The Dragon Reborn: Chapter 40
Author: Val a'Shain
Chapter Icon: The Lion of Andor
Point of View: Mat
After leaving the Gray Gull, Mat helps Aludra defend herself against some other Illuminators.
Mat and Thom arrive at Aringill on the Gray Gull. The town is flooded with refugees from the war in Cairhien. After Mat ate all his provisions and won a fair bit of the men's earnings playing dice, the captain is more than happy to see the last of them. Mat worries a little over the letter Elayne gave him. He read it on the ship, but it did not seem to contain anything important. Still, people were sent after him to kill him in Tar Valon.
After getting off the ship they make their way off the docks. Thom is somewhat shocked by all the refugees and the state they are in. Mat pretends not to care about them. He will help people when they can pay him. He still slips a mother with a child some coins though.
After visiting several inns and spending a lot of gold they find places in a hayloft to sleep and a couple of horses to get to Caemlyn the next day. Mat does not mind the outrageous prices. Gold comes easy as long as he keeps winning dice games. After they had dinner in the stable, Thom and Mat hear a wagon being pulled into the stable by a woman. After a few moments she is followed by a couple of men. From the conversation that follows Mat understands she is an Illuminator cast out by the Guild in Cairhien after the recent accident in their chapter house. The two men are following her because she is still making fireworks and intend to kill her for it.
Mat interferes before they can do so though. Thom is annoyed by this but follows anyway. They knock the men out pretty quickly. The woman, her name turns out to be Aludra, thanks them by giving Mat some fireworks. Mat also offers her some coin but she refuses that saying he must be very young indeed to make such an offer. Thom agrees with her. Before the men wake up again Aludra and Mat and Thom go their separate ways. Thom is not happy about the prospect of a night on the road.