Contents of this section
The story begins:
"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become as legendary as Roy's lust for Lanfear. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten, like our real work will be when the Fires of Heaven is finally released, when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in The Spine of the World as Lanfear blew a long-distance kiss to Rand. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time, as Lanfear's love for Lews Therin is eternal. But it was _a_ beginning.
Born among snow-capped peaks that seemed to touch the heavens, the peaks glowing in the moonlight like Lanfear's thighs that time she was wearing one of Rand's shirts in tGH, the chill wind howled east and down, between rugged peaks of dark rock as smooth of vegetation as Lanfear's skin is smooth, the contrast between the rock and snow reminiscent of Lanfear's hair against her bare back. Over rock-strewn hills as confused as Rands thoughts about Lanfear, the wind blew itself dry of moisture long before it began to sweep over the vast scapes of the Aiel Waste, a land as barren as Lanfear's heart would be without her love for Lews Therin. Were it daylight, the wind would be heated by the sun as if in were passing through the furnace of Lanfear's passionate desire, but it was a cool, dry wind that made Jasin Nateel shiver, pulling his gleeman's cloak as many-colored as Lanfear has moods tighter around him as he sat to the left of a man that seemed oblivious to the wind with his red coat hanging unbuttoned, a man harder than the Aiel scattered around the camp and yet softer than Lanfear's busom, Rand al'Thor, the _Car'a'carn_, He Who Comes With the Dawn, The Dragon Reborn, and the object of Lanfear's affections..."
The scene fades to black, and then we see a contemporary living room with two seedy looking youths sitting on a couch in what admittedly amounts to nothing but a cheap way to throw in another Lanfear reference: "heh heh heh... Lanfear is Babe-a-licious... heh heh heh"
The story starts out with Rand et al. waiting at Alcair Dal for the rest of the clan chiefs to arrive, with Aviendha still shadowing Rand as closely as the mark Lanfear made on his neck. Moiraine is still being the same insufferable b*tch she always has. The night after the last clan chief arrives and acknowledges Rand as the _Car'a'carn_, the camp is attacked by Trollocs/Myrddraal as a diversion while Grey Men try to kill Rand, Mat and Asmodean/Nateel. (Why? Because _every_ book so far has started out with a Trolloc raid in the first few chapters!)
Couladin, meanwhile, leads 'his' Aiel toward the Spine of the World, and takes them through Jangai Pass into Cairhien. Rahvin (aka Lord Gaebril) convinces Morgase to send forces into Cairhien. Of course, the armies Rand sent from Tear into Cairhien. There is a big battle among the three armies where "Morgase, by the Grace of the Light, Queen of Andor, Protector of the Realm, Defender of the People, High Seat of House Trakand, and not Lanfear" does something as dumb as believing one of Ishmael's lies when she tries the same stunt that Queen Modrellein did in Elayne's story in tDR ch 16. She dies with one of Couladin's spears through her chest before Rahvin, whose lust for Power is as strong as Lanfear's lust for Rand, decides to cut his losses while he still has any power, and tries to high-tail it back to Camelyn because he knows Rand bringing the rest of the Aiel into the battle. Rand, The Aiel and the forces of Tear defeat Couladin.
Word arrives that Sammael, aka Lord Brend of Illian, whose envy of Rand is as strong as Roy's envy of Rand for being the apple of Lanfear's eye, is laying siege to Tear while everybody's away. Rand sends the Armies of Tear back to meet them, with Mat as their general.
Moghedian, who escaped into _tel'aran'rhiod_ 'in the flesh', meets up with Slayer/Isam. Since Moghedian and Nynaeve are now arch-enemies, Moghedian falls in love with Isam in a remarkable parallel to Nynaeve falling in love with Lan. Nynaeve and Moghedian are destined to duke it out in the wildest catfight possible without Lanfear being one of the participants, but that doesn't happen until a later book.
Egeanin and Bayle set sail, Egeanin steals the Collar and Bracelets and the ship, setting Bayle adrift in a lifeboat. In an amazing coincidence (since there no did be no _ta'veren_ around), Domon is rescued by the Sea Folk, specifically Coine and Jorin.
The Seanchan return in force lead by the Empress, using Tremalking as a gathering place. High Lady Suroth is killed when she reveals her knowledge that _sul'dam_ can channel to the Empress. Egeanin returns to Tremalking, presents the bracelets to the Empress and is raised to the Blood and given High Lady Suroths position.
When word reaches Ghealdan that the Whitecloaks want to kill Rand, Masema leads all his followers of the Dragon in a successful attack against the Fortress of the Light in Amador. Most of the Whitecloaks were away, near Tar Valon, where Galad becomes their new leader.
Siuan, Leane, Min and Logain gather up the Aes Sedai who escaped from the White Tower during the Coup. They randomly head south toward Cairhien and meet up with Rand et al after Mat takes the army of Tear south. Rand makes Logain King of Cairhien, bringing Min's viewing of a "halo of gold and blue signifying glory to come" come to pass, since Cairhien's symbol is a golden sun on a field of blue. The Aes Sedai following Siuan elect a certain woman from the Two Rivers to lead them in reclaiming the White Tower that Lanfear called a "little farmgirl".
Elayne and Nynaeve keep chasing the Black Ajah, catching and stilling Marillin Gemalphin and one more whose name we haven't been given yet.
Perrin goes to visit his new in-laws in Saldaea with Faile (of course), Loial, the three Aiel and his "Companions" who refuse to quit following him around, like Lanfear refuses to quit following Rand around. Verin tags along so she won't miss a minute of _ta'veren_. They end up in a battle against Mazrim Taim and Demandred, the Forsaken who had freed him from the Aes Sedai bringing him to the White Tower. Demandred, who hate for Rand is as fierce as Lanfear scorned, has taught Taim how to use the One Power effectively. Perrin manages to kill Demandred with the help of Hopper and some other wolves in _tel'aran'rhiod_, but Mazrim Taim escapes.
Rahvin declares himself King of Andor and forces the people into accepting it. Rand follows Rahvin back to Camelyn, where he and some of the Aiel sneak into the Palace where a battle ensues and Rahvin is killed in a battle reminiscent of Rand's battle with Ishmael in Tear. Lanfear shows up again and again tries to convince Rand that she really does love him.
Mat, muttering some saying about luck in the Old Tongue, confronts Sammael. The foxhead amulet protects Mat from the One Power, and he stabs Sammael with his Raven Spear, injuring him badly but not a killing blow. Sammael escapes back to Illian. Mat becomes High Lord of Tear when he pulls _Calandor_ from the Stone; his foxhead amulet protects him from Rand's trap. Mat decides to store _Calandor_ back in the Stone; Rand's trap protects it since it was never disabled.
The first signs of Rand beginning to go mad appear when he posts a story on r.a.s.w about a strange dream he had about meeting Robert Jordan.
Finally, Rand gets sick of Lanfear following him around like a love-sick puppy, and tells her to "get a hobby". Lanfear, hurt and a trifle offended, tells him that "This _is_ my hobby!"
Verin, Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah, makes lots of puns involving "FAQ" like FAQsimile, "just the FAQs, ma'am", etc. for no apparent reason, leading everyone to suspect that either there's _another_ prophesy that Verin knows about that Jordan hasn't bothered to tell his readers, or its just more evidence that Verin may be Black Ajah.
"And it did come to pass that the Fires of Heaven did burn the land, did it no, as it did be written that the price of salvation would no be cheap; yet the price did have to be paid, as it did be paid in ages past and will do be paid in ages to come. Weep, unless ye no have no heart, for it do be written that only the tears of all may quench the Fires of Heaven, as it do be known that no but the Prince of the Morning may quench the passionate flame of the Daughter of the Night."
Bayle Domon, _The Myriad Legends of the Atha'an Miere_, The Fourth Age.
In the later books:
Rand truly goes mad when he posts stories on r.a.s.w about how he lusts after Lanfear.
Both Elyas and Perrin are accidentally killed by Rand in an event foreshadowed in TSR (when Rand melts the wolves on the fireplace mantel in Tear while Egwene and Elayne are trying to teach him about the One Power.)
The 'luck' _ter'angreal_ stolen from the White Tower by the Black Ajah is used against Mat is battle. The armies under Mat's command come close to losing, but manage to win in the end because Mat understands the limitation of the _ter'angreal_. As Master Gill said in tDR after Mat tossed 'The Dark Ones Eyes', "That's the best toss or the worst. It depends on the game you are playing".
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