Following the events in The Eye of the World, the protagonists rest at Fort Fal Dara in Shienar, where the White Tower's Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, visits. Siuan reminisces and plots with fellow Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred and Verin. Rand al'Thor meets Siuan. Siuan tells Rand that he is the Dragon Reborn, which Rand denies. Mat's condition worsens as he is symbiotically attached to a tainted parasitic dagger.