|<<< Two Craftsmen >>>|
|Setting: Mayene, The entrance to the Pit of Doom|
- Point of view: Perrin Aybara
Perrin wakes in Berelain's Palace. He finds Chiad in his room. She says she is pushing her honour to the very edge by talking to him. She informs him that the Battle of Merrilor is won but the Battle at Shayol Ghul still rages. He tells her he must get back to work and she asks about Gaul. Perrin informs her he was fine when he left him, which has only been about an hour in the Wolf Dream. He is going to return to him now, but first he needs an Aes Sedai to wash away his fatigue.
While Chiad leaves to fetch one, Haral Luhhan comes into the room. He expresses how impressed he I saw with Perrin's Hammer. They reminisce about simpler times, working the forge back at Emond's Field. Perrin thanks him for saving his life and says he was stupid to push himself that hard. Master Luhann tells him it's the Last Battle; if he's not pushing himself within an inch of death they'll lose. Perrin asks what happens if he goes an inch too far and Luhann tells him he would've died giving it everything he had, which is a lot better than failing because he held back.
Perrin, feeling inspired, is ready to go as soon as he is healed. Masuri enters to Heal him, but before she does Perrin needs to know why she was meeting with Masema Dagar behind his back. She admits she thought havjng influence over the man who called himself the Prophet of the Lord Dragon could have been useful. She also admits this was foolish, and since meeting Perrin has changed. Perrin thanks her and she Heals him.
Chiad says she is going to the Field of Merrilor to help with the wounded. Perrin reassures her he will find Gaul.
He enters the Wolf Dream and sets out on his final hunt.
- Point of view: Thomdril Merrilin
Thom sits on a rock by the entrance to the cavern, smoking his pipe and watching the world end. He muses to himself that this is the best seat in the world to enjoy the world's final performance. He starts to worry about Moiraine before putting her out of his mind, knowing he can handle herself.
He begins thinking about how he will tell this story if they survive it. Words like "momentous" and "epic" are too overused. He watches the Darkhounds ravage the valley, killing anyone they come across. Lightning crashes down everywhere, Aiel fighting Aiel, the Dragonsworn doing everything they can to make sure nobody makes it up the slopes of Shayol Ghul.
"Climactic" he likes, but feels it is too expected.
He thinks back to Moiraine, staring into the end of the world, feeling her grit and determination. He smiles at that thought.
He looks to the clouds, the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai.
He thinks the word "perilous" would work, but that word doesnt do justice to all who fought and died.
Below crossbows are fired as the Shadowspawn make it further up the slope. "Terrifying?" That was a right word, but not the right word. He was frightened, they all were, but that word was too common.
He looked down at the battle again. Watching the Forces of the Light fighting valiantly against superior numbers, but never letting that slow them. Watching them watch their friends die, and fighting on in their name. Words like "terrifying", "climactic", and "perilous" would never describe the phenomenon he is witnessing here. People of all nations and creeds coming together to fight under one banner, in one name, for the good of the world itself.
This... This was "Exquisite". That was the word. That was what the end should be. Exquisite. If the Light wins this battle, it will do so by the narrowest of margins and it will be exquisite.
He drew on his pipe as a part of the valley below exploded. He thinks about how things would have turned out. How things would be if he never visited Emond's Field. How things would be if his attempts to leave the three ta'veren hadn't failed. If he'd never fallen in love with Moiraine. He looks around and sees the world ending and there is nowhere else he'd rather be. Besides, it wasn't like he wasn't saving the world in his own way.
Cadsuane walks by and nods to Thom, who nods back amicably. She took a step toward the cavern before falling down, Thom's knife in her back. As she died, the Mirror of Mists fades revealing Jeaine Caide. Thom thinks to himself that people always get the walk wrong. There is more than a face and a voice to impersonate someone. He put her with the other five bodies who had tried the same thing.
Returning to his seat, he began to write what could be his final song.
- Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron
- Matrim Cauthon
- Rand al'Thor
- Masema Dagar
- Moiraine Damodred
- Rodel Ituralde