Winter's Heart: Chapter 30
Author: Atarah al'Norahn
Chapter Icon: Five dice, arranged in a ring
Setting: The Tarasin Palace
Mat starts executing his escape plan.
The next day, Mat, Olver, Lopin and Nerim finish gathering together Mat and Olver's belongings. The plan is for Lopin and Nerim to take Olver out by the refuse gate at the rear of the Tarasin Palace, and to go to the Wandering Woman to get Mat's gold and the rest of Mat's garments. Metwyn, Fergin and Gorderan will meet them with horses, and they will take Olver through the Dal Eira Gate at midafternoon to an abandoned stable to wait for Mat and the others. If Mat is not there by sunrise, they are to leave and find Talmanes and the Band.
Beslan finds out that something is up, and Mat tells him that the escape will be tonight; Beslan and his friends are to set fire to some of the Seanchan's stores to provide a distraction, though Beslan wishes that he could do something more "magnificent". The servants notice horses being moved out of the stables and guess that Mat will be leaving that night, though he tries to act and convince them otherwise.
Mat sits and waits for the time to draw near. As the night passes, he can imagine what is/will be happening: Egeanin will soon be introducing Joline to her sul'dam; Thom, Joline and the others from the inn will meet Mat just before he reaches the Dal Eira Gate; Juilin will be making his way to Thera; and Beslan will be starting to drink hard at an inn somewhere.
Finally, Mat gets up and makes his way through the hallways. He steps out onto the columned walk that borders the stableyard. It has started to rain. He watches for Egeanin, and finally she and the others appear, but he can tell that there are too many people and is worried. Egeanin tells him that she has made some changes to the plan; Mat didn't tell her that Joline would have two men (her Warders) with her or that Setalle would be accompanying them. She has disguised Fen and Blaeric as lantern-bearers and the others as her entourage, which she would have needed anyway, to look right for any street patrols. She introduces Mat to Seta and Renna, the two sul'dam.
The chapter ends with Mat thinking to himself that he has also decided to risk a change or two to the plan.