Set during the middle of The Great Hunt, the fourth ta’veren is a tale taking place within the boundries and paralells of the WoT story, at least how it was for a brief period, while Rand, Mat and Perrin still hunted Padan Fain and the Horn of Valere, and Egwene, Nynaeve and the other girls who they would later befriend have journeyed to the White Tower. Much does not happen during the four months of the Questors’ travel via the Stones, and the tutorage of the budding Aes Sedai. It is in this period, that a secret quest, undertaken by a small band of unsung heroes, following a prophecy which could alter the course of Tarmon Gai’don, and give the Dark One the upper hand in the last climactic battle.
Chapter One: Ancient Doom Forgotten
Kayen sat in silence on the cool, smooth stones of the upper battlements. Below his unmoving figure, the daunting length of the white tower arced away to the hustle and bustle that was Tar Valon’s marketplace.
Behind him, the wind whipped his cloak into a frenzy, the long hooded cape shifting colours as it flew over the blue of the sky, and the pearly sheen of the tower.
Across the warders knees lay a massive sword, the weapon, easily the length of a shorter man, lay perfectly balanced, it’s blade, composed of 3 separate segments, bore numerous runes and symbols, and a large crest showing a black stallion silhouetted against a purple moon.
As the wind caught his face, Kayen shifted uneasily, his tightly drawn brows concentrating into a furrowed frown. Accursed woman, days at a time she’ll wave me off so as not to disturb her, and then its rush rush, come to my side. How can I protect the witch if she doesn’t not allow me in the same room as her and those dusty books with which she keeps company.
He lifted his hands from the long blade, balancing it perfectly as he concentrated.
Calm. Seek the blue flame, seek it’s discipline, feel it’s cold embrace. Feel it’s peace.
The wind tousled his long ebony hair, his eyes slammed open and both man and greatsword fell back from the raised parapet, landed with a thud against the smooth, seamless material that was the tower.
Cursing he picked himself up and sheathed the blade in the long sling across his back.
Turning up to the churning sky he reached up as if to grasp the very heavens.
"I come Jesmienne Sedai! Damn you and your urgent matters!"
Far below the warder, age-yellowed candles spluttered and spat, their pale yellow light throwing shadows upon the countless books, shelves and curios which decorated the dusty library.
Sitting in a nimbus of light, a single figure sat over a pile of thick books, stained with the dust and age of centuries, a single tome sat open and propped up against an unused candlestick.
A thin, pale finger ran over the lines of symbols on one of the motheaten pages, the language, ancient and long forgotten was written in a swirling, almost graceful text, occaisionally marked by an image or a dark crimson stain. The figure sighed, and paused for a moment to arc backwards, stretching her arms to the sound of popping joints and the crack of stiff limbs. For a moment, long red hair caught in the glow of the candles, and illuminated the brown edged shawl which hung from her slender shoulders.
Jesmienne Al’Odin Sedai, once a baker’s apprentice in some non-descript northern village, now Loremaster of the Brown Ajah, sat on her comfy stool and rubbed her eyes. She sat back and uttered a curse that would have had any northerner blush and look fidgety. Why hadn’t they noticed this before. A decade, a year, Trollocs Teeth, why not even a month ago! The light only knew why it had been overlooked, and now, there may not be enough time...
So much for the dilligence of the Brown Ajah, as much as we’re supposed to be buried in books, even we manage to miss something that may as well be written on the slopes of DragonMount itself!
Behind her, a door slammed open, and Kayen stood, silhouetted in dancing shadows by the candleabra he clutched. The Aes Sedai did not turn from rubbing her brow as he approached, she only sighed and straightened.
"At least I am able to summon my warder with saidin, even if I cannot light my own candles." She added dryly.
The warder stood motionless, his cloak seeming to hide all but his face with it’s invisible cloth, his eye brows and sharply featured face floating above the nimbus of light he carried.
"So you have found it then?" he said simply.
She turned to regard him, her pale green eyes meeting his expressionless face, she studied him as she spoke. "Yes. And it is worse than any of us feared, I know not if there is anything to be done…" she scowled and slammed the heavy cover of the book shut.
"But who can say that it will be as the prophecy says! Nothing may happen!"
She crossed her arms tightly over the silvery dress that hung from her small frame, and she pouted pile of ancient tomes.
Beside her, Kayen shifted and placed a gauntleted hand on her shoulder.
"You know better than that. We have already seen the first stages of the prophecy, and even those hinted of what it would become. We know where it will happen, we know it has already begun." He said simply.
She leaned back against his solid frame.
"I know." She breathed softly and closed her eyes, feeling his warmth even through cloak which hid him from view. "I should have been a Green, no dusty, stinky old books, and nights spent alone in cellars such as this… pit. And... the other reasons..." she sighed and straighten up before heaving the first tome from its cradle and into Kayen’s arms.
He glared down at the dusty volume, its wooden cover marked with the Flame of Tar Valon.
"What is to be done now?" he muttered.
Jesmienne whipped her long grey cloak around her and transfixed him with a sharp look, her finely chiseled features and ruby lips framed by the flickering candlelight.
She spoke curtly "Now, The Amyrlin must know that all of our efforts for the last age may have been in vain, she must know that despite our best efforts, Tarmon Gai’don will be forged without us even lifting a finger."