TEotW: Strangers

Rand POV#

Rand and Mat are carrying the cider barrels inside the Winespring Inn. The inn's cat is Scratch. We meet the Village Council, Tam, Bran, Cenn Buie, Rowan Hurn, Samel Crawe, Haral Luhhan and Jon Thane,[1] as well as Marin al'Vere. Mat played a trick on three village boys, Adan al'Caar, Ewin Finngar and Dag Coplin. Alsbet Luhhan is still furious that Mat's "ghost hounds" got flour all over her house. Ewin Finngar comes in and tells them about the strangers in the town. We find out that they are Moiraine and Lan.[2] It has been five years since a real stranger came to Emond's Field, a fugitive from some sort of trouble in Baerlon. Moiraine and Nynaeve get off to a rough start with Moiraine calling her "child." Rand, Mat and Ewin Finngar step outside the Winespring Inn. The inn's stablemen, Hu Barran and Tad, have seen to Bela and the wagon. The boys see a raven watching them from the roof. They throw stones at it and it just moves aside instead of flying. Moiraine comes up behind them and the raven flies away. We get a physical description of Moiraine. She gives Rand and Mat special coins, Tar Valon marks.[3] She says she is there to collect stories. Rand recalls hearing that the inn is a thousand years old. She starts walking to the Wagon Bridge. Lan leaves the front of the Winespring Inn and follows her. Rand and Mat hear shouting; they look across the Wagon Bridge and see that a peddler has arrived.[4]

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Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] There are eight on the Village Council. The eighth is not identified.
[#2] The timing of their arrival certainly is coincidental. The story chronicling the events leading to Moiraine's and Lan's arriving just in the nick of time will be the subject of the third prequel novella, though it is not certain if it will ever be written.
[#3] She uses these coins later to track where the boys are. (TEotW,Ch21) The weave she placed on the coins is a Finder that gives her a sense of distance and direction much like the Warder bond. (KoD,Ch16)
[#4] The peddler is Padan Fain. He has been keeping track of the boys.


(James Beveridge)
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