A/N- I just recently read Wheel of
Time 11: Knive of Dreams and this plot bunny popped into my head. I
browsed through and to my utter horror, saw a lack of decent
WOT stories. Though it is hard to compete with the utter brilliancy
with Robert Jordan, I will give a pale imitation in trying. One thing
for those who are reading...I don't want to readany reveiws telling me
update my other stories...it get's annoying.
AU: Rand al'Thor accompanies Tam to Baerlon when he is six, and runs into an Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah who discover his could channel. He is taken to Tar Valon and gentled. What is to become of the Dragon Reborn?
NOTE: It would be good if you at
least a basic knowledge of Wheel of Time universe
Rand al'Thor was six years old when he travelled with his father to Baerlon. Not that he knew it at the time, but his father had once been second in command of the Companions, and had served in both the Whitecloak war and the Aiel War. Tam al'Thor had earned the rare and revered rank of Blademaster, and had made many friends. The purpose of this visit had been to visit some of these friends. What Rand encountered was something much more, something that changed his destiny.
Rand stared at awe at the buildings and log walls of Baerlon. A villager from the Two Rivers, this moderately large town seemed like the cities of legends. He clutched his father's hand desperately as Tam led Sooty inside the gates. The pathways were full of people, chatting and laughing as they bartered and swapped stories. Rand stared with wide eyes as he was led into a large house, four stories high. Inside was a bar and a common room, with a musician playing tunes of a pipe.
"Welcome to the Stag and Lions inn." Said a large man, almost as large as Master al'Vere, with white bushy hair springing from his head, as he came from behind the bar while wiping his hands on a dirt white rag. His eyes flickered from Tam to Rand and he gave a small smile and winked.
"I am looking for Fitz Windsinger." Tam said politely.
"Yes, I know him. He's on the third floor, room six." The Innkeeper said, nodding to himself. He suddenly caught a look at the plain leather scabbard on Tam's waist and the hilt of the sword and his mouth dropped. A small heron was engraved on the hilt and suddenly the Innkeeper was more wary.
"Thankyou." Tam said mildly as he turned away. "Rand, would you like to stay in the common room and listen to the musicians."
Rand nodded excitedly as he scuttled over towards the musician.
After a while, the musician left and Rand felt the ebbing of loneliness stir within him. HE wished that Perrin or Mat were here. Suddenly somebody sat down next to him and he jumped around, alarmed.
A young girl sat there, maybe seven or eight, with black soot on her face and her dark haired cut short. She wore boy's clothes and for a moment, Rand thought she was a boy.
"Hi." The girl said, tilting her head to stare at him with dark eyes.
"Hello." Rand said weakly.
"You're strange, you know." The girl said abruptly. "I can all kinds of things from you, most people never have more than one or two in their lives."
"You can see things?" Rand asked, his curiosity piped.
The girl nodded. "I see them around you. I see a broken sword, a crown of glory, three women standing side-by-side, fire, blood, and death. I see terrible things…. and great things!"
Rand edged away from the girl, who noticed and sighed.
"You don't believe me. Nobody else does either. I'm Min Farshaw." She said, almost as an afterthought.
"Rand al'Thor." Rand said slowly.
Min gave a grin and bounced out of her seat, dragging the unsuspecting Rand with her. She saw something else, something she couldn't quite comprehend at her age. Nonetheless, she stowed it away at the back of her mind and was content to play with her new friend.
It was on the third day in Baerlon, when Rand and Min were wandering the town (against Tam's orders) when things went wrong. As Rand scooted from the busy street with Min ahead of him, he felt somebody grab him by the shoulder and push him in an alley. Rand turned around with a fearful expression on his face to see a pack of nasty and dirty youths stood there.
"Hello little boy." The one who held his shoulder hissed.
Rand struggled, squirming and whimpering as the grip tightened.
"Give us your money."
"I-I don't have any!" Rand cried out.
A dirt-covered youth with a mangled nose gave a bark of a laugh. "I do be telling you," he crowed in a strange accent. "Children do be not carrying gold in Baerlon."
The youth holding his shoulder let him go and pushed him to the ground. He reached inside his tattered clothes and pulled out a stained and battered knife. He approached Rand, who scrambled back and flung out his hands instinct. What happened next surprised both the gang and Rand.
For Rand, a complex set of thin like strings, humming and glowing with power erupted from his hands, wrapping themselves in a delicate pattern. For a moment his senses were overloaded, the air smelled sweeter, he could see the tiny beads of sweat on the youth in front of him as if it had been shoved under his eyes and warmth blazed in him like a wildfire as an avalanche of heat surged through him. For a moment Rand though he would fall into the chaotic tumbling but he 'balanced himself' just as the taint hit him. His senses were suddenly clouded with a slick oily substance. He could smell rotting meat, dead carcasses been out in the sun to long and he retched and let go of the feeling, throwing the weave away from him.
For the gang of youths, the small boy flung out his hands and suddenly a wave of air slammed them back. There were cries of pain as bones broke and boys were sent tumbling away, before the air stopped and the young boy suddenly retched and threw up.
"You can channel!" One of the youth's gasped outloud, a sudden look of terror in his eyes.
The greatest magic known to the world was the use of the One Power, channelled from the True Source. There were two sections to the source, Saidar and Saidan, for the females and males respectively. However, in the current time, only Saidar was channelled. It is common knowledge that the Dark One (never speak His name) had been bound in Shayol Ghul the moment after the creation by the Creator. Three thousands years ago, in the Age of Legends where the world was different and towers rose from the ground and cities were spread over the world, somebody drilled a hole into the Dark One's prison and weakened it. The Dark One could not escape but He could influence the world and spread chaos and war. For decades the forces of Light, led by Lews Telamon Therin the Dragon, the Prince of Morning, fought against the Dark One. Several powerful Channellers had converted during the war, thirteen in total, the Forsaken, and took new names. These names were still the names of horror to this day, Lanfear, Daughter of the Night, Ishmael, Betrayer of Hope, and so forth. The Light was losing the war when Lews Therin, with a hundred companions, led a task force to seal off the bore. Thank the light, the Forsaken had been in meeting at Shayol Ghul and were bound along with the Dark One. The mission had been successful...at a high price.
The Dark Ones counter strike, seconds before He was bound again, was horrible and broke the world. He used his powers to taint Saidan, driving male channelers instantly mad. Some of them drew in Saidan, as a dying man would take in water, taking in much more than what was safe and overloaded themselves. The overloads shattered the world, where ocean once was there was land, where land was there was ocean, where plains were now stood mountains. Cities were destroyed, billions killed.
Lews Therin earned the name Kinslayer, after his insanity drove him to strike down all those of his blood. In horror, he overloaded himself and the power of the explosion rippled throughout the world, dwarfing any other. Where he had once stood, a giant peak with jagged edges known as Dragonmount rose. Male Channelers are feared with reason.
The fight seemed to be over, with both sides losing. Prophecies indicate that the Dragon would be reborn in another age. The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go and repeat themselves. It was now the Third Age.
Rand took no notice of the youths words, his head spinning as they scattered and ran away in terror. He could smell vomit that clung to his clothes and staggered upwards before he looked up. A tall woman, with pale hair and cold blue eyes stared at him with contempt and disgust. With no warning, Rand felt something strike him in the head and he sank into unconsciousness. As the woman picked up Rand, she didn't see Min peeking into the alley and darting off back to the Stag and Lions.
"Master al'Thor!" Min cried outloud as she sprinted inside the Stag and Lions. Tam looked up, his expression clearly not happen.
"Did I not forbid Rand to leave the Inn?" He said, his eyes dark with anger and worry.
"Master al'Thor, they took him!" Min spluttered.
Tam shot to his feet, his hand moving as a blur as his sword sprang from his sheath. All eyes turned to him as chatter died down.
"Who did?" Tam said quietly, his voice promising pain.
Aes Sedai literally stood for, Servants of All. They were the women who had been trained in the use of the One Power and served the White Tower. In reality, they were schemers and meddlers and manipulators if you talk to one person, Darkfriends, servents of the Dark One if you talk to another person, or the Light incarnate if you talk to yet another. Opinions of them varied, but everybody had one thing in common when it came to Aes Sedai...Be careful.
Rand didn't remember much of his journey; he was kept inside a wagon for the majority of it. When he was let out, the tall women would do something and he could not open his mouth. Time went on as Rand stared at the inside of the walls, trapped and a prisoner. He was frightened and hurt. The women fed him and made him sleep, but he did not hear a word from her all journey. Some time later, he was suddenly slapped and awoke with a gasp. The woman grabbed his arm; her mouth thinned in disgust and took him out of the carriage. Rand stared in awe at the gigantic white tower in front of him, with spires and walls surrounding the awe-inspiring building. He knew where he was from merchant tales and gleeman stories…He was in Tar Valon, home of the Aes Sedai.
"Good day Katrina Sedai." A woman with flame covered hair and dark brown eyes said. She wore red robes and held herself up with an air of superiority. Her face was neither young nor old, and held a look of ageless that came with using the One Power over time.
"Mellda. Gather up eleven Sisters of the Red."
Mellda frowned as she took in Rand. "A Channeler?" She said, her mouth siting with disgust.
Katrina nodded curtly, dragging Rand along harshly.
Rand was in the middle of a circle with thirteen women in red around him. He shivered at the coldness of the air as he shied from the stern gazes. The women closed their eyes and Rand suddenly felt something slice into his mind, blocking him from something. He howled in a pain he could not understand as block cut through him and he blacked out.
Rand awoke to gentle chatter, his eyes closed.
"Really, to gentle a young child like him!" Came a disapproving and horrified voice.
"Would you have us let him grow into his powers?" A voice snapped back. "He is safe now."
"Poor thing, they never last long after being gentled."
Rand couldn't hold on after that and fell asleep.
When he awoke again, a sympathetic young woman in white clothes gave him new clothes. She led him to a room filled with women in white clothes, some who pointed at him, and gave him food. Rand devoured the food hungrily. He could feel a loss of something; the world had become a different place. It was duller, les interesting and Rand could feel apathy of life ebb away at him. The days went on, as Rand grew more and more lazy. He would stare at a wall blankly for hours on end, eating only when prodded.
One day, when he was in Tar Valon's beautiful gardens, he heard a voice speak up behind him. He turned around to see a beautiful Aes Sedai, with black hair and sultry eyes frown at him.
"You must be Rand al'Thor." She said gently.
Rand licked his lips, his voice hoarse through disuse. "Yes."
"I am Alanna." The Aes Sedai said, her face a picture of sympathy. "Come, if you have nothing to do I shall find something for you." She took his hand and led him away.
Alanna led him to a courtyard where men fought with wooden swords. A bulky man with the grace of a panther turned to bow at Alanna.
"Mistress Aes Sedai." He greeted, his eyes flickering over at Rand, noting the skinny and depressed child for what he was.
"I have a new student for you." She said loudly, leaning in closer to say more quietly, "Keep him busy and occupied."
The man nodded and turned to face Rand. "Have you ever used a sword before boy?"
"No…but my Father has one." Rand answered slowly, his face brightening up at the mention of Tam. "It a nice one, with a heron branded on the hilt!"
The man stiffened and gave a small frown. "I wonder?" He muttered to himself, before turning back to Rand. "Very well boy, take one up, here!"
"Focus your emotions into a flame, your anger, your tiredness, force them all into a single candle flame and let yourself fall into the void." The weapons trainer instructed. "Again!"
Rand felt disconnected from his body. The tiredness of his arms, the heat he felt, they were all secondary concerns as he floated in a voice of apathy. In the void, he could feel the torn section of himself, the gentling done to him, but he ignored it and flowed through the sword drills.
"You're getting better. Now, Duck Under Pond…. good, follow through with Slicing the Silk…."
"Rand al'Thor!" Somebody shouted and Rand swivelled around from within the garden. A smile appeared on his face for the first time in months and he leaped towards Tam, burying himself in his father's arms. For the first time, he let himself cry and he sobbed as Tam rubbed his back.
"Come on Rand, we're going home."