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Setting: Altara


Point of view: Matrim Cauthon

Matrim Cauthon can't figure out why women cause him so much trouble especially since he always tries to treat them well. While sitting with Egeanin Tamarath and Bayle Domon, Mat asks Egeanin to tell him what she knows of Tuon. What she can tell Mat is that the Seanchan Blood and Imperial family are taught intrigue and fighting from birth. Tuon had a brother and sister assassinated and the Empress has many children so that, among those who survive, there will be one fit to rule after her. Egeanin also tells him that Akein was a perfect courting gift.

Joline Maza, Teslyn Baradon and Edesina Azzedin are being careless in villages. Joline and Edesina are giving Bethamin Zeami lessons. Setalle Anan says that Seta Zarbey is halfway to admitting that she can see the weaves. Joline and Edesina have found the same loophole in his protection that Adeleas Namelle and Vandene Namelle had and he is afflicted by rocks thrown at him and sparks of fire weaved at him. Joline and Teslyn get into an argument that clears Edesina, Bethamin and Seta out of the wagon. He notices that the rocks and sparks from Joline have stopped afterward. Joline and Edesina try to bully Mat into handing over the foxhead medallion. Mistress Anan tells Mat that Joline would face a fairly harsh penance for theft if she took it from him forcefully. She asks to see the ter'angreal. Mat lets her look at it and allows her to touch it. Mat guesses that she was once Aes Sedai and she admits it, telling Mat that her husband, Jasfer Anan, found her sick on the streets of Ebou Dar and took her to his mother. Setalle guesses that Mat is besotted with Tuon. Mat and Setalle agree to keep each other's secrets.

Valan Luca let slip to the Aes Sedai that Tuon is a Seanchan High Lady. They begin to harass Tuon about treaties and negotiations with the Seanchan to end the fighting. Lopin and Nerim prepare dinner for Mat, Tuon, Selucia, Noal Charin and Olver. After the meal, Olver leaves and Noal starts telling tales about the Seven Towers in dead Malkier and Shol Arbela, the City of Ten Thousand Bells, in Arafel.

Joline, Teslyn and Edesina enter the wagon with demands that the Seanchan end the war before Tarmon Gai'don. Selucia slips an a'dam onto Teslyn's neck and in the confusion also slips one onto Joline. Tuon has the bracelets. Edesina tries to get out the door and Tuon wraps her in Air while the door is slammed in Blaeric Negina's and Fen Mizar's faces. Tuon demonstrates the a'dam on Joline. Mat tries to talk her into letting them go but she refuses. Mat moves to free the women and the foxhead medallion goes cold; Tuon is shocked. Mat releases Teslyn from the a'dam, making the three Aes Sedai agree to leave Tuon alone. Then he releases Joline. Mat buries the a'dam in a deep hole and gets soaked for his trouble. The dice are still bouncing around inside his head.





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