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Setting: Royal Palace of Andor, Caemlyn


Point of view: Mat Cauthon

Matrim Cauthon makes his way through the camp to meet with Elayne Trakand. Olver catches up with Mat and asks if they can travel into town together and plan on how to defeat the Finn. Mat promises to catch up with him tomorrow night. Mat then makes his way to Talmanes Delovinde, Thom and their Redarms escort. Thom has completely changed his outfit to become that of a court bard. Talmanes believes Mat should dress better but Mat tells them he is not nobility. Thom reminds Mat that he is now married to the Seanchan Empress and is now in fact nobility. As the group make their way to Caemlyn, Mat counts at least ten thousand mercenaries camped around the area. The Band are the largest single mercenary group and their reputation has spread to all the other camps. Mat is met by Charlz Guybon at the palace, who then escorts the men to Elayne. As they make their way, Guybon asks Mat about all the rumors about him; such as hanging from a tree and never losing at dice. There are even rumors about him killing a Forsaken. Mat tells Guybon that he killed Couladin, but it wasn't in some heroic duel. Guybon also quizzes him on the rumor about him entering deaths domain to ask questions and was given the Ashandarei. Mat is uncomfortable with this one as it is a little to close to the truth. They arrive at Elayne's chamber and both Mat and Thom enter. Mat enters expecting to be told off and instead Elayne leaps up and gives Thom a huge hug. Elayne apologizes to Mat for making him wait so long and offers him to bring his Band closer to the city. Mat declines. Thom inquires about the child and Elayne corrects him with children. Mat is shocked, especially when he finds out the Rand is the father. Thom relays all their adventures since the departed each others company in Ebou Dar. Mat cuts off Thom before he can talk about the marriage part and asks if Elayne has seen Verin Mathwin. Elayne has not. Mat then brings out Aludras paper and asks if he can have all three bellfounders in the city, some powders and lots of metal. Mat describes the shape of a cannon, which he calls Dragons. Elayne doesn't understand the purpose but Birgitte Silverbow realizes that they are used to launch at the enemies army. Mat believes that with fifty Dragons, he could knock down Caemlyn's walls. Mat then describes how they could be modified to destroy ranks of Trollocs. Elayne is ecstatic with the idea, believing this is what she needed. Elayne plans to put the bellfounders straight to work. Mat is surprised this has worked out so well until Elayne states that these dragons will be used for Andor and not just the Band. They begin to negotiate the ownership of them, as Mat does not want them solely owned by Andor and is concerned about what will happen if his Seanchan ties are discovered. They finally reach the following conditions:

  • Elayne gets a one-year contract of the Band at the rate they were being paid in Murandy.
  • When the Band leave, they get to keep one out of every four dragons.
  • Elayne will provide Mat with a new serving man.
  • Elayne gets to hold onto Mat medallion, which she will try and replicate, for three days.

Mat tells Elayne that the Gholam may be in town. Elayne wants the Band to work for her straight away, as she is planning to Travel to Cairhien to take the Sun Throne. Mat adds two last conditions, that the Band fight where Rand wants in Tarmon Gai'don and that Aludra is the supervisor of the dragons. They finally come to a Deal. Elayne hints that the Band may have been needed to be used against Perrin Aybara and the Two Rivers. Elayne asks the two men to meet with her for dinner. She then asks Thom to become Caemlyn's court-bard. Thom promises to think about it. As they are about to leave, Elayne offers to buy Mat a new coat. As they leave, Thom reveals that he has been pardoned for crimes he may have committed in both Andor and Cairhien. Thom then offers to get Mat a new coat.