Another story added to the diary of the brave stone portal's traveller, Barid Bel. The line of "if" this story follow is one in which Rand and Sammael killed each other in Shadar Logoth. I hope you will like it.
What would have happened if... Rand and Sammael killed each other in Shadar Logoth
The flows needed to balefire gathered themselves almost without Rand
being aware of it. And he was ready to weave it when he saw flows of saidin
reaching for the figure in front of the gateway. The image of the Forsaken
dissipated in the air. An illusion, he searched for the source of those
weaves as he felt a gateway being woven.
Throwing himself forward he draw his sword and whirled to face Sammael, the Forsaken steeped through the gateway, a once handsome man but now with a scar that lingered from hairline to jaw. Rand remembered the day he gave Sammael that scar when he betrayed the light on Rorn M'doi. The man carried a sword black as midnight, Sammael was the one who forged it, with the aid thirty-one dreadlords and thirty-two Myradraals. It was said that this sword destroyed the souls of those it killed and knowing Sammael Rand didn't dare to doubt it. Shadar, that was how it was called, The Shadow in the old tongue. Sammael was full with the One Power, he held only a bit less then Rand himself did. But only Ishmael ever managed to match him.
"I never thought you could lay your hand on it again. There should have been something good in the breaking." Shadar moved like a serpent tongue, searching for blood. At the same time Sammael waved Spirit and Fire in order to sever the shield Rand created. Rand didn't bother with mentioning it, and answered the parting of silk with the swallow rising with a blue light. Fire and Air and Spirit completed the attack, and Sammael jumped back to avoid the screen of fire that shot from the floor.
"You will never know what you might find in a Stasis Box, Lews Therin. Come, it is time to die." Sammael snarled at him. The moon over the water met rocks falling over the cliff, and Rand block dozen weaves that meant to destroy him.
"This time you will not escape, Tel Janin, as you did in Rorn M'doi and in Nol Caimaine and Suhadra. This time you will meet justice." He started to press on, thirteen weaves were his limit, and he was pushing it. This time he broke the floor under Sammael's feet, and called lightings to strike the man. Sammael weave Air to block the lightnings and Fire and Air to make a bridge. Rand's sword left a red trail over Sammael's left sleeve. The Forsaken couldn't block the wind going over wall, as he should have. But the Forsaken did managed to kick Rand's left foot, so the blade cut his arm and not his chest.
This kind of game they played hadn't shown on the world for more then three Thousands years, swords and blades and limbs and the One Power joined together to create a deadly dance. They were both experts in that method of battle, Sammael from the War of Power and Rand from his memories of the same War.
They moved now on a platform, nothing left from the tower, a bridge woven from Air and Fire, Rand wasn't sure which one of them created it. He sent weaves and invert the flows that hold them in the air, now Sammael couldn't see the platform they where standing on. He would have to feel his way through or he might fall over the edge. In a moment another bridge appeared and inverted. Sammael created a bridge for himself. Rand's side ached, even within the void, a scratch on his face bled, where Shadar found a hole in his defense. He couldn't tell for his life how long they where fighting.
"So you do have some skills, Lews Therin." Sammael said as he moved back from him, now there was forced respect in his voice. "Do you care for this… Elayne, Lews Therin? A girl that looks so much like the wife you murdered surely would be an interest for you? Do you mean to slay her too, Kinslayer? Or do you think giving her Andor would some how make up for you? For what you have done?" Rand staggered back, his sword moved to block Sammael's attacks but his heart wasn't in it. The Forsaken's word hurt him more then any wound could ever be. "Do you still so softhearted that you will be sorry for her death, Lews Therin? Are you, Rand al'Thor?" If he hoped to weaken Rand again he was mistaken, a cold light burned in his eyes, and his only answer was the quickening speed Rand moved his sword.
"She is probably already dead anyway. There are still Gholams in this age; someone had kept one inside a stasis box. And I sent it after her; her channeling would do nothing to help her against it. Do you like to have her, I'm sure that I can manage do it; you want a leg or an arm? Maybe the whole head?" Sammael's voice was dry, and the ordinary tone he had used only made his words more horrible.
If there was a Gholam out there, and if he was really after Elayne… now Rand gave up defending at all, sword and limbs joined together to busy Sammael as he waved a sword from all Five Powers. He sent it to Sammael, with all the power he could master, enough to level all Shadar Logoth, enough to create mountains and move seas. Now it was Sammael who draw back, eyes widening in fear, he knew what this weave could do to him. He severed the weave, but Rand waved another, and another. Each of them severed, but now Sammael had to use all the amount of saidin he could master to defend himself. Rand's sword found again and again holes in his defense; another red trail joined the one on Sammael's sleeve. And then another, just beneath the eye.
"Burn you, Lews Therin." He shouted at Rand as another weave severed, the Forsaken couldn't fight with the One Power and with the sword together, at least not while he had to defend himself from a weave that was more than deadly to him but meant nothing to Rand. Then he tried to attack Rand, with both sword and the One Power. Rand didn't even bother to split his weaves, falling on the his back to escape from the balefire the Forsaken weave he didn't stop to reweave his own weapon, Sammael gave too much power to the balefire and Rand's weave reached its target.
The Forsaken screamed; a scream full of agony and pain, for a moment there seemed to be two of him, as the bond to his lord had been severed. Two images of Sammael, moving away from each other but after a heartbeat they joined together. The Forsaken's sword fell, and he seemed to be on the brink of falling to his knees. His eyes looked… lost. Saidin left him slowly.
Rand scrambled to his feet, fear nearly break through the void, if he was wrong about the black wires he would have been dead. Sammael stared at him, bitten, but this Forsaken wouldn't find Asmodean's fate. His sword found its way to the man's rib, sinking through the flesh to Sammael's hearth, if he still had one.
Sammael stare at the blade in his chest, "If I will die, Lews Therin, I will take you with me." He shouted madly. saidin returned to him, a raging flood that was more than Sammael could handle even if he wasn't dying. Rand moved back when he understood what the Forsaken was doing, too late he tried to shield the man. Tried to shield himself from what he knew was coming, but he tried too late. His last thought was sorrow that he would be able to tell Elayne and Aviendha that he loves them.
Sammael exploded; fire hot enough to burn stone to cinders shot in all directions, burning every thing in its path. Rand's body burn immediately, the amount of saidin in him added to the destruction as white hot lightning connected the earth and the sky again, as it did more then three thousands years ago.
A valley was now expanding, a valley big enough to be call an sea, a river that once passed few riding hours from the city now poured into the new valley, promising that there would be a sea where once Shadar Logot stand.
From the city nothing left, the fire burned anything it touched, purifying the thing it touched. Noting left of the tainted city. Mashadar itself manage somehow to survive the fire, but had give up as the lightning came at him, burning the creature that needed the night's darkness to protect it.
For two thousands years there had been a city there, those who knew its name feared it, and those who traveled in it never returned untouched. Now there was new hope for the place, burned by fire and purified by lightning, the place so many years tainted was clean.
On Cairhien, Allanna screamed as the bond between her and Rand was gone.
The grief she only now managed to control came back ten times as strong.
She wasn't aware of Amys helping her to seat. "What happened to you, Aes
Sedai?" Sorilea asked in a firm voice. The Wise Ones might be scornful
for Aes Sedai but they knew better then to think that an Aes Sedai start
screaming for no reason.
"Rand, he is dead." Allana answered, Sorilea voice affected her as if she had been thrown into cold water. She knew what she had to do now, that was the very least she could do for Rand. She rose to her feet and went out of the tent. Blinking away tears she knew she would shed for many nights she walked to the city, she had to meet Min. Somehow she knew that Rand would want her to tell his lover personally that he was….
The only chance of humanity had gone, she ignored the Wise Ones shouts behind her, she had something to do first.
Rand stood on what was once Shadar Logot, staring at the sea that was
filling beneath him, he was dead. 'Burn me if I am not dead,' he
thought grimly, memories seemed to come back to him. As if they were always
there but he had never noticed them before. Memories of old battle welled
up in him. Women he loved, rolls he himself created but never cared to
obey them. Memories, lives, love. All that came on him, like a wave that
almost crushed him.
He knew where he was, now. And the world of dreams shifted around him, first things were first, but after he would meet some old friends, he had no intention in the world of staying dead, no intention at all.
Elayne watched Egwene sadly as the woman departed Tel’aran’rhiod; the
sense that they were being watched was stronger this night. And Elayne
didn’t like staying here alone. She wished she could see Rand, wished she
could find out where Mat bloody Cauthon was hiding. Well, there were things
that weren’t possible even here. She already sent Birgitte to see what
she could find in the city about Mat. And the only way for her to see Rand
was in her dreams, at least until she would find out how to make the Bowl
of the Winds work.
She left the dream. Tried to, anyway, nothing happened. Aghast, she tried to leave Tal’aran’rhiod again, and again, nothing changed. Moghedien she thought, The World of Dream was a place Moghedien knew of more than anyone else. And Elayne knew very well that she had no chance facing the Forsaken even if this would come to fighting with saidar. And she had no chance either in trying to leash the woman. Desperately she tried to reach for saidar, and was so stunned she loosed her grip in the True Source.
"Why under the light would Moghedien force me to stay in the world of dreams but won’t shield me?" She murmured, Moghedien wasn’t one to take chances.
"Sometimes Aes Sedai are so smart that they are quite foolish." Said Rand from behind her. That familiar voice she dreamed hearing almost every night gave her a start, and she whirled backward so fast that she stumbled on her own feet. Rand was just… there, catching her; he didn’t seemed to be crossing the space between them.
"How did you came here, Rand?" She asked a moment latter, when she managed to take her hands off him, “You came here in the flesh, didn’t you? Nynaeve told you that this is dangerous, haven’t she?” disappointingly Rand stepped away from her, and from all the things in the world he looked amused!
"You might say that I’m here in the flesh, Elayne. But you can’t say I have a choice." He stopped for a moment and observed her closely. "I’m dead."
Fear nearly overcame her, it took great effort to keep her face straight; if he was going mad already… but then a new thought came to her. Birgitte had been dead also, but she lived here. She was a hero, of course, but so was Rand, in a way. It was hard to be in grief for someone that stood in front of her. She opened her mouth but Rand foretold her, "You know what happened to Birgitte, don’t you? She somehow managed to survive what Moghedien did to her. Arthur said that she had been here after Moghedien… chased her away."
Her eyes bulged, how could he know this… Arthur, Arthur Hawkwings! This is going too weird for me, she thought.
"How did you do this, Elayne? I can do anything Moghedien did, and I know how to do this, but this only mean that I will kill myself, and there would be no Tel’aran’rhiod after that death.”
Elayne took a deep breath and started talking, telling him everything that happened to her and Nynaeve since Tear. He listened to her carefully, sometimes asking her a question or two. When she finished he looked more amused than anything else. "It will not suffice for me, not one." He said finally.
"What are you talking about, Rand. If it worked for Birgitte it will work for you too."
"I’m not a woman, if you hadn’t noticed." He answered irritably, "Haven’t you noticed that the bond between you and Birgitte is stronger than the normal." He must have seen something is her face because he didn’t even let her open her mouth. "And yes, here I can be a woman." His body flickered for a moment, a woman stood in front of her, a female copy of Rand, then he return to his body, without slowing the torrent, though he did looked pale, "So you can forget about this." Elayne almost grinned, the thought only crossed her and she didn’t like the idea of Rand returning as a woman anymore than he apparently did.
"What would happen if I would link with Aviendha and then bond you? Will this be suffice to keep you alive?" The words coming out of her mouth gave her a start, she didn’t want to share Rand anymore than she had to, and she want Rand’s bond at least all to herself. If her word surprised her they had stunned Rand, "I… think that this should work. It would be on the edge but it should work. But we must do today, now if you can do it will be more than good."
"Why?"” she asked him, of course she meant to do it as quickly as. Did he think she wanted to see him continue to be dead?
"There are thing we mustn’t do, I wrote the prohibitions, and obey them, for long time. It’s hard to break such habits."
They talked for a few more moments, nothing important and then she closed her eyes and exited the dream, she had to wake Aviendha. Rand said he would give her half an hour before he will try to duplicate what Moghedien did to Birgitte.
As quickly as she could she woke Aviendha staffed her into her cloths while trying to dress herself and explaining the Aielwoman what happened seemed impossible. But in a half an hour they were ready, and when Rand appeared, seemingly from the air and nearly fell on Aviendha they managed to bond him.
Elayne felt the bond being established, felt the weakness that was the result of what he had done. But unlike Birgitte he didn’t woke after an hour or so, and the weakness didn’t fade or if it did, not my any degree Elayne could feel. All they could do was to seat and wait, healing did no good for such illness. And they sat; each woman cloud in her own cloud of fears and doubts. Till the first light of dawn shown through the windows. Then Rand made the first sound and tried to sit up, Aviendha was there before he could hurt himself, Elayne didn’t understood how the Aielwoman wasn’t as sleepy as she herself was. They stayed most of the night near Rand’s bed, worrying. Rand eyes flickered, and he opened them, blue-gray eyes stare at clearly, winningly. "So I actually made it." He said, his hand moved toward his side searching something. Only now Elayne understood that the old wound he received on Falme wasn’t there anymore. What more Rand fixed in Tel’aran’rhiod, where you could such things easily? She wondered.
Egwene sat on that shaky chair that was still the best in the camp.
She stared at the reports on the desk that was as shaky as the chair. Stared
at them and for a moment she hoped that she was mad, thinking that this
was only her personal madness was much better than what those reports said.
The Black Tower was gone, all the Asha’man just disappeared. But almost
a thousands men couldn’t just disappear in the air, especially when all
could channel. No one knew where they had gone, or why.
Reports form Cairhien insisted that Rand died, most of the Aiels seemed think so, but another report form Illian said that Rand was crowned as king there.
Rand was conferring with the rulers of the borderlands, five different Aes Sedai tried to eavesdrop to the same conversation heard five different talks. From one that insisted that a Myradraal appeared and everybody in the room, including Rand; received orders from it. To another sister that claimed she heard them talking about the best way to cook a Trolloc.
Perrin was in Gehealdan, if Suian’s eyes and ears worth something, but he was escorted by two Aes Sedai that sent to Rand, and they obeyed him! What he was doing there no one managed to find out.
She rised her head slowly when Suian stormed in smiling, “The blight are burning, Mother. From the blasted land to the borderlands’ borders, and all the way from the Aiel waste to the Ocean.”
Before Egwene had time to answer her another Aes Sedai rushed in, Egwene didn’t remember her name. But she was one of the sisters that tried to convince the borderlands to support her.
"The Borderlands had declared for the al’Thor. He burned the blight as a… a… payment." She sounded shocked, and Egwene could understand her easily, if Rand could order his men to burn the entire blight they were in deep trouble.
And as if she hadn’t enough troubles Leana entered the tent, no doubt carrying more urgent news that would need her immediate care. But the woman looked as if she had been stilled again.
"The Asha’man… they… Rand had conquered Tar Valon. I had reports that say that…" Leana suddenly stopped, "Maybe it will be best if you will see for yourself." Egwene stared at the report Leana gave her, all the sisters were at the dungeons, and Elaida and the hall were stilled and sent to farming! The banner of Light fly over the White Tower, and Asha’man was all over the Tower. The writer was apparently a servant in the Tower, and she mentioned that none save Aes Sedai and warders had taken any hurt. Not that somebody was fool enough to try to stand in the way of a man that could channel. She reached the last paragraph of the letter and cursed without sounding a voice, someone was fool enough. A warder challenged one of the Asha’man. The Asha’man killed him with bare hands. By the report the Warder was given a sword and the reporter doubted if the Asha’man used saidin.
Egwene lied the letter down carefully, "Leana, summon the hall, Suian go find me Sheriam. You," she pointed at the Aes Sedai she didn’t knew, "come with me." She steeped out of the tent, all but running. Gawyn was in the White Tower and she worried about him, he could be easily foolish enough to try challenging an Asha’man himself if she wouldn’t be there to keep an eye on him. But she pushed thoughts of Gawyn from her head, she could do nothing if the hall wouldn’t permit her to go. “The light burn that fool law to ashes.” She muttered, the hall must let her go!
She had to see Rand, to hear from him what under the light he was doing!