— Aelfinn to Mat while in the Twisted redstone doorframe
|<<< Into the Doorway >>>|
|Setting: Stone of Tear, Sindhol|
- Point of view: Matrim Cauthon
Mat is in the basements of the Stone of Tear looking for the Twisted redstone doorframe. He promised Egwene he would not use it without asking Moiraine but with the caveat "unless my life depended on it". He now feels he is at that point because he wishes to get away from Rand before he goes mad, but Rand's ta'veren pull is so strong that he can't leave.
The creatures though the doorway will answer three questions, so Mat has been thinking about the questions he wants to ask. He walks through the doorway. He is in a round hall with a very high ceiling. Suddenly a creature is talking to Mat. It tries to confirm that Mat has brought no light source, no iron and no method to make music. Mat finally sees the creature and tries to decide if it is human. He determines that it is not human, but is more snake-like.
The journey through the corridors is very disconcerting. The views through the windows do not make sense, appearing to show the same landscape from each side of the corridor. He finally arrives with his guide at a large room. There are three figures similar to his guide atop pillars in the room.
Mat very carefully explains the situation he finds himself in with Whitecloaks in the Two Rivers and a ta'veren pulling on him. So he asks his first thought out question, "Should I go home to help my people?" They respond that he must go to Rhuidean. Just then a bell sounds that someone else has entered so they try to rush Mat into finishing his questions.
Mat had planned to ask about how to get away from Aes Sedai and how to recover his lost memories, but anger at their answer to his first question causes him to ask why he should go to Rhuidean. They respond that if he does not go to Rhuidean he will die. The bell tolls again announcing a third person coming through the doorway.
Again Mat forgets to ask what he planned and asks why he will die if he does not go to Rhuidean. They respond that he will have sidestepped his threat of fate and so will be killed by those who do not wish his fate to be fulfilled. Again the bell sounds and the snakes are very anxious to have him leave.
Mat struggles even as they start to physically remove him from the room and asks "What fate? Burn your hearts, what fate?" They respond:
- To marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons!
- To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!
- To give up half the light of the world to save the world!
They then name him son of battles, trickster and gambler and reiterate that he must go to Rhuidean. Mat is carried through the halls and finally tossed through the ter'angreal doorway. He immediately tries to go back but finds that the doorway is just an empty frame to him now.
Mat reviews what they said and is not happy. He would rather marry a pig than a noblewoman. As Mat prepares to carry on some more, Rand backs through the doorway. He admits to Rand he went through the doorway. Moiraine then steps out of the doorway. She questions them on how they found out about the doorway. Rand cites a couple of books, Treasures of the Stone and Dealings with the Territory of Mayene. Mat avoids giving a direct answer so that Egwene will not get in trouble.
Mat gets even more upset when he finds that Rand needed an interpreter because the language inside is the Old Tongue and Mat realizes he must have been speaking the Old Tongue. Mat lies and tells Moiraine that he didn't get to ask any questions. Then he asks why you can't go in twice but she avoids answering.
- At least one edition has the wheel icon for this chapter.