The deposed Queen of Andor, Morgase Trakand, goes to Amadicia for aid in returning to the throne; but is taken captive by the Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light, Pedron Niall. In response to amnesty on male channelers by Rand al'Thor, Mazrim Taim swears allegiance to him, and is assigned to train Asha'man at the Black Tower.
Rand is diplomatically courted by both the rebel Aes Sedai in Salidar, who send an envoy to Caemlyn, and the Aes Sedai of the White Tower, who send an envoy to Cairhien. In Emond's Field, Perrin Aybara goes to Caemlyn to join Rand.
Wrongly thinking the Salidar Aes Sedai few and cowed, Rand sends Mat Cauthon to retrieve Elayne Trakand and win the allegiance of the rebel Aes Sedai. Mat discovers that Egwene al'Vere has been named the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai; and when she sends Nynaeve al'Meara and Elayne to Ebou Dar in Altara to search for a ter'angreal called the "Bowl of the Winds" to break the Dark One's control of the climate, Mat goes with them. Shortly after Perrin joins him, Rand is secretly kidnapped by Elaida's Aes Sedai, who torture him en route to Tar Valon.
Learning of the kidnapping, Perrin leads Rand's followers to the climactic Battle of Dumai's Wells. At the end of the battle, the rebel Aes Sedai are forced to swear fealty to the Dragon Reborn while the surviving White Tower Aes Sedai remain captives.