts rising above his shoulders - and something about him is familiar too. The woman says that the man is right and she should not be talking to Perrin and she disappears. Perrin frowns at Hopper and asks what he thinks of her. Hopper is confused as he had not seen her, only Perrin talking to the air. Perrin tells Hopper that he has come away from what he intended and explains his need to find wolves in the Two Rivers. Hopper remains silent for a while and then tells Perrin that he should not go home, there are no wolves there now and those who did not flee are dead. Slayer walks the dream there. Perrin says he has to go home and Hopper tells him to take care and that the day of the Last Hunt draws near and that they will run together in the Last Hunt.
Perrin opens his eyes. Gaul is on watch over him and Faile is awake at the other camp taking her turn at guard. He tells Gaul that he will take guard for a while and that things may be worse in the Two Rivers than he'd thought. Gaul replies that things often are and that it is the way of life.
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
Visions and Prophecies
- Rand stood amid swirling stormwinds, laughing wildly, even madly, arms upraised, and on the winds rode small shapes, gold-and-scarlet, like the strange figure on the Dragon banner; hidden eyes watched Rand, and there was no telling whether he knew it.
- Nynaeve and Elayne stalked cautiously through a demented landscape of twisted, shadowed buildings, hunting some dangerous beast. Perrin could not have said how he knew it was dangerous, but he did.
- Mat, standing where a road forked ahead of him. He flipped a coin, started down one branch, and suddenly was wearing a wide-brimmed hat and walking with a staff bearing a short sword blade.
- Egwene and a woman with long white hair were staring at him in surprise while behind them the White Tower crumbled stone by stone.