Added on November 21, 1999
Category: WoT Ages of Future and Past
Author: Durandir

The Horn of Valere

Hery everyone, this is an alternative reality WoT fan-fiction I wrote a while ago, I was interested in your thoughts on it. Thanks guys. See ya!

- Durandir


The Horn of Valere
Being the genesis of the Wheel of Time, the first broken bond of love, and the Beginning of all things.

Before the beginning there was only the Creator and a single being born of darkness.

This being was not the antithesis of the Creator in terms of strength and power, but rather a shadow cast by His light; a place where He did not exist. What we now name the Shadow. A sort of stasis in the infinite of our maker, like us; a creature with free will, but one who had embraced all that was not of the Creator, and had, morally and idealistically at least, become His antithesis. Thus this being was the most barren of creatures; the most bitter; the most soiled and corrupted; the only existing entity that could truly be called evil.

For ceaseless eternity they battled, the Creator and His creation who had turned against Him. The dark being was left over from another World, a place without time, lost from memory and legend. All that is known is that the nature of reality the dark being was from is beyond comprehension.

The dark one knew that its only salvation lay in its enemy, but it was trapped in an endless circle of evil and could not escape. The very inner forces which plunged it into evil prevented it from ever admitting defeat, from ever accepting it, even while knowing that it was inevitable. It only hoped to cause as much sorrow as possible. Because the Creator was infinite, and could never be killed even by the Dark One, His way was the Right way. And so may it be until and after the end of time.

But the Dark One fought by destroying all of his enemy's creations, wreaking havoc across the heavens, the same way that men make war in our world and destroy each other.

This was how it was when Valerien and the blessed maiden Rel'drail came into awareness.

Though the Wheel of Time did not yet exist, the One Power was there to drive it, the symbiosis of the Creator Himself. In a small world that became known as the Garden of Valere, He fashioned a smaller version of the Wheel, and placed Valerien carefully down into it, telling him to wait in the garden until one came to him and he found his purpose.

Valerien was created in the image of his master, and as such was at least vaguely human. It is believed by the great prophets that he had arms and legs and all the other things belonging to a man, but that his structure was subtly different, undoubtedly taller, stronger, faster, and ultimately superior to our relatively frail human bodies. His hair was pure white, his skin like the earth itself, and when he cried his first tears much later, they were like liquid crystal. He had a great passion for the sound of wind and rain, and alone conceived the musical instrument we now call the horn. Many times did the Creator come to listen to his music and walk with him.

Eventually the promised one came to Valerien, naked, unashamed, with skin like the earth and hair pure white, the same but somehow different. She is named Rel'drail in the legends, from which has been derived the words 'blessed' and 'maiden' in our own language.

Now in the middle of the garden there was a pool; pale like the twilight sky and filled not with stars but lives, deep as the mountains are tall. In the water's reflection both Valerien and his love Rel'drail could watch our world's history, the Wheel of Time and the Pattern in its entirety, in a hazed window that held no time at all. They saw that a great object of power would be made to be put in the new world at its beginning. This object would have many names in the world, and change its form many times as it was veiled by time and legend.

And Valerien looked down upon this new world and wondered why he would emerge into it alone.

Somewhere cloaked deep within itself, the Dark One sneered as it watched, and upon perceiving the nature of the object of power gnashed its teeth.

Valerien and Rel'drail set to work on their foreseen creation, letting the flows guide themselves in the will of the Creator as they channeled an amount of the One Power that has never since been tapped, and never will be again.

Falling from the sky like a black parasite, forced into physical shape by the nature of reality, the Dark One's shadow spread over them where they stood. All legs and teeth and eyes and claws he was, and spikes and slime and indescribable abhorrence in contrast to the Creator, and the spikes and teeth were the best of it.

Interrupted in his weaving, Valerien hesitated, but Rel'drail threw herself into the task.

As she died, a hundred slashing scythes and spikes running her through, her skin corroded away by acid, her heart clenched in an iron grip - and that, too, was the best of it - her cry rang out and became the golden cry of the horn; it hung there in the air, and without her help to direct the flows, Valerien caught that cry, and her power, and wove it into the horn strapped at his side. He poured in his own power just before he was severed by the Dark One. After ravaging his physical form, the Dark One left Valerien where he lay.

Left wounded and in almost as much agony as his beloved had been in before she died, Valerien waited for his master's return.

The Creator healed Valerien, and declared this unto him: MY CHILD, YOU HAVE SUFFERED GREATLY. BUT DO NOT DESPAIR. YOU HAVE SEEN THE NEW WORLD, A PLACE OF MUCH BEAUTY, BUT ALSO OF STRIFE AND TURMOIL. GO INTO IT, MY SON, AND AWAIT THE PROMOSED ONE. SHE WILL BE REBORN AGAIN MANY TIMES, WITH MANY FACES AND NAMES, PERHAPS IN ONE BODY, PERHAPS IN MANY. AWAIT HER, MY SON, AND LET TIME WEAR YOU AWAY IN PEACE UNTIL THE LONG SLEEP COMES.

Valerien was cast down into the newly made world by the Creator, into the greater Wheel of Time, and told that on the hour of his death, the very moment, the Creator would create new children. Until then Valerien was to grow old in peace.

He was tied to the Wheel to be spun out again, but not to the Horn, which the Creator guided into choosing those heroes who would be tied to it; those heroes who would return at the Last Battle to show the fallen their innumerous folly. Instead, he was to be reborn over and over again with many different names and faces. For him there would be no peace, no rest, in any of his lives, and other men would give him other names born of the Shadow in their heart, and of the Shadow they saw in his. Sometimes of inspiration, too; sometimes even of hope.

One day he would break the world. And remake it. One day he was to bring the world to the brink of Shadow. And save it. One a day of fire and blood, he would spit into the Dark One's eye and heave the Shadow from the land.

And him they named Dragon.

Durandir

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