Luca's circus leaves early the next morning. They pass merchants and TuathaAn going south. Mid-morning they reach the town of Maderin. The Lord of the town is Nathin Sarmain Vendare. Thom and Juilin go into town to scout.
Selucia summons Mat to Tuon where she is talking with Setalle. Tuon wants to visit a hell, a low tavern known for crime and fighting. Thom shows up, directed by Harnan, and reports no Seanchan in Maderin. Thom says he knows a suitable place for Tuon, The White Ring. It is actually an upscale in but Tuon will not know the difference. Mat, Thom, Tuon and Selucia head through the circus toward the town. Townspeople watch Miyora's leopards, Latelle's bears and Balat and Abar eating fire. Keilar, one of the guards at the town gate, tells them that the Seanchan said they should guard the town better. Thom leads them to The White Ring, an average inn. Mistress Heilin, the innkeeper, greets them and tells the serving maid, Jera, to bring their best Kiranaille wine. Tuon orders ale. She asks him about courts, but he knows more of Eharon and Shiota than Caemlyn and Tear and Shienar. They both know Ebou Dar. Tuon asks about gambling, so they join a table of dice, three Altaran merchants Camrin, Kostelle and Vane, and a Taraboner merchant, Mistress Alstaing. Mat watches the game and recognizes it as Piri, Match, a game popular a thousand years before Artur Hawkwing.
Vane leaves suddenly. After they return to their table, Thom returns with news that the gholam killed in Jurador. Mat recalls he can fight it with the foxhead medallion. There is also a Seanchan army ahead on the border of Murandy. They make anyone passing through drink an herbal tea. The sul'dam collar anyone who gets wobbly. They are also looking for a Tuon impostor. They begin planning to leave Luca and the circus. They will take Vanin and the redarms as well as Aludra. Mat wants to head east if Vanin knows a pass through the mountains. When Tuon and Selucia return, Mat and Thom hustle them out of the inn. Tuon thinks the plot may be engineered by her sisters Ravashi or Chimal. Aurana is too young. Mat promises to get her to safety.
Suddenly several approaching men pull their swords and attack. Together they kill all the attackers. Tuon kills the only woman. Mat recognizes one of the men as Vane. Out of nowhere, Thom apologizes for seeing things that cannot be and Selucia nods. Having killed a local merchant, Mat realizes they must leave immediately and abandon Luca's circus.
More Mat POV
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] This is General Chisen's army intended to guard against attack from Murandy or Andor. (KoD,Ch27)
[#3] Suroth and Zaired Elbar at work
[#4] Clearly the leader of a band of Darkfriends ordered to find and kill Mat. (KoD,Ch3)
[#5] Selucia fought next to Thom. It is a deep, dark secret that Selucia is a trained fighter and Tuon's bodyguard in addition to being her maid and so'jhin. (WH,Ch14)
More Category Chapters, Dice Chapter Icon