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One year ago The Great Lord stirred. Ishamael could tell how weak the seals truly were, after three thousand years of wearing away. The cuendillar was brittle enough that he would be able to escape into the world again. Freedom, a wonderful feeling after eternal sleep in the Pit of Doom, sealed by Lews Therin and his Companions so long ago. But unlike his previous sojourns, this one would be permanent. He slammed at the stone with a glove coated with the True Power, seeming to weaken it further, enough. Seizing what little of saidin he could through the walls of the prison, he tore a gateway out of the mountain. Yet this time, no tendril of the One Power linked him to it. After three millennia of sleep, the Chosen would emerge from Shayol Ghul, to do the Great Lord’s bidding. Perhaps Aginor and Balthamel had been freed first, but Ishamael intended to perform the most important task he had been set: to find, and kill at last, the reincarnate Lews Therin. And he knew exactly how. Giving utterance to a laugh that echoed in the valley of Shayol Ghul, Ishamael raised his hands, feeling saidin flow through him, the taint of the Great Lord’s counterstroke sliding off the barrier erected by his own power. The Blight bristled, surging, sensing the strength of its master. Southward it swept with renewed fury. The touch of the Great Lord had returned to the world. Now A renewed fury it indeed was. Callor stood, the middle hours of the night being the lot he had drawn for the watch. Around him, he could see the Blight’s tendrils snaking their way towards the camp at impossibly fast speeds. Having grown accustomed to repelling the things from two days of experience—had it only been two days under the witch’s Warder’s tutelage? it seemed so long—Callor drew his sword, setting his feet in a stance that allowed him mobility and flexibility. Moiraine may be a Darkfriend, he mused wryly, but this Lan fellow may be worth keeping her around. Wonder what made him decide to join with the witches? The stance he assumed was mirrored in the poses of the other soldiers—clearly, he was not the only one instructed in the usage of such a posture. The Creepers advanced, attacking, and Callor moved into the familiar stances. The Boar Rushes down the Mountain. The Courtier Taps his Fan became Parting the Silk became Heron Wading in the Rushes. One form to the next, blocking, attacking, fighting against the Shadow. Perhaps he had underestimated the Borderlanders’ toughness after all. He could see why warriors came here, came to wage war against the Dark One. Standing there, striking down Creepers on the right and left, his arms never seemed to tire of striking for the Light, his legs seemed as though they would hold him up forever, though thousands fall around him. Each tendril of shadow he struck down was a victory for the Light. Each overhanging branch of rotting vegetation, each rank weed, each insect which occasionally flew like a magnet straight towards him, each that was struck down delayed the Shadow. Callor even then ceased to think, to contemplate anything but the forms, to lose himself in the joy of striking a blow for the Light. It had seemed like an eternity later. Moiraine Sedai had assured him it had only taken ten minutes for him to go weary, for his defence against the encroaching Blight to no longer carry its full effectiveness. According to the witch’s account, which was delivered with little emotion, Alkoo had elected to throw himself among the vast carpet of Creepers and tendrils, sacrificing himself to spare Callor from suffering the same fate. Callor could not fathom why anybody would die for him. Light, he’d not, given the chance. He had tried asking Lan, but he’d simply responded with, “It is every man’s right to decide when to Sheathe the Sword.” Flaming lot of good that’d been! Moiraine arched an eyebrow, and Callor realised he’d spoken aloud. Covering his mouth and reddening, he retreated back into a silent brooding at the table, thinking of Alkoo. The image of the Ogier, with a sad smile on his face, vanishing into the cloud of Blight make Callor shudder, yet he could not look away, just that section repeating in his head over and over, the Blight slowly advancing. Though it seemed to be going at a less vigorous pace than before, there was no question that it was creeping up, and that they had lost a layer around where Moiraine Sedai thought the Eye was. From Callor’s view, there were only 6 layers left before the Eye itself was breached. He sent a silent prayer to the Light they would last that long. Day 3 has begun! It will end in 22 hours’ time at 22:00 EST, or 3 AM GMT, December the 11th. Xinoehp512 was killed! He was Roleless. The Eye has 38 health remaining. The current layer of defence has 1 health remaining, and is the Second Ring. The Blight is currently attacking for 6. Two Creepers of the Blight have appeared: Poxx and Kanker! They will Send Runner on N4 unless stopped. Emond’s Fielders Message: There is a lynch today. Please remember that PMs are closed. 1. Steeldancer (Ookla the Positive) as Ookla the Positive, an orphan with a cheery outlook on life. 2. randuir as Evelyn, an Aiel Wise Woman and well-wisher 3. Karnatheon (Ookla the Ring) as Brendan Vallerune, a gleeman totally unrelated to Jeordwyn 4. Cadmium Compounder (Ookla the Duck) as Miumpounder, a cobbler with an abiding hatred of Altarans 5. xinoehp512 (Ookla the Phoenix) as Alkoo, a reclusive Ogier tucked away in encyclopaedias Roleless 6. Amanuensis as Nikel Fain, a man hell-bent on killing his father (totally normal) 7. Droughtbringer as Month-Long Drought, a prickly old noblewoman who only eats dried fruit 8. Rathmaskal as Jeordwyn Dormond, an Illianer gleeman who juggles knives through his enemies 9. Devotary of Spontaneity (Ookla the Heretical) as Rhodin, a countercultural Aiel whose views are about to go mainstreamPerrin Aybara, Emond’s Fielder 10. Young Bard (Ookla the Unprepared) as Jancey, a reluctant soldier who signed up to obey his father’s will 11. Mark IV as Lars, an inquisitive young nobleman 12. Snipexe (Ookla the Sceptical) as Exepins, a scribe who will eventually admit to the superiority of British spellings Hardy Fal Dara Warrior 13. Furamirionind as Keisa, a grizzled veteran of the Borderland Wars, with a scar on his forehead to show for it 14. Hemalurgic Headshot (Ookla of the East) as Skern Mundy, a man from the East with many skills 15. Ark1002 (Ookla the Dragon Reborn) as Shifting Shadows, a shifty, shadowy Wolfbrother 16. STINK, a formless thread in the pattern with less than 24 hours to identify himself before the Creator does 17. MetaTerminal (Ookla the Cited) as Elak Dehlin, a merchant with severe paranoia about the One Power 18. BrightnessRadiant as Fifi 19. Mr Doctor as Antor Vadenfort, a Illianer Warder without an Aes Sedai 20. Sart as Shirley U. Jest, a Cairhienen noblewoman who takes life far too seriously Good luck to all!