The Shadow Rising: Chapter 15
Author: Inanna Landred
Chapter Icon: Five dice, arranged in a ring
Point of View: Mat
Setting: The Stone of Tear
Mat enters through the redstone doorframe to ask his three questions
Mat ventures into the Great Hold at the basement of the Stone after learning about the red doorframe ter'angreal from Egwene. He finally finds his way to the Great Hold and amongst a lot of boxes and jumble, he spots the doorframe he is looking for.
He hesitates in front of the ter'angreal but then steps through it. He finds himself in a huge round hall with spiralling columns reaching up to the ceiling.
On the other side he meets a strange snake-like human with black eyes and a skin that glistens like a snake's scales. The man says the seekers have come again and asks him if he is carrying iron or musical instruments. Mat denies this, although he wonders what the man thinks the knife he is holding is made out of. The man leads him through the strange hall and to the three snake people who will answer his questions.
Mat asks whether he should go home and is told to go to Rhuidean instead. While he is in there, the snake people get more and more agitated. They talk about not being able to handle the strain and push Mat into asking his questions fast.
After this there is a panic and Mat is rushed into his final two questions.
Mat says the last thing on earth he wants to do is go to Rhuidean and want to know why he should go there. They tell him he needs to follow his fate and he will marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons and a few other cryptic answers that he cannot make sense of.
Even though Mat protests strongly the snake people throw him out and he finds himself in the Great Hold once more. He tries to jump back through the portal again and again, only to find himself on the other side of the portal in the room. While he is still cursing the snake people Rand comes backing out from the ter'angreal holding a sword of flames made with the One Power. Rand asks Mat if he is just snooping around or if he went through the portal as well. Mat says he went in, but thinks they told him a bunch of lies.
While they are still getting over their surprise, Moiraine also steps out. She immediately realizes they both stepped through while she was in there and she is furious. She questions them about how they knew about the ter'angreal.
They both claim to have read about it in a book, Rand because he really did and Mat to cover for Egwene. Mat lies about not being able to understand as everything was in the Old Tongue. Moiraine explains the snake people feed on sensations and emotions.
They split ways pondering their experiences.
- Mat does not simply spurt out couple of words in the Old Tongue this time, but has an actual long conversation with the snake people, and even understands the 'dialect' they speak in.
- He feels it more fun to "tweak Moiraine's nose" rather than drop Egwene and Nynaeve in it, even after the way they treated him.
- How long has it been since someone had stepped through this red stone doorframe?
- What is the agreement of old?
- Why are they 'studying the air above him' when answering his questions?
- Why didn't the snake people hear all his questions at once and answer afterwards, like Moiraine told the girls how it's supposed to go?
- Why did is shake - was it because of ta'veren, or the number of people?
- The answers they give Mat are surprisingly helpful, giving much more information than they need to answer his question, even if he doesn't have the context to understand them
This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.
- Presumably no one has stepped through the ter'angreal in the time it's been in Tear - more than three hundred years.
- We don't know much of the agreement between the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, and the humans, but what is known is that they answer questions or grant wishes, as long as the person who enters their realm does not carry particular items - sources of light, iron, or instruments of music.
- It is possible that by studying the air above the person they see threads in the Pattern and this is how they can answer questions about the future.
- The Aelfinn even gave Mat additional information beyond his three questions, so what exactly is the procedure with them, remains mostly unknown.
We never really get an answer to why the world shook, but it didn't happen when he went through the gateway in Rhuidean, or when he went through the Tower of Ghenjei with Thom and Noal