Egwene sniffed as if to show what she thought of that. “I wasn't talking about that. What ... what were you shouting, Mat?”

Mat shrugged uncomfortably. “I don't remember.” He stared at them defensively. “Well, I don't. It's all foggy. I don't know what it was, or where it came from, or what it means.” He gave a selfdeprecating laugh. “I don't suppose it means anything.”


“I ... I think it does,” Egwene said slowly. “When you shouted, I thought — just for a minute — I thought I understood you. But it's all gone, now.” She sighed and shook her head. “Perhaps you're right. Strange what you can imagine at a time like that, isn't it?”

“Carai an Caldazar,” Moiraine said. They all twisted to stare at her. “Carai an Ellisande. Al Ellisande. For the honor of the Red Eagle. For the honor of the Rose of the Sun. The Rose of the Sun. The ancient warcry of Manetheren, and the warcry of its last king. Eldrene was called the Rose of the Sun.” Moiraine's smile took in Egwene and Mat both, though her gaze may have rested a moment longer on him than on her. “The blood of Arad's line is still strong in the Two Rivers. The old blood still sings.”

Mat and Egwene looked at each other, while everyone else looked at them both. Egwene's eyes were wide, and her mouth kept quirking into a smile that she bit back every time it began, as if she was not sure just how to take this talk of the old blood. Mat was sure, from the scowling frown on his face.

Rand thought he knew what Mat was thinking. The same thing he was thinking. If Mat was a descendant of the ancient kings of Manetheren, maybe the Trollocs were really after him and not all three of them. The thought made him ashamed. His cheeks colored, and when he caught a guilty grimace on Perrin's face, he knew Perrin had been having the same thought.

“I can't say that I have ever heard the like of this,” Thom said after a minute. He shook himself and became brusque. “Another time I might even make a story out of it, but right now ... Do you intend to remain here for the rest of the day, Aes Sedai?”

“No,” Moiraine replied, gathering her reins.

A Trolloc horn keened from the south as if to emphasize her word. More horns answered, east and west. The horses whickered and sidled about nervously.

“They have passed the fire,” Lan said calmly. He turned to Moiraine. “You are not strong enough for what you intend, not yet, not without rest. And neither Myrddraal nor Trolloc will enter that place.”

Moiraine raised a hand as if to cut him off, then sighed and let it fall instead. “Very well,” she said irritably. “You are right, I suppose, but I would rather there was any other choice.” She pulled her staff from under the girth strap of her saddle. “Gather in around me, all of you. As close as you can. Closer.”

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Rand urged Cloud nearer the Aes Sedai's mare. At Moiraine's insistence they kept on crowding closer in a circle around her until every horse had its head stretched over the croup or withers of another. Only then was the Aes Sedai satisfied. Then, without speaking, she stood in the stirrups and swung her staff over their heads, stretching to make certain it covered everyone.

Rand flinched each time the staff passed over him. A tingle ran through him with every pass. He could have followed the staff without seeing it, just by following the shivers as it moved over people. It was no surprise to him that Lan was the only one not affected.

Abruptly Moiraine thrust the staff out to the west. Dead leaves whirled into the air and branches whipped as if a dustdevil ran along the line she pointed to. As the invisible whirlwind vanished from sight she settled back into her saddle with a sigh.

“To the Trollocs,” she said, “our scents and our tracks will seem to follow that. The Myrddraal will see through it in time, but by then ...”

“By then,” Lan said, “we will have lost ourselves.”

“Your staff is very powerful,” Egwene said, earning a sniff from Nynaeve.

Moiraine made a clicking sound: “I have told you, child, things do not have power. The One Power comes from the True Source, and only a living mind can wield it. This is not even an angreal, merely an aid to concentration.” Wearily she slid the staff back under her girth strap. “Lan?”

“Follow me,” the Warder said, “and keep quiet. It will ruin everything if the Trollocs hear us.”

He led the way north again, not at the crashing pace they had been making, but rather in the quick walk with which they had traveled the Caemlyn Road. The land continued to flatten, though the forest remained as thick.

Their path was no longer straight, as it had been before, for Lan chose out a route that meandered over hard ground and rocky outcrops, and he no longer let them force their way through tangles of bush, instead taking the time to make their way around. Now and again he dropped to the rear, intently studying the trail they made. If anyone so much as coughed, it drew a sharp grunt from him.

Nynaeve rode beside the Aes Sedai, concern battling dislike on her face. And there was a hint of something more, Rand thought, almost as if the Wisdom saw some goal in sight. Moiraine's shoulders were slumped, and she held her reins and the saddle with both hands, swaying with every step Aldieb took. It was plain that laying the false trail, small as that might have seemed beside producing an earthquake and a wall of flame, had taken a great deal out of her, strength she no longer had to lose.

Rand almost wished the horns would start again. At least they were a way of telling how far back the Trollocs were. And the Fades.

He kept looking behind them, and so was not the first to see what lay ahead. When he did, he stared, perplexed. A great, irregular mass stretched off to either side out of sight, in most places as high as the trees that grew right up to it, with even taller spires here and there. Leafless vines and creepers covered it all in thick layers. A cliff! The vines will make climbing easy, but we'll never get the horses up.

Suddenly, as they rode a little closer, he saw a tower. It was clearly a tower, not some kind of rock formation, with an odd, pointed dome on the top. “A city!” he said. And a city wall, and the spires were guard towers on the wall. His jaw dropped. It had to be ten times as big as Baerlon. Fifty times as big.

Mat nodded. “A city,” he agreed. “But what's a city doing in the middle of a forest like this?”

“And without any people,” Perrin said. When they looked at him, he pointed to the wall. “Would people let vines grow over everything like that? You know how creepers can tear down a wall. Look how it's fallen.”

What Rand saw adjusted itself in his mind again. It was as Perrin said. Under almost every low place in the wall was a brushcovered hill, rubble from the collapsed wall above. No two of the guard towers were the same height.

“I wonder what city it was,” Egwene mused. “I wonder what happened to it. I don't remember anything from papa's map.”

“It was called Aridhol,” Moiraine said. “In the days of the Trolloc Wars, it was an ally of Manetheren.” Staring at the massive walls, she seemed almost unaware of the others, even of Nynaeve, who supported her in the saddle with a hand on her arm. “Later Aridhol died, and this place was called by another name.”

“What name?” Mat asked.

“Here,” Lan said. He stopped Mandarb in front of what had once been a gate wide enough for fifty men to march through abreast. Only the broken, vineencrusted watchtowers remained; of the gates there was no sign. “We enter here.” Trolloc horns shrieked in the distance. Lan peered in the direction of the sound, then looked at the sun, halfway down toward the treetops in the west. “They have discovered it's a false trail. Come, we must find shelter before dark.”

“What name?” Mat asked again.

Moiraine answered as they rode into the city. “Shadar Logoth,” she said. “It is called Shadar Logoth.”

Chapter 19

Shadow's Waiting

Broken paving stones crunched under the horses' hooves as Lan led the way into the city. The entire city was broken, what Rand could see of it, and as abandoned as Perrin had said. Not so much as a pigeon moved, and weeds, mainly old and dead, sprouted from cracks in walls as well as pavement. More buildings had roofs fallen in than had them whole. Tumbled walls spilled fans of brick and stone into the streets. Towers stopped, abrupt and jagged, like broken sticks. Uneven rubble hills with a few stunted trees growing on their slopes could have been the remains of palaces or of entire blocks of the city.

Yet what was left standing was enough to take Rand's breath. The largest building in Baerlon would have vanished in the shadows of almost anything here. Pale marble palaces topped with huge domes met him wherever he looked. Every building appeared to have at least one dome; some had four or five, and each one shaped differently. Long walks lined by columns ran hundreds of paces to towers that seemed to reach the sky. At every intersection stood a bronze fountain, or the alabaster spire of a monument, or a statue on a pedestal. If the fountains were dry, most of the spires toppled, and many of the statues broken, what remained was so great

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