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|<<< The Hook >>>|
|Setting: the fields outside Tar Valon|
- Point of view: Lan Mandragoran
It is a cold and crisp morning way before sunrise. Lan Mandragoran is surveying his camp of soldiers making sure that the sentries are awake. There are no fires because it will give away to the Aiel the camp's position. Lan's army is part of what is being called the Great Coalition, a large army dedicated to stopping the advance of the Aiel. Lan catches Basram and Jaim sleeping while on guard duty.
Bukama Marenellin, who is Lan's friend, teacher, and fellow Malkieri, is silently following but isn't quiet enough for Lan's sharp senses. Lan and Bukama discuss the possibility of the Aiel being Darkfriends. The Aiel War has been going on for some time now. A Tairen messenger approaches on horseback. He rudely explains to Lan that Lord Emares wants Lan to take his men to the Hook, a nearby geologic formation. There they are to act as an anvil while Lord Emares' men act as the hammer. Lan agrees to the plan and tells the messenger that his army will be in place at sunrise. Lan sends Bukama to wake the men.
They quickly make their way to the low ridge called the Hook, and wait for the Aiel to arrive. The Aiel appear from the trees in several lines, twenty abreast. As they keep coming, trumpets sound from far off. The Aiel look around but continue to issue from the trees, far more than expected. A good five hundred paces from the ridge line the Aiel come to a halt. There is roughly 2000 Aiel to Lan's 300. Lord Emares' trumpets sound far away in the distance. After studying Lan's men the Aiel lift their spears. As one, the spears come down and they shout "Aan'allein!". Lan knows it is the Old Tongue and the best translation he can come up with is, One man alone. Abruptly the Aiel start moving northward until they are well beyond the ridge line, then angle eastward once more. Lan goes to find Lord Emares and have a talk with him about hammers and anvils.
- Lord Emares
- "The Dark One and all of the Forsaken are bound in Shayol Ghul, beyond the Great Blight, bound by the Creator at the moment of Creation, bound until the end of time. The hand of the Creator shelters the world, and the Light shines on us all." (see religious beliefs).