The Shadow Rising: Chapter 26

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Author: Manora al'Sara

The Dedicated


Chapter Icon: Wheel and Serpent

Points of View: Rand, Adan, Jonai, Coumin, Charn

Summary

Adan's Point of View:

Setting: Somewhere in the Westlands

Characters: Adan, Sulwin, Maigran, Lewin

Rand sees the fifth vision from the columns: Adan is lying in a sandy hollow with his grandchildren, Maigran and Lewin. They are all crying. Some of the wagons are burning, many of the people are lying dead on the ground and the horses have been driven off. Adan takes no real notice of the crated objects that he was transporting for the Aes Sedai, which have been carelessly toppled into the dirt. He is occupied by the men with weapons, who had done the killing, who are loading women into the empty wagons. His daughter Rhea and only remaining living child is among them, his son Marind had been killed that morning. He wants to stop them but is afraid to in case the children are injured or killed. So he makes himself watch, whilst comforting the two children, as the wagons and people are taken away and out of sight. Adan tells the children to stay where they are and goes down to look at one of the bodies. It is his wife Siedre. He is approached by the remaining men and is addressed by the leader Sulwin who asks what he plans to do. Adan responds that he plans to go on, that there is nothing else that can be done. Sulwin argues that it is impossible but Adan insists that it can be done and that they must be faithful to their duty. Sulwin disagrees and says that they need to find a place of safety and that some of them mean to do that - to find a place where they can sing again. Adan scoffs at this and says that the songs are gone and the old days are gone and that they should not give up their promise to the Aes Sedai to go after something lost. Sulwin argues and his followers begin unloading some of the wagons. One of the crates falls over and crashes open revealing what looks like a polished doorframe of dark red stone. Adan is angry and shouts at Sulwin and the others that they are not Aiel and that they are lost. Sulwin replies that at least they keep the Way of the Leaf. Adan turns his attention back to the wagons, to the many dead and injured, to the stone doorframe, tumbled piles of figurines, odd shapes in crystal standing among the potted Chora cuttings. Turns his attention to saving at least some of the things entrusted to them by the Aes Sedai. He sees Maigran and Lewin clutching at their Mother's skirts and is glad that Saralin is alive to take care of them. Then he lifts up his wife's body and weeps.




Rand's Point of View:

Setting: The glass columns

Characters: Rand, Muradin Rand comes back to himself and has tears in his eyes. His thoughts are confused but he realizes that the Way of the Leaf is no Aiel belief. Beside him is Muradin standing with his mouth open in a soundless howl, his eyes bulging as if witnessing the death of everything. The two step forward together.




Jonai's Point of View:

Setting: Somewhere in the Westlands

Characters: Jonai, Adan, Muradin

Jonai stands at the edge of a cliff, staring out westward towards the direction where Comelle had lain. He thinks to himself that perhaps if Alnora was still alive he would have found all this easier but without her dreams he doesn't know what to do or where to go. In fact, he hardly cares to live. They had fewer wagons and people now. Adan meets him at the first wagon - he reminds Jonai of Willim. But Willim had been sent away years ago when he had started to channel. Adan tells him that Ogier have arrived from the north. They were a bedraggled band no more than fifty in number and this shocked him as he was used to seeing it in his own people but had not expected to see it in the Ogier. He remembers the last time he had seen an Aes Sedai had been just after Alnora had died. She had healed the sick, taken some of the sa'angreal and gone laughing bitterly when he had asked whether there was a place of safety. Her dress had been worn and patched and he thought that she must have been going mad as she had claimed that Ishamael, one of the Forsaken, was only partially trapped and still touched the world. Jonai pulls himself back to the present. The Ogier notice that there are Chora tree cuttings on the wagons. They also discuss that the Blight is growing southward and the Myrddraal and Trollocs are roaming there. Jonai realizes that they therefore cannot travel north. The Ogier asks Jonai if he knows where any of the stedding are. He is stunned that they cannot find them themselves because the land has changed so much. The Ogier think that if they don't find a stedding soon they will die, that they can feel a longing in their bones. Jonai feels a tightness in his chest at the Ogier's words. The land had changed so much, the Blight was growing, there were still Myrddraal and Trollocs alive, people stealing, people who didn't recognise the Da'shain, the Ogier and Aiel both lost. He can barely breathe​ and sinks down to his knees clutching at his chest. His son Adan kneels beside him and asks if he is all right. Jonai tells him to take the people south to keep the Covenant and guard what the Aes Sedai gave them, to keep the Way of the Leaf, while the pain is tearing his chest.




Rand's Point of View:

Setting: The glass columns

Characters: Rand, Muradin

Rand's vision fades and the tightness in his chest releases. This vision made no sense, how could these people be Aiel. The columns around him flashed in blinding pulses. Beside him Muradin's mouth was stretched wide, he was clawing at his face leaving deep bloody scratches. Rand moves forward.




Jonai's Point of View:

Setting: Paaran Disen

Characters: Rand, Adan, Sulwin, Mat, Jonai, Oselle, Muradin, Alnora, Solinda, Deindre, Someshta, Coumin, Charn

Jonai is hurrying down the empty streets trying not to look at the shattered buildings and dead Chora trees. Aftershocks were still troubling the land beneath his feet. He was wearing his work clothes, his cadin'sor, though the work he had been given was nothing he had been trained for. He was 63, in the prime of his life but he felt old and tired. He enters the Hall of Servants and no one questioned him as there was no one left to do so. Lots of people inside were dashing about in panic which grew every time the ground shook. He slips in through the door of a room where about six Aes Sedai, all women, were stood around a long table arguing. Jonai shivered and wondered if men would ever stand in a meeting like that again. There was a crystal sword on the table, perhaps an object of the Power perhaps not, holding down the Dragon banner of Lews Therin. He cannot understand why the banner has not been destroyed. Oselle is shouting at Deindre because the latter had a Foretelling but could not tell them when it would happen. Deindre remains calm and Solinda interjects into the argument. Jonai then notices that he is not the only one in the room with the Aes Sedai. Someshta, one of the Nym sits against the wall. The Nym seems troubled. Someshta does not recognise him, but he remembers that there was singing and recognises Jonai as a "Child of the Dragon". Jonai winces at the title because it is dangerous now that so few people seem to remember that the Da'Shain served all Aes Sedai, not just the Dragon. Solinda Sedai asks Jonai if everything is ready and he replies that it is but that some of them wish to remain and serve. She sighs and talks to him of what happened to the Aiel at Tzora, when thousands​ of them linked arms, singing, trying to remind Jaric Mondoran who he was and stop his madness and he killed them all. She says that there is no reason for them to stay, that most of the people in Paaran Disen had already fled and that the Da'Shain have another part to play now. Solinda tells Jonai to take the things the Aes Sedai had given them and to keep moving until they find a place of safety where no one can harm them and he agrees. Solinda makes him promise to keep the Covenant and that even if the Da'Shain lose everything else he must see that they keep the Way of the Leaf. Jonai is shocked by this entreaty because the Covenant was the Aiel and the Aiel were the Covenant, to abandon the Way of the Leaf would be to abandon who they are. Solinda then says she wants him far away by tomorrow and begs him to leave and goes back to the argument. Jonai bows his way out of the room thinking that he would never see them again. He goes back to the wagons, thousands of them loaded with food and water, Chora cuttings and the crated angreal, sa'angreal and ter'angreal that the Aes Sedai had given them - all things that had to be kept from the male channelers in their madness. A group of the waiting Aiel come to meet him asking whether the Aes Sedai had granted leave for any of them to stay behind. He tells them "no" and that they must obey. He returns to his wagon and his family. His wife Alnora looks worried and he asks her if everything is all right and if she dreamed. Alnora replies that she had dreamed but of no time soon and that everything will be well. Jonai then signals the other wagons and the Aiel begins to leave Paren Disen.




Rand's Point of View:

Setting: The glass columns

Characters: Rand, Muradin

Rand shakes his head, full with too many memories crowding together. The air seems to be filled with sheet lightning. Muradin had clawed deep furrows in his face and was digging at his eyes. Rand moves forward.




Coumin's Point of View:

Setting: A city in the Age of Legends

Characters: Coumin, Someshta, Tomada

Coumin is kneeling at the edge of ploughed ground in his working clothes. He is in a line surrounded by ten other men of the Da'Shain Aiel who are twice stretched-arms length and then an Ogier, all the way around. He can see across to the next field where the same is happening. Coumin had just turned 16 and the women had decided that his voice was finally deep enough for him to join in the singing. There are soldiers (men and Ogier) around the field too and Coumin is fascinated by them because they actually kill. His great-grandfather claimed that there was a time without soldiers but he did not believe that because who would kill the Trollocs. But his great-grandfather also claimed there hadn't been any Trollocs then either. He always said that Lanfear had not always been evil but Coumin wished he wouldn't as people would look at him and Coumin didn't like that. One of the Nym was approaching. It was Someshta, he was head and shoulders taller than the Ogier and where he trod he left footprints filled with sprouting plants. Coumin wondered if he could ask Someshta about his great-grandfather's stories. Someshta would know, he was old, some said the Nym never died, not so long as plants grew. The Ogier stood and began to sing, then the Aiel begins singing and Someshta begins to dance across the field. The women were clapping to urge the men on. He is caught up in the singing and could see that wherever the Nym had trodden were now green sprouts. Coumin believes that this was what he was born for, to sing. The song begins to fade slowly and then stops​ and the women were coming to congratulate them. Coumin catches the eye of a lone soldier standing by Tomada, one of the Ogier. He goes to talk to the soldier asking if there is any news. The soldier says he has an unconfirmed report that Lews Therin has led the companions on a strike at Shayol Ghul this morning at dawn. Something is disrupting communications but the report was that the Bore was sealed with most, if not all of the Forsaken on the other side. Tomada says that at last it is over. The soldier replies yes and that the local folk could not wait to go off and celebrate. But there are still Trollocs and Nightriders even though the Forsaken are gone. Coumin is stunned, as is the soldier. But Tomada does not appear excited at all. Coumin cannot imagine the world without war and decides he must talk to his great-grandfather - Charn. He is on his way back to the inn when he is attacked and struck in the face by a townsman. The townsman spits at him and says that Lanfear will not protect them anymore and that they will root out all those who served the Forsaken while pretending to be on the side of light and treat the lot of them like they treated that crazy old man. Then a woman comes and pulls him away. Coumin runs to the inn looking for Charn to find that Charn has been murdered and has been hanged. Coumin is devastated and cannot understand why this has happened.




Rand's Point of View:

Setting: The glass columns

Characters: Rand, Muradin

Rand quivered. The light from the columns seems like a shimmering blue haze. Muradin had managed to veil himself and his bloody eye sockets were staring out blindly above his veil. He was chewing his fingers, and blood and froth was dripping onto his chest. Rand steps forward.




Charn's Point of View:

Setting: V'saine

Characters: Charn

Charn is making his way down the side of a wide crowded street, beneath spreading Chora trees with their trefoil leaves spreading peace and contentment in the shadow of silvery buildings that touch the sky. He thinks that a city without Choras would seem bleak as a wilderness. Jo-cars are humming down the street and a great white sho-wing darts across the sky carrying people to Comelle or Tzora or somewhere. He seldom used sho-wings - if he needed to go very far an Aes Sedai normally Travelled with him but he would use one tonight to go to M'Jinn. Today was his 25th naming day and tonight he intended to accept Nalla's latest offer of marriage. It would mean changing his service to Zorelle Sedai whom Nalla served but Mierin Sedai had already given her blessing. As Charn rounds a corner he collides with a man and ends up crashing to the ground. The man shouts at him to watch where he is going. The woman with him takes his arm and points out that the person he has knocked down is Aiel. The man apologizes and helps Charn up. As he is righted the ground began to ripple under their feet and the air ripples too in spreading waves. The man looks uncertain and asks Charn what it is. Charn does not answer but pushes past and through the crowd of people that have gathered, his eyes fixed on the Sharom, the white sphere high above the Collam Daan. Mierin had said that today was the day, that she had found a new source for the One Power. Female and male Aes Sedai would be able to tap the same Source, what men and women could do united, would be greater, and today she and Beidomon would tap it for the first time. What seemed like a tiny chip of white spun away from the Sharom in a jet of black fire, it descended, deceptively slowly and began to drift down, falling, in an obsidian inferno. Darkness spread across the sky swallowing the sun in an unnatural light. People are screaming everywhere. With the first spurt of fire Charn breaks into a run towards the Collam Daan, but he knows he is too late. He was sworn to serve Aes Sedai but he was too late, tears were rolling down his face as he ran.





Rand's Point of View:

Setting: Rhuidean

Characters: Rand, Mat

Rand blinks to dispel the spots in his vision with a question in his mind, did he really just see the hole drilled into the Dark One's prison. He is at the edge of the columns staring at Avendesora. There is no sign of Muradin and Rand did not think he would ever come out. Suddenly something in the tree catches his eye. A man hanging from the tree with a rope around his neck. With a wordless roar he runs for the tree, grabbing at saidin, the fiery sword coming into his hands he leaps and slashes at the rope. He and Mat hit the floor with a thud and the pole that Mat had been suspended from clattered to the ground. It is not just a pole but was an odd spear with a short sword blade in place of the spear-point. Rand lets the power go and rips the rope away from Mat's neck and pressed an ear to his chest. He rips open Mat's coat and shirt and tears away the medallion that's hanging around Mat's neck. There is no heart beat. He hammers against Mat's chest - nothing. Hammers again until there is a faint heart beat. Rand fights to keep Mat alive following a memory of what he had seen Master Luhhan do once when reviving a boy who had been found floating in the Winespring Water. Mat jerks and coughs and rolls onto his side. Mat curses and says "they tried to kill me" Rand asks who he is talking about. Mat tells him about the twisted doorway and that they cheated and tried to kill him. Mat picks up the medallion (a silver foxhead) and stuffs it in his pocket and grabs the spear, running his fingers along the script on the shaft saying it's their joke but he will keep it anyway. Rand asks him what he means and Mat says that it's what it says on the spear and that his head is spinning. Rand looks at the text and cannot read it and wonders how Mat can. But he suggests that they go back.

As he leaves Rand looks at the two figurines of a man and a woman holding crystal spheres but decides to leave them until he needs them. As they start to leave the dust starts to ripple but there is no wind. They start to run. Rand brings the Power sword back although he is uncertain what he can do with it against shivering lines of dust. Rand realizes that it's a bubble of evil. The dust continues to ripple suddenly rearing up into the solid shape of a man, which leaps at them. Rand slices through the figure which dissolves into dust but is quickly replaced by others. Rand and Mat fight against them, Rand channels creating a whirlwind in the middle of the shapes and they explode into clouds of dust. They run as the dust begins to ripple again and they keep slashing at the dust until they break out into the dim light. Nothing is following them from the fog. Mat exclaims that they have been in there all night and that the sun is nearly rising. Rand stares at the sky and thinks "He will come from Rhuidean at dawn and tie you with bonds you cannot break" (something he has read earlier in one of the prophecies). He says to Mat that they should go back up the mountain as the Wise Ones will be waiting.

Notes

This section contains Notes on this Chapter which may contain spoilers. Please expand to view.

Miscellaneous

  • At the time that the Aiel meet the Ogier, the Aiel ride horses, though only the old or very young do so.

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