Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, prepares to attack the Forsaken Sammael in Illian while enjoying life with his lover, Min Farshaw, and attempting to quell the rebellion by nobles in Cairhien. He also establishes control on the Aes Sedai who vowed to serve him.
Egwene al'Vere and Siuan Sancheattempt to manipulate the Aes Sedai rebels in Salidar to move against Elaida's Aes Sedai in the White Tower in Tar Valon. In the city of Ebou Dar in Altara, Elayne Trakand, Nynaeve al'Meara, and Mat Cauthon search for a ter'angreal, the Bowl of the Winds, to break the unnatural heat brought on by the Dark One's manipulation of climate. They are accompained by Aviendha, Thom Merrilin, Juilin Sandar, and Birgitte.