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View Full Version : Tarmon Gai'don Epilogue (My kind of ending)


SixPips
11-17-2010, 09:33 AM
Nynaeve surveyed the carnage around her, the dead bodies were piled in some places more than ten spans high, a mixture of twisted Trollocs and Aiel. Wherever a Mydraal lay thrashing its final throes of death, there seemed to be a circle of dead men, as if an explosion in a ring around the Mydraal had happened.

She turned and gazed across the dark red horizon, and all she could hear was the moaning of the wounded, the screams of the dying. Though the heat blurred her vision of the landscape in the distance, she could scarcely make out the steaming crater that made up the Pit of Doom.

She could hardly walk she was so tired; she doubted any woman had been a part of a link for multiple days channeling at her maximum potential before. It seemed the only thing that kept her alive through that storm was Rand’s own iron will. Whenever she gazed upon him during that tempest, she felt heartened by the strength in his face, the cold fires of anger that was controlled in his eyes; she had seen rage from him before but that vision in her mind spoke of more than just rage…it was righteous fury.

She had been working so hard beside him, and then he just vanished. She knew where she would find him though. She began to trek across the battlefield, zigzagging in an attempt to walk through the narrowest piles of bodies. She looked back and realized that the millions of Trollocs and Mydraal that had pressed upon their position had only been held a bare twenty paces away from her and Rand and Alivia. Any closer and the battle could have went very differently indeed.

She rounded a smaller score in the ground where a Dreadlord had been burned to a cinder by lightning, his charnel remains seemed like the pittance that remained after a campfire burned out.

She trudged on for what seemed like hours, the Pit was not far ahead, but all her backtracking to find a suitable spot to walk was adding onto the time. When she finally reached the top of the Crater she looked down inside.

Within she beheld what appeared to be black glass coating all of the surfaces of the Pit. Once, Rand had indicated this had been a valley with sloping gentle sides, now it looked as though a massive thumb had been pressed into the clay. She saw a faint hint of color at the bottom of the pit, a fluttering of wind revealing what appeared to be a torn brown coat, clearly still on a body.

She struggled down the side attempting to maintain her balance on the slippery black footing. She could feel encouragement in the bond though; Lan lived.

He must have been Healed from the amount of pain she had felt from him earlier in the battle. That thought alone, that she had been successful in bringing him help in time, lifted her spirit enough to keep her going forward, to see if there was anything she could do.

As she reached the bottom of the crater she stifled a moan. There were two bodies and she knew one was Rands. As she came closer she saw that the other body was Padan Fain, and there was a hole the size of a lance through his chest. Fain lay with a slight smile on his face though, as if he had finally accomplished what he sought out to do. She shivered wondering how the man had gotten so close to Rand.

Berating herself for putting off the part she wish she did not have to do, she reached down and rolled Rand’s corpse over. As soon as she felt the dead weight against her hand she knew the answer, but she Delved him anyway. She felt like she was pouring her soul into a hollow husk, there was no trace of life to be found.

She looked over the corpse in a quick appraisal of the damages; his one hand was burned badly and the nub of his left arm was covered in gore. A glance at Fain told her what caused that. She looked for the killing blow and saw a second slice across his two never healing wounds, this one in a perpendicular direction from the first, as though someone had come up from behind Rand. Rand probably never had a chance with the deadly nature of that dagger Fain had wielded.

She wept. He had given so much for them. She wept tears for his losses, for how his own life had been turned inside out and wrung, as though the pattern had to squeeze every drop of goodness from him. Why did this man have to die? Why did the pattern demand that he die over and over, never growing old and knowing true happiness? It wasn’t fair!

Angry, at herself for not being closer to Rand, and at The Pattern for forcing his life to be so hard, she Delved him again. She didn’t know what she was looking for, but she wove more complexly than she ever had, she searched everything from where his connection to the Source should have been to his never healing wounds, but she could find nothing. It seemed as though his Spirit had just left the body, his broken vessel could not hold it any longer. She searched and searched, but could not find any hint that there was anything in his body but death.

A voice behind her said, “He was a great man, he gave me all that I could ask for, and more than I realized; more than I deserved.” She turned to see Alivia standing behind her, stone faced without a tear on her cheeks. “You were supposed to help him! You were supposed to find a way! Help him die so that he could live!” Nynaeve yelled at her.

“I did help him die Nynaeve. I helped for days, just as you did.” Alivia said. “What more do you want from me? You think I could do something else? You think I could fix this body for him? Is that what you want from me?” Her voice rose in anger as she spoke, her slow drawling words becoming clipped and slightly easier to decipher.

Alivia walked over to the body and wove a Delving, as if she could Delve better than me, Nynaeve thought. Alivia slumped sadly after she came to the same conclusion, and said, “Well, the least I can do is help to prepare him for his funeral. His people should not have to see him like this.” Alivia began weaving again, this time more Air and Earth, with a slight mix of Fire in it, it was almost like a Healing weave, but with no Water or Spirit. Nynaeve watched aghast as the wounds on Rand’s side closed up, the blood flaked from his body, and his left arm began to stretch, growing fingers and even the Dragon wrapped around the forearm once again.

“Alivia, what did you do?!” Nynaeve exclaimed shocked. “How did you heal his dead body? Tell me now!” Alivia looked her in the face frowning, “It is always much easier to heal the corpse than the living, the power does not interfere with the soul’s connection with the pattern when the soul has left the body. The Pattern and the Soul are connected, we are all threads in the Pattern, and sooner or later it finishes weaving with us. The Seanchean use this weave to prepare honorable Blood for funerals.”

The Power does not interfere with the soul’s connection with the Pattern...that was absurd! Nynaeve had never heard of such a thing, “Alivia, the reason people cannot always be Healed is because the shock of the Healing kills them when they have suffered too onerous of wounds, the Power doesn’t hurt them…”

Alivia shook her head, “The soul’s connection is far more tenuous when the body is weak, the Power forces it to flee if the body is too weak to hold. Imagine it like holding your breath. When you hold your breath too long, your bodies ability to hold it in is lesser than when you started. The Power forces the soul out with the promise of a better alternative for the body; just as fresh air forces you to breathe out when you cannot hold the stale air any longer.”

What Alivia said made a little sense, and part of it made her mind itch, but she couldn’t think of it…unless. Quickly she wove a Delving into Rand’s body again. It was the same husk as before, yet the wounds seemed cleansed, purified. It was as if the evil in his body left because it had no more desire to damage a soulless vessel. She delved deeper, there had to be some tenuous connection that keeps a soul in the body, there had to be a place. She searched and searched and was about to give up when she noticed in the middle of the brain, the very center, there seemed to be something missing, a tiny hole, so tiny she thought it was just a crevice that was natural there. She went back over it time and again and something made her weave a bold yet pliable shaft of Spirit and Ram it in the hole.

She felt as if she were racing faster than the Light itself could move! Faster and Faster she moved, and as she moved she could feel herself slipping, she knew she was dying. She tried to pull back, fed more Spirit into the weave as if flexing against invisible walls trying to slow herself, and she did slow. She gazed ahead in that narrow tunnel that seemed to go on for eternity, and she saw what appeared to be the tiniest of white lights, fleeing from her. She pursued it, unsure of what she was doing, but knowing she had to move faster than it did. She gained on it steadily though she felt her own body collapse, this was all occurring in her mind and in that place where she thought Rand’s soul belonged.

The Pattern and the soul are connected; we are all threads of the pattern… that thought came again and again in Nynaeve’s mind. Was that Rand she was chasing? How was she to catch him without dying herself? He had clearly died several hours before, at the end of the battle; she would be long dead before she caught him. The Power forces the soul… She felt her heart fluttering knowing she was at her limits.

With a last ditch effort, she weaved all five parts of the power Fire, Earth, Spirit, Air, and Water into what essentially was just an amalgamated chunk of raw energy with one goal in mind. She sent the weave as far ahead of her as possible, with the anchoring point to her own mind. Just before she blacked out she saw the weave strike the invisible wall ahead of the tiny thread of light so far ahead of her and come streaking back; her last thought was joy at the fact that the light seemed to run ahead of the Power as if being chased.

Nynaeve awoke to Lan’s eyes staring down at her. Harsh as they had always looked before, now they looked as though…as though she had died. Light! What must it have seemed like to Lan through the Warder bond to feel her dying? And for what? She gazed around and all she saw was him, and what looked like a small tent. “Lan I’m sorry, I thought I could heal Rand, I don’t know what I did but…” She cut off as he went from hard like solid granite, to hard like crushed granite in an instant, she couldn’t breathe. He was squeezing her so hard. “What happened?” that was all she could get out.

“The warder bond was severed.” That was all he said, but when he finally let her back from the crushing grip he had on her she understood; he didn’t just think she was dying; she had somehow lost his bond completely. She knew the liquid death in his eyes, the sorrow and pain. He had thought she was dead. “Well, I can fix…” She realized she couldn’t find the source. Not that she couldn’t reach it, she couldn’t even sense it. She didn’t feel like most Stilled women said, she felt like…like she had before she had ever channeled before. In a way, that was much more terrifying.

“Lan, I can’t…I can’t touch the source, or even sense it!” she said in a panic.

“We will have Damer heal that for you, it won’t take long, you figured that weave out yourself remember?” Lan said, seeming offput. He was hiding something, but what? “This is different from every description of Stilling I have ever heard of. I feel like I never had the ability to begin with!” Lan look at her for a moment and she thought she heard him whisper something about a price to pay but she wasn’t sure. He looked at her with those beautiful eyes like solid blue icebergs and said “Come with me, there is someone you need to meet.”

As she got to her feet, she felt dizzy. Before she could fall, Lan grabbed her under the arm and held much of her weight. He guided her out the flap of the tent. When she walked through she was hit by a roaring, screaming crowd of thousands upon thousands of Aiel. They were dancing and cheering and singing in celebration of the great victory they had won.

She eyed Lan but he said nothing as he led her through the throng. They walked down around the crest of the hill, this had been where the command tents had been set up before the battle had begun, and walked her to a small tent that seemed innocuous mixed among the others. She walked in behind Lan and stood there…she thought her jaw might hit the floor.

There in front of her, matching her stare with his lopsided grin and foppish red mop of hair was a man she thought she would never see alive again. “Nynaeve, I cannot tell you just how much your sacrifice means to me,” came a voice she couldn’t believe she was hearing. She laughed and cried and wrapped her arms around his neck. Rand was alive…and somehow she had done it. After her giggling crying session was abated sufficiently she looked at him, abashed and confused by his statement,” What sacrifice Rand? I know I was Stilled, but that can be Healed now remember?”

“Nynaeve, I was dead. I had paid the price the Pattern asked me to pay. My thread was not yet ready to be rewoven, and the Wheel is impossible to rewind.” He stood for a moment then his eyes had a moment of uncertainty. “You pulled me out of the pattern. It was essentially the opposite of balefire in its own ironic way. I am no longer bound to the Wheel, and my soul will not be bound up with the same purposes it always has had. I will not come back as a Champion of the Light.”

Nynaeve was horrified, “Rand I’m sorry! I didn’t know!”

He turned back around with a smile. “I finally get an opportunity to spend peaceful days with those that I love Nynaeve; You have taken nothing from me.” He frowned again, “The Light won’t need a Champion ever again anyway, so it is possible that I may have never been reborn again if you had not done what you did.” She stared at him for a moment, then realization painted her face.

“You killed HIM?” she whispered.

“No, Not killed. I doubt that he could have been killed by a man. What I did is give him something that would torment him every bit as he would torment it. Something as Mad as He is, and something just as powerful. He will spend the rest of eternity fighting a battle that cannot be won against a foe that is as unstoppable as He is.”

She was confused, “What Rand?” He looked at her but instead said, “It is better if they are both forgotten, for the world would be better off for it. I still haven’t explained your sacrifice for me.” She nodded, “The Wheel was pulling me out of the Pattern Nynaeve, it was taking my soul, a thread for its own purposes. You stopped it with all of your considerable Talent. It grabbed what you offered it in replacement. Nynaeve the Severing you suffered cannot be Healed because you weren’t Severed, your entire connection to the Source was taken as payment for my life...for my soul.”

Nynaeve nearly fell, but Lan was behind her before she could hit the ground. She had lost the ability to channel. Forever. She looked at the man in front of her, who had sacrificed so much for the world. The man who had sacrificed so much for eternity past. She looked at her husband holding her. How wonderful his arms felt around her, so comforting in their strength. Would she have wanted to live after they were gone for centuries? No.

She smiled. “I guess that means I will just have to grow old with you then doesn’t it my heart?” Rand laughed, a rich, wonderful laugh. A laugh the world deserved to hear time, and time again.

gholam
11-19-2010, 02:02 AM
Good. Really good

rusty
11-23-2010, 06:26 PM
i second that, really good.

netslider
11-24-2010, 11:56 AM
really, really, really good. you get nay very well, IMO

manolin
11-27-2010, 11:10 AM
dude! this is really really good! This has been better than all the rest of the threads i have read so far on theoryland. thank you!

SixPips
11-27-2010, 01:31 PM
lol I am seeing a trend here :)

1.)really good
2.)really really good
3.)really really really good
4.) Dude! really really good!

It's the really good train :D

SixPips
09-09-2011, 06:52 PM
Been a long time since I posted this, still enjoy reading it ever so often, figured it could get a bump = P

Janduin
10-27-2011, 06:25 PM
Nice one. This has parts of a theory that I have been throwing together in my head RE: Fain and the Dark One. However, mine involves Callandor ;)

Eltheriond
10-28-2011, 10:21 PM
Very interesting piece of fiction for ending the series :)

While I love the idea of sacrificing the ability to channel to resurrect Rand, that at the same time doesn't sit well with me. It's like I think it's a good idea, but I don't think it should happen. Have you read the Belgariad and Mallorian by David Eddings? At one point one of the characters willingly "gives up" the ability to use the "Will and the Word" to bring a loved one back to life. It is later revealed that this character was only asked to give up this ability as a test, as the ability to use the Will and the Word was something that could never be taken away, and I view the One Power as very much the same thing. Yes, you can be cut off from the power, or burn yourself out, but those things can be healed now. I honestly don't think there should be a permanent way to cut somebody off from the power.

Figbiscuit
11-15-2011, 10:18 AM
Awesome!

Really enjoyed that :D I especially like how you sent Fain off fighting the Dark One and removed the need for a Champion of the Light. And I like the balance you created of Nynaeve losing her ability to channel against bringing Rand back from the dead.

As daft as this sounds it actually read like it could be the ending.