Added July 07, 1999
Category: WoT Fourth Age
Author: Allanon

A New Beginning

He couldn't help but smile as he looked out across the remnants of seven shattered towers. Despite it all, it was good to be home again.

Al'Lan Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers, Lord of the Lakes, and uncrowned king of Malkier, stood upon the high hill watching it all. He was yet unsure whether or not all of this was worth a crown. Some had died already and many more surely would. All for him. Is it worth it? Can it even be done? Questions that he would quickly find out the answers to.

Nynaeve stood at his shoulder. Beautiful Nynaeve. She believed with all her heart that it could be done, the Blight driven back, and he had put all his trust in her. If she failed, then it would all be for naught.

He took a brief glance over his shoulder at those behing him. Thousands of people, his army. And behind them followed an army of another sorts. Tens of thousands of Borderlanders and refugees of Malkier. They had put their trust in the belief that Malkier would live again. They would help see it reborn. And above it all flew the Golden Crane, flapping high in the sky. It was a good sight, to see it flown again. He only hoped that it would last. Under that banner his dream would finally become a reality, he hoped.

Nynaeve finally broke the silence. "Darian, please come with me." She edged her mount ahead slowly and the Asha'man quickly followed. Even after the cleansing of saidin, the Asha'mans presence made him uneasy. Something about those men just set his nerves on edge. Although, now it was required of all nations to have an Asha'man advisor as well as an Aes Sedai advisor. Despite that, it still bothered him. Ah, he shook his head. He was letting his emotions get the better of him, something that had happened too much for his liking ever since Nynaeve had come into his life. But she had insisted on the necessity of Darian being here. Lan knew well that the greatest feats were performed by the combined efforts of saidar and saidin. So he set aside his emotions and hoped for the best.

Nynaeve and Darian sat a few spaces away, speaking quietly. "The flows will be much the same as those Rand and I used to cleanse saidin," Nynaeve explained. "That is why I should be the one to control the weave."

"Agreed. Did you bring the sa'angreal I asked for?"

"I've brought one for each of us. The most powerful out respective towers would allow us to have. They should be enough. Are you ready?" Darian just shrugged and looked forelornly at the towers. "Well then, let's go."

They started their horses on a slow walk down towards the lakes. They stopped as they neared the closest shore. Nynaeve reached into a pouch at her waist and took out two small statues, one male and one female, each holding a bright sword. One she kept for herself and the other she handed to Darian. They sat there for some time, with looks of concentration across each of their faces, before he and the other onlookers could notice any change. The ground slowly sprouted grass which became greener and more lush every second. All of the dangerous plants seemed to just wither and rot away. Even the Thousand Lakes were clearing up, turning the same bluish hue of the sky. It was happening, he thought. After all these years of dreaming, it was really happening! He could hardly believe it. And just like that, it was done.

Nynaeve opened her eyes slowly. She sagged and would have fallen out of her saddle had Darian not been there to catch her. He did not look much better himself. But it was done! He could hardly believe his eyes. It was the most beautiful site he had ever seen. The Thousand Lakes were crystal clear and overflowing with wildlife. Huge trees sprouted high into the air, long branches teaming with leaves. It was as he always dreamed it would be. He still had trouble believing it had truly happened, but it had. For the first time ever, a nation has been reclaimed from the Blight. Malkier has risen from the ashes!


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