Mervin Poel

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Author: Kyria d'Oreyn


Mervin Poel is a scientist at the Cairhien Academy and the inventor of the steamwagon. He is bearded and balding (LoC, Ch. 18; WH, Prologue).

When Rand sees him for the first time, he is working on his steam engine. Rand thinks it is for making music (LoC, Ch. 18).

The next time Rand sees him, Poel's invention already has the name and form of a steamwagon, but it is not finished yet. Nevertheless, Rand thinks it is a marvelous creation (WH, Prologue).

Rand spots it again, when it is done. He wonders how it managed to get from Cairhien to Tear. Two children tell him that six of the steamwagons hitched together could cover more than a hundred paces a day (KoD, Ch. 21).


"Mervin will not tell anyone. Sometimes there are bangs in his rooms loud enough to make doors tremble, and he has scalded himself six times so far, but he claims it will bring a new Age when he makes it work." (Idrien Tarsin; Lord of Chaos, Chapter 18)

"In the stableyard, the capless man had pulled a lever on the wagon, and one end of a long horizontal beam suddenly rose, then sank, driving a shorter beam down through a hole cut in the wagon bed. And, vibrating till it seemed ready to shake apart, trailing smoke from the chimney, the wagon lurched ahead, the beam rising and falling, slowly at first, then faster. It moved, without horses!" (Rand on Poel and the steamwagon; Winter's Heart, Prologue)

"He gathered Tai'daishar's reins, and abruptly a large wagon full of machinery came into sight, clanking and hissing, wide iron-studded wheels striking sparks from the gray paving stones as it moved along the street as fast as a man could trot. The machinery seemed to sweat steam; a heavy wooden shaft swung up and down pushing another, vertical shaft, and gray woodsmoke drifted from a metal chimney; but there was no sign of a horse, just an odd sort of tiller in the front to turn the wheels. One of the three men standing in the wagon pulled a long cord, and steam rushed in a shrill whistle out of a tube atop a huge iron cylinder." (Rand; Knife of Dreams, Chapter 21)