The Dragon Reborn: Chapter 32
From Tar Valon Library
Author: Estyrien al'Halien
The First Ship
Chapter Icon: Waves
Mat and Thom board a ship, the Gray Gull, heading south
Mat's Point of View:
Setting: The Gray Gull
Mat and Thom hurry to the Southharbor and see that a ship is leaving the wharf. Determined to take "the first ship that sails" Mat decides to take it, noticing that it is called the Gray Gull. The dockmaster notices the two men and tells Mat that the White Tower has ordered him to stop Mat from leaving Tar Valon. Mat shows the man the Amyrlin's paper, "I'm on the business of the Tower", and tells him that they need to leave on the Gray Gull. Mat and Thom run down the wharf and jump onto the departing boat.
The captain, Huan Mallia, tells two of his crew to throw the to men overboard but Mat shows him the paper and gives him a gold coin "for the inconvenience of our boarding". He goes on to tell Mallia that they are on White Tower business and that they need to sail for Aringill with all haste. Mallia tells them that all his cabins are full and that they will have to sleep on the deck with the crew. Mat gives him fifteen gold crowns and asks for Mallia's cabin and good food for their journey; Mallia agrees.
Mallia leads them down to his cabin and starts to empty it of his belongings. While he is there Mallia talks to them and asks them questions. He believes that they are messenger to Queen Morgase from the White Tower, "it was obvious to Mallia that something was afoot between Caemlyn and Tar Valon", even though Mat and Thom deny it. Mallia is Tairen and talks about his mistrust for Mayene, Illian and the White Tower. He talks about High Lord Samon's views about Aes Sedai. He claims that the White Tower "meant to crush every nation" and to avoid that Tairens must hunt down the sisters and kill them. He then leaves the cabin.
Thom and Mat get ready for bed and Mat, on impulse, rolls his dice. Two times in a row he gets the Dark One's Eyes. Thom wants to know where Mat got the money and the Amyrlin's paper from but doesn't believe Mat when he tells him. Thom goes to sleep and Mat thinks about Elayne's letter, luck and footpads. He hears muffled footsteps in the hall and picks up his quarterstaff. The door opens revealing two men with knives; Mat kills both of them with his quarterstaff, "I've killed three men in one night. Light!" He then hears footsteps up on the deck and goes up, pretending to be one of the assassins. Mat kills the assassin who is at the tiller and then notices a man trying to sneak up on him; Thom joins him on deck and kills the man. They find a small boat tied to the ship and see that there are two Darkfriends in it. The men recognize Mat and swim for shore in fear of their lives. Mallia comes up on deck, "Burn my soul, who are all these dead men?", and Thom tells him that Mat has killed river brigands who tried to board the ship. Mat goes back to his cabin.
Rand's Point of View:
Setting: Somewhere in the Westlands
Characters: Rand, Assasins
Rand is sitting next to a campfire. He is playing "Rose of the Morning" on his flute, "one of the tunes he had played at those weddings". He had gone into a village and all the unmarried inhabitants got married on the same day. He wonders if he was responsible for that. In his dreams he has seen Shadowspawn with his friend's faces try to kill him. He thinks about Min and that "least of them all would Min hurt me". Rand has also dreamt about Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne being captured and hurt; he would "weep more for Elayne than for the other two".