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The Eye of the World/Chapter 20

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"The evil of Shadar Logoth. Mashadar. Unseeing, unthinking, moving through the city as aimlessly as a worm burrows through the earth. If it touches you, you will die."
   —Moiraine Damodred

External summary
EWoT
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Trolloc-icon
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Setting: Shadar Logoth, Aboard the Spray in the Arinelle River

SummaryEdit

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

The party make to leave the city quickly, but despite an admonition from Lan to stay close together, the Emond's Fielders and Thom allow their efforts to stay silent and stealthy to cause them to fall a little behind the Warder and Moiraine. A tendril of silvery mist drifts across the street between the two groups, and Moiraine halts the slower group just before they would have touched it.

As the mist steadily thickens, Moiraine explains that this is Mashadar, the evil of Shadar Logoth, and that its touch is death. Egwene inquires if it can be killed, but Moiraine tells her that it is too vast, and that the whole of the White Tower could not kill it. Unhappily, the Aes Sedai points out a red star in the sky, telling the group to find another street free of Mashadar's tendrils, leave the city, and follow the star to reach the River Arinelle, whereupon she will find them once again.

As Moiraine and Lan leave, Rand becomes the unwitting leader of his group, and tries various alternative routes, only to find the mist of Mashadar everywhere, and panic begins to rise amongst the Emond's Fielders. Suddenly, they happen upon a group of Trollocs, and in the chaos that ensues, Thom and the Two Rivers people scatter, each calling for the others to follow them.

Pursued by three Trollocs and the Fade that drives them, Rand flees down a street lined with Mashadar fog. Just as it begins to show interest in his proximity, the mist detects the Shadowspawn and strikes for them with frightening speed. All four creatures die silently as the tendrils invade and consume them.

Left in silence, Rand's fears get the better of him when he spies a dark shadow, and he nearly attacks Mat, who has also managed to evade both mist and Trollocs. Relieved to be alive, the pair find their way to a gate leading out of the city and reluctantly head out into the dark forest beyond, but just as it seems they have left the horror of the night behind them, Thom rides out of gate behind them at full gallop, shouting "Ride, you fools!", as Trollocs pursue him. With just enough warning, Rand and Mat follow him toward the river.

Point of view: Perrin Aybara

Perrin is alone in Shadar Logoth, carefully considering his next move, as is his way. When Egwene comes into view he joins her, and soothes her fears about the others by telling her that Moiraine and Lan will look after them. Both head out of the city without incident, but as they head deeper into the surrounding forest, Trollocs once more pick up their scent. Urging them both to greater speed, Perrin leads them towards the river but as Egwene, on Bela, starts to fall behind, more and more of his concentration goes towards watching and encouraging her until abruptly he rides right off the edge of a sheer bluff and into the river below, with Egwene following close behind.

Pursued by Trolloc spears, and losing his horse, Egwene, and his cloak to the river—he considers releasing his axe too, but decides to keep it—Perrin eventually succeeds in reaching the calm of the other side. He calls out for his friends but receives no reply other than Trolloc shouting from the far side of the river. Alone, he heads off to find shelter.

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand, Mat, and Thom have evaded their pursuers, but no sooner have they found their bearings than more Trollocs are upon them. An arrow from Mat finds a Trolloc's eye, but it is Thom's knife throwing that takes two down and leaves the last running for its fellows. Wasting no time, they soon reach the riverbank, but the boys are unsure which way to head, so Thom leads them downriver in the hopes of finding a way to cross. Soon they happen upon a trader's boat moored by a clearing and prepare to shift their belongings aboard after warning the captain of the danger. However, there is no time for preparations as six Trollocs burst out of the forest in pursuit. Leaving the horses, the trio take what they are holding and scramble on to the boat, shouting warnings to those aboard. Rand lands on the boat's sleeping sentry, and the man fearfully offers the boat and its contents to the imagined robber before he realizes what is happening. A number of Trollocs have boarded but the sailors are not easily overcome. One Trolloc close behind Rand smashes him to the deck with its catchpole and would have succeeded in spearing him with it if not for the extremely lucky intervention of the ship's boom, which—while Rand desperately yells "No!"[1]—swings across the deck at a sudden lurch from the boat and crunches into the Shadowspawn, knocking it into the water.

As calm returns to the boat, the captain appears and reprimands Gelb—the sentry Rand awoke earlier—for repeated dereliction of duty. Despite attempting to shift blame to Rand, Gelb is to be put to shore at Whitebridge. The captain, Bayle Domon, takes the trio to his cabin for questioning, and Thom spins a tale that explains their situation without giving away their secrets, casting the boys as country louts hoping to become his apprentices. When Domon asks for Tam's sword as payment, Rand objects and before Thom can say otherwise has turned out his pockets for money; Mat reluctantly follows suit. The captain takes the only currency of value - the silver coins the boys each received from Moiraine, exchanging them less his payment for passage to Whitebridge and damage to his ship. [2]

Rand hopes Domon will look for the other Emond's Fielders, until the captain explains that they have already passed at least three or four miles from the place where they boarded. Indeed, the captain is reluctant to put to shore any sooner than Whitebridge itself, since he has seen his own share of Trollocs since wintering in Saldaea, far to the north.

Eventually, Thom leads the boys back up to the deck, still annoyed that they paid for their passage with coin when he could have done so with a few songs and stories. Mat isn't so sure, suspecting the captain may actually have cast them overboard as he had blustered earlier. Rand is worried about the others, particularly Egwene, of whom he remembers he promised to take care. Thom tries to reassure him, suggesting that they are probably with Moiraine and Lan by now, and who better, but Rand is still left feeling he should have tried harder.

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Old TongueEdit

  • Shadar Logoth - "Place Where the Shadow Waits"; "Shadow's Waiting"

NotesEdit

  1. Rand's channeling causes the boom to swing. He will have a giddy reaction in four days TEOTW 24
  2. This breaks Moiraine's finder weave on Rand and Mat so she can no longer track them.TEOTW 21

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