TEotW: Flight Down the Arinelle

Rand POV#

Rand, Mat and Thom are on the Spray headed down the Arinelle River. The chapter starts with Rand dreaming. It seems like he is in the Ways, before they became tainted. He is trying to avoid Ba'alzamon, who is also here. Then it changes to a thorn-hedge maze. He tries to peer over a maze wall, but gets stuck in the finger by a thorn. Rand turns a corner and comes face-to-face with Ba'alzamon. Ba'alzamon tells Rand that the Eye of the World will not serve him. Rand escapes, but ends up in a mirror maze, with Ba'alzamon all around him. Rand then awakens and finds himself on the deck of the Spray. He puts his finger in his mouth and tastes blood. He looks at his finger and sees a bead of blood form on his fingertip.

Domon is trying to go down the Arinelle River as fast as he can, but the winds are not cooperating. They do not put to shore by day or by night. Floran Gelb is trying to get the crew on his side and blame events on Rand, Mat and Thom, but it is not working. The crew wants no part of Gelb. Thom tells Rand that the crew might be thinking of mutiny, and if that happens, they will all die. So, Thom starts doing his gleeman acts. He also starts teaching Rand and Mat some of his skills.

As they are going downstream, Rand notices a glint of metal in the distance. Domon tells him it is a metal tower, shining steel, with not a spot of rust. Two hundred feet high, as big around as a house with no mark on it and no opening.[1] It is used as a marker and indicates they are ten days from Whitebridge. Domon also tells the boys about a stone hand on Tremalking holding a huge crystal sphere.[2] He says the Sea Folk search for the Coramoor.[3] He also tells them about the museum in the Panarch's Palace in Tanchico. It has skeletons of animals no one has ever seen. He mentions other wonders - lightsticks, razorlace, heartstone, a crystal lattice covering an island that hums when the moon is up, a mountain hollowed into a bowl with a silver spike a hundred spans high.

Four days later, Rand is sitting on top of a mast. He acts giddy and recklessly.[4] Thom finally climbs up to get him down. Rand comes down near the bow. Mat is there and Rand sees Mat with the Ruby Dagger. Mat says he took it from Shadar Logoth.

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] This is the Tower of Ghenjei. We will see it again in TSR,Ch28 and learn still more in KoD,Ch10. We expect it to play a prominent role in Towers of Midnight.
[#2] The female Choedan Kal.
[#3] The first mention of the Sea Folk's Coramoor.
[#4] This is similar to what Moiraine was telling Nynaeve in TEotW,Ch21. It is the reaction to him channeling in TEotW,Ch20.

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