The Eye of the World: Chapter 19

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Chapter 19: Shadow's Waiting

Dinn da Noor

Characters: Lan, Rand, Moiraine, Nynaeve, Thom, Egwene, Mat, Perrin

Setting: Shadar Logoth

They ride into the city, and although the city was broken, Rand is taken to awe by what's left standing. The largest building in Baerlon would have disappeared in the shadows of almost everything in the city; marble palaces topped with huge domes, bronze fountains, statues and towers. Rand thinks to himself of how Thom, Lan and Moiraine must have laughed up their sleeves of him, thinking Baerlon was a city. He is so caught up in staring at everything that he is taken by surprise when Lan stops them in front of a white stone building, twice as big as the Stag and Lion. Moiraine nods, and Lan commands the 'farm boys' to bring the horses inside.

They gather the horses and bring them in where Moiraine is laying. She asks Nynaeve if she has any herbs that will help her sleep an hour and not leave her groggy and the Wisdom tells about a tea.

Thom, Mat, Perrin and Rand walks into a chamber where they unsaddle their horses. Mat gets a glum stare on his face and Rand asks him what's wrong. He says that he's thinking of Aemon's war cry, and Perrin tells him that maybe he's Aemon reborn when Thom warns him that that is dangerous talk and nothing to be spoken of lightly. The gleeman then goes back to the front room to have a smoke. Mat asks the others why don't they go and see more of the city, but Perrin asks him if he's forgetting the Trollocs. Rand says that Aridhol must have been the greatest city in the Trolloc Wars for the Trollocs to still be afraid of it. They agree at last and walks out on the streets of Aridhol.

They wander in and out of the biggest buildings they can find and climb into dusty fountains with huge basins, but find nothing more than dust and rubble. After some time even Mat grows tired and they sit down on the steps of a tall building, arguing about what to do next. Rand wants to go back to sleep, but Mat says that there might be treasures. When Rand tells him that it's getting late, Mat says he wants to climb one of the whole towers. A mans voice then speaks and says that the towers are not safe. They ask him who he is and he introduces himself as Mordeth, a treasure hunter. They tells him that they are going to Caemlyn, and he asks them if they would like to help him carry a treasure he's found to his horses. They accept and he leads them into the building and down some steps before they enter a tile-walled room filled with mounds of jewelry, coins, goblets, platters, swords and gems. They decide to come back tomorrow and explain that Moiraine and Lan will understand when they see an axe Perrin is taking with him. Mordeth asks them if they are alone and Mat answers that they're in the company of Moiraine, Lan, Nynaeve, Egwene and Thom and that they're going to Tar Valon.

This causes Mordeth's face to twist in rage and fear and he accuses them of lying to him. Perrin carefully puts the axe back and asks whether they should return tomorrow. When Mordeth is about to answer, Rand figures out what is wrong with Mordeth - he doesn't have a shadow. Mordeth says 'it is decided,' and swells like a balloon. They panic and starts yelling then suddenly Mordeth is sitting in the corner of the room clutching his knees to his chest, wailing. He then shouts 'You are all dead!' then disappears.

They run up the steps and get out on the streets. From there they keep in the middle of the street and walk fast back to camp. At twilight, they come in sight of the white stone building and they run to it and through the doorway. Everyone except Lan is there. Nynaeve tells them that he is off looking for them. Moiraine asks them what has happened and they start to tell her, all in different places and none in the order it had happened. Moiraine suddenly grabs Rand's wrist at the mention of Mordeth and asks if he gave them anything or touched them. They say no and Mat says that they thought it was safe in the city since Trollocs wouldn't dare coming in. She tells them a story of thousands of Trollocs, Darkfriends, Myrddraal and Dreadlords that had camped in Shadar Logoth late in the Trolloc Wars that never came back out.

She then tells them about how the man Mordeth came to Aridhol when it seemed as though the Father of Lies must surely conquer. He spoke to Balwen, the King in Aridhol, and soon he was second only to the King. Aridhol started to draw on itself, and used the battle cry: 'the victory of the Light is all'. She tells them about how Aridhol was destroyed by itself and named Shadar Logoth, Shadow's Waiting.

They then go to sleep but Rand wakes up on Lan's return. Lan tells Moiraine that there are Trollocs inside the gates before he starts waking the others. Moiraine tells them that they will make for the river where she can raise a small ward while they make rafts and cross over, or they may be able to hail a trader's boat from Saldaea. Lan explains the neither Trollocs or Myrddraal can swim and that they loathe deep water. The Aes Sedai commands them to get to their horses, as they're not yet over the river.

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