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Fanfic: Origin of Zahel the Swordmaster

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  The following is a fan fiction I wrote about how Zahel became known as a swordmaster. It is set in Alethkar before the death of King Gavilar. This story is probably more wrong than my other one, according to cosmere theory, but at least I spelled the title correctly.


  Vasher wanted to tell Dalinar that he was a stupid, stubborn drunkard that was too concerned with his own reputation.  The man was brother to the king and he should be more concerned with helping him in the impossible task of uniting Alethkar, rather than trying to compete for glory as a great warrior, the Blackthorn. Yet Vasher found himself sitting on a stool across from Dalinar, in a private room of the Kholin palace, listening to his concerns about his reputation. It was one of his duties as a house ardent.


  “Even you have to admit the child isn’t anything like my other son, nor even like any other lighteyed child I have ever met,” said Dalinar.


  Vasher suppressed a disgruntled grumble and replied, “Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that your cloak is the wrong color and wear it anyways.”


  “What?” Dalinar looked very confused.


  I have to stop using analogies like that, Vasher thought. “What I meant is that maybe Renarin isn’t Called to be a warrior like you and Adolin. There are many other noble Callings, I think, and he still has a while before he has to pick one. So just be patient and don’t drive him too hard in one direction.”


  “You are the worst ardent I have ever met Zahel. Sometimes I wonder if you even know what Vorinism is about.”


  “Yes, a lot of people say that about me,” replied Vasher, “so the question is, why did you send for me?”


   Dalinar picked up the Shardblade that had been resting on the ground beside him; it was from the King’s collection, meaning anyone could use it with permission. “You were once a warrior, and you seem to have quite the knowledge about many different kinds of swords,” he nodded pointedly to Nightblood, the black sheathed sword that rested by Vasher’s own chair (it had taken a lot of effort to get the head ardents to allow him to keep it), “and I can trust you to keep this matter and the conversation to yourself, being my ardent. My problem is this: I’ve been trying to get Renarin to hold it and feel its power, so that he’ll be inspired to work harder in his training, but he’s afraid of it. He says that it hurts his ears to touch it. Have you ever heard anything like this before? Is this Blade defective?” He handed the Blade to Vasher, who took it and started to study its surface. “Just think about it for a little while and we can talk again after my duel. I’m sure you can return the Blade yourself.”


  After Dalinar left, Nightblood’s voice spoke up in his head, I think she used to be like me, but it’s like she’s dead now.


  You mean this Blade?  asked Vasher. How do you know it’s a she?


  Can’t you feel her? She’s not completely dead. Do you think you can wake her up with a Breath? It would be like having my own sister. That might be pretty cool


  You know we have to return it eventually. Yet, I could ask it about how it was made, that could be interesting, I guess that would be worth one Breath. He grabbed a ruby sphere from a bracket on the wall, and with it one hand and the Shardblade in the other, he said “My breath become yours”.  The red light coming from the sphere became duller, and he felt a Breath escape him. Suddenly, a new feminine voice spoke up inside his head.


  What? Where am I? Who are you? Where is my master? What happened?


  Nightblood responded through Vasher, your old master is probably dead. This is my master. He just awakened you with a Breath.


  Get Away! Get away from that whoever you are, that blade is evil.


  Hey, I’m not-, Nightblood was interrupted by Vasher, that is Nightblood. I practically made him. He has been commanded to destroy evil. He will do me no harm. What he meant was that a long time ago, your master broke his oath with you and-


  Hey, that man looks like a Returned, interrupted Nightblood.


  What? Vasher looked up at a group of armed men walking through the hallway just past the doorway. There were five of them. Four of them had on leather armor and held various weapons; Vasher knew by instinct that the fifth man was the one Nightblood had mentioned: he wore a black and silver uniform and had a strange crescent moon shaped scar on his face.


  They look evil, we should destroy them, said Nightblood.


  They look like they are going to hurt people who can’t protect themselves, said the Shardblade, you should kill them so they can’t do it.


  I’m beginning to like this Shardblade better than you already Nightblood, Vasher thought as he stood up and strode off toward the group, a sword in each hand. A quick look proved that there was no one else around. “Hey,” he called to them, “what is your business here?”


  The group stopped and turned around. The man with the scar on his face said “we have come for the life of Renarin Kholin. He is wanted for reasons that I don’t have to explain to you, ardent.”


  “I’m sorry but I don’t believe you, and my friends here don’t either.” Vasher tossed Nightblood onto the ground before the five men. As usual, it started a bloodbath as one of the men took the blade and started to kill his friends with it. However, it didn’t end up with everyone dead as usual. The scar-faced man summoned a Shardblade and killed the man with Nightblood in his hand, just as he finished off the third warrior. He was now the last man alive out of the five. He turned and charged at Vasher, wielding his Shardblade with expert skill. Fortunately, Vasher was able to parry, using his borrowed Shardblade with equal skill. However, the fight ended abruptly after a couple of minutes when the scar-faced man touched his pants and he found himself stuck to the ceiling with Stormlight leaking from the pants.


  “I don’t know who you are, but thank you for the cool new sword. I must be going now.” The scar-faced man stooped to pick up Nightblood and then dashed off down the hallway towards the living chambers.


  I can’t let him get to Renarin, thought Vasher, but I don’t know what to do. He examined his pants with the Stormlight leaking out of them, and an idea came to him. He put a hand on his pants and commanded “Let go of things”. The red light in the hallway, which came from some ruby spheres placed in brackets along the hallway, became much duller, and some of his breath left him. His pants straightened and made themselves loose, so that his legs slipped through them and he fell onto the floor. His pants were still stuck to the ceiling by the Stormlight.

He could hear the screams and calls of alarm as people witnessed the unknown Shardblade-wielding assailant dash through the halls. He focused on his life sense to tell him where the killer was. He could sense the servants milling around in hysteria, the guards running in groups down various hallways, and—there! The scar-faced man was in a hallway directly above him, running back in his direction.


  Okay friend, Vasher said to the Shardblade in his hand, I’m going to throw you, and I want you to maintain your form, all the way through the ceiling.


  I really shouldn’t listen to you, because you’re not my master, but I guess you are trying to protect people. I’ll do as you say this once, just let me chance my shape. The Shardblade shifted, so that the crossguard disappeared and the sides became narrower at the tip and broader at the base, like a viciously long spearhead. Just as the scar-faced man was approaching the point just above him, Vasher threw the Shardblade at the ceiling. It went all the way through. Vasher sensed the man stop, he was not dead, but had probably been injured. He stayed there for a while as a large guard group approached him, and then suddenly whipped down the rest of the hallway with incredible speed. Vasher could no longer sense him with his life sense.


  Vasher dashed up to the hallway where the scar-faced man had been. There was a group of guards by the spot where he had thrown the Shardblade and another group looking out a window at the far end of the hallway. Dalinar was with them. He approached Vasher with the Shardblade in his hand; it had gone back to its previous shape.


  “Zahel, did you throw this through the floor?” Dalinar asked. “My men here said that there was a man running through the hallway with a Shardblade in one hand and your black sword in his other hand. They said this Shardblade came through the floor and struck his leg. Unfortunately, the man flew out that window before we could get to him though.”


  “Maybe,” replied Vasher.


  “That is the most incredible feat I have ever seen done with a Shardblade before. Were you a swordmaster before you became an ardent?”




  “Huh. A swordmaster ardent who takes his pants off in the middle of a battle,” Dalinar looked pointedly at Vasher’s bare legs, “you are an interesting person Zahel. I want you to take over Adolin’s sword training from now on. Also, I’ll talk to the head ardents about letting you keep this sword, since you lost your other one.”


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