"I’m no bloody assassin. I never kill a man unless he demands it—demands it with screams and thunder so loudly, I figure it would be impolite not to agree to the request. If I stab you, friend, you’ll know that it is coming, and you will know why. I promise you that."
   —Matrim Cauthon

External summary

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Setting: Field of Merrilor, Ebou Dar, Tarwin's Gap


Point of view: Egwene al'Vere

Egwene and Adelorna talk. Adelorna tells her that those among the Green Ajah that have not been supportive of her have been told to mend their ways. Adelorna tells her that her fight during the Seanchan attack had shown her to have the spirit of a warrior and that the Greens should embrace it as an example. Egwene realizes that Adelorna is revealing that she is the Head of the Green Ajah and that she feels that Egwene should have been raised from the Green.

She enters Gareth's command tent and almost falls into a Gateway open on the floor, looking down from above the Trollocs. Yukiri tells Egwene that she volunteered for the duty after Gareth asked if it was possible. She tells Egwene that she has been considering if it is possible to make a gateway that only allows light through, hiding it from the other side.

She looks at Gareth's battle plans and complains that he has not planned to use the Aes Sedai. He responds that he had intended them as a reserve force, but Egwene insists that the Tower has not trained for three thousand years to be a reserve force. He tells her that he has made plans that would make more use of them, but that he had not wanted to push the issue. They begin work on new battle plans, with the Aes Sedai as the main force.

Point of view: Matrim Cauthon

Mat travels to Ebou Dar and notices numerous Tinkers gathered along the city's outskirts and laments that a tinker city is just wrong. He travels in disguise, concealing his ashandarei to resemble a walking pole, hiding his hat within saddlebags, and regretfully ripping the lace off his coat. He pretends to be a wounded sell-sword with a crude bandage wrapped around his missing eye. He fears that people would remember Tylin's murder, and his connection to it. He worries that Beslan will hate him now and wonders how Tuon feels about him after their time apart.

He is upset when the gate guard waves him on without hearing the story he invented for himself. While searching for an inn to get a feel for Ebou Dar (and complaining that Setalle Anan no longer has an inn), he notices Petra Anhill dressed as a Seanchan soldier and guarding the gate. He almost goes over to greet the former strongman, but the uniform makes him reconsider. It was pure luck that Petra was not the one to wave him into the city. That would have ruined his plans.

He contemplates entering The Rahad, but the place looks different now, with guards on duty. While searching for a place to stable Pips, he notices small changes to the city since the Seanchan arrived. Ebou Dar feels different somehow.

He enters an inn called The Winter Blossom and immediately leaves after spotting Deathwatch Guards in uniform, fearing a run-in with Furyk Karede. After many futile attempts to find the right place, a dice game attracts him to The Yearly Brawl. Jame, a Seanchan guard and Blademaster greets Mat with a distrustful glare upon his entry and receives a playful rebuke from the proprietor, Kathana.

Kathana queries about his missing eye and laughs at the lie he uses. Jame interrogates Mat about events to the north, trying to get him to rethink his course of action because he suspects that Mat is an assassin after the Empress. Mat lifts the bandage, showing how his missing eye would make him a poor assassin and asks if assassins are after Tuon. Jame affirms this question with a tale about how he killed one who actually admitted his mission. Mat counts him as a friend and puts his hat on. After further questions, Mat learns that General Lunal Galgan is hiring the assassins. Mat leaves the inn, but not before Kathana recognizes that he is one all the guards are looking for.

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand is in Lan's command tent in Shienar with Moiraine. The Borderlander soldiers burn the lands around to help slow the Trolloc advance. The Aes Sedai requires to know why Rand is not heading for Shayol Ghul but risking himself being at the Gap. Rand refuses to go face the Dark One before the time is right.

Lan arrives and tells Rand to listen to Moiraine and leave. Rand says he would not leave and gives Lan two crowns, for him and Nynaeve, before opening a gateway to the battlefield.

A storm begins when the Dragon faces the Dark One's forces. Rand channels and starts destroying Shadowspawn. Taim and other Dreadlords try to shield Rand without success. Then a circle tries shielding him, but he manages to rebuff it.

The Dragon realizes it's not the time to fight Taim and leaves through another gateway back to Lan's tent.








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