Rand POV#Moiraine, Lan, Rand, Perrin, Mat, Loial, Egwene and Nynaeve accompany the Green Man to a cave. Mat asks about the Tree of Life. The Green Man gives Rand an odd look and says he has not seen it in two thousand years. He tells them the Eye of the World was made in the first days of the Breaking. It was made by a hundred men and women working together, and they died in the process. Guarding the Eye of the World was not what the Green Man was made for. The Green Man stays behind while the others enter the cave and walk to a strange pool. Moiraine says the Eye of the World has enough power to mend the seals on the Dark One's prison or to break it open. It is the pure essence of saidin. No one living knows why it was made. When they leave the cave two men approach, Aginor and Balthamel. Aginor wears a dark green cloak and sounds like Ba'alzamon, extremely arrogant and greedy. He was close behind Ishamael and Lews Therin in strength. Balthamel wears a dark gray cloak and a grinning mask. Aginor says Mat guided them, "an old thing, an old friend, an old enemy". He says "the seals weaken, some of us are bound no longer, like Ishamael we walk the world again." Looking toward the Eye of the World, Aginor says "so long without." Lan starts towards Aginor and is thrown back. Nynaeve lunges at him and Balthamel grabs her. As Aginor looks at Nynaeve he licks his lips and says, "I have nearly forgotten the pleasures of the flesh, but Balthamel remembers much." Aginor says he might teach Rand. The Green Man arrives and tells them to leave. Balthamel starts burning him and the Green Man grabs him. Before the Green Man collapses, Balthamel begins rotting and dies. As the Green Man dies he touches an acorn and an oak tree grows. Moiraine tries to slow Aginor but he easily escapes her weaves. Everyone runs and Aginor follows Rand.
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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] Because Avendesora is in Rhuidean (TSR,Ch24) and the Green Man thinks Rand is Aiel.
[#2] That would be right after the Trolloc Wars. Is this an error? Or Someshta's faulty memory? Or is this part of his history that Robert Jordan has not disclosed yet?
[#3] The Green Man was "made."
[#4] Could this be Mat's laughing face from Min's viewing? (TEotW,Ch15)
[#5] The ruby dagger.
[#6] More evidence that Ishamael is already free.
[#7] Without the One Power.
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