Horn of Valere
Author: Kyria d'Oreyn
"Let whosoever sounds me not think of glory, but only of salvation." (- TGH, Ch. 5)
The Horn of Valere is an artifact older than the Age of Legends that can summon dead heroes. It can be thought of as a ter'angreal, because it serves one special purpose and not all ter'angreal need a channeler to be activated. Or maybe it was object of study before the first ter'angreal were created, if we assume such devices were made in the Age of Legends. It is not known who made it, but Robert Jordan confirmed on his blog that it was mortals not gods (Blog, October 4th 2005).
It is a plain, curled golden horn with flowing silver script inlaid around the mouth that reads "Tia mi aven Moridin isainde vadin", which means "The grave is no bar to my call" in the Old Tongue (TEotW, Ch. 52). It was made to summon the heroes of the Ages from their graves and prophecy says it will only be found in time for the Last Battle (TGH, Ch. 5).
The Horn is neither mentioned in the Karaethon Cycle nor linked to the Dragon Reborn in any way (TGH, Ch. 22). Yet, even in Seanchan legends, it is said to be found somewhere in the Westlands (TGH, Ch. 34).
Siuan believes that those who are called forth by the Horn will follow whoever blows it, whether fighting for the Light or the Shadow (TGH, Ch. 9), they can only follow the Dragon Banner (TGH, Ch. 47). At the time of the Last Battle, Artur Hawkwing says they would never fight for the Shadow and disproves Siuan's theory (AMoL, Ch. 39). The blower will be linked to the Horn until he or she dies and during this time, the Heroes of the Ages will not appear if anyone else blows it (TGH, Ch. 34).
Heroes of the Horn
Over the course of the Ages, heroes famed not only for their courage, but also for their hearts, have been bound to the Horn. Some of those heroes were actually Hunters of the Horn, such as Rogosh Eagle-eye, who have their own stories in the cycle "The Great Hunt for the Horn" (TEotW, Ch. 17).
Those heroes are bound to the Wheel of Time and spun out every now and then to live a new life. In between those lives, they wait in Tel'aran'rhiod to be spun out again or to be called by the Horn of Valere; there is no other way for them to touch the real world. In the World of Dreams they can remember their previous lives, but they grow dimmer the longer ago they were. When they start a new life, however, they are born without those memories (TSR, Ch. 52).
Unless called forth by the Horn, they are as vulnerable to the One Power and can be killed as easily by it as anyone else. The Heroes of the Horn live after certain prescripts that forbid them to talk to anyone who knows they are in Tel'aran'rhiod among other things (TSR, Ch. 52).
Fewer than a hundred are bound to the Horn (TGH, Ch. 47). They include:
- Artur Hawkwing (aka. Artur Paendrag Tanreall, Hammer of the Light)
- Birgitte (aka. Joana, Maerion, Teadra)
- Calian the Chooser
- Gaidal Cain
- Hend the Striker
- Jain Fairstrider
- Mikel of the Pure Heart (aka. Michael)
- Otarin (aka. Oscar)
- Paedrig the Peacemaker (aka. Patrick)
- Rogosh Eagle-eye (aka. Rogosh of Talmour)
- Shivan the Hunter
Past/Present Hunters of the Horn
Between the end of the Trolloc Wars and the beginning of the War of the Hundred Years, a Hunt was called and many adventurers set out to find the Horn of Valere, and with it glory and eternity in song. In 998 NE, Illianers ventured the world to proclaim that a new Hunt is to be called out on the Feast of Teven (TEotW, Ch. 26). Men and women in search for adventures found themselves in Illian on the great Square of Tammaz, where they swore their Hunter's Oath for life. Hunters usually are very open to old stories and follow every strange trail they can find, for they think it will lead them to the Horn (TDR, Ch. 35).
Stories have been made of those Hunters who have proven to be courageous and brave on their quest for the Horn. There are so many stories to be told about each Hunter that the whole version of "The Great Hunt for the Horn" would take several days to be told (TEotW, Ch. 17).
Some of past/present Hunters were/are:
- Areina Nermasiv
- Blaes of Matuchin
- Buad of Albhain
- Gwil Nermasiv
- Rasoria Domanche
- Tzigan Sokorin
- Yurith Azeri
- Zarine Bashere (aka. Faile)
The Hunt for the Horn
In the year 998 NE, Illian calls out the Hunt for the Horn for the first time in four hundred years. This is a sign for every nation that the Last Battle is approaching. What they do not know, however, is that the real Hunt has already begun in Shienar.
At the beginning of the Time of Madness, three thousand years ago, Aes Sedai decided to construct what is today known as the Eye of the World based on a Foretelling one of their number had. The Horn of Valere was among the things that were sealed away in the Eye to be used in the future, in a time of great importance for the Wheel itself (TSR, Ch. 26). It was placed into a chest intricately worked with gold and silver, which can only be opened by those who know the complex pattern (TGH, Ch. 34).
There, Moiraine Damodred and her party take it out of a pool of pure saidin and decide it must be brought to Illian (TEotW, Ch. 52). Out of the Blight and back into Fal Dara, Moiraine asks Lord Agelmar for an escort of twenty of his best men to see the Horn safely to the south (TEotW, Ch. 53). When the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, appears in the city-fortress, Agelmar is more than glad to hand the artifact over to her, for he is tempted to sound it himself and ride down to Shayol Ghul. Moiraine wants the boys from Emond's Field to take the Horn to Illian, where Rand is to present it to the Council of Nine and the Assemblage (TGH, Ch. 5).
Before they can do so, however, the Horn and Mat's dagger from Shadar Logoth are stolen by the Darkfriend Padan Fain (TGH, Ch. 6). Agelmar then prepares men to hunt after the thieves (TGH, Ch. 7) and in the morning, Siuan consigns those men, including Rand, Mat, and Perrin, to the search. Shortly after leaving the Keep of Fal Dara, a sniffer called Hurin joins the party. With him, they follow the trail south (TGH, Ch. 9).
On their way, they never cross any village or any other sign of civilization, and sometimes the trail changes from south to northeast and after a few hours again to the south. This is because of Fain losing and regaining control over the Myrddraal; Fain wants to go to Cairhien, but the Myrddraal plans to return to the Blight (TGH, Ch. 10).
One evening, Ingtar and his men camp close to a Portal Stone and the next day Rand, Hurin and Loial find themselves in a mirror world (TGH, Ch. 12), where they meet Selene, Lanfear in disguise. They still follow the trail south (TGH, Ch. 13) and arrive in Cairhien a few days before the other part of their group (TGH, Ch. 17). Just out of the mirror world, the group discovers Fain's campfires. Rand and Loial scramble toward it to take the dagger and the Horn. Just as they want to return with the chest, Fain wakes and starts screaming. Rand fights their way through the Trollocs, earning himself the name Shadowkiller from the wolves. Back in their own camp, Rand intends to take the Horn back to Shienar, and from there Ingtar can take it to Tar Valon. Selene, however, convinces Rand to wait for the rest of the group in the City of Cairhien, because of the dangers the lurking Darkfriends represent (TGH, Ch. 19).
Meanwhile, the men with Ingtar face a problem without their sniffer: they cannot be sure where the trail leads because no one is able to smell it. Urged by the importance of their task (and the fact that Mat will die if they do not retrieve the dagger), Perrin calls to the wolves and asks them for the Darkfriends' and Trollocs' whereabouts. With the information he goes to Ingtar, who promotes him as a sniffer afterwards. On their way south, Verin Mathwin joins them (TGH, Ch. 14).
After the night in Tremonsien, Selene leaves Rand's group again. When they finally arrive in Cairhien, they stay at The Defender of the Dragonwall inn. Rand leaves Loial and Hurin to guard the chest and goes out into Foregate, because Cairhien makes him uneasy. To his great surprise, he finds Thom Merrilin performing, whom he had actually thought dead. The gleeman tells Rand that he is staying at The Bunch of Grapes and he should come visit him later. Rand takes Loial with him, who wanted to meet Thom, and they both disclose that the Horn of Valere is in their possession, which Thom does not quite believe (TGH, Ch. 25).
When they return, they notice that their inn is on fire. Hurin tells them he was hit over the head by Darkfriends, who stole the Horn again. Just then Ingtar and his group appear - some hours too late (TGH, Ch. 30). When Hurin is able to smell the trail again, he tells the others that it leads into Lord Barthanes' manor. They prepare to attend his ball the following day (TGH, Ch. 31). In the manor house, Hurin and Mat play at being manservants, which allows them to spy around (TGH, Ch. 32). They find out that the Darkfriends have all vanished through a Waygate. Barthanes delivers a message to Rand that Fain is waiting for him on Toman Head (TGH, Ch. 33).
Rand and his party enter Stedding Tsofu to ask permission to use their Waygate in order to travel to Toman Head, but Machin Shin already waits for them. Ingtar intends to go back to Cairhien, and Rand starts talking about the Portal Stone he had used, and Verin tells him about one nearby (TGH, Ch. 36). They travel by means of it, but something goes wrong and they lose time instead of gaining it (TGH, Ch. 37).
Three days after their arrival on Toman Head, they reach Falme (TGH, Ch. 41), and Hurin finds the trail again (TGH, Ch. 44). They enter the Seanchan-occupied city and sneak over the garden wall of Turak's manor. They snatch the Horn and the dagger, kill the High Lord, and leave as fast as they can (TGH, Ch. 45). When a force of Seanchan soldiers shows up, Ingtar wants to be left behind to guard their back and facilitate their escape (TGH, Ch. 46).
But when they are just out of Falme, an army of Whitecloaks comes to face them and they see no other way out than blowing the Horn. The Heroes show up for Mat's call to drive the Seanchan back into the ocean and to destroy the Whitecloaks (TGH, Ch. 47).
After the battle, Verin takes the Horn along with Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve to Tar Valon (TGH, Ch. 49). Upon their arrival at the White Tower (TDR, Ch. 11), Verin presents it to Siuan and the Horn is locked away and not seen afterwards (TDR, Ch. 12).