Chapter 15: Strangers and Friends
Rand wakes up to discover the others let him sleep in, getting him rather miffed at having less time to explore his first big city. Yeah, thatís kind of jerky. But when he gets breakfast, the creepy comes in: numerous dead rats with their backs broken were discovered all over the inn. And Perrin was also left behind, and says he had the same dream, and Mat at least may have too. And I really appreciate that they immediately talk about this instead of leaving the reveal until later.
Outside he meets Min, a woman Moiraine had been talking to, who says she can see the true nature of people. Oh god, itís Bai Ling from LOST
. This results in her talking about a bunch of random images sheís gotten from the whole group, which she has the grace to acknowledge even she canít make anything out of. Also, thereís a nice bit where she tries to catch Rand using Moiraineís real name, and he doesnít bite. You know Mat would have fallen for it.
All of a sudden Min starts saying the same kind of stuff as the Dark One, causing Rand to run away and get lost. So we get the typical Fish out of Water
hick in the big city stuff, until he runs into Fain. He lost all his stuff in the attack, and is terrified of Moiraine, but then he runs off again, just in time for Rand to run into Mat. Given how big a deal was made about the number of people in this city, thereís some real Contrived Coincidence
going on here. Some Children of the Light show up, and it seems that both of them are possessed and forced to stand up to them. The Dark One, or something else? Itís broken up by the City Watch (and I like to imagine Vimes
leading them) and the leader Bornhald swears this isnít over, setting him up as a recurring villain. Or a Goldfish Poop Gang
in the face of the other stuff these guys are up against; it could go either way at this point.
Mat confirms that he also had the dream, and on the way back they run into Thom, who after hearing some of the names the Dark One said tells them not to ever use any of them. I think theyíve got a handle on that by now. Just in time for Perrin to run out and tell them that Nynaeve has come after them. And another domino is put in place.
Thankfully, it seems the setup for this situation is now done, and we can move onto things actually happening. Thereís about the same amount of time just spent describing the surroundings as thereís been before, but now thereís plenty of actual story to keep up with it. We get a clearer picture of just what the Dark One is capable of, and Thom gets a closer relationship with some others in the group by knowing their secret. Now letís see if Jordan can keep this up.