The Shadow Rising: Chapter 53
Chapter Icon: A Wolf
Point of View: Perrin
Characters: Marin al'Vere, Daise Congar, Perrin, Faile, Cenn Buie, Tam al'Thor, Abell Cauthon, Bran al'Vere, Dannil Lewin, man from Deven Ride, Jaret Byar, Loial, Gaul, Luc, Tomas, Aram, Bain, Chiad, Slayer, Ban al'Seen
The Woman's Circle and Village Council are all in the Winespring Inn. The Woman's Circle is sitting around a table, going over lists of supplies, while the Village Council is talking about battle. While the men are talking about weapons, Perrin hears the women say that they can't let the men know that they are living on half-rations, since the men need to keep up their strength.
Dannil Lewin enters with a message for Perrin; "The Whitecloaks have brought in a man who wants to talk to you, Perrin. He won't talk to anybody else. He's hurt bad, Perrin. They brought him to the edge of the village." Perrin, Faile and Aram all leave the inn to speak with the messenger. They find the man surrounded by villagers and farmers, with an arrow stuck in his chest. Upon learning that Perrin Goldeneyes has arrived, the man begins to speak. "We are - coming. Sent to - tell you. We are co-" before he can finish his last sentence, the man dies. Perrin thinks that maybe he means a family is making their way towards Emond's Field for protection.
Just as Faile is trying to convince Perrin to get some sleep, a young boy runs up to tell Perrin that something is moving in the Westwood. They soon learn that it is Loial, running towards the village carrying Gaul. Loial tells Perrin that they have done it, that they have closed the Waygate and that it will take the Elders or an Aes Sedai to open it now. Neither of them are hurt badly, though Gaul is limping; Chiad and Bain tend to him.
Loial and Gaul tell Perrin that there are possibly two thousand Trollocs in the Two Rivers area, despite the fact that the Waygate has now been closed. However, Luc rides up and says that it is more likely less than a thousand. He then presents Perrin with a 'trophy,' the head of a Myrddraal. When he leaves, Loial and Gaul still insist that the number of Trollocs is higher than what Luc thinks.
Perrin tells Loial and Gaul to get some sleep. "I am afraid your bedroom has half a dozen Tinkers in it now, but Mistress al'Vere will make you up a pallet. It is time for you to get some of that sleep you want." Upon hearing this, Faile once again starts trying to convince Perrin that he needs sleep as well. Looking at her, Perrin thinks of how beautiful she is, and agrees.
When he falls asleep, he finds himself in the Wolf Dream. As he looks around, a patch of the sky darkens and he finds himself looking through a window to somewhere else. "Egwene stood among a crowd of women, fear in her eyes; slowly the women knelt around her. Nynaeve was one of them, and he believed he saw Elayne's red-gold hair." Next, he sees another scene. "Mat stood naked and bound, snarling; an odd spear with a black shaft had been thrust across his back behind his elbows, and a silver medallion, a foxhead, hung on his chest." The 'window' shifts again, and this time he is looking at Rand. "He wore rags and a rough cloak, and a bandage covered his eyes."
After the 'window' closes, Perrin finds himself wearing a blacksmith's long leather vest and no shirt, with his hammer at his side. He concentrates on the axe, thinking that he is no longer a blacksmith who needs a hammer. Slowly, the hammer changes into the axe. A quiver filled with arrows appears on his other hip, and he finds a longbow in his hand. He starts to run, taking the long, land-blurring strides that are possible in the Wolf Dream. He finds himself three miles from the village, where the nearest Trolloc camp supposedly is. He finds burned wood, and great black iron cauldrons that stand ready to be hung over cook fires. Next, he circles the land around Emond's Field and finds more clusters of cook pots. As the numbers add up, he realizes that there are indeed two thousand - likely more - Trollocs in the surrounding area.
He keeps moving, passing burned farms, and the destroyed Tuatha'an caravan. He eventually arrives at Deven Ride, where he finds only about half a dozen Trolloc camps. Next, he moves on to Watch Hill, and finds that there are only a few camps here as well. When he arrives at Taren Ferry, all he sees is a burned village and no Trolloc camps.
As Perrin ponders over what is happening, Slayer tries to kill him with an arrow. It misses Perrin as he bends down to pick up a doll with a painted wooden face. Perrin nocks an arrow and waits. He spots a hint of movement, and Perrin sees Slayer's face; he thinks of how it looks so much like Lan's face. Perrin continues to wait, and when Slayer slowly steps out of hiding, Perrin shoots an arrow at him. It hits him through the chest, but doesn't pierce his heart. Slayer slowly fades from the wolf-dream, and thinking that he is dead, Perrin steps out of the dream.
When Perrin wakes up, he hears shouting outside and the clattering of hooves. He makes his way downstairs, and Ban al'Seen tells him that Luc had just left the village. "It was Lord Luc, Lord Perrin. He nearly rode down Wil and Tell. I don't think he even saw them. He was all hunched over in his saddle like he was hurt, and spurring that stallion for all he was worth, Lord Perrin." Perrin ponders this, knowing that Luc had not been wounded earlier, and comes to the startling conclusion that maybe Luc and Slayer are the same person.
When Perrin finds Faile, he tells her that he needs her to do something for him. He tells her that he wants her to take a message to Caemlyn, and that on the way, she can let Watch Hill know how things are going. He wants her to ask Queen Morgase to send some of the Queen's Guards, and that Bain and Chiad can keep her safe during the journey. Chiad seems anxious at this, but Faile informs her that she will not have to leave Gaul, which startles Perrin. Faile then considers what Perrin has said. "It is a long way to Caemlyn. Weeks to ride there, plus however long it might take to reach and convince Morgase, then more weeks to return with the Queen's Guards."
Perrin tells her that they can easily hold out that long, but he is lying; all he wants is to get Faile safely out of the Two Rivers. Before Perrin can say anything else to Faile, Loial approaches and asks if Faile can carry his book with her when she goes to Caemlyn, to keep it safe until he can come for it.
After a long period of silence, she changes the subject, saying that he needs to trim his beard. When Perrin goes back to the Caemlyn topic, Faile agrees, but she says that he must pay a price. She tells him that if she goes to Caemlyn, that he must marry her. Perrin smiles, and says that the Woman's Circle can speak the betrothal vows before she leaves, but that according to Two River's custom the actual wedding must wait a year. However, Faile is insistent. "I will have you for husband tonight, or I will not go until I do!"
Perrin argues with her, saying that he would if he could, but that Daise Congar would crack his head if he tried to go against custom. Faile then haltingly informs him that after mentioning to Mistress al'Vere and Daise Congar about the time they spent travelling together, they told her that she and Perrin can already be considered betrothed under the customs. "The year is just to make sure you really do get on well together - which we do, as anyone can see - and here I am being as forward as some Domani hussy or one of those Tairen galls - if you even think of Berelain - oh, Light, I'm babbling, and you won't even - "
Perrin interrupts her by kissing her, and asks her to marry him.
Half an hour later, with Aram and Loial standing for Perrin and Bain and Chiad for Faile, the Woman's Circle performs their marriage.
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
Visions and Prophecies
- Egwene stood among a crowd of women, fear in her eyes; slowly the women knelt around her. Nynaeve was one of them, and he believed he saw Elayne's red-gold hair.
- Mat stood naked and bound, snarling; an odd spear with a black shaft had been thrust across his back behind his elbows, and a silver medallion, a foxhead, hung on his chest.
- Perrin thought it was Rand. He wore rags and a rough cloak, and a bandage covered his eyes.