Winter's Heart: Chapter 28

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Author: Atarah al'Norahn

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News in a Cloth Sack

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Point of View: Mat

Setting: Ebou Dar

Characters: Mat, Tylin, Noal, Juilin, Beslan, Thom


Mat starts preparing to leave Ebou Dar while Tylin is away.


The morning after Mat promises to help the Aes Sedai escape Ebou Dar, Tylin informs him that she and Suroth will be taking a trip by to'raken so that Tylin can see how much of Altara she now controls. They will be gone for a little over a week, and Mat knows that if he wants to escape, he will have to do it then. Two hours later, he is accompanying Tylin down to the docks. Tylin gives Mat a last kiss, and Mat stays and waves after her until she can no longer see him before riding back to the palace.

At the palace, Mat is stopped by Noal. The old man tells Mat that he knows Mat is up to something, and Noal would like to offer his services. Mat tries to deny that anything is going to happen, and Noal replies that he understands that Mat doesn't trust him yet. Noal then tells Mat that the gholam has killed another man, and reminds Mat that he is willing to help him before walking away. As Noal leaves, Mat notices Tuon watching him and shivers.

Mat sends Lopin to fetch some more clothes, and Nerim to find Juilin. When Juilin arrives, Mat notices that he is extremely happy. Juilin says that he is just happy that Suroth is gone, and Mat realizes that the woman Juilin is interested in must be one of Suroth's da'covale. Mat tells Juilin that he needs a damane dress to fit Joline, three sul'dam dresses and an a'dam. Juilin grumbles a bit, but agrees to do it.

The palace servants are starting to guess that Mat is planning to leave, since he is no longer wearing the clothes that Tylin gave him. Mat tries to encourage the belief, because he doesn't want anyone to blame Tylin for the disappearance of two damane.

Some nights, Mat meets with Thom and Juilin to discuss their escape. One night, Beslan listens in and declares that he wants to help. He suggests using an uprising as a distraction, one that Beslan and his friends would be happy to provide. Mat tries to talk him out of it.

Juilin learns that the damane are not guarded at night, so they will have to escape during the night. Thom learns that one of the Blood can take damane out of the city with no questions asked, though sul'dam need an order signed and sealed by one of the Blood, a higher officer or captain, or a der'sul'dam. Thom is prepared to forge a seal and signature to get them out of the city.

All during this, the gholam has killed every night. The Seekers have been commanded to find the killer no matter what, so there are more guards in the street. Mat knows that this will make it harder to escape undetected.

Finally, Juilin brings him good news. He has acquired two dresses and an a'dam.

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