____________________ //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\ \\// \\// //\\ Entry #06 //\\ \\// \\// //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\ ____________________
by Robert Jordan
(a prospectus by <name omitted>)
The following is a series of scenes extracted from an advance copy of _Lord of Chaos_ which was secretly provided to me last March when I officially established the First Jordanite Church of the Dragon Reborn. Please drop your offering in the collection plate on the way out.
When Perrin entered the throne room of the royal palace at Caemlyn, he was unprepared for the sight that met his eyes. Rand was seated on the floor, facing a broad expanse of sheets of paper covered with carefully- inked hexagons. Small upright figurines were scattered in groups around the field. Rand was throwing dice. A tureen of soup, untouched and covered with some kind of green fungus, was sitting on the floor beside him.
Aviendha was sitting beside him, on one of two adjoining chairs, watching him with scornful eyes. She appeared to have changed slightly since Perrin had last seen her in Tear, but he was not sure exactly how. Faile, recognizing a kindred soul, left Perrin's side and waddled over to the empty chair, where she sat down heavily.
"What are you doing?" Perrin asked.
"Outfitting an expedition to The Blight," Rand said. "To penetrate into the dungeons below Shayol Ghul. Let's see ... twenty cannisters of lamp oil, preferably the fishy kind ... boiled leather armor ought to do ... how many ten-foot poles do you think we ought to carry?" He thought for a moment. "Do you think we'll encounter elves there?"
"What's an elf?" Perrin asked.
A middle-aged Maiden of the Spear appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and handed each woman a cup of some warm, steaming liquid. Aviendha took a sip, and Faile followed suit. Aviendha then set the cup down on her belly. Faile followed suit.
Rand rolled the dice several more times. "Not bad, Perrin. Your strength is as the strength of eighteen, probably because your heart is pure. You also seem to have the intelligence of a mage and the wisdom of a cleric. But you'll never be a thief; your dexterity is too low."
"You'd be surprised," Faile said mysteriously.
A man of middling height, with green eyes and a hooked Saldaean nose, dressed in the uniform of a Saldaean officer of high rank, entered the room. His face looked vaguely familiar to Perrin, though he knew that he had never seen it before.
The man stopped dead just inside the door and stared at Faile. He had a shocked, unbelieving expression on his face. "Zarine!" he cried in anger. "How can you do this to me, daughter? I am shamed by this public display. _Nice girls never, never, leave teacups standing unsupported on their bellies!_"
Berelain, clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful, extended an arm to Mat. He took the proferred teacup.
"Are you going to go south to Illian with me?" he asked acidly. He wished that he could get rid of this woman. He wished that he could get rid of all women.
"If that is the Lord Dragon's wish, Lord Matrim" Berelain said breathlessly.
"You don't have to do everything the Light-blinded Lord Dragon tells you to," Mat spat out, wishing that he were elsewhere. "You're the First of Mayene. And for the fourteenth time, I am no lord!"
"You cannot hide your light under a bushel basket forever, Lord Mat. Especially when it burns as brightly as fish oil. Oh, and those of us who rule Mayene are not called 'Firsts' but 'Nains'. 'First' is an oversimplified translation."
Mat did not know the word, and he spoke -- as he had found out to his own chagrin -- the Old Tongue fairly well. "What does that mean?" he asked.
"It comes from a language spoken before the AoL, something called tlHingan, which was a very concise language. The language we of Mayene -- better known as Mayone -- speak is descended from it. In our tongue, which is known as 'Mayonnaise', 'Nain' means 'First Commissioner of Public Safety Elected by the Voice of the People for Life, Or Until We Are Overrun By Tear, Whichever Comes First'."
"A very concise language," Mat agreed disinterestedly, sipping at his tea.
"My father Munz could have explained the matter much better than I," Berelain said, leaning toward Mat. "He was a student of etymology. Do you know aught of etymology, Lord Matrim?" she asked.
"I am no lord," he replied automatically. "And I don't know anything about etymology. I know a lot about sheep." A horrible thought struck him. "Your father's name was Munz?"
"Yes, Lord Matrim," she said, seizing him with arms and legs like an arachnid who has found her mate just in time for Winternight supper. "Did you not know? I am the daughter of the Nain Munz."
"Burn those Light-blinded snakes!" groaned Mat, surrendering to the inevitable.
>From the darkness, Myrelle's voice spoke with authority: "Stop! Don't! ... Stop! Don't! ... Stop! ... Don't! ... Stop! ... Don't! ... Stop! ... Don't! Stop! ... Don't! Stop! ... Don't stop! ... Don't stop! ... Oh ... Oh ... Ohhh ... Ohhhh!! ... Gasp! ... Gasp!"
Lan's voice replied: "[Yawn]"
Elaine sniffed daintily.
Nynaeve gave her braid an angry tug. Her response came close to being an unladylike snort.
Egwene gave an authoritative sniff. "Woolheads!" she muttered.
Fingering the silver collar at her neck, Moghedien sniffed unhappily while tears leaked from her eyes.
They walked on in silence, reflecting on how bad the season was for hay fever.
Mesaana laughed. No one would ever succeed in penetrating _this_ disguise.
"Who ever thought," Lanfear gasped as she caught Moiraine in a shoulder lock, "that these creatures would turn out to be mud-wrestling fans?"
"Shut up," groaned Moiraine, flipping the other woman over into the muck. "And keep your hands off my g-string!"
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