The Great Hunt
"A sword is dangerous to the man at the point, but not to the man at the hilt. Unless the man holding the sword is a fool, or careless, or unskilled, in which case it is twice as dangerous to him as to anyone else."
Abruptly he felt his head grasped as though by a giant hand crushing his temples, felt himself being lifted, and the world blew apart in a thousand starbursts, each flash of light becoming an image that fled across his mind or spun and dwindled into the distance before he could more than barely grasp it. An impossible sky of striated clouds, red and yellow and black, racing as if driven by the mightiest wind the world had ever seen. A woman - a girl? - dressed in white receded into blackness and vanished as soon as she appeared. A raven stared him in the eye, knowing him, and was gone. An armoured man in a brutal helm, shaped and painted and gilded like some monstrous, poisonous insect, raised a sword and plunged to one side, beyond his view. A horn, curled and golden, came hurtling out of the far distance. One piercing note it sounded as it flashed to him, tugging his soul. At the last instant it flash into a blinding, golden ring of light that passed through him, chilling him beyond death. A wolf leaped from the shadows of lost sight and ripped out his throat. He could not scream. The torrent went on, drowning him, burying him. He could barely remember who he was. The skies rained fire, and the moon and the stars fell; river ran in blood, and the dead walked; the earth split open and fountained molten rock...
"Love is an odd thing. As odd a thing as there is."
"My mother always told me the best way to deal with a man was to learn to ride a mule. She said they have equal brains most of the time. Sometimes the mule is smarter."
"There is an old saying here in the Borderlands: 'Better to have one woman on your side than ten men.'"
"Tam al'Thor left the Two Rivers as a boy, Mother. He joined the army of Ilian and served in the Whitecloak War and the last two wars with Tear. In time he rose to be a blademaster and the Second Captain of the Companions. After the Aiel War, Tam al'Thor returned to the Two Rivers with a wife from Caemlyn and an infant boy."
"Aiel are hard. Man and woman, hard. I've fought them and I know. The will run fifty miles and fight a battle at the end of it. They're death walking, with any weapon or none. Except a sword. They will not touch a sword, for some reason. Or ride a horse, not that they need to. If you have a sword, and the Aielman has his bare hands, it's an even fight. If you're good."
"Take the trail! We hunt!"
"When we Shienarans ride, every man knows who is next in line if the man in command falls. A chain unbroken right down to the last man left. That way, you see, even if he is the last man, he is not just a straggler running and trying to stay alive. He has the command, and duty calls him to do what must be done."
There were only two things wolves hated. All else they merely endured, but fire and Trollocs they hated, and they would go through fire to kill Trollocs.
"I know you, know your blood and your line back to the first spark of life that ever was, back to the First Moment. You can never hide from me. Never! We are tied together as surely as two sides of the same coin. Ordinary men may hide in the sweep of the Pattern, but ta'veren stand out like beacon fires on a hill, and you, you stand out as if ten thousand shining arrows stood in the sky to point you out! You are mine, and ever in reach of my hand!"
"Twice and twice shall he be marked,
twice to live and twice to die.
Once the heron to set his path.
Twice the heron to name him true.
Once the dragon, for remembrance lost.
Twice the dragon, for the price he must pay."
"The Wheel of Time weaves us all into the pattern as it wills, but sometimes it provides us with what we need before we know we need it."
"A Sa'angreal. One of a pair, the largest ever made, that we know of. And an odd pair, as well. One, still buried on Tremalking, can only be used by a woman. This one can only be used by a man. They were made during the War of the Powers, to be a weapon...The two must be used in unison to handle enough of the One Power to Break the World - that was the way in the Age of Legends; a man and a woman working together was ten times as strong as they were working apart... One by itself is powerful enough, but I can think of a few women who can survive the flow through the one on Tremalking. The Amyrlin Seat, of course. Moiraine, and Elaida... as for Logain, it would have taken all his strength simply to keep from being burned to a cinder, with nothing left to do anything.
The other ten Shienarans had been left behind, along with Perrin. Everyone of them had to be there for a purpose, Verin had said, and Perrin had no purpose to serve this night. An escort was necessary for dignity in Cairhienin eyes, but more than ten would be suspicious. Rand was there because he had received the invitation, Ingtar had come to lend the prestige of his title, while Loial was there because Ogier were sought after in the upper reaches of Cairhienin nobility. Hurin pretended to be Ingtar's body servant. His true purpose was to sniff out the Darkfriends and Trollocs if he could; the Horn of Valere should not be far from them. Mat, still grumbling about it, was Rand's servant, since he could feel the dagger when it was close. If Hurin failed, perhaps he could find the Darkfriends.
"I've stayed with you long enough, Rand. Why would I stop now? You see, I like you. I would like you even if you weren't ta'veren. Maybe I like you despite it. You do seem to get me neck-deep in hot water. I any case, I'm going with you. And I don't think you can really stop me."
"You men, always thinking with either your muscles or your hearts, and never your heads."
"Maidens of the Spear. I never though they'd stop once they veiled their faces. You should see a charge by Red Shields, or Stone Dogs. As easy to stop as an avalanche."
"Does that mean you don't want to go with us after all?"
"It is believed there are worlds where a year is only a day here, and others where a day is a year here. There are supposed there are worlds where the very air would kill us at a breath, and worlds that barely have enough reality to hold together. I would not speculate on what might happen if we found ourselves in one of those. You must choose. As my father would have said, it's time to roll the dice."
He was a soldier. He was a sheperd. He was a beggar, and a king. He was farmer, gleeman, sailor, carpenter. He was born, lived, and died an Aiel. He died mad, he died rotting, he died of sickness, accident, age. He was executed, and multitudes cheered his death. He proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn and flung his banner across the sky; he ran from the Power and hid; he lived and died, never knowing. He held off the madness and sickness for years; he succumbed between two winters. Sometimes Moiraine came and took him away from the Two Rivers... A hundred lives. More. So many he could not count them. And at the end of every life, as he lay dying, as he drew his final breath, a voice whispered in his ear. I have won again, Lews Therin.
Elayne said, "I am going, too."
"Mother says a stick and honey always work better than a stick alone."
"As long as you know you deserved to, then you didn't deserve to. Sometimes I think it was sayings like that more than anything else that created the title of Wisdom. Well here's another. You break your neck, and I'll see it mended just so I can break it again."
"You are a damane, a Leashed One, and I am a sul'dam, a Holder of the Leash. When damane and sul'dam are joined, whatever hurt the sul'dam feels, the damane feels twice over. Even to death. So you must remember that you may never strike at a sul'dam in any way, and you must protect you sul'dam even more than yourself.
"Where are you... we... going? Seta said, quickly adding, "If I may ask?"
"Into the lion's den," Elayne told her.
"To dance with the Dark One," Min said.
"There has to be a price, Rand. There is always a price. Perhaps I can pay it here. It is every man's right, Rand, to choose when to Sheathe the Sword. Even one like me."
"All that for us? Who do they think we are?"
"With your permission... Lord Rand. Trumpeter, will you give us music on the Horn? Fitting that the Horn of Valere should sing us into battle. Bannerman, will you advance?"
And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the promised One be born of the mountain, according to the Prophecies, as he was in Ages past and will be in Ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.