Lord of Chaos: Chapter 17

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The Wheel of a Life

Author: Val a'Shain

Characters: Rand, Aviendha, Rhuarc, Berelain, Mangin.

Setting: Sun Palace, Cairhien

Point of view: Rand

Rand steps out of the gateway in a room of the Sun Palace in Cairhien. As soon as he steps through the usual group of guards of Aiel and Mayener Winged Guards surrounds him. To Rand's surprise Aviendha takes off to find the Wise Ones immediately. He asks to be taken to Berelain or Rhuarc, whoever is closer. The pair finds him before he can find them however. In his head Lews Therin hums appreciative of Berelain's gown.

On the way to the office Rhuarc and Berelain share the walk past a group of women practicing the sword, inspired by the Maidens of the Spear. The Aiel are upset over this because these women claim to follow ji'e'toh. According to the Aiel they get it all wrong. Berelain promised not to send the women back to their families though. Rand thinks that this may be a way to heal the wounded pride of the Cairhienin and will allow it as long as they stop pretending to follow ji'e'toh.

When they arrive at the office Rand asks how things are in Cairhien. Both answer things are as well as can be expected. Caraline Damodred and Toram Riatin are still gathering people for their rebellion but most Cairhien seem tired of war. Rumour has it that some Andorans joined them though. The Shaido are still in the Kinslayer's Dagger, showing signs of settling on this side of the Dragonwall. There is also word of fighting in Shara, highly unusual for that part of the world. Sammael is highest on the list of priorities though, the rest can wait.

Trade is slowly resuming with peddlers coming from Tear, Andor and Murandy. Some of the lands closer to the Dragonwall are being resettled so that next year the grain shortage may be over. If the drought ever lets up of course. There is also a Sea Folk ship docked in Cairhien. A rare occurrence to see one so far from the Ocean.

Mangin, one of the Aiel who helped take the Stone of Tear walks in. He wants to speak the Dragon Reborn. Both Rhuarc and Berelain say he should talk to the man. It turns out Mangin has killed a Cairhienin for showing off his tattoos of dragons. It was a fake of course but the Aiel thought him so honorless he deserved death. This is against the new law Rand declared so he has no choice but to hang the man. Mangin says he will report for his hanging at the time Rand decides on. When the man leaves Rand tells Rhuarc and Berelain to execute the law next time without waiting for him.

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