Posted by Mat on June 01-04, 1998 on Wheel of Time BBS
Category: WoT Third Age

Tarmon Gai'don

PART I

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. in one Age, called the Fourth Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in Shayol Ghul. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
The char black slopes of great mountain which rose into a striated sky of many hues shone in the dim sunlight with the sweet, black red of blood. Bodies lay scattered in every niche and facet of the mountain. All along the plains surrounding Shayol Ghul, bodies. Bodies of every shape and size, man or woman.They wore ring-linked shirts, plate armor, and cadin’ sor. The wind blew far into the mountain, in the small gap in its side and down into the darkness. The passageway narrowed as the wind blew down, and then it came whistling out into a large cave, over a finger of land jutting into a molten lake of fire. Large spurts of molten earth flew in streams against the hard, black walls. Above these spurts was a huge hole, a sky showing through that hole like none other. It was more hued, more wild, more chaotic than the sky outside.
Briefly, the wind blew over clothed body laying on the ground. The wind lifted the brown hair on the body’s head and then died. Around this body lay nine more bodies, and around those many many more, all clad in cadin’sor or black cloak. The body stirred and then moaned, a moan of loss, insurmountable loss.
SO YOU AWAKEN LEWS THERIN, a voice boomed inside Rand’s head.
Rand moaned again, then looked to his left. Mat. Oh, Mat, lover of ladies and life! Burning tears streamed from his eyes as he slowly stood. To his right lay Perrin, Faile grasping his waist. Slowly, Rand turned around taking in each of the bodies nearest him. Egwene! Nynaeve! Lan! Min! Elayne! Aviendha! He screamed each name in his head. Weak with grief he fell again to lay bleeding on the rock floor of Shayol Ghul.
Rand sobbed in misery. All his friends had died. His friends that he loved and cherished. He saw each face alive again in his head: Mat grinning at some mischief, Perrin with his goldeneyes, Nynaeve yanking her braid, Aviendha, and Elayne, and Min, and Egwene, and Lan. Oh so many he had lost!
In his head Rand heard chuckling. The chuckle was like a rumble of thunder on a midsummer’s night. The Dark One was laughing at him.
“Why have you done this?! Why?! The people that I have loved are dead! You stole their lives and with theirs you took mine!,” Rand yelled, shaking in furious anger.

I HAVE WON AGAIN LEWS THERIN, the voice thundered. YOU STRIVED TO THWART ME AND SO YOU MUST SUFFER THE LOSS OF YOUR PETTYFRIENDS. IF YOU WOULD HAVE JOINED ME I WOULD HAVE MADE YOU NAE’BLIS. BUT ALAS, YOU CHOSE. YOU CHOSE WRONG.
“I defy you Father of the Night! I defy you King of Lies! You will never have a hold on me! Never!”, Rand yelled. He knelt downto Elayne’s body, stroking her red-gold hair.
HAVE YOU NOT LEARNED YET? I WILL ALWAYS TRIUMPH LEWS THERIN. YOU MAY HAVE THOUGHT TO SEAL ME HERE BUT THAT ONLY GAVE ME TIME TO STRENGTHEN. YOUR HATE AND ANGER AND FEAR FUEL ME. YOU GIVE ME LIFE WITH IT. I AM YOU LEWS THERIN, AND YOU ARE ME.
Rand, shaken by everything that had happened, collapsed on the ground. His body shook with cries of anguish and despair. All he could hear was the Dark One’s laughing. Laughing at him. taunting him. Baiting him. Something in Rand’s mind snapped and he suddenly felt free.
Standing up, Rand began to channel. Callandor lay near and he picked the crystal sword up, filling himself with more of the One Power. Rand channeled, gritting his teeth and the seething tide of the Power. He noticed that the Dark One had stopped laughing.
“I will never be you! You will never have me!,” Rand spit the words through gritted teeth. Then, he drew Callandor up, pointing towards the center of the Bore. He then focused the Power to that one point and sent in flowing through Callandor to it in one heaty rush of Power. All hell broke loose.


PART II

The red rod of surging Power hit the center of the Bore. Instantly, streaks of white lightning shot throughout the Pit of Doom. Wild streaks of jagged lightning shot from the Bore into the Pit, into the walls of the mountain, and into Rand. The striated clouds above him in the Bore, turned dark and dark still. Flying chuncks of rock hit him from every side and below him the earth quivered. The shudders gre wmore violent and soon Rand fell tothe ground. The molten lake below the ledge leapt high with flames, so high that he thought that they would surely crash down upon him. Rand closed his eyes to await his destruction.
It never came.
As suddenly as the lightning storm had began it ended. An eery silence beset the destroyed Pit of Doom. Then, through the sound of the still churning lake of lava, he heard it. Laughing. Laughing, the Dark One laughing, surely the Dark One hadn’t lived against so much Power. The Power. Rand couldn’t sense the Power anymore.
He had burned himself out.
Rand wept as hard as he had before. The Dark One kept laughing, a laugh of wicked thunder.
YOUR PRECIOUS POWER IS GONE, LEWS THERIN, BUT I CAN GIVE YOU MORE POWER. THE DARK POWER IS MORE POWERFUL AND IT CAN ALL BE YOURS, IF ONLY YOU WOULD SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO ME, thundered the Dark One in Rand’s mind.
“I’d rather die than serve you!,” he yelled half-heartedly.
DO YOU NOT REALIZE WHAT HAS HAPPENED LEWS THERIN? YOU HAVE LOST. YOUR POWER IS GONE. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A BUG BENEATH MY BOOT.
“Kill me then. I will serve you!” he yelled. Rand edged near the molten lake, with its churning liquid fire.
I CAN HAVE YOU IN LIFE OR DEATH, LEWS THERIN. IT IS OF NO MATTER TO ME.
“So be it,” Rand said before taking a step forward. He fell, and fell, and fell, the heat of the lake instantly burning his skin off. With a small splash of lava, Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, died. From above the sound of thunder could be heard, but it wasn’t thunder, it was the Dark One, laughing.
SO BE IT THEN LEWS THERIN.
With that, the Creator’s reign on the world was loosened and the Dark One took hold.


PART III

Darkness fell on the Wheel of Time, surrounding it until it could no longer turn and spin the thread of lives. Time stopped. Slowly, the Darkness receded from the Wheel, and where the Wheel was once pure white it had turn raven black. The white threads of life on the Wheel were tainted black from the Darkness. The Dark One’s reign had begun.

The air shimmered across the land, rolling from the slopesof Shayol Ghul outwards, like a wave in the tossing sea. The air blurred for mere seconds, but in those seconds little pieces of the land and people had changed. Where green grass had grown were now dead brown grass. The leaves on trees fell to the ground, leaving them bare. The trees themselves had changes, their trunks and limbs contorting into hideous shapes. The very world itself fell under the Shadow.
As fast as the Wave of Change, so were the Trollocs and their Mydraal throwbacks. Out of the Blight rushed hundreds of thousands of Trollocs. They swept through the land like a black wave, killing inhabitants of the countries, destroying their cities. The Dreadlords took divided the countries amongst themselves, while they let the Mydraal and Trollocs gain more land and kill more people, destroy other nations.
By the year’s end, all the nations of the land had fallen under the Shadow. Illian, Tear, and Ebou Dar were the last of the Light-believing cities to fall. The
Athan’Miere, set sail in their ships to their islands out in the waters, where no Trolloc or Mydraal could go. But alas, the Dark One touched them there, causing the seas to rage against them, smashing each ship to pieces and drowning those on the Sea Folk Isles. All hope was lost.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Seventh Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
The wind traveled swiftly throughout the Shadow-darkened land, by small villages with mud and wattle huts, laboring hard under Mydraal masters. The wind made its way south and east, past the ruins of Cairhein, and farther south along a muddy river once called the Erinin. A Trolloc fist was passed, the wind catching in their hair and feathers, taunting them. Past the stinking horde of Trollocs the wind blew, it blew into the Drowned Lands, a swampy marsh of untamed jungle. Passing through the vines and creepers, the wind blew into a small hidden village, unaccessible by Trolloc or Dreadlord alike. The wind blew down the one muddy street and into a small house, providing air for a newborn baby. The hope of the world breathed the wind, and went to sleep against its mother's chest.

THE END
(or is it?)

~Mat



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