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What the Heck did Moiraine just do?


Jarviee
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Ok,

 

So I am reading through the series again. Im close to the end of the Dragon Reborn.

 

Perrin, Moiraine, Warder, Ogier, and Faile are leaving Illian and being chased by Dark Hounds.

 

Perrin takes out one with a bow and then all the sudden they get close and Moiraine does something with the one power.

 

She like sends a wave of Fire towards the hounds. The air caught on fire.

 

Perrin eventually goes, what the heck was that man?

 

Moiraine replies, "Something not used in nearly two-thousand years, something I might be stilled just for knowing."

 

So my question is, "Does this come up later in the series. Do we know what it is?"

 

Please no spoilers. Im getting closer to the end of the Dragon Reborn.

 

If you do know and it would spoil it for me like sweaty stinky meat, just say "Keep Reading"

 

 

Blessings,

 

Jarviee

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Ahh good question.

 

It is not balefire. If that is what you are talking about.

 

 

Ill quote it here:

 

"Now," Moiraine said as his arrow left the bow. The air between her hands caught fire and streaked toward the darkhounds, vanquishing night.

 

OK so I just reread some of it and I am thinking it actually might be balefire. Because Perrin's eyes were seeing the spots flickering across his vision.

 

I am starting to think it was balefire. It just seems that three other times balefire has come up in this book prior to this scene, Twice by Rand in Dreams, and once by Nynaeve, it isn't described as fire more of just a line of white bright light.

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Regardless of what some of the true enthusiasts here will tell you, the fact is that RJs descriptions of and explanations for things did change over the course of the series. That is why the text often doesn't bear the sort of close textual analysis many of us like to employ.

 

He just changed the way he described balefire.

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Ahh good question.

 

It is not balefire. If that is what you are talking about.

 

 

Ill quote it here:

 

"Now," Moiraine said as his arrow left the bow. The air between her hands caught fire and streaked toward the darkhounds, vanquishing night.

 

OK so I just reread some of it and I am thinking it actually might be balefire. Because Perrin's eyes were seeing the spots flickering across his vision.

 

I am starting to think it was balefire. It just seems that three other times balefire has come up in this book prior to this scene, Twice by Rand in Dreams, and once by Nynaeve, it isn't described as fire more of just a line of white bright light.

 

Yeah Im pretty sure its balefire. As Randsc said a lot of the descriptions early on are slightly different, for example balefire is described as a bar of molten fire on more than one occasion. Id say because its Perrins PoV that may account for the descriptive difference.

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But that's so, so, What's the werd?

 

Mierda?

 

I was really hoping for someone to whip out something totally awesome and be like, Its a new type of firball that comes in a new size with the use of a certain watcha-ma-wack-it.

 

I guess I'll take it but ill allow it... For now...

 

 

Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease,

 

Jarviee

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Could be,

 

But Jordan wrote in this chapter that before the balefire or w/e, Perring took down one of the 10 darkhounds with his bow and arrow. But he took him down. It never said he died.

 

My problem with the balefire idea is that balefire seems to be a direct line not a wave of something flying out.

 

Any thoughts???

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Aight I found this on the WoT Wiki

 

They [shadowhounds] typically run in packs of ten to twelve, though a pack may be as large as fifty hounds. Perrin Aybara (with Moiraine Damodred in party) fought Darkhounds outside of Illian, and killed one with several arrows to the face. Balefire is the only reliable way to permanently kill one.

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Could be,

 

But Jordan wrote in this chapter that before the balefire or w/e, Perring took down one of the 10 darkhounds with his bow and arrow. But he took him down. It never said he died.

 

My problem with the balefire idea is that balefire seems to be a direct line not a wave of something flying out.

 

Any thoughts???

 

Pretty sure balefire can take a number of forms (though its always the blinding white light), and I'm also nearly 100% sure Perrin didn't kill a darkhound with an arrow. I base that on events at the beginning of TFH, which I won't elaborate.

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Isn't balefire supposed to be the only way you can kill a darkhound?

 

Depends on the Darkhound. Here is my stuff on Darkhounds, if you're interested.

 

The Wild Hunt; Darkhound Anomalies

 

The Normal Darkhound

 

In the Dragon Reborn we get introduced to Darkhounds for the first time. Whilst difficult to kill, Lan manages to do so with a sword [tDR;43, Shadowbrothers], and Perrin with a bow [tDR; 44, Hunted]. They normally operate in packs of ten or twelve [CoT; 7, A Blacksmiths Puzzel], and this amount is cited as a limit by Masuri. Two packs loosed near each other will invariably turn on each other [tDR; 44, Hunted], which may also be the reason for the normal size limit on packs.

 

If we can take Masuri, Lan and Moiraine's knowledge as indicative that the above is the norm for Darkhounds, then we have two anomalous occurences within the series.

 

Anomalous Darkhounds

 

Die-Hard Darkhounds

 

In [tFoH; 6, Gateways] Rand encounters Darkhounds that won't die for anything short of balefire.

 

In the blink of an eye the sword form called Whirlwind on the Mountain became The Wind Blows Over the Wall became Unfolding the Fan. Great black heads flew apart from black bodies, their dripping teeth, like burnished steel, still bared as they bounced across the floor. He was already stepping from the mosaic as the dark forms collapsed in twitching, bleeding heaps. Laughing to himself, he let the sword go, though he held on to saidin, to the raging Power, the sweetness and the taint. Contempt slid along the' outside of the Void. Dogs. Shadowspawn, certainly, but still just... Laughter died.

 

Slowly, the dead dogs and their heads were melting, settling into pools of liquid shadow that quivered slightly, as if alive. Their blood, fanned across the' floor, trembled. Suddenly the smaller pools flowed across the floor in viscous streams to merge with the larger, 'which oozed away from 'the mosaic to mound higher and higher, until the three huge black dogs stood there once more, slavering and snarling as they gathered massive haunches under them.

 

So, despite the fact that Moiraine states Lan managed to kill one with his blade in tDR, these simply go Terminator Two on Rand's ass until he employs some balefire.

 

The Super Pack

 

In [CoT; 7 Blacksmith's Puzzel] a pack of Darkhounds circles Perrin's camp. Masuri states: "A second rarity: there may have been as many as fifty in this pack. Ten or twelve is the usual limit. A useful maxim: two rarities combined call for close attention.”

 

Masuri's first rarity was the Darkhounds being so far south, but with TG coming it's not surprising that the Shadow is moving outside its normal fields. She is correct, however, in that we know have two rarities. And, setting aside whether Masuri is a darkfriend or not, she is right that this is a rarity. Even within the course of the series the three packs we've encountered--the ones Rand destroyed in tDR, the ones Moiraine destroyed in tDR, and the ones who attacked Rhuidean--have fit within the number limits. Elyas also agrees: "A big pack. Bigger than anything I’ve ever seen or heard of."

 

Where Do These Strange Darkhounds Come From?

 

Masuri states that "Over the years, I have crossed the paths of seven packs, five of them twice and two others three times." She goes on to say that she has never encountered this pack before. Elyas makes it clear that the number seven is impressive.

 

“She said she’s crossed the paths of seven packs, and this isn’t one she’s seen before.”

 

“Seven,” Elyas murmured in surprise. “Even an Aes Sedai would have to go some to do that.

 

So, if Masuri, despite considerable effort, had never encountered these Darkhounds before, and they are displaying strange new behaviour, might one suggest that they are in fact new? Elyas describes the way Darkhounds are made...

 

“They were wolves, once. The souls of wolves, anyway, caught and twisted by the Shadow. That was the core used to make Darkhounds, the Shadowbrothers. I think that’s why the wolves have to be at the Last Battle. Or maybe Darkhounds were made because wolves will be there, to fight them. The Pattern makes Sovarra lace look like a piece of string, sometimes. Anyway, it was a long time ago, during the Trolloc Wars as near as I can make out, and the War of the Shadow before that. Wolves have long memories. What a wolf knows is never really forgotten while other wolves remain alive. They avoid talking about Darkhounds, though, and they avoid Darkhounds, too. A hundred wolves could die trying to kill one Shadowbrother. Worse, if they fail, the Darkhound can eat the souls of those that aren’t quite dead yet, and in a year or so, there’d be a new pack of Shadowbrothers that didn’t remember ever being wolves.

 

Yet does this answer the question of the oddities? After all, all Darkhounds were made new once. Did they just lose their extra abilities to survive beheadings and work in larger packs over the years? I draw your attention to something specific Elyas said: "They were wolves, once. The souls of wolves, anyway, caught and twisted by the Shadow. That was the core used to make Darkhounds, the Shadowbrothers."... "it was a long time ago, during the Trolloc Wars as near as I can make out, and the War of the Shadow before that."

 

Now originally I thought he was referring to the way Darkhounds bite wolves and then they turn--now I no longer think so. He speaks casually of a wolves dying to Darkhounds--it is a thing that could happen any time should wolves and Darkhounds cross. But the capturing of Wolves by the Shadow, the intentional twisting--that he cites with a timeframe. The Trolloc Wars, and before in the War of the Shadow.

 

I think that part was speaking of the original twisting. The method of making Darkhounds that was employed to make the very first Darkhounds--after all they can't all have been turned by a Darkhound bite. We know the Wolf came before the chicken in this stage. There must have been a first. And if there could be one, why not many?

 

Consider Masuri's comments on the number of Darkhound packs.

 

“Some ancient writers say there are only seven packs, others say nine, or thirteen, or some other number they believed had special significance, but during the Trolloc Wars, Sorelana Alsahhan wrote of ‘the hundred packs the Shadow’s hounds that hunt the night,’ and even earlier, Ivonell Bharatiya supposedly wrote of ‘hounds born of the Shadow, in numbers like unto the nightmares of mankind.’ Though in truth, Ivonell herself may be apocryphal.

 

[CoT; 7, Blacksmiths Puzzle]

 

Isn't it curious that the time in which Masuri cites their being far more Darkhounds, is also a time Elyas specifically states as being one in which Wolves were caught by the Shadow and turned.

 

My Explanation

 

Here is what I suggest. The Normal Darkhounds--the ones that Lan, Moiraine, Elyas and Masuri know of, the ones who die by normal blades and run in packs of ten--these are converted Darkhounds. Wolves bitten by Darkhounds and turned to the Shadow in that manner. The New Darkhounds are the Pure Darkhounds. The ones turned intentionally by the Shadow using the original technique. These Pure Darkhounds are clearly stronger, capable of surviving more. They also seem more intelligent, able to work in larger numbers.

 

One may wonder what other restrictions they are not faced with. For instance, would water turn them back, as it does their converted counter-parts? Another thought--just how large might a pack get?

 

The Wild Hunt

 

People speak several times of the Wild Hunt, a hunt of Darkhounds led by the Dark One. Each time they seem to doubt the normal Darkhound packs as fulfilling it.

 

“Are you telling me Nieda was right?” Zarine demanded in a shaky voice. “Old Grim is really riding with the Wild Hunt? Light! I always thought it was just a story.”

 

“Don’t be a complete fool, girl,” Lan said harshly. “If the Dark One were free, we’d all be worse than dead by now.” He peered off down the street, the way the tracks went. “But Darkhounds are real enough. Almost as dangerous as Myrddraal, and harder to kill.”

 

Even Darkhounds, though if they're really the Wild Hunt, at least the Dark One isn't free to ride behind them. They're bad enough anyway.

 

Curiously, the Wolves name the Last Battle 'The Last Hunt'. I would put forward that the Wild Hunt is not a myth, is not any of the Darkhounds we've seen before--but that it is something that is coming. A Hunt of ‘hounds born of the Shadow, in numbers like unto the nightmares of mankind.’ The CoT Super Pack is just the beginning.

 

A Memory of Light, and Darkhounds

 

I would have said CoT was a better title to resonate the entrance of the Wild Hunt--though I suppose it could be said that the Super Pack are the beginning--but setting that aside, one may notice that one of the worst times to meet the Wild Hunt is 'the time just after sunset'... when light has just become memory?

 

The CoT Super Pack; Who Are They Hunting?

 

I figure I should at least touch on this--but I got no clue. The frequently suggested Fain seems problematic to me--it makes little sense for Darkhounds to hunt a man who travels by Waygate, and besides, Slayers been tasked with his death--and in addition Fain's been nowhere near that area. The Darkhounds' prey has been evading them for some time, yes, but the trajectory of these Darkhounds indicates they've been nowhere near him--there is a difference between 'evading', and simply being elsewhere.

 

Still he is the strongest candidate. Fortuona and Mat make no sense--they were missing only days before Perrin encountered the Darkhounds. Nowhere near long enough to establish the sense of frustration Masuri states they feel. I can't think of anyone else in the area that might be said to be 'evading the shadow'.

 

One suggestion might be: what if the Darkhounds are seeking something other than a person? We know Demandred was looking for the Seals at that point, and that if you backtrack the Darkhounds course from Perrin it might lead very near to Caemlyn, and at about the same time Bashere' tent was raided. From there the Darkhounds seek out Perrin, circle his camp three times (obviously looking for something), and not finding it, move on.

 

It's possible they've been tasked to look near each of Rand's trusted allies and search therein for the Seals. Bashere's camp (and Cairhein) made a Darkhound attack implausible, so others are tasked with finding the seals. One may ask, for instance, how did the Shadow identify Bashere and Dobraine? Maybe the Darkhounds could sniff out the Seal present, and alerted the Shadow. From there Perrin's camp was checked, and proved not to have a seal, so they move on. Frustrated. Toward Mat's last known location.

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