While taking care of the horses, Bela, Cloud, Aldieb and Mandarb, Mat talks the other two boys into sneaking out. They run into Mordeth who offers them treasure if they will help him carry it out of the city. They tell him they are going to Caemlyn. Mordeth leads them deep into the cellars of a building where there is a huge pile of treasure. Perrin picks up an axe and Mat picks up a ruby dagger. Mat mentions Tar Valon and Mordeth gets angry. Perrin drops the axe. Mordeth starts to attack, but suddenly screams and falls back, then dives through a thin crack in the wall. The boys run for the surface where it is nearly dusk. They constantly feel watched until they reach the camp.
Lan has gone looking for them and the rest are furious. Moiraine tells the story of Aridhol, one of Ten Nations of the Second Covenant. When Thorin al Toren al Ban was king of Manetheren, Balwen Mayel was king of Aridhol. Mordeth became his advisor and corrupted Aridhol. Thorin's son, Prince Caar, came to Aridhol and was imprisoned. He came to be known as Caar One-Hand. He escaped and fled to the Borderlands where he married Rhea. She killed him, then killed herself, and all this led to the fall of Aleth-Loriel. Manetheren came to avenge Caar, but found only Mashadar. At the end of the Trolloc Wars an army of Trollocs, Fades and Dreadlords camped within Aridhol and vanished completely. It was renamed Shadar Logoth or "Shadow's Waiting." If anyone accompanies Mordeth to the walls he will consume their soul and steal their body. Nynaeve worries about Lan being gone so long. They all go to sleep.
Rand awakens from a bad dream. He is a little boy carrying the heron-mark sword with a cradle strapped to his back. He runs from Mordeth who shouts that he only wants his hand while an old man laughs and watches.
Lan arrives with news that there are Trollocs and Fades in the city. Red badges shaped like a horned skull are from the Dha'vol. Fades are forcing the Trollocs into the city, but Lan wonders what is forcing the Fades? They prepare to get the horses and head for the river.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Mat keeps the Ruby Dagger causing much grief down the road.
[#2] It is not clear if he is angry because he thinks they lied or because he hates Tar Valon.
[#3] It is not clear what stopped him. Mat having the Ruby Dagger? The boys having the Tar Valon marks? Rand channeling?
[#4] This insubstantiality and lack of a shadow implies that Mordeth is more like a spirit of some sort than a corporeal being.
[#5] At a signing, Robert Jordan stated that Mashadar appeared after all the residents of Aridhol killed each other.
[#6] Is this foreshadowing related to Min's viewing of "a bloody hand and white-hot iron?" (TEotW,Ch15)
[#7] Ba'alzamon (TEotW,Ch47)
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