Rand and Elayne's Wedding.
Elayne Trakand, Queen of Andor, sat on the Lion throne flanked by six guardsmen and backed by her warder, Birgitte. Also present was her Aes Sedai advisor and private tutor, Alanna Mosvani. Alanna's warder, Ihvon, was off in the courtyard training with a group of older members of the Queen's guard. Because of the special circumstances regarding her coronation and her mother's death, the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, had allowed her to retain an Aes Sedai as tutor and advisor while she sat the throne of Andor. She was sitting there, listening to one of Halwin Norry's reports when Reene Harfor, First Maid, entered the throne room. She curtsied to Elayne before beginning to speak in an apologetic tone, "Forgive me for interrupting, My Queen, but there's a messenger here from the King of Illian who wishes to speak with you. He says it's a message of some urgency."
"Master Norry, can we continue this later? Perhaps after supper?" The thin, wiry man merely nodded. Elayne turned to the First Maid, "Very well, send him in." The First Maid turned out to the hallway and beckoned for the man to enter. He walked forward hesitantly, his face clearly stressed. He bowed before Elayne.
"I do have the honor of being Veldrin Stepaneos, great-nephew to the former King of Illian, Mattin Stepaneos. I do bring you a message from the new King of Illian, who conquered the city only a few weeks ago, and he did it in one day."
Elayne's eyes widened at the messenger's statement about Illian being conquered in one day. Only a few men she'd heard of could do that. One was in Shienar, another in Saldaea, another in Amadicia, one in her own service, and the final in Arad Doman. As far as she knew, none of them were in service to anyone who would attack Illian, such as Tear. Wait a second . . . Tear. Rand was in Tear. If he'd rediscovered Traveling, then he could easily have taken Illian in a day. She brought her gaze back to the messenger, who was waiting for her to say something. She held out her hand towards the man, speaking at last. "Very well, let me see the message." He handed it to her. She took note of the seal on the letter, a heron taking flight with some sort of snake-like creature twined around the outside. She broke open the seal and read the message.
To Your Grace, the Queen of Andor,
I apologize for approaching you first through a note, though my advisor seems to find it more appropriate. I have a question to ask of you, but would prefer to ask you in person, as asking the same question in a note is too insulting. If you would, please send a response back via the messenger, Veldrin Stepaneos, that I sent with my end of the bargain. I will be honest, this question is of a personal nature, so if you do not feel up to talking to me in person, I will not be insulted in the slightest.
The King of Illian
There was no signature. She handed the note to Alanna, who promptly looked it over and smiled slightly. Elayne turned back to Veldrin, "You may tell your king that I would be more than happy to meet with him as long as he makes the trek here since he must ask me the question." Veldrin nodded in response, turned, and left. Elayne turned to Alanna and Birgitte to talk to them. Alanna handed Birgitte the note, and Birgitte quickly looked it over before handing it back. "What do you think?" Elayne asked them.
"I think he's a bit . . . shy," was Birgitte's response.
"Indeed, though he is planning to ask for you to marry him," Alanna's eyes twinkled as she answered Elayne.
"What?" the question exploded out of both Elayne and Birgitte at the same time.
"Indeed, though he's not a native of Illian. He was a conqueror, according to the messenger."
Elayne's eyes twinkled on their own when she recalled something about the messenger. "Alanna, you've met the former king of Illian, right?"
"Mattin Stepaneos? A few times, sure."
"How tall was he and what color were his eyes?"
"Let me recall . . . he's short. I remember that, he's short. Maybe a few inches taller than you, Elayne, but that's about it. As for his eyes, I don't remember, but I think they were brown. Why do you ask?"
"Because this messenger who came here was tall enough that if I stood next to him, my head would barely come up to the middle of his chest and his eyes were shifting colors in the light coming in from the windows. At one moment, they were blue, at another, grey."
"Why would he claim to be someone that he's not?"
"I don't know, but-" Elayne cut herself off and spoke hurriedly to the two women. "Excuse me, there's something I need to go take care of in my apartments. I'll be back for Master Norry's reports." She gathered up her guardsmen and glided briskly down the halls to her apartments. Two guardsmen stationed themselves outside her door and she went in alone. She was just running a brush through her hair when she heard a low hum come from her sitting room and a man and a woman laughing. Without making a sound, she edged closer to the door listening to what the two were saying.
"Do you think she figured out that the messenger was you?"
"If she didn't then she didn't get enough looks into my eyes in the Stone. Though she may have been focusing on . . . something else entirely."
"I don't know why I agreed to accompany you on this little venture of yours, woolhead."
"Partly because you love me, and partly because this was your idea to begin with."
"Hey, all I said was that it wasn't fair to them for me to be the one who got to follow you around everywhere while Elayne and Aviendha had to be off doing their own thing. At least this way, they'll have some assurance."
"You know, I mentioned you in the letter."
"As my advisor," he injected that last word with as much suggestiveness as he could.
The woman laughed, and then cut off abruptly. "Where could she be?"
"Oh, she's hiding behind the doorway between this room and the bedroom. You can come out now, Elayne." Shaking her head in chagrin, Elayne stepped away from the wall and through the door. What she saw made her eyes widen. Rand was here. Beyond him was Min, of course, but it was . . . Rand.
"Rand? Why are you carrying a message for the King of Illian?" Elayne sounded confused. Min smirked at her while Rand chuckled softly.
"Elayne, I am the King of Illian."
"What?" Elayne's voice was incredulous.
"No more than four weeks ago, I and my band of Asha'man, as well as the Legion of the Dragon and some Aiel, conquered the city of Illian. I chased the reigning lord there, Lord Brend, who turned out to be Sammael in disguise, to Shadar Logoth, where I killed him."
"How come I never heard of this conquest?"
"Well, who in your employ is supposed to tell you what happens in other countries?"
"The chief clerk, Halwin Norry . . . oh. That's why. He delivers everything in so dry a tone that I lose interest quite early in his delivery. But I think I'd pay attention to any mention of the Dragon Reborn or your name."
"Perhaps he referred to me as one of my other titles, ones made known to me by Davram Bashere, the general of the Legion of the Dragon: Lord of the Morning and Prince of the Dawn. Apparently, Lews Therin Telamon had those titles before he was named Kinslayer."
"I have heard of those titles, from Gareth Bryne. He's been wondering who they refer to."
"He'll find out shortly, I imagine." Rand approached Elayne and reached into his pocket, removing a small box. He dropped to one knee before her and gripped her hand. "Elayne, will you marry me?" He pressed the box into her hand after asking her the question. Elayne gasped at his question and pulled on his hands, signaling him to rise up off the floor. She wrapped her arms tightly around him and pressed her face to his chest.
"Yes, Rand. Yes."
The next week passed in a blur. Elayne, as queen, managed to get herself fitted for a wedding dress in a day, and Rand already had the clothes he was going to use, some of the items that Moiraine had made for him in Shienar. Invitations were sent out, inviting people to the wedding of the Queen of Andor to the King of Illian. Nobles from Cairhien, Tear, Illian, and Andor all received invitations, as did Tam al'Thor, the man who raised Rand as his own son. Siuan Sanche and other key members of the White Tower were invited as well. Elayne received a letter from Thom Merrilin, stating that he'd be elated to perform at the wedding. He was graciously accepted. Rand and Elayne had asked the Amyrlin Seat to perform the ceremony, as the White Tower was the only authority in the land higher than that of the Dragon-ruler of three nations-and chief of chiefs of the Aiel clans. Over the course of that week, many Aes Sedai, Aiel warriors, Aiel Wise Ones, and Nobles arrived within the city to attend the wedding. On the day before the wedding, Min, Egwene, and Aviendha arrived at the Royal Palace, to be part of the wedding party.
The ceremony passed by quickly, Rand and Elayne exchanged vows and were pronounced married by the White Tower. Many of the Andoran nobles were surprised that their queen was marrying the Dragon Reborn, but they wisely didn't say anything, as the Aiel, the Illianers, the Tairens, and the Cairhienin all were elated that he was finally settling down. The worst reaction to the wedding came from Tam, who scowled when Rand was revealed to be the King of Illian from the invitation and then to be the Dragon Reborn by the Amyrlin Seat.
Later, at the reception, Min, Egwene, and Aviendha vanished, stating that they had places to be. Tam came up to Rand and Elayne, who had just finished talking to Lord Dobraine, who would be Rand's steward in Cairhien, and Lord Darlin, who would be Rand's steward in Tear. Rand hadn't found who he would get to rule Illian in his name, since he was married now, and Elayne refused to leave Caemlyn. "Rand," his voice was stern, "why didn't you ever tell me you were the Dragon? We heard so many stories about what . . . you . . . were doing at home. I didn't even know why I had received an invitation to this wedding, except perhaps my rank in the army of Illian during the Aiel War. That is, until I got here and saw you up on the dais, in the position of prominence."
"Father, I didn't even know that what I was when I left Emond's Field, just that I was /ta'veren/, according to Moiraine. From what I've heard about channeling, it's a desperation that initially causes the ability to surface. I know when it happened, but I chalked it up to the lucky circumstances that Moiraine and Lan always said happened to /ta'veren/. I didn't find out I could channel until I rescued the Horn of Valere from some Trollocs and darkfriends."
"You rescued the Horn of Valere? You've seen it? The Great Hunt for the Horn was called in Illian and you found the Horn!"
"Not just that, Mat blew it." Tam threw his head back and laughed so hard that tears were streaming down his face.
"You really get the strangest situations to happen to you, lad. You were a shepherd in the Two Rivers, and now you're a powerful ruler married to a queen! You can channel, but you're not to be gentled, because of the prophecies, Mat blew the Horn, and Perrin can talk to wolves. Moiraine must have known something like this would have happened." Tam laughed even harder as he finished speaking.
Throughout the wedding reception, Rand and Elayne talked to many nobles and a few Aes Sedai who hadn't taken the time to get to know Elayne while she was in the tower. A member of the Gray Ajah asked Rand what he was planning next. He waggled his eyebrows at her, "It's a surprise." Eventually, as it was getting late, Rand and Elayne bid everyone farewell and they walked out of the ballroom arm-in-arm. Once they were outside the room, though, Rand picked up Elayne and carried her to her chambers.