Narrative Atlas 4: The Great Hunt – From Fal Dara to Falme
These maps cover the third part of our heroes’ journey in The Great Hunt (Book 2 of The Wheel of Time). For a detailed summary of The Great Hunt, please follow this link.
This part of the narrative atlas covers our heroes’ journey from Caemlyn to Tarwin’s Gap, via Fal Dara. Note that the dates are taken from Steven Cooper’s excellent Wheel of Time Chronology, with the exception of the journey between the Erinin and Cairhien, which has been adjusted to provide more plausible dates and travel times. I have removed this time from the Portal Stone jump from Cairhien to Toman Head, so the dates realign with Cooper’s after that point.
Leaving Fal Dara
As previously related, the armies of Shienar defeated the Trollocs at Tarwin’s Gap whilst Moiraine Damodred and the companions from the Two Rivers located the Eye of the World, an uncorrupted source of saidin, the male half of the True Source. Rand al’Thor, discovering he use the One Power, used the Eye of the World to destroy the Forsaken Aginor and then halt the invading Trolloc forces at Tarwin’s Gap.
The events of The Great Hunt begin around Day 77 (since Rand and his friends left the Two Rivers), when a group of Darkfriends meet and make plans to capture or kill the Dragon Reborn and neutralise his influence. The Darkfriends are given different plans and objectives, which none of the others know.
On Day 78, about thirty-one days after the battle at the Eye of the World, the Amyrlin Seat (the leader of the Aes Sedai) arrives at Fal Dara with a large retinue. Trolloc forces attack the city at night, freeing the imprisoned Padan Fain (who had somehow followed the party all the way from Emond’s Field, even through Shadar Logoth and the Waygate in Caemlyn) and stealing both the cursed dagger from Shadar Logoth and the Horn of Valere. Mat Cauthon’s life depends on proximity to the dagger (at least until he can be healed of his link to it), so its recovery becomes imperative. Before this happens, Rand is summoned before the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, who tells him he is the Dragon Reborn. Rand refuses to believe it.
On Day 79, the travellers from the Two Rivers depart the city. Nynaeve al’Meara and Egwene al’Vere are to travel to Tar Valon to learn to become Aes Sedai. They travel with Moiraine, Lan and the Amyrlin’s party westwards towards Medo, Shienar’s major port on the River Mora. Rand, Perrin, Mat and Loial join a Shienaran hunting party led by Ingtar, one of Lord Agelmar’s best soldiers. Also in the party is Masema, a soldier from the Aiel border who seems to dislike Rand for his Aiel-like looks, and Hurin, a “sniffer” with the talent to sense and follow trails of darkness (an innate ability not linked to the One Power, like Perrin’s ability to speak to wolves and Min’s viewings). Hurin discerns that Fain and the Trollocs are headed south.
On the 83rd day, Moiraine and Lan leave the Amyrlin’s party, increasing their speed and making south for the main bridge over the Mora (which carries the main highway from Fal Moran to Shol Arbela, and marks the border between Shienar and Arafel). Another Aes Sedai in the group, Verin Mathwin of the Brown Ajah, also leaves clandestinely. Two days later the rest of the group arrive at Medo and board the ships that will take them to Tar Valon. With speed of the essence, the Amyrlin orders that the Aes Sedai sisters take turns to use the One Power to speed their passage.
On the same day, Ingtar’s group reaches the Erinin, having travelled approximately 250 miles (almost the clear north-south distance of the kingdom) in six days, or approximately 41.5 miles per day. Mounted and on good roads, with clear weather, this is (just about) possible. Rand and his friends cross the river and find a village ransacked by Fain’s forces. Rand gets caught in a “bubble of evil” but manages to break out of it using the One Power. At night he finds the Dragon Banner in his belongings.
The next morning (Day 86), Rand, Hurin and Loial awaken to find themselves in a “different” version of reality, one of the shadow weavings of the Wheel accessed by Portal Stone. Discomforted, they decide to head south to find a way back to the real world and try to link up with Ingtar’s party.
The same day, Verin catches up with Ingtar’s party, having made even better time, approximately 230 miles in 3 days! At 76 days per day, we must assume that Verin used the One Power to significantly speed the exertions of her horse.
From Shienar to Cairhien
It should be noted that the distances and travel time for this part of the journey is highly debatable. From the spot where Rand and Ingtar cross the Erinin, it is a mighty 865 miles (give or take) to the city of Cairhien. Both parties are mounted and the weather holds well for most of the trip which is across open countryside, perhaps speeded in places by paths and roads left over from the fallen kingdom of Hardan and perhaps some trader tracks still in use. However, the latter part of the journey is through the forbidding mountains of Kinslayer’s Dagger.
Despite these obstacles, which means that the parties cannot travel in a straight line, Ingtar, Verin, Perrin, Mat, Masema, Hurin and the rest of their party reach Cairhien a mere 14 days after crossing the Erinin by Cooper’s timeline. This requires them to travel about 62 miles per day. Even with Verin using the One Power to increase the stamina of their horses (which is not noted in the text), this pushes credulity. As a result I have adjusted the timeline by doubling the travel time for Ingtar and his party to 28 days (just under 31 miles per day)
By river it is approximately 900 miles from Medo to Tar Valon, which the Aes Sedai accomplish in four days by Cooper’s timeline (224 miles per day!). I have doubled this to eight days to be more realistic (112 miles per day), even with Aes Sedai intervention.
Rand, Hurin and Loial awaken in the Portal Stone world on Day 86. They travel south and cover enormous distances (a result of the differing laws of reality) and the following day reach the Field of Talidar, where they meet Selene and rescue her from a pack of grolm. They head south and reach Kinsayer’s Dagger before returning to the real world via another Portal Stone in the evening of Day 87. Realising they’ve massively jumped ahead of Fain, the head west along the mountains and set a trap.
Deviating from the Cooper timeline, I have adjusted it so that Team Rand spend 16 days in Kinslayer’s Dagger waiting for Padan Fain to turn up rather than four. This feels a little long, but it is necessary for Fain and Ingtar to cover the vast distance by normal means that Rand’s group covered in a couple of days thanks to the Portal Stone (Cooper’s timeline has Fain reaching Kinslayer’s Dagger five days after crossing the Erinin, which is not physically possible). So Rand recovers the Horn of Valere and Mat’s dagger on Day 103. After a frenzied flight through the mountains, they reach Tremonsien two days later and find the Choedan Kal statue from the Age of Legends (Rand won’t learn this name for some time, of course) and make the acquaintance of a Cairhienin patrol, who escort them to Cairhien city. Cooper has the patrol reach Cairhien just a day after leaving Tremonsien, but given the 100-odd mile distance, I’ve adjusted that to three days. Thus Rand and his group reach the city of Cairhien on Day 108.
On Day 104, Ingtar’s group crosses the border of Cairhien and meets Urien of the Aiel, who tells them the Aiel are searching for He Who Comes With the Dawn. Ingtar’s group has to hide their weapons and armour and proceed much more slowly to Cairhien city, explaining why they arrive several days after Rand’s party, despite only being about one to two days behind them at this point.
Around Day 97, Nynaeve passes the Testing to become an Accepted in Tar Valon, whilst Egwene is reunited with Min and meets Elayne, Galad and Gawyn for the first time. Also around this day, Moiraine and Lan visit with Adeleas and Vandene in Tifan’s Well. They are attacked by a Draghkar and Moiraine determines that she and Lan should ride for Toman Head immediately.
Arriving in the capital on Day 108, Rand, Hurin and Loial take rooms at the Defender of the Dragonwall. Rand then finds Thom Merrilin in the Bunch of Grapes Inn in Foregate. Rand, Hurin and Loial attempt to return to the Defender, but are trapped by celebrations and realise that Fain’s Trollocs are closing in. They take refuge near the Illuminators’ chapter house outside the city (which is damaged in the affray) and then manage to flee into the city.
Rand and his party spend several days at the inn, with Rand being courted by different noble houses. He burns each letter, until invitations arrive from Lord Barthanes Damodred and King Galldrian Riatin. On Day 114 the Horn and the dagger are stolen back by Fain, who then uses the Waygate in the Damodred palace grounds to escape. Ingtar’s party reaches Cairhien and everyone is reunited.
On Day 115, the group attends Lord Barthanes’ party and discover that the Waygate has been effectively sealed, with Machin Shin, the Black Wind, standing guard on the other side. Barthanes confirms that Fain will be waiting for Rand on Toman Head. On the morning of Day 116 the party leaves Cairhien and heads for nearby Stedding Tsofu to use the Waygate there. This same morning, Lord Barthanes is found dead in his manor. King Galldrian sends agents to interrogate Thom Merrilin, but make the mistake of killing his lover Denna. Thom kills the agents and then the King himself. This plunges Cairhien into civil war.
Rand’s party reaches Stedding Tsofu on Day 117. Unable to use the Waygate there, Rand is forced to use a nearby Portal Stone. Unfortunately, his inexperience causes a temporal slip and the party do not return to the real world for about 119 days, or four months.
The Seanchan Occupation
On Day 78, Lord Captain Geofram Bornhald’s legion reaches the village of Alcruna near the border between Tarabon and Almoth Plain. He is ordered to take the legion onto the plain to root out Darkfriends and start the process of bringing the Plain under the Whitecloaks’ influence. This requires him to scatter the legion across a wide swathe of Almoth Plain. By around Day 199, Bornhald realises that the Questioners are trying to manipulate him into staying away from Toman Head, where there are rumours of invaders called Seanchan. Bornhald resolves to start gathering the full strength of the legion and then march on Falme.
Around Day 99, Bayle Domon’s Spray reaches Toman Head and is captured by Seanchan forces commanded by Egeanin. Domon is taken to Falme and the High Lord Turak, who takes one of the Seven Seals on the Dark One’s prison from Domon (neither knows what it is). Domon swears the Oaths and begins (reluctantly) working for the Seanchan.
On Day 116 or so, Padan Fain reaches Falme and gives the Horn of Valere to High Lord Turak, who also takes the cursed dagger from Shadar Logoth (to Fain’s anger).
On Day 184, Liandrin of the Red Ajah (but really of the Black) tells Egwene that Rand is in great danger and she should accompany Liandrin immediately. Elayne, Nynaeve and Min tag along, to Liandrin’s irritation. They use the Waygate in Tar Valon to travel to Toman Head, arriving on Day 185. A party of Seanchan Darkfriends led by Suroth arrives and Egwene and Min are captured, with Egwene imprisoned with an a’dam. Nynaeve and Elayne escape and regroup.
Egwene spends the better part of two months as a prisoner of the Seanchan, with Nynaeve and Elayne spending the same time period trying to find a viable way of rescuing her. On Day 240 they finally find Min, who in turns introduces them to Bayle Domon. In return for Aes Sedai protection and aid, he agrees to help them flee the city.
On Day 236, Rand’s party arrives on Toman Head and they discover the huge mistake they’ve made. They head along the peninsular to Falme. The “party of five” (Rand, Mat, Perrin, Loial, Hurin and Ingtar) enter the city on Day 243. Ingtar’s betrayal is revealed, but he converts back to the Light to save the rest and dies in the process. Rand kills Turak and retakes the Horn of Valere and the cursed dagger. Nynaeve and Elayne rescue Egwene.
The Whitecloaks attack the city and meet the Seanchan in battle. Both are in turn attacked by the Heroes of the Horn, summoned when Mat blows the Horn of Valere. In the confusion the Whitecloaks are almost entirely wiped out, along with many of the Seanchan. The survivors, regrouping under Suroth, escape by ship. During the battle, Rand does battle with Ba’alzamon once more, this time the fight emblazoned across the skies above Falme.
The next morning, Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Mat, Verin and Hurin depart for Tar Valon with great urgency, as Mat needs to have his bond with the dagger severed, something that can only be done by a circle of bonded Aes Sedai. Around Day 248, Moiraine and Lan arrive after their epic cross-continental trip from Tifan’s Well. Along with Rand, Mat, Perrin, Loial and the remaining Shienaran soldiers (now led by Uno, Ragan and Masema), they head east to winter in the Mountains of Mist, as Tarabon, Arad Doman and Almoth Plain fall into war and civil war.
Note on the Maps
The map of Falme is based on the one provided in the RPG companion book Prophecies of the Dragon. It has been expanded to show the whole city (the book map only shows the central part), based on the descriptions given in The Great Hunt.
The map of Cairhien is based on Ellisa Mitchell’s map from The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game, which supersedes the map in Lord of Chaos. The biggest difference between the two maps, aside from the latter one showing the Topless Towers, is that the huge sea walls which partially protect the harbour in the original map have been removed. Presumably this is because there is no such mention of the sea walls in the text of the novels themselves.
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