The Great Hunt (Chapter 7): Blood Calls Blood

Welcome back to my re-read, recap, and reaction to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. This post will only have spoilers through the current chapter.

You can find my previous chapter recaps HERE.

Chapter 7: Blood Calls Blood 

As Mat’s litter leaves the Amyrlin Seat’s chambers, Moiraine carefully re-wraps the angreal used in his healing. She puts it back in her pouch. May lays with his eyes closed and his face pale. His chest rises and falls with the even rhythm of a deep sleep. Siuan describes the business with Mat’s healing as nasty. Verin says in reply that it was also quite interesting. She says that it is tooo bad they do not possess the dagger to complete his healing. She believes that he only has a few months to live if it cannot be found and the healing completed.

Moiraine says that the dagger may still be found and Verin agrees, however, she also states that the duration of his link with the dagger may mean he changed permanently even if he is fully healed. Verin begins musing on how many people the dagger may potentially taint, out in the world, in a year’s time. She believes it should be possible to calculate a reasonable approximation. Moiraine gives her a wry look. She then says that means they must find the dagger. She also states that Agelmar is sending men to find the Horn and to kill the traitors with them. Moiraine believes that if the Horn is found, the dagger will be found with it. Verin nods in agreement. She asks who may be able to handle the dagger safely even if it is found. Moiraine says that there is one person – Mat Cauthon – who can retrieve the dagger without fear of being harmed by it.

Siuan nods in agreement with that suggestion. She also says that they must find Padan Fain.

Siuan: Why is this Darkfriend important enough for them to risk what they did rescuing him?

She points out that it was risky enough to go after the Horn alone. Siuan points out that it compounded the risk to free Fain.

Siuan: If the Lurks think he is that important […] then so must we.

Moiraine astates that it is likely Fain will also be found with the Horn. She then dismisses Verin, saying that she wishes to say a few words to Moiraine before sleeping. She advises Verin to say nothing of the nature of Mat’s hurt to other Sisters for fear that some of them may see something of The Shadow in him. Verin agrees and states that she will say nothing but she does not make any moves toward the door. She tells Siuan that she might wish to see something before she goes.

She pulls a notebook from her belt. She explains that the notebook contains what was written on the walls in the dungeon. She says it was written in a different, better educated, hand that the rest of the writing on the walls and that it has the form of poetry or son. She speculates that it might be a Dark Prophecy. Siuan nods. Prophecies from the Shadow – Dark Prophecies – have an unfortunate way of being fulfilled, the same as those from the Light. Verin begins reading.

“Daughter of the Night, she walks again. The ancient war, she yet fights. Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still. Who shall stand against her coming? The Shining Walls shall kneel. Blood feeds blood. Blood calls blood. Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.”

“The man who channels stands alone. He gives his friends for sacrifice. Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal. Which will he choose? Which will he choose? What hand shelters? What hand slays? Blood feeds blood. Blood calls blood. Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.”

“Luc came to the Mountains of Dhoom. Isam waited in the high passes. The hunt is now begun. The Shadow’s hounds now course, and kill. One did live, and one did die, but both are. The Time of Change has come. Blood feeds blood. Blood calls blood. Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.”

“The Watchers wait on Toman’s Head. The seed of the Hammer burns the ancient tree. Death shall sow, and summer burn, before the Great Lord comes. Death shall reap, and bodies fail, before the Great Lord comes. Again the seed slays ancient wrong, before the Great Lord comes. Now the Great Lord comes. Now the Great Lord comes. Blood feeds blood. Blood calls blood. Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be. Now the Great Lord comes.”

When Verin is finished, there is a long silence. Finally Siuan asks her who else has seen this. Verin replies that only Serafelle Sedai has seen it and she reports that she had the walls scrubbed as soon as the message was copied down. Siuan nods in approval, saying that too many in the Borderlands can puzzle out trolloc script. Moiraine asks Verin carefully what she makes of it. The Brown sister replies that the writing has the form of a few of the Dark Prophecies that they know. She suggests that it might only be a taunt.

Verin points at the line “Daughter of the Night she walks again” and says that this can only mean Lanfear is loose or that someone wants them to think she is. Siuan says that the Forsaken are still bound, even if the Seals are weakening. Lanfear means “Daughter of the Night” and she is remembered for being the only Forsaken to name herself. The other Forsaken were named by those whom they betrayed. Her name before being named Lanfear is lost to history. Some in the White Tower says she is the second most powerful of the Forsaken, next to Ishamael, The Betrayer of Hope.

Moiraine remains calm externally but internally she roiled. Very little is known of Lanfear but among that little is that before going over to The Shadow and before Lews Therin met Ilyena, Lanfear had been Lews Therin’s lover.

Verin points out some of the other names. Lord Luc was brother of Tigraine, the Daughter Heir of Andor, and he vanished in the Blight. She says that she does not know who Isam is or what he has to do with Luc. Moiraine says outwardly that they will find out what they need to know in time. However, she knows the name Isam. He was the son of Breyan, wife of Lain Mandragoran, whose attempt to seize the throne of Malkier for her husband brought the trolloc hordes crashing down on them. Breyan and her infant son both vanished when the trollocs overran Malkier. Isam is blood kin to Lan. Moiraine thinks to herself that she must keep this information from Lan until she knows how he will react.

“The Watchers Wait on Toman Head,” Verin continues, may refer to a community of people on Toman Head who believe that Artur Hawkwing’s armies will someday return. She also points out that one of the old names for Artur Hawkwing was “Hammer of the Light.” Siuan asks if she believes Hawkwing’s armies might return after a thousand years and Verin is dismissive. Moiraine says though that there are rumors of fighting on Toman Head. Verin complains that it is too bad the Sea Folk refuse to cross the Aryth Ocean.

Verin says, regarding “the ancient tree” that while the nation of Almoth still lived, they had a branch of Avendesora. She says they may have had a sapling and she further points out that the former nation had Avendesora on its flag. Verin also explains that some surrounding nations also have historical claims related to the Tree of Life. Verin says that “the time of change” refers to the end of an age and that “the Great Lord” refers to the Dark One. Siuan asks Verin to go. Moiraine suggests that there is nothing in the writing to suggest prophecy – she says that it can all be accounted for by someone with a little knowledge and a sly wit.

“And of course,” Verin said calmly, “‘the man who channels’ must be one of the three young men traveling with you, Moiraine.”

Moiraine stares at her in shock. She thinks to herself that she is a fool for not believing that Verin is aware of the world around her. In her instinctive shock, Moiraine reaches for the One Power. Siuan does the same. Verin closes her book and looks from one woman to the other, seeing the nimbus around each of them indicating that they are holding the One Power. Only someone trained in channeling the power herself can see it in others. A hint of satisfaction settles on Verin’s face.

Verin: Yes, I thought it must be so. Moiraine could not do this alone. And who better to help than her girlhood friend who used to sneak down with her to snitch sweet cakes.

Verin abruptly apologizes to Siuan for speaking too familiarly to her. Siuan is flabbergasted. She points out what Verin just accused her of conspiring to do with Moiraine and notes the absurdity of then apologizing for too much familiarity after. Moiraine thinks that it is too late. She believes that both of them reaching for the One Power made Verin sure of her accusation.

Moiraine asks Verin why she is saying this, to them, instead of telling the other Sisters of her suspicions. Verin replies that she should and that she had not yet thought of that. Shen then says that if she does tell other sisters about this, they will both be stilled, and the young man gentled. She opines about how no one has ever studied the progression of sickness and madness in a man who can channel. Then she says there are also the Prophecies of the Dragon to consider.

Verin: I assume, Mother, that he is the Dragon Reborn. I cannot believe you would do this, leaving walking free a man who can channel, unless he was the Dragon.

Siuan asks her who else knows of this. Verin tells her that no one knows. Both Moiraine and Siuan release the One Power. Moiraine asks Verin to sit down and tell them what she knows, leaving out nothing. Verin gives a look to the Amyrlin and then sits. Verin begins by telling them that her first clue of what the two of them have been up to was twenty years ago. As she speaks, Moiraine thinks to herself that she will do what she must.

“““““““““““`

Perrin waits for the Aes Sedai to leave the infirmary door. She smells like lavender soap and he knows that nobody else could have smelled that soap from as far away as he was. her remembers that her name is Leanna Sedai. He pauses at the door to listen and goes inside when he hears nothing. Mat is on one of the narrow beds lining the walls. Perrin had expected, after the fighting the night before, for the room to be lined with injured men. However, he then realizes that the keep is filled with Aes Sedai who can heal almost anything short of death. Perrin thinks that Mat looks exhausted. He also thinks that Mat smells wrong though he cannot say why. He sits down carefully on the bed next to Mat’s bed.

The night before, Perrin was in the garden, thinking things through, when Egwene fetched Mat to go with her into the dungeon. Perrin feels guilty about that believing that if he had been present, they might not have gotten hurt. He also realizes that if he had been there, he would likely have been injured or killed. In the garden, as he sat in the dark, the Lady Amalisa found him. She sent others to fetch Liandrin Sedai upon finding him. However, they were all interrupted by the first alarm bells. Perrin talks to Mat, who cannot answer.

He asks Mat if he believes that Liandrin Sedai believes he can channel. Perrin rubs his nose. Mat’s eyelids flutter open. Mat asks what happened. Perrin asks him if he remembers. Mat says that Egwene asked him to go with her to see Padan Fain. He laughs.

Mat: She didn’t ask. Told me.

He went back to sleep. Perrin hears approaching footsteps and stands up. He is still standing there when Leanna Sedai enters. She puts her fists on her hips and looks him up and down. She is nearly as tall as he is.

Leanna: Now you… are almost a pretty enough boy to make me wish I was a Green. Almost. But if you distrubed my patient, well, I dealt with brothers almost as big as you before I went to the Tower so you needn’t think those shoulders will help you any.

Perrin clears his throat and thinks that he does not know what to say – unlike Rand who always knows what to say to the girls. Perrin says he did not disturb him. She asks what Perrin is doing in there. He says he only wants to know how he is. Leanna hesitates and then tells Perrin that he is sleeping and that he will be awake in a few hours. The pause makes Perrin’s hackles rise. He knows she is lying somehow. Aes Sedai are unable to lie but they do not always tell the truth you believe they are telling you. Perrin tells her thank you. He tries to walk around her to the door when suddenly her hand shoots out and grabs him by the face, tilting it down so that she can look into his eyes. Something feels as though it passes through him from his head to his feet then back again. He pulls his head out of her hands.

Leanna: You’re as healthy as a wild young animal… but if you were born with those eyes then I am a Whitecloak.

He growls that they are the only eyes he has ever had before feeling abashed at speaking to an Aes Sedai in that tone. He is as surprised as she is when he lifts her gently and sits her back down out of his way. As they stare at each other, he says excuse me and all but runs.

“““““““““““`

Rand twists on his bed trying to find a comfortable position on the mattress. He did not sleep all night. He cannot rid himself of the belief that he should take the chance Moiraine had given him and leave immediately. He almost left multiple times in the night but could not bring himself to leave.

Perrin enters the room yawning. Rand sits up and asks him how Egwene and Mat are. Perrin tells him that she is asleep. Before he tells Rand about Mat, Perrin asks Rand why he has not gone himself. Rand replies that he did go and that the tall Aes Sedai there sent him away. Rand pulls up a chuckle and tells Perrin that the tall Aes Sedai looked him up and down, commented on his height, and asked him where he was when she was sixteen or even thirty. Rand says then she laughed as if it were all a joke.

Perrin: If you want to make jokes with Aes Sedai, that’s up to you, My Lord.

Perrin says he does not spend much time being witty with Aes Sedai and says that he is only a clumsy blacksmith. Perrin calls him “my Lord” again. Rand apologizes, tells Perin that he was afraid and thought he was in trouble. He says that maybe he still is in trouble. He says he did not want Perrin and Mat to be in it with him. Rand says that all the women in Fal Dara were looking for him last night. He throws up his hands and tells Perrin that he does not want any part of this.

Perrin stops and turns so that Rand can only see one golden eye.

Perrin: Looking for you? Maybe they were looking for all of us.

Rand says he knows that they were looking for him and Perrin argues saying that he knows Liandrin was looking for him. Rand frowns and wonders why she would want him. He apologizes again and says that he did not mean it. Rand asks him to tell him about Mat. Perrin replies that Mat is asleep. Perrin tells him the tall Aes Sedai is named Leanna and that she said Mat would be on his feet in a few hours. Perrin says that he believes she is lying or holding something back. Perrin then asks Rand again if he meant what he said before and if he plans to leave with Perrin and Mat after all. Rand says he has to go alone. Perrin leaves and slams the door.

Rand: I can’t tell you.

A voice in the back of Rand’s head tells him that he can go now. Egwene and Mat will be okay. Just then, someone begins pounding on the door. Rand thinks quickly that Perrin would not knock. Lan enters dressed formally.

Lan: The Amyrlin Seat wants you, sheepherder. You can’t go like that [pointing out what Rand is wearing.]

Lan tells him to change clothes and to brush his hair, noting that he looks like a haystack. Lan jerks opens Rand’s wardrobe pawing through the clothes there. Rand tries to tell Lan that he is leaving and the Warder tells him it is too late. He says that nobody refuses an audience with the Amyrlin Seat, not even the Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks. He might attend while planning how to kill her, but if offered an audience, he would come.

Lan turns with a coat in his hands. He tells Rand to change his shirt and to move quickly. Rand mutters that he feels like a fool wearing a silk shirt. Lan tells him that he cannot go before the Amyrlin Seat dressed like a groom fresh out of the stables. He asks to see Rand’s boots, too. He mutters that they will do. He instructs Rand to wear his sword. Rand protests that he should not wear a sword in the women’s apartments.

Rand: If I go for an audience wit the Amyrlin Seat – the Amyrlin Seat – she’ll…
Lan: Do nothing. If the Amyrlin is afraid of you, and it’s smarter for you to think she isn’t because I don’t know anything that could frighten that woman, it won’t be for a sword.

Lan then explains to Rand that he kneels when he goes before her with one knee only. Rand says that he knows how and that he saw how the Queen’s Guards knelt to Queen Morgase. A ghost of a smile touches Lan’s lips as he tells Rand to do it just as they did. He says that will give them something to think about. Rand asks Lan why he is telling him all of this.

Rand: You’re acting as if you are on my side.
Lan: I am on your side, sheepherder, a little. Enough to help you a bit.

Lan says that what training Rand has had, he gave him. He tells Rand that he will not have him groveling and sniveling. He tells Rand that he can face whatever comes on his feet. He then instructs Rand to show the Amyrlin proper respect but to also do as he instructs and to look her in the eye.

Lan gives instructions as Rand readies. He tells Rand what to say, to whom, and also what not to say. He tells Rand how to move. Rand is not sure he can remember it all. Most of it sounds odd to Rand and easy to forget. Rand asks one more time why he cannot just leave and Lan tells him that she would send trackers after him.

Lan: What the Amyrlin wants, sheepherder, she gets.

Rand asks Lan what all of his instructions mean. He says he does not understand half of what he has been told. Lan merely reiterates that he follow the instructions. He tells Rand he can understand later so long as he remembers now. Lan tells him that the Amyrlin will do with him as she must.

Lan: If you think you can avoid it, you think you can fly to the moon like Lenn.

He tells Rand that he cannot escape but perhaps he can hold his own for a while. He says perhaps Rand can keep his pride, at least. Lan pulls a long fringed golden cord and ties it around Rand’s left arm in a complicated knot. On the knot, he fastens a pin of a red eagle with its wings spread. Lan says he had it made to give Rand. Lan smiles and says that will make them think.

Rand looks at the pin. It is the red eagle of Manetheren. He tells Lan Manetheren is long dead and forgotten.

Lan: There is one rule above all others for being a man: Whatever comes, face it on your feet.

He asks Rand if he is ready and says that that Amyrlin Seat waits. Rand follows the Warder into the hall.

REACTION:

These last couple of chapters have been LONG.

This chapter gives us our first real glimpse at Verin and Leanna. Verin is a bookish Aes Sedai who gives off an air of not noticing the world around her while, in fact, noticing it more closely than almost anyone. She kind of tricks Moiraine and Siuan into confirming that one of the three boys is the Dragon Reborn. She had a good guess ahead of time, though.

The most interesting section related to Verin was the Dark Prophecy. It is fascinating the the Dark Side also has prophecies that come true. Here we have a pretty good idea that Lanfear – maybe the second most powerful of the Forsaken – is loose. We get more plot threads pointing us toward Toman Head, too.

The Verin section also asks why Fain is so important to the Dark One that he would send resources to rescue him. We do not really have a good answer for that, yet. The best clue is that something about Fain gives him the power to “track” Rand wherever he goes. That’s a more useful talent outside of a dungeon than in one.

Does Moiraine imply that she will kill Verin if necessary? It seems that way to me.

The Perrin/Leanna section did not show us much other than that Leanna is tall, commanding, and flirty. Perrin picked up the second most powerful Aes Sedai in the world and… moved her. This is particularly funny because he is about twenty years old. He was scared of Nynaeve in the last book. That wolf energy is starting to come through more strongly, I guess.

I *really* enjoy Mentor Lan. The Two Rivers folk have softened his heart.

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