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|<<< Against the Shadow >>>|
|Setting: The Blight|
- Point of view: Rand al'Thor
Rand al'Thor is on the run, fleeing from the pursuing Aginor. Moiraine Damodred has finally stopped screaming. Rand comes to the end of the hilltop, which drops away sharply. He turns to find Aginor approaching. Aginor talks about taking Rand back to Shayol Ghul, but he believes he is above this order and could kill Rand himself if he wants. Rand is beginning to panic when he sees a glowing rope running from Aginor. As Aginor walks towards Rand he becomes more fully fleshed. The glowing bar calls Rand and a tiny strand drifts from Aginor and into Rand. They both begin to stuggle over control over the white glow. Rand notices that Aginor's face is no longer withered, but the face of a strong man in his prime. As they both struggle, flames begin to shoot from Aginor's mouth and he is consumed by fire.
Rand wishes to be away from the hilltop and finds himself in a broad mountain pass. There is battle all around Rand, men from the Borderlands fighting Trollocs. At one end of the pass are the Borderlanders, their forces re-grouping, getting ready for another charge which they probably won't survive. Down at the other end is the Dark One's forces. The army is filled with Trollocs, with Draghkar flying overhead, and Myrddraal are also present. Both sides have now noticed Rand. Heat fills Rand and lightning begins to strike the Draghkar, clearing the sky of their bodies. The Trolloc army begins to charge Rand. Rand drops to his knees and begins to pound the ground, causing huge seismic waves which tears through the Trolloc army. The Trolloc army has been decimated but is still twice the size of the Borderlands force.
Rand hears a voice and climbs towards it. Rand finds himself in Ba'alzamon's chamber, with Ba'alzamon himself there, in front of the fireplace. Ba'alzamon knew Aginor's greed would overcome him, but isn't worried now that Rand has finally revealed himself. Rand notices behind Ba'alzamon lies a huge thick black cord, which is starting to devour Rand's smaller white cord. Ba'alzamon wishes Rand to kneel at his feet. He tells Rand about Jain Farstrider, hinting about him still being at large and under his control. He also mentions the Black Ajah also hunting Rand. Ba'alzamon tries to get Rand to kneel by showing him illusions of Kari al'Thor, Egwene al'Vere and Nynaeve al'Meara being tortured by Myrddraal. Rand still denies Ba'alzamon. Rand produces a blade of pure white light and kills the Myrddraal. Rand then turns and slashes Ba'alzamon's black cord. The black cord rebounds back into Ba'alzamon and sends him flying into the fireplace. Rand feels the white cord attached to him thinning and sends the last amount of power he has left into Ba'alzamon. Ba'alzamon and the whole chamber catch on fire and begin to burn and blacken. The fire becomes white hot until something strikes Rand knocking him unconscious.
- Rand al'Thor
- Kari al'Thor (illusion)
- Nynaeve al'Meara (illusion)
- Egwene al'Vere (illusion)