The Great Hunt Chapter 1

In The ShadowEdit

Wheel of Time


The man known as Bors is at a gathering of a hundred Darkfriends, all in black masks. He does not know exactly where he is, only that he was summoned. They are in a huge room of black stone, decorated to look like a palace hall. Identically-dressed servants, male and female, all attractive but blank-eyed, serve them wine. He has taken pains to disguise his appearance, but he notes that many others haven't bothered, and even those that have, he can often tell where they are from.

Among those he sees are an Illianer noblewoman, and a Domani one; a Shienaran soldier; a Tinker; a High Lord of Tear; one of Andor's Queen's Guards; a Sea Folk man; and not one, but two Aes Sedai.

A chime sounds, and two Trollocs enter the room, followed by a Myrddraal. It announces the arrival of their Master, and they all drop to grovel on the floor as an image appears over its head. Bors, as terrified as the rest, recites his oath to the Dark Lord. They rise when bidden, and see the figure of a man, clothed and masked in red. Bors doubts that this is truly the Dark Lord, more likely one of the Forsaken, though the prospect is hardly more reassuring. Then he notices that the man's hands are horribly burned.

The man announces himself as Ba'alzamon, which is a claim that no mere Darkfriend would claim to make. Bors notices then that the servants and Trollocs are gone. Ba'alzamon tells them that they are in the shadow of Shayol Ghul, and that the Day of Return is nigh, but there is still much to do. The figures of three young men appear in the air before Ba'alzamon, one mischievous, one with yellow eyes and an axe, and one with a heron-mark blade. Ba'alzamon announces that one of them is the Dragon Reborn. The Shienaran asks if he is to be killed. Ba'alzamon says that he may yet be turned to serve the Dark Lord.

Sound now ceases around them, except for the Illianer woman, who appears to be having a silent conversation with someone in front of her. After she is finished, it is one the Aes Sedai's turn. Bors realizes they are all being given their instructions without the others being able to hear. Some of them seem to resist their orders at first, and some seem to be given shocks of pain.

Suddenly the red mask seems to appear before Bors, and he hears Ba'alzamon's voice asking if he is faithful, to which he fervently replies in the affirmative. Ba'alzamon then instructs him to return to his work in Tarabon, and redouble his efforts. He is also to watch for the three youths, and have his followers watch as well, but Ba'alzamon warns that they are dangerous. Concerning those who have landed at Toman Head, he is to say nothing. He is also given further undisclosed instructions about Tarabon, which make little sense to him.

Then he feels his head seized by a great force, and a series of images race through his mind--a sky of red, yellow and black clouds, a young woman dressed in white, a raven who knows him, an armored man in an insectoid helm, a golden horn, a wolf tearing out his throat, and many images of destruction. Then he returns to himself. Ba'alzamon tells him that some commands are too dangerous for the one executing them to know about. Then he goes on to instruct other Darkfriends.

He tries to determine who the three youths might be. He is startled to discover that the servants have returned, and Ba'alzamon and the Myrddraal have disappeared. The servant escorts him back to his room through an empty corridor, and tells him he may change back to his own clothes if he wishes. He puts back on his cloak, a white one with a sun and a red shepherd's crook.

Character ListEdit



Terms MentionedEdit



Plot PointsEdit

  1. Bors is really Jaichim Carridin.
  2. Ba'alzamon is the name Ishamael is using.
  3. The Shienaran soldier may well be Ingtar Shinowa.
  4. The three young men are of course the three ta'veren--Mat, Perrin and Rand.
  5. The Seanchan are the ones who have landed at Toman Head.
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