The Shadow Rising

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“The shadow shall rise across the world, and darken every land, even to the smallest corner, and there shall be neither Light nor safety. And he who shall be born of the Dawn, born of the Maiden, according to Prophecy, he shall stretch forth his hands to catch the Shadow, and the world shall scream in the pain of salvation. All Glory be to the Creator, and to the Light, and to he who shall be born again. May the light save us from him. "

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At the beginning of the book, all of the major protagonists are together at the Stone of Tear, where Rand al’Thor has just taken (at the end of The Dragon Reborn) the crystal sword Callandor from The Stone, showing the world that he is The Dragon Reborn.
Selene reveals herself to be Lanfear, one of the Forsaken, and tells Rand to join her. The Stone of Tear is then stormed by Trollocs and Fades, sent by another Forsaken Sammael (Lanfear did not have anything to do with this). Another Forsaken, Semirhage, also sends shadowspawn into the Stone of Tear, to oppose Sammael’s forces. In defense, Rand uses Callandor to send a lightning storm to kill all of the Trollocs and Fades, leaving some believing Rand has gone mad.
Rand declares his intention to go follow the People of the Dragon, the Aiel, back to their home, the Aiel Waste. Egwene al’Vere and Moiraine Damodred resolve to accompany him. Mat Cauthon, unsure of what to do, finds answers within the Stone of Tear’s Aelfinn ter’angreal, and is prompted to follow Rand to the Aiel Waste. Perrin Aybara, after hearing rumors of trouble in Two Rivers, chooses to return home to the Two Rivers, and Faile Bashere goes with him. Elayne Trakand, Nynaeve al’Meara, and Thom Merrilin decide to go to Tarabon to hunt the Black Ajah. Also Min Farshaw arrives in Tar Valon to report to the Amyrlin Siuan Sanche, inadvertently setting off a chain of events that will lead to a Tower split. Thus, The Shadow Rising follows four groups of characters in four main plotlines.

Aiel Waste
Rand uses a Portal Stone to transport Mat, Egwene, Moiraine, and the Aiel at the Stone of Tear from Tear to the Aiel Waste, where Taardad and Shaido Aiel are waiting for them. The Aiel Wise Ones have Moiraine, Aviendha (a former maiden of the spear seeking to become a Wise One), and Rand enter Rhuidean, and allow Mat to go with Rand. All three enter ter’angreal in Rhuidean.
Rand walks through the crystal garden that is the proving ground for Aiel chiefs. He relives portions of the lives of various Aiel (his paternal ancestors) before and just after the Breaking, and learns that the Aiel once shunned violence and served Aes Sedai. The true Aiel from the Age of Legends live on as Tinkers, seeking the Song they once sang to the plants. Rand survives the trial and emerges with dragon markings on both arms, proving him to be He Who Comes With the Dawn, the Car’a’carn, the Chief of Chiefs of the Aiel.
Mat finds a doorway ter’angreal similar to the one he entered in Tear. He enters the door seeking answers to the questions he asked of the Snake creatures during his previous visit. He encounters their Fox counterparts, who bargain for gifts instead of answering questions (he later speculates that the Eelfinn are namesake for the children’s game of Snakes and Foxes, which there is no way of winning). He comes out with the gaps in his memory filled with those of men long dead and with fluency in the Old Tongue. He is also gifted with a spear called an ashandarei and a medallion ter’angreal that protects against the One Power. Rand finds Mat has been hanged from the Tree of Life as the price for these gifts, but he is able to revive Mat. From this point on Mat wears a black scarf around his neck to hide the hanging scars.
Moiraine remains in Rhuidean longer than the others, delaying the departure of the party. Having visited the three-hooped ter’angreal used by the Wise Ones she has some knowledge of the future.
The Wise Ones assign Aviendha the task of teaching Rand Aiel customs as they travel to Cold Rocks Hold. On the way to Cold Rocks Hold they come across a group of merchants. The Aiel have the merchants follow them to Cold Rocks Hold.
At Al’cair Dal, both Rand al’Thor and Couladin of the Shaido Aiel declare themselves to be He Who Comes With the Dawn. Rand is forced to reveal the secret history of the Aiel in the Age of Legends to prove to the clan chiefs that he did enter Rhuidean and is truly He Who Comes With the Dawn, whereas Couladin is an impostor and did not. An uproar breaks out among the Aiel, and, hoping to avert violence, Rand uses the One Power to bring a rainstorm to the Aiel Waste for the first time since the Breaking of the World.
After fighting breaks out among the Aiel, Rand chases after Asmodean, who had previously been disguised as a gleeman traveling with the merchants. Going by the alias Jasin Natael, Asmodean is after the ter’angreal access keys to the Choedan Kal, the most powerful sa’angreal ever constructed. They battle at Rhuidean, and Rand defeats Asmodean by cutting him off from the Dark One. Lanfear arrives and allows Rand to live and then helps him by limiting Asmodean’s ability to channel the One Power: Asmodean will be forced to teach Rand how to use the One Power (something only a male Forsaken can do) because the Shadow will now believe him to be a traitor.
When Rand returns to Al’cair Dal, he finds that most of the Aiel, except for the Shaido and a few others, have acknowledged him as the Car’a’carn and joined him.

The Two Rivers
In the Two Rivers, Perrin discovers that the people are caught between Trollocs, led by Slayer, and the Children of the Light, with whom Padan Fain is working, who believe Perrin is a Darkfriend. He also finds Verin Mathwin and Alanna Mosvani, both Aes Sedai, in the Two Rivers. They are searching for girls to bring to the White Tower to become Aes Sedai, since both Egwene and Nynaeve came from the Two Rivers and are strong in the Power. With the help of Blademaster Tam al’Thor and Abell Cauthon, Perrin leads the people of the Two Rivers to war against the Trollocs, and the villagers begin to call him Lord Perrin, and Perrin Goldeneyes, titles that he tries without success to discourage. Before the final victory, Perrin marries Faile, and drives out Lord Luc after discovering that Luc is indeed Slayer.

Tanchico in Tarabon
In the city of Tanchico in Tarabon, Elayne and Nynaeve encounter Moghedien and the Black Ajah and remove a male a’dam from their possession. Elayne and Nynaeve also meet Bayle Domon and the Seanchan Egeanin. They ‘befriend’ the Panarch Amathera, whom they rescue from Temaile, who is tormenting her. They also manage to collect one of the Seals on the Dark One’s prison. Nynaeve and Moghedien end up battling, discovering that they are equal in power. Nynaeve shields the Forsaken, but they are discovered by one of the Black Ajah, who damages the palace using a ter’angreal that makes balefire. In the confusion, Moghedien escapes.

White Tower
Min Farshaw arrives at the White Tower to report to the Amyrlin, as Moiraine bid her to do. Her arrival is noted by Elaida, who discovers that something is going on between Moiraine, Siuan and the Dragon Reborn. Min remains in the Tower in the guise of Elmindreda, a giddy, empty-headed woman unable to decide between two suitors. Elaida and her supporters confront and depose Siuan, stilling her and Leane Sharif her Keeper of the Chronicles. Elaida is Raised (made Amyrlin) and many Aes Sedai flee. Min hides, and with the help of the cook Laras, frees the deposed Amyrlin Seat and Leane. Min, Siuan and Leane are recognized by Gawyn Trakand as they try to flee the Tower grounds. He is reluctant to help Siuan since the disappearance of Elayne, but he helps them escape because Min asks it, and because it means helping Egwene as well. While riding through the city toward freedom across one of the bridges, they come across the gentled Logain, whom they talk into going with them.

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