Now the pace of the book picks up - hurtling all the Emond's Fielders towards the Stone of Tear. Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne are already imprisoned there. Mat, with a guilt-ridden Juilin Sandar, circles the Stone, searching from every possible vantage for a way in prior to detonating all his fireworks and making his own door. Rand freeclimbs the entire dizzying height in his quest for Callandor. Perrin searches the Stone's shadow in the World of Dreams for Faile. The common theme: all are taking action.
- Rand has been almost insanely myopic in his drive to reach Tear and obtain Callandor. With no way to use a traditional entrance, he climbs the wall of the Stone and makes his way across the ramparts to get inside.
- Mat spends long hours circling the Stone; finding barred gates and armed guards. A chance meeting with Sandar provides a possible avenue to enter, using the same small gate other thief-catchers use with criminals in tow. Mat elects to detonate his remaining fireworks cache as a means to add a generous amount of chaos and confusion.
- Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve are shielded, but Egwene stumbles on a loophole provided by the World of Dreams. Using her ter-angreal, she finds their Black Ajah jailer in the World of Dreams and shields her.
- Perrin and Hopper search the infinite maze of iterations of the Stone of Tear in their quest to find Faile and free her.
All the OODA Loops are moving forward; driving reactions from their foes. Reacting itself isn't a place of weakness, but it does limit the choices available. Action beats inaction; and reaction.