|<<< The Last Battle >>>|
|Setting: The Field of Merrilor, the Blight, and outside the Wheel of Time|
| Point of view: Lan Mandragoran|
Setting: The Field of Merrilor on the Arafel border
Lan leads his growing forces under the flag of Malkier, the Golden Crane as the Sharan forces launch Fire balls across the sky. Mat Cauthon had spread word that more cavalry was needed. His ranks swelled with Borderlanders and southerners, many of them women and merchants and farmers.
"Half of those joining look like farmers more than soldiers!"
—Andere and Lan on the new forces.
Lan's forces pass the River Mora, where Logain Ablar and a force of forty Aes Sedai and Asha'man engage the Sharan Channelers. He slows near Hawal Ford, just south of the Polov Heights, and assaults the flank of the Sharan army after leading his men under a waterfall.
Setting: Dashar Knob on the Field of Merrilor in Sheinar[verify]
Elayne turns her head skyward as a crooning sound and almost succumbs to the song of the Draghkar before Birgitte Silverbow alerts her. She weaves a thunderclap, deafening her and the Guardswomen, giving them immunity to the song. They rally, but Elayne gets little rest as she charges to where she first fell under the song. Another group of Draghkar feast on their kills, seeming to forget that there is a war going on. The guards hack at the surprised foe while Elayne burns those who try to fly away. She gives Birgitte Healing and her babies kick, as they do each time she heals someone. A group of Seanchan reinforcements come into the camp, but Elayne keeps them away from her. Shockingly, a damane and sul'dam approach her and curtsy. Seeing no other option, she accepts Healing from the pair, while insulting them by holding out her booted foot to receive the aid. She them tells her Warder to order the pair to Heal the rest of her people while she and Birgitte go to confront Mat, whose set up his command post inside Dashar Knob.
Mat smiles at the curse and waves to a cushioned chair bearing the colors of Andor as if he was expecting her. The Seanchan Empress sits on a raised throne on the other side of the room. She reports that she destroyed the Shadowspawn in the camp when a Seanchan messenger interrupts and reports that the archer bank was destroyed by Sharans. Mat dispatches damane and sul'dam to the scene and two more archery squads. Elayne is sickened by the subservience while at the same time impressed by the scout's obedience.
Elayne berates Mat for changing a sound battle that they spent a week planning at the last minute. Mat admits that his change was part of the strategy because he suspected spies in his camp. To her dread, he also refuses to share the real plan with her, choosing to keep it all in his head.
Setting: Polov Heights on the Field of Merrilor in Arafel
Uno holds his ears as nearby dragons fire on the enemy as Lan's cavalry charge the flanks. He silently curses the dragoners, believing that their metal monstrosities are bad luck. The leader of the dragoners scowls at him and Uno - Captain Uno - turns his attention back to his pike unit holding the Heights while reminiscing about all the times he should have died before; with Masema Dagar, at Falme, or a random Trolloc here and there. Aludra tosses him some wax for his ears after another shot from the dragons rips a group of Trollocs limb from limb. He picks up a pike and helps his unit push back the survivors. He receives an unbelievable message telling him to retreat from the Heights. He still can't believe that someone - anyone - would put Cauthon in charge of anything. Before he can give the order, a clap of sound knocks him from his feet. He spies an assault on the dragons with Lightnings. Fireballs follow, as it feels like every single enemy channeler is focusing on his area. When the attack is over, he notices Aludra and Talmanes trying to salvage pieces of dragons. Uno rushes to meet them and ask where are the Aes Sedai who were supposed to be protecting them. An Aes Sedai named Kwamesa questions an Asha'man about the lack of a warning before the attack. As he explains about how strong the channeler was, a line of light splits the air behind them as big as the keep in Fal Dara. A man dressed in gold and holding a scepter of gold shaped like an hourglass stands before them and announces that he has come for the Dragon Reborn before killing Kwamesa with Balefire. Asha'man Einar shouts that he is trying to stop the intruder, but that he is in a full circle of seventy-two channelers before the Asha'man is destroyed with another stream of balefire. No longer questioning the order to retreat, he races down the heights with the survivors. One Power with regret as he loses access to a circle of thirty-nine people. He suspects that the fear of losing the One Power again is a manifestation of his madness. Androl and some of the other Asha'man stare in wonder at the heights and the enormity of power of a full circle. Emarin suggests that it must be Demandred behind the assault. Logain agrees, and hungers for the power of the sa'angreal that he suspects the Forsaken used. Dark thoughts whisper to him that no one could ever take the power from him if he had such a tool. Logain realizes that Taim had done it, cut him off from the One Power, during his imprisonment. He tells his men not to engage the Forsaken. Instead, they will divide into teams and hunt down the traitors of the Black Tower. Pevara reminds him of Cauthon's orders but Logain refuses them, claiming that the "last orders" from the Dragon Reborn takes precedent...
"The Shadow has stolen the seals of the Dark One's prison. Find them. If you can, please find them"
—Rand's last orders to the Asha'man
Androl told Logain about Taim bragging about possessing the seals. For a chance at revenge against Taim, Logain agrees to follow these orders. Gabrelle asks him what are his plans for Toveine Gazal. He tells her that he will kill her if he sees her. he admits that he released the bond on her and is surprised by the immediate and sharp envy he feels from Gabrelle through the bond.
|The Shadow's Dragon|
| Point of view: Galadedrid Damodred|
Setting: The ruins along the River Mora
Galad leads a charge of Children of the Light against Trollocs who finally crossed the river. Tam's archers complimented his attack with a volley. The mass of bodies along the river makes Galad reassess his opinion of Mat. Orders fall from the sky, directing his men to Hawal Ford to meet up with Elayne.
"You name me a murderer, and I am. I am also your savior, whether you wish it or not."
"Hardly. That man you follow, Lews Therin Telamon, he is mad. He thinks he can defeat the Great Lord. He cannot. That is simple fact."
"You'd have us join the Shadow instead?"
"Yes. If I kill Lews Therin, in victory I will be given the right to remake the world as I wish. The Great Lord cares nothing for rule. The only way to protect the world is to destroy it, and then shelter its people. Is that not what your Dragon claims he will do?"
— Demandred and Gawyn
Demandred dispatches Gawyn with superior skill and punches his sword through Gawyn's armor and abdomen. Without a second glance, Demandred returns to his assault. Gawyn manages to crawl away to a horse and flee.
|The Flame of Tar Valon|
| Point of view: Tamlin al'Thor|
Setting: Ruins north of Dashar Knob[verify]
|The Horn of Valere|
| Point of view: Leane Sharif|
Setting: Polov Heights
|The Last Battle|
| Point of view: Rand al'Thor|
Setting: Outside the Wheel of Time
The Dark One attacks Rand, shredding the elements that make up Rand's essence. Rand taunts Shai'tan, asking him if this is the extent of his powers.
"Is this all you have?"
I WILL WIN
"You made me strong. Each time you or your minions tried to destroy me, your failure was like a blacksmith's hammer beating against metal. This attempt... This attempt of yours is nothing. I will not break."
YOU MISTAKE. THIS IS NOT AN ATTEMPT TO DESTROY YOU. THIS IS PREPARATION.
TO SHOW YOU TRUTH."
—Rand and the Dark One
The Dark One spins the Pattern a creates a "reality" of his own design, showing Rand what will be after his victory. Rand tries to embrace saidin and is revolted by the return of the taint, but far worse than before. He walks toward a fortress, through what he perceives as the Blight but what turns out to be the Two Rivers to the sound of woodcutting. He sees his father, Dannil, and Jori Congar.[verify] Jori's axe hits a nest and black insects pour from the earth and kill him. Tam flees and runs into a thicket that kill him. Rand attempts to intercede with the One Power and destroys the deathswarm with fire., but all that remains are Jori's bones. The taint makes him retch and Dannil bids him to follow. Dannil doesn't recognize and the Dark One confesses that no one knows him, that they will not know that they lost the Last Battle. Dannil leads him to the fortress where Nynaeve, now one of the Chosen, shields him when he tries to embrace the source again. She escorts him to where thirteen Myrddraal and twelve other channelers, one of the Damer Flinn awaits to Turn him. His connection to the Pattern shows him that this was a possibility the Dark One could take if he won; the Wheel of Time broken; Nynaeve, Egwene, Logain, and Cadsuane Melaidhrin now members of the Forsaken; Moiraine executed for being to weak; Elayne, Min, and Aviendha subjected to endless torture at Shayol Ghul. As they try to Turn him, Rand shatters the reality around him and forces the Dark One to envision his "reality."Rand walks the streets of his perfect world, spying vibrant people and the sounds of- life. Ogier workmanship, marvels never seen before dot the city. In Rand's vision, the Ogier decided to repay the Two Rivers for Rand's service by constructing a grand city. Rand fantasizes about and end to the divisions between commoner and noble. Elite, Two Rivers Marksmen, armed with rifles, help the Aiel maintain the Dragon's Peace and spread it to Shara, the last land to know war...
"YOUR DREAM IS WEAK, ADVERSARY"
"I will see that it happens. This is your failing. Happiness, growth, love..."
THESE PEOPLE ARE MINE NOW. I WILL TAKE THEM.
"You are darkness. Darkness cannot push back Light. Darkness exists only when Light fails, when it flees. I will not fail. I will not flee. You cannot win so long as I bar your path, Shai'tan."
WE SHALL SEE."
—Rand and the Dark One
Rand walks up to a large building and meets a woman he recognizes as Perrin's granddaughter. As he walks through what turns out to be a school, the Dark One attacks him and reduces Rand's paradise to a mere possibility.Rand returns outside of time and continues his confrontation with the Dark One. This time, the Dark One weaves another vision, a vision of death and destruction, to try and break Rand.
Rand finds himself in Caemlyn, where the landscape is not barren like the Blight. The city seemed- normal. Curious, Rand approaches a fruit vendor and watches her prove that peaches are no longer poison. A street urchin steals a small red fruit and runs off. The woman, smiling all the while, pulls out a gun and shoots the boy in the back. A man, surrounded by guards, picks up the fruit from the corpse and walks on about his business. A steamwagon rolls by later and runs over the corpse. The woman then asks Rand which faction he belongs to, and where his guards are. He must have guards, since his clothes are so rich. Rand looks in her eyes and flees after seeing an utter lack sympathy or concern in them. He runs from various groups demanding to know which faction he belonged until he reaches The Queen's Blessing. He finds Basel Gill still alive and the innkeeper asks about his friend with the "dark look in his eye." Rand realizes that no one recognizes him as the Dragon Reborn as they go to the private dining chamber in the back of the inn. Rand asks what Age it is and Gill reports that it is the Fourth Age and that humanity won the Last Battle. Gill leaves him and Rand asks the Dark One, existing in a patch of nothingness outside the scene, what he did to the people. The Dark One admits that he allowed the people to think they won, removing their will to resist because they do not know that He is oppressing them. He also removed their compassion, claiming it a weakness. The Chosen also don't exist. There is only the Dark One. Horrified, Rand shatters the image and fights to show Shai'tan a world without Shadow.The threads resist Rand's weaving, making him think that his dream possibly seems highly unlikely. He forces the threads together and steps into a world that did not know the Dark One. He steps into Caemlyn again, needing the see the city untainted. A beautiful, cloudless sky surrounds the city as he walks to the palace. No guards bar his entry. A child breaks from her play with other children and touches his sword. When asked what it is, Rand replies that it is a relic. A kind servant directs him to the queen. He traverses a hallway with mirrors showing other great cities; the land knew no war, Shadowspawn no longer existed, Aes Sedai Healed freely, the Aiel Waste bloomed, nation borders no longer existed, everyone had all they needed. He finds Elayne, alone- making him realize that no one would need a queen in his paradise. She looks at him, and knows him, but something in her eye makes him take a defensive posture with Laman's Sword. He studies her eyes and notes a shadow in them resembling the look of one Turned to the Shadow...
I HAVE DONE NOTHING, ADVERSARY. THIS IS YOUR CREATION.
"Nonsense! You've changed her! You've changed them all!"
DID YOU THINK THAT REMOVING ME FROM THEIR LIVES WOULD LEAVE THEM UNALTERED? I TURN MEN TO ME. IT IS TRUE. THEY CANNOT CHOOSE GOOD ONCE I HAVE MADE THEM MINE IN THAT WAY. HOW IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT, ADVERSARY? IF YOU DO THIS, WE ARE ONE.
"No! No! The world would be perfect without you!"
PERFECT. UNCHANGING. RUINED. DO THIS, IF YOU WISH, ADVERSARY. IN KILLING ME, I WOULD WIN."
—Rand and Shai'tan
Rand realizes that in creating his dream, he would create something terrible. In a moment of weakness, the Dark One attacks again, showing him a vision of the reality that Rand is most intimate with, his own, where he forces the Dragon to watch as the Forces of Light face annihilation at the Field of Merrilor.
Rand weeps at the onslaught of so many threads destroyed, ended by Tarmon Gaidon. He feels that he should be able to protect them all. All of his strength is used to keep the Dark One from crushing him, leaving Rand unable to fight against the horror of watching the Dark One's minions crush his allies one by one. Rand begs the Dark One to end it, the Dark One promises to grant his wish if he gives in. Rand barely holds on and refuses the temptation. The Dark One spins one more reality for Rand to see...
...Nothing. The Dark One tempts Rand with oblivion, calling it an accommodation, an agreement that neither of them would try to reshape the Wheel, instead all creation would enter the Void...and have peace. Rand refuses, recognizing that an end to existence is not peace from a previous choice. True pain begins after Rand's refusal...
...Rand witnesses Egwene's death and darkness closes in as the Dark One senses his weakness...
- Lan Mandragoran
- Matrim Cauthon
- Logain Ablar
- Elayne Trakand
- Birgitte Silverbow
- Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag
- Talmanes Delovinde
- Kwamesa Sedai
- Asha'man Einar
- Androl Genhald
- Emarin Pendaloan
- Pevara Tazanovni
- Gawyn Trakand
- Egwene al'Vere
- Gareth Bryne
- Siuan Sanche
- Lelaine Akashi
- Silviana Brehon
- Doesine Alwain
- Tam al'Thor
- Abell Cauthon
- Azi al'Thone or Azil Mareed[verify]
- Galadedrid Damodred
- Dannil Lewin
- Mika the damane
- Elmindreda Farshaw
- Dark One
- Rand al'Thor
- Jori Congar[verify]
- Damer Flinn
- Cadsuane Melaidhrin
- Adora Aybara
- Basel Gill
- Masema Dagar
- Jonneth Dowtry
- Toveine Gazal
- Haral Luhhan
- Perrin Aybara
- Aes Sedai
- Wolf Guard
- Legion of the Dragon
- Black Ajah
- Deathwatch Guard
- Band of the Red Hand
- Winged Guards
- Field of Merrilor
- River Mora
- Dashar Knob
- River Erinin
- Two Rivers
- The Queen's Blessing in Caemlyn
- Seanchan Empress
- Amyrlin Seat
- Bloodknife ring
- The Void
- The Game of Houses
- The Pattern
- Fire ball
- Flame of Tar Valon
- Mask of Mirrors
- ↑ Talmanes Delovinde
- ↑ During his time in Ghealdan working for the Prophet of the Dragon
- ↑ Against the Seanchan, when Rand fought Ishamael in the sky
- ↑ Turning turns a channeler to the Dark One against their will. Logain survived the process, but something dark was left within him, manifesting his fear of losing the One Power, driving him to do something to never have that fear.[verify]
- ↑ Toveine was turned to the Shadow
- ↑ Jonneth Dowtry, Canler, Emarin Pendaloan, Theodrin
- ↑ This will lead to their deaths, fulfilling Min's vision.
- ↑ The Eye of the World, Chapter 36
- ↑ When he stood atop Dragonmount with the Choedan Kal and the power to destroy the Wheel of Time lay with him.
- ↑ The Gathering Storm, Chapter 50