e turned our mounts towards Fal Dara…
…And rode until the city came into view. We were greeted warmly at the gates, partly due to Moiraine who was now travelling openly as an Aes Sedai and partly because of Lan who seemed to garner at least as much respect if not more as the guards greeted him with cries of Tai Shar Malkier (True Blood of Malkier in the old tongue). We were given a guard of honour and escorted to the chambers of Lord Agelmar, the ruler of Fal Dara and one of the Great Captains of the Westlands.
Lord Agelmar greeted us cordially and asked our business. Moiraine was evasive as always but gave the lord enough information for him to see the importance of our mission and offer us any aid he could. Moiraine turned down the offer of an armed escort as a small group is far harder to spot coming than an army and our best hope for reaching the Eye of the World was stealth. She did accept supplies, fresh mounts and armour from the city arsenal though.
As the meeting was about to break up there was a most unexpected turn of events. A guard entered and reported a strange man demanding to see Lord Agelmar with news of how to defeat the Dark One. The mysterious man turned out to be Padan Fain in a piteous state and babbling about ultimate victory over the shadow. He might have been given creedence had it not been for the presence of Berek and Moiraine who immeadiately identified the man as a dark friend and had him taken to the dungeons where Moiraine spent the next few hours questioning him with the aid of the one power. She discovered much including that Padan Fain had been behind the trolloc attack on Emonds Field and had somehow been given the knowledge to safely navigate the ways. With has nature confirmed, lord Agelmar did not hesitate to order him executed and allowed Berek to wield the axe in retribution for the people of the Two Rivers who had died.
The following day the party set off at first light leaving me in Fal Dara to await their return. The blight is no place for a scholar and I would only be a liability to them. They journeyed north for almost a week through increasingly corrupted and jungle-like terrain, facing shadowspawn even fouler than trollocs until they came to a clearing around a small conical hill like a miniature volcano. The whole clearing was bare of vegitation as if the corrupt plants would not come near the hill. High on the side of the hill was a cave-like opening that led into a tunnel into the depths of the rock. The way was lit by glowing crystals set into the cieling and led to a large round cave with a deep pool of what appeared to be crystal clear water at its centre.
Moiriane explained that this was the Eye of the World. The last untainted source of Saidin in the world, created after the male half of the source was tainted as one of the last works of both male and female Aes Sedai. As the group talked, Berek, who was watching the approach reported that two figures were appearing from the treeline and heading towards the tunnel. One was a very old man leaning heavily on a staff and the other was a tall man dressed head-to-toe in black leather including a full mask that completely hid his face.