Monday, December 17, 2012

Wheel of Time Reread: The Dragon Reborn part 10

The Dragon Reborn: chapters 55 - 56

Chapter 55: What is Written in Prophecy
  • Rand:
    • If I am the Dragon Reborn. If I am not just some half-mad man cursed with the ability to channel, a puppet dancing for Moiraine and the White Tower.
      • "Take it, Lews Therin. Take it, Kinslayer."
    • But the doubts were still strong in Rand. Callandor could only be touched by the Dragon Reborn. He had allowed them to proclaim him so for a hundred reasons that seemed to leave him no choice at the time. But was he truly, not in a dream, would his hand meet an invisible wall while Be'lal cut him down from behind?
    • He has to draw a magical sword from a stone--Arthurian Legend anyone!
    • I have done it, he thought. I have killed Ba'alzamon, killed Shai'tan! I have won the Last Battle! Light, I AM the Dragon Reborn! The breaker of nations, the Breaker of the World. No! I will END the breaking, end the killing! I will MAKE it end!
      • He raised Callandor above his head. Silver lightning crackled from the blade, jagged streaks arching toward the great dome above. "Stop!" he shouted. The fighting, ceased; men stared at him in wonder, over black veils, from beneath the rims of round helmets. "I am Rand al'Thor!" he called, so his voice rang through the chamber. "I am the Dragon Reborn!" Callandor shone in his grasp.
      • One by one, veiled men and helmeted, they knelt to him, crying. "The Dragon Reborn! The Dragon Reborn!"
      • Oh poor Rand! This wasn't the last battle, it was no where near the Last Battle.
  • Be'lal:
    • "I confess surprise that you cared enough to make them useful. But you were ever a fool, ever ready to follow your heart before power. You came too soon, Lews Therin. Now you must do what you are not yet ready for, or else die. Die, knowing you have left these women you care for in my hands." He seemed to be waiting for something, expectant. "I mean to use them more, Kinslayer. They will serve me, serve my power. And that  will hurt them far more than anything they have suffered before."
    • "Call me Be'lal." The Forsaken scowled when Rand did not react to the name. "Take it!" Be'lal snapped, throwing a hand toward the sword behind Rand. "Once we rode to war side by side, and for that I give you a chance. A bare chance, but a chance to save yourself, a chance to save those three I mean to make my pets. Take the sword, countryman. Perhaps it will be enough to help you survive me."
      • Rand laughed. "Do you believe you can frighten me so easily, Forsaken? Ba'alzamon himself has hunted me. Do you think I will cower now for you? Grovel before a Forsaken when I have denied the Dark One to his face?"
      • "Is that what you think?" Be'lal said softly. "Truly, you know nothing." Suddenly there was a sword in his hands a sword with a blade carved from black fire. "Take it! Take Callandor! Three thousand years, while I lay imprisoned, is has waited there. For you. One of the most powerful sa'angreal we ever made. Take it, and defend yourself, if you can!"
      • He moved toward Rand as if to drive him back toward Callandor, but Rand raised his own hands--saidin filled him; sweet rushing flow of the Power; stomach-wrenching vileness of the taint--and he held a sword wrought from red flame, a sword with a heron-mark on its fiery blade. He stepped into the forms Lan had taught him till he flowed from one to the next as if in a dance.
    • "You were a greater swordsman, once, Lews Therin," he said mockingly. "Do you remember when we took that tame sport called swords and learned to kill with it, as the old volumes said men once had? Do you remember even on e of those desperate battles, even one of those desperate battles, even one of our dire defeats? Of course not. You remember nothing, do you? This time you have not learned enough. This time, Lews Therin, I will kill you." Be'lal's mockery deepened. "Perhaps if you take Callandor, you might extend you life a little longer. A little longer."
  • Moiraine:
    • Even Be'lal gave a start at the command in that woman's voice. The Forsaken stepped back out of the arc of Rand's sword and turned his head to frown at Moiraine as she came striding through the battle, her eyes fixed on him, ignoring the screaming deaths around her.
    • There was an instant of surprise on the Forsaken's face, and he had time to scream "No!" Then a bar of white fire hotter than the sun shot from the Aes Sedai's hands, a glaring rod that banished all shadows. Before it, Be'lal became a shape of shimmering motes, specks dancing in the light for less than a heartbeat, flecks consumed before his cry faded.
    • "You must take Callandor. He meant to slay you for it, but it is your birthright.
  • Ba'alzamon
    • "Twice in this life I have offered you the chance to serve me living." Flames leaped in his mouth as he spoke, and every word roared like a furnace. "Twice you have refused, and wounded me. Now you will serve the Lord of the Grave in death. Die, Lews Therin Kinslayer. Die, Rand al'Thor. It is time for you to die! I take your soul!"
    • His hand closed convulsively. On Callandor's hilt.
      • The One Power surged through him, a torrent greater than he could believe, from saidin into the sword. The crystal blade shone brighter than even Moiraine's fire had. It was impossible to look at, impossible any longer to see that it was a sword, only that light blazed in his fist.
    • He turned to face Ba'alzamon. The tearing within him had ceased as soon as his hand touched Callandor. Only an instant has passed, yet it seemed to have lasted forever. "You will not take my soul," he shouted. "This time, I mean to finish it once and for all! I mean to finish it now!"
      • Ba'alzamon fled, man and shadow vanishing.
  • Mat:
    • "Matrim Cauthon," Nynaeve said, sounding shocked, "what under the Light are you doing here?"
      • "I cam to bloody rescue you," he said. "Burn me if I expected to be greeted as if I had come to steal a pie. You can tell me why you look as if you'd been fighting bears later, if you want. If Egwene cannot walk, I'll carry her on my back."
    • "What I understand is that I got you out of something you couldn't get yourselves out of, and you all have as much gratitude as a bloody Taren Ferry man with a toothache!"
      • "You are right," Nynaeve said, and his boots suddenly hit the floor as hard his teeth jarred. But he could move again. "As much as it pains me to say it, Mat you are right."
    • "Are you going to stand there?" he called to the thief-catcher. "I did not come this far to let them die now!"
  • Perrin:
    • He opened his eyes to stinging agony, as if his face and arms and shoulders had been sliced with a thousand knives. It did not matter. Faile was kneeling over him, those dark, tilted eyes filled with worry, wiping his face with a cloth already soaked in his blood.
      • "My poor Perrin," she said softly. "My poor blacksmith. You are hurt so badly."
      • With an effort that cost more pain, he turned his head. This was the private dining room in the Star, and near one leg of the table lay a wooden carving of a hedgehog, broken in half. "Faile," he whispered to her. "My falcon."
Chapter 56: People of the Dragon

  • Mat:
    • Rhuarc glanced in his direction, all cold blue eyes and level stare. Mat looked away hastily, before the Aiel could read his thoughts on his face. At least he is not veiled, thank the Light! Burn me, that Aviendha nearly took my head off when I asked her if she could do any dances without spears. Bain and Chiad presented another problem. They were certainly pretty and more than friendly, but he could not manage to talk to one without the other. The male Aiel seemed to think his efforts to get one of them alone were funny, and for that matter, so did Bain and Chiad. Women are odd, but Aiel women make odd seem normal!
    • Mat shook his head. He would have expected Perrin to have been up in the Stone last night; the blacksmith had always been braver than anyone with good sense.
    • Burn me! Break them out of a prison cell, save their lives half a dozen times between them before the night is done, and they glower as hard as the bloody Aes Sedai! Well, they did not thank me then, either, did they? You'd have thought I was sticking my nose in where it wasn't wanted then, too, instead of keeping some bloody Defender from putting a sword through one of them.
    • "Moiraine, my memory has holes big enough for a wagon and team, but I remember Ba'alzamon being in my dreams. I remember! Burn me, I do not see how I can ever forget! And I recognized what was left of that face."
      • "You recognized Ba'alzamon," Moiraine said. "Or rather, the man who called himself Ba'alzamon. The Dark One yet lives, imprisoned at Shayol Ghul, and the Shadow yet lies across the Pattern."
    • "And you thought it was done? You are ta'veren, Mat, a thread more crucial to the Pattern than most, and the sounder of the Horn of Valere. Nothing is done for you, yet."
      • They were all looking at him. Nynaeve sadly, Egwene as though she had never seen him before, Elayne as if she expected him to change into someone else. Rhuarc had a certain respect in his eyes, though Mat would just as soon have done without it, all things considered.
  • Moiraine:
    • "More precisely," Moiraine told her, "a focus point for one of the seals. But in essence, you are correct. During the Breaking of the World they were scattered and hidden for safety; since the Trolloc Wars they have been lost in truth." She sniffed. "I begin to sound like Verin."
  • Rhuarc:
    • "When a man wishes to become a clan chief, he must go to Rhuidean, in the lands of the Jenn Aiel, the clan that is not." He spoke slowly and frowned often at the red-fringed silk carpet under his soft boots, a man trying to explain what he did not want to explain at all. "Women who wish to become Wise Ones also make this journey, but their marking, if they are marked, is kept secret among themselves. The men who are chosen at Rhuidean, those who survive, return marked on the left arm. So."
      • He pushed back the sleeves of his coat and shirt together to reveal his left forearm, the skin much paler than that of his hands and face. Etched into the skin as if part of it, wrapped twice around, marched the same gold-and-scarlet from as rippled on the banner above the Stone.
      • The Aiel let his sleeve fall with a sigh. "It is a name not spoken except among the clan chiefs and the Wise Ones. We are..." He cleared his throat again, unable to say it here.
      • "The Aiel are the People of the Dragon." Moiraine spoke quietly, but she sounded as close to startlement as Mat could remember hearing her. "That I did not know."

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