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Reading the series for the first time. I just finished The Great Hunt, chapter 9 “Leavetakings”. At the end of the chapter we’re reintroduced to Bayle Domon, the captain of The Spray. The narration explains that he bought a piece of heartstone in the shape of the ancient Aes Sedai symbol while up north in Maradon.

I wasn’t able to gather for sure from the text when this purchase was made in relation to his traveling with Rand, Mat, and Thom during Eye of the World. He claimed that people/trollocs had been after him since he bought it, and I don’t remember him mentioning that in the previous book. Though he was not a POV character during those chapters, so it could just be a detail he didn’t bother to tell a bunch of strangers on his ship.

So my question is, did he buy the heartstone before or after meeting Rand et al?

(Please note, as I’m reading this for the first time, if the answer requires spoilers, please mark them as such)

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He had it before.

When Rand, Mat, and Thom come aboard Domon talks about having wintered in Saldaea and that Trollocs were already chasing him before our heroes boarded.

Domon doesn't mention the seal itself in EotW, but there's no opportunity for these to be separate events. He was headed the other direction with no intent to return North

"I’ve had my fill of Trollocs dogging my heels long before tonight, and I’ll have no more can I help it.”

Thom leaned forward interestedly. “You have had encounters with Trollocs before? Lately?” Domon hesitated, eyeing Thom narrowly, but when he spoke he merely sounded disgusted. “I wintered in Saldaea, man. Not my choice, but the river froze early and the ice broke up late. They say you can see the Blight from the highest towers in Maradon, but I’ve no mind for that.

Jordan, Robert. The Eye of the World: Book One of The Wheel of Time (p. 298). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

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