The Path of Daggers: Chapter 23

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Author: Val a'Shain

Seanchan Helmet Chapter Icon.png

Fog of War, Storm of Battle

Chapter Icon: Insect like Helmet

Points of view: Rand, Furyk Karede


Rand realizes the casualties of the battle are more than he expected. The battle is won but Rand decides to press on to Ebou Dar.


Rand's Point of View:

Setting: The Venir Mountains, Altara

Characters: Rand, Weiramon, Bashere, Nerith

Rand overlooks the field of the battle. He didn't take part in the fighting himself. Weiramon seems to think it is a great victory even if it was achieved with the One Power instead of conventional means. Bashere informs him Aracome has died in the battle. Min had foreseen his death so it doesn't really surprise Rand. He pities Min for having these horrible visions though. Even with the Asha'man the butcher's bill is too high. Bashere says they will do better next time. Rand thinks they will have to or he'll run out of men.

Bashere's patrols bring in the prisoners, about a hundred men. To make matters worse there is also one woman among them, a sul'dam. Rand decides to let the men go but hand the sul'dam over to the Aes Sedai later. When she hears this the sul'dam, Nerith, goes mad. It takes four men to subdue her. One of the soldiers reports the next group of Seanchan have been spotted. On to the next battle.

Furyk Karede's Point of View:

Setting: The Venir Mountains, Altara

Characters: Furyk Karede, Nadoc

Karede is moving his men, gathered from four outposts through a mountain pass. He is proud to be one of the Forerunners and serve the Empress, may she live forever. He is disturbed by the lack of scouting reports though. It feels like he is marching blindly. One of his men, Nadoc, seems to think there are as many as forty thousand Altarans in these mountains. Even if they are spread out like reports seem to suggest that is still a reason for concern. Right now they are marching to meet about five thousand of them. He has only half that much but with a damane they should crush them. Then the attack on them starts. Someone is obviously using the One Power, his forces cannot stand against this. Karede gives orders to save what can be saved and fall back.

Rand's Point of View:

Setting: The Venir Mountains, Altara

Characters: Rand, Weiramon, Bashere, Nerith, Arlen Nalaam

Five days have passed since Rand moved his forces into the mountains, five days of battles. His plan seems to be working. One of the Soldiers opens a gateway and steps through with another captured sul'dam. That makes twenty-three of them and two damane. They still disturb Rand. The soldier bringing her in, a man named Arlen Nalaam, reports a strangeness in saidin. Rand is puzzled by this. Saidin is tainted, how else would it feel? He sends Nalaam back into the battle.

The Seanchan force seems to be breaking, he really is pushing them west fast. Rand sends in the two Asha'man that remained with him with orders to push hard. They object at leaving him unguarded but Rand says he can take care of himself. After the two leave a group of several hundred Seanchan heads in their direction. Rand is not in a good position to fight here. He loses control of the Source and falls off his horse. Surrounded by nobles of questionable loyalty to him, he is vulnerable now. The nobles seem more worried that Bashere might hang them if something happens to him than with Rand's condition. They order their troops to give it all they've got. Bashere and a group of Companions return in time to turn the battle.

After it is done Bashere tells him all the Seanchan are heading west. He's defeated them. Bashere presses to take their winnings and go home. Most of the other nobles think they should press hard and take Ebou Dar. Rand has a chance to deal the Seanchan a crippling blow. Why not press on to Ebou Dar?

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