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Setting: Tower of Ghenjei

Summary

Point of view: Mat Cauthon

Matrim Cauthon takes cover from one of Aludra's cylinders he has just thrown at the Finn. It explodes scattering Aelfinn bodies everywhere. Previously Noal had tried to soothe the Aelfinn with a drum but that no longer worked. The Aelfinn regather and then continue their chase. They reach a three-sided chamber. Mat doesn't have time to invoke his luck by spinning. They no longer have any cylinders left now. Mat throws one of the last three nightflowers at the Aelfinn. They run through another corridor and Thom asks Mat if he can find his way out like last time. [1] Mat spins around and ends up pointing at the Aelfinn who are closing on the group. The group run away again through a different corridor. Mat realizes the direction they need to go is the direction the Aelfinn are coming from. Thom is becoming severely winded from carrying Moiraine Damodred, so Mat takes a turn to carry her. Noal asks for Mat's pack. He takes out another nightflower and throws it at the approaching Aelfinn. Noal tells the group to go ahead and that he will try and buy them some time, as the corridor ahead is quite narrow. Mat tries to argue but Noal tells them that they were all aware of a price this place demanded. Mat nods to Noal and runs with Moiraine in his arms, Thom at his heels. Noal stays behind to block the corridor for as long as he can. Noal shouts to Mat:

"If you ever meet a Malkieri, you tell him that Jain Farstrider died clean."

Mat hears another nightflower go off and Noal shout out a battlecry Mat has never heard before. As they run Thom weeps but Mat holds his tears. Mat of the past would have thought Noal's sacrifice foolish, but after all the memories of what soldiers have done for honor, he would dare not discredit Noal's actions. Mat thinks to himself:

"Matrim Cauthon, you're no hero. That man you left behind, he's the hero. Light illumine you, Noal."

They continue running down random corridors. Out the window Mat spots the three spires they were just in. Mat hands Moiraine back to Thom as she begins to stir. They run into a circular chamber. In the middle is the remains of the Twisted redstone doorframe. Mat spins around pointing and ends up facing the destroyed doorway. Mat realizes they are trapped. Moiraine opens her eyes and greets both men. They can hear the Aelfinn slowly approaching, and some start making their way into the chamber, smiling, knowing their quarry is caught. Thom begins to play his harp, which actually does start to soothe the Aelfinn, slowing them down. Mat racks his brain thinking about how he escaped the Eelfinn last time. He was unconscious at the time and Rand cut him down. [2] The Aelfinn creep forward, Noal's blood on their sword. Moiraine closes her eyes again, smiling as she listens to Thom play. Mat asked for the holes in his memory to be filled, which had been filled with memories of previous lives. He wanted to be free of Aes Sedai and their Power. He received the Silver foxhead medallion. The last boon Mat asked for was to be away from them and back to Rhuidean. His price was to be hanged though and not what he asked for. But why did he also receive the Ashandarei? He asked for a way out and they gave him that spear. Mat thrusts the spear into the wall and it penetrates, casting bright light out from the other side. Mat continues drawing the symbol of the snakes and foxes. The Aelfinn pause in the doorway, staying back from the bright light. Mat finishes his pattern and a glowing white corridor is revealed behind. Thom picks up Moiraine and runs through while Mat engages in combat with the leading Aelfinn. The Aelfinn are furious at Mat but are reluctant to come much closer due to the light. Mat tips his hat at them and tells them he has won. He leaps through the opening.

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Notes

  1. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 15
  2. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 26