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Balefire is a weave of the One Power that is a very dangerous weapon. Although it is very effective and almost impossible to defend against it is rarely used due to the nature of the weave, in that it not only destroys whatever it is used against, it destroys it before it hits “When anything is destroyed with balefire, it ceases to exist before the moment of its destruction, like a thread that burns away from where the flame touched it.” (Moiraine). The amount removed from the pattern depends on the amount used. Moiraine, for example, could only remove a few seconds, Rand, being much stronger could remove minutes (TFoH, Ch. 6). With a sa'angreal like Callandor, entire cities could be destroyed.

The Dark one can not resurrect someone who has been killed by Balefire because he can not step out of time (LoC, Prologue). Balefire does not wipe you from the pattern, it does not destroy your soul. Someone who is balefired goes onto normal rebirth in the circle of life.

Due to the damage it can do, using balefire, or even learning it, is forbidden by the White Tower since the Breaking of the World (TFoH, Ch. 6). Moiraine claims that it is forbidden by vows almost as strong as the Three Oaths and that she might be stilled just for knowing it. Curiously, she states it has not been used in nearly two thousand years, which suggests it was used during the Trolloc Wars (TDR, Ch. 39). She does however use it, claiming that sometimes it is necessary to do things that are forbidden, though Rand sees her blush as she says this (TFoH, Ch. 6). When Cadsuane sees Rand use balefire, she slaps him and tells him never to use it again (ACoS, Ch. 36). This does make him reluctant (ACoS, Ch. 41), but he nevertheless uses it in Shadar Logoth to kill Liah and save her from Mashadar (ACoS, Ch. 41).

The appearance of balefire is distinctive, an intensely hot, intensely bright bar of light (TDR, Ch. 39; Ch. 44; Ch. 55), like molten metal (TDR, Ch. 39; Ch. 44; TSR, Ch. 54; TFoH, Ch. 6) or liquid fire (TFoH, Ch. 6; Ch. 55; KoD, Ch. 22). When balefire strikes an object, it leaves no trace, ceasing to exist as though they had never been (TDR, Ch. 39; TDR, Ch. 55; TSR, Ch. 54). People and creatures that have been balefired react differently, briefly becoming shapes of shimmering motes, specks dancing in the light (TDR, Ch. 55; KoD, Ch. 22), colors reversed and breaking apart to become smaller and smaller until nothing remains (TFoH, Ch. 6; Ch. 22). This may be dependant on the strength of the balefire used as when Rand kills Rahvin, there is none of that, Rahvin simply ceases (TFoH, Ch. 55).


Useage of Balefire

In the Age of Legends, entire cities were destroyed by balefire. Balefire was used liberally by both sides for an entire year. When its full effects were realised, both sides stopped using it without any formal agreement (TFoH, Ch. 6, TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 4).

Eldrene supposedly sent balefire to destroy the Trolloc hordes (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 10).

Nynaeve's balefires the Myrddraal when captured by Adden and Coke (TDR, Ch. 39).

Moiraine balefires the Darkhounds outside Illian(TDR, Ch. 39).

Moiraine balefires Be'lal in the Stone of Tear (TDR, Ch. 55).

Isha'mael tries to balefire Rand, but Callandor saves him (TDR, Ch. 55).

Jeaine Caide uses the balefire ter'angreal in the Panarch's palace Tanchico (TSR, Ch. 54).

Rand balefires the Darkhounds in Rhuidean (TFoH, Ch. 6).

He then balefires the ones attacking Mat, and tries to make the amount used less (TFoH, Ch. 6).

Rand balefires a Draghkar with a finger thin bar and is hesitant to admit doing so (TFoH, Ch. 22).

Rahvin tries to balefire Rand (TFoH, Ch. 55).

Rand uses it himself. He finally kills Rahvin with it (TFoH, Ch. 55).

Moghedien tries to balefire Nynaeve but just gets the middle of the boat.(ACoS, Ch. 30)

Rand balefires a fog and Cadsuane slaps him, telling him never to use it again (ACoS, Ch. 36).

Rand and Moridin's balefire streams cross. Everything doubles in his eyes (ACoS, Ch. 41).

Rand balefires Liah to save her from Mashadar (ACoS, Ch. 41).

Osan'gar intended to balefire Rand while he was cleansing the Source (WH, Ch. 35).

Asne uses the balefire rod on the armies outside Caemlyn (KoD, Ch. 22.

Rand uses balefire to kill Semirhage and Elza (TGS, Ch. 22).

Rand teaches Narishma the weave by balefiring his coat (TGS, Ch. 23) as he now knows that balefire will stop the Forsaken being resurrected before the Last Battle (TGS, Ch. 15).

Rand balefires Graendal's palace in Natrin's Barrow (TGS, Ch. 37).

One of the Black Ajah tries to use it on Egwene and Perrin in Tel'aran'rhiod but Perrin prevents it (ToM, Ch. 37).


"'That is the weave we must use when fighting Forsaken, Narishma,' al'Thor said, his quiet voice cutting straight through Cadsuane's. 'If we kill them with anything else, they can be reborn. It is a dangerous tool, but still just a tool. Like any other.'" (Rand about balefire; (TGS, Ch. 23)