"I’m no bloody assassin. I never kill a man unless he demands it—demands it with screams and thunder so loudly, I figure it would be impolite not to agree to the request. If I stab you, friend, you’ll know that it is coming, and you will know why. I promise you that."
   —Matrim Cauthon

External summary

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Setting: Ebou Dar

Point of view: Matrim Cauthon


Mat travels to Ebou Dar and notices numerous Tinkers gathered along the city's outskirts and laments that a tinker city is just wrong. He travels in disguise, concealing his ashandarei to resemble a walking pole, hiding his hat within saddlebags, and regretfully ripping the lace off his coat. He pretends to be a wounded sell-sword with a crude bandage wrapped around his missing eye. He fears that people would remember Tylin's murder, and his connection to it. He worries that Beslan will hate him now and wonders how Tuon feels for him since their time apart.

He is upset when the gate guard waves him on without hearing the legend he invented for himself. Why would the soldiers force people to wait in such a long line and give them time to think of a cover story, only to not hear it out? While searching for an inn to get a feel for Ebou Dar (and complaining that Setalle Anan no longer has an inn), he notices Petra Anhill dressed as a Seanchan soldier and guarding the gate. He almost goes over to greet the former strongman, but the uniform makes him reconsider. It was pure luck that Petra was not the one to wave him into the city. That would have ruined his plans.

He contemplates entering The Rahad, but the place looks different now, with guards on duty. While searching for a place to stable Pips, he notices small changes to the city since the Seanchan arrived. Ebou Dar's feel was off a shade or two.

He enters an inn called The Winter Blossom and immediately leaves after spotting Deathwatch Guards in uniform, fearing a run-in with Furyk Karede. After many futile attempts to find the right place, a dice game attracts him to The Yearly Brawl. Jame, a Seanchan guard and Blademaster greets Mat with a distrustful glare upon his entry and receives a playful rebuke from the proprietor, Kathana.

"Don't mind him. Just don't make trouble, and he won't be forced to stab you, kill you, or anything in between."

Kathana queries about his missing eye and laughs at the lie he uses. Jame interrogates Mat about events to the north, trying to get him to rethink his course of action because he suspects that Mat is an assassin after the Empress, may she live forever. Mat lifts the bandage, showing how his missing eye would make a poor assassin and asks if assassins are after Tuon. Jame affirms with question with a tale about how he killed one who actually admitted his mission. Mat counts him as a friend and puts his hat on. After further questions, Mat learns that General Lunal Galgan is hiring the assassins. Mat leaves the inn, but not before Kathana recognizes that he is one all the guards are looking for.








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