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Prologue The Eye of The World Chapter 2


An Empty RoadEdit

Wheel of Time

SynopsisEdit

Rand al'Thor and his father Tam are coming down the Quarry Road on a cold spring day, heading towards Emond's Field. Rand is vigilant, his bow at the ready, because the hard winter has driven many wolves out of the mountains. They are delivering cider and brandy for the Bel Tine celebrations the next day.

Rand feels like he is being watched, though he can see nothing to either side. He looks behind them, and sees a black horse and rider behind them on the road. He cannot see the rider's face, but he feels a fierce hatred. He stumbles and has to catch himself. Tam asks what is the matter, and Rand tells him about the rider--except that when they look behind them, nobody is there.

Rand swears he's telling the truth, and Tam doesn't doubt him. They go to look for hoofprints, just as Rand remembers that the rider's cloak hadn't moved in the wind. He tells Tam there's no point in stopping to look, that they should go onward to the village. Tam says he must be eager to see Egwene, but Rand doesn't want to think about how nervous she makes him. Tam reminds him about "the flame and the void".

They reach Emond's Field, where people are opening their houses after the long winter, ready for Bel Tine. Tam stops to talk to several people, giving tidings of the Westwood. Wit Congar steps out into the street in front of them. Tam says he needs to get to the inn, but Wit wants to complain about Nynaeve, the new Wisdom, who had predicted a mild winter. He keeps on until his wife comes out and drags him inside. Rand is relieved that few people are pestering him or his father about Tam remarrying.

They reach the Green, where the Spring Pole is being erected for the morrow's Festival. There is supposed to be fireworks on Bel Tine, if the peddler arrives in time. Bran al'Vere greets them at the Winespring Inn, saying he thought Tam wasn't coming, but Tam says he misliked leaving with the wolves about.

Cenn Buie appears and also complains about Nynaeve and the weather. He says maybe she thinks that winter won't be ending this year. While the older men are arguing, Mat snatches Rand away. He says he has a badger to let loose on the Green. He also mentions there are strangers in the village, and Rand immediately asks him about the rider in black. Mat admits to seeing him too, three days earlier, also vanishing suddenly. They speculate on what he was, from the Dark One to a petty thief.

They look up to see Tam looking at them, and he quickly enlists Mat to help unload the barrels. He mentions the arrival of a gleeman, in the dead of night. Cenn Buie says it's all foolishness, and wonders where the peddler is with the fireworks. He leaves, Tam and Bran go inside, and Mat and Rand begin unloading the barrels.

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