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|“||Light grows so distant. The storm never stops. I am broken, and all around me have died. I weep for the end of all things. He has won. Oh, he has beaten us.||”|
Dalinar finds himself in the thick of battle upon the Shattered Plains atop his Ryshadium, Gallant. This is one of his earliest joint plateau attacks with Sadeas's forces. Both armies seem to complement each other well with Sadeas’s men leading the way and Dalinar’s better trained forces sweeping in behind.
As Dalinar fights, he focuses on the fact that the Parshendi fight in pairs; usually one is bearded while the other is not. Alethi scholars theorize it is a master/apprentice relationship, but after looking at an unbearded Parshendi up close, Dalinar theorizes that they fight in male and female - possibly husband and wife teams - though with the Parshendi build and their odd carapace shielding it is difficult to tell male from female.
After dispatching many Parshendi, Dalinar sees that the battle near him has ebbed. He dismounts Gallant and sends the horse back behind the lines. Looking again at the pairs of Parshendi, Dalinar decides to have a couple of the Parshendi bodies taken back and examined by his scholars.
Dalinar heads to a more active section of the battlefield. Adolin is in the distance commanding another area while Sadeas’s forces are focused on the chrysalis. Though they could end the battle now by cutting open the chrysalis, both Dalinar and Sadeas had decided beforehand to protect, thereby luring more Parshendi into the battle. Their long term plan is to kill as many Parshendi as they can in hopes of ending the war sooner.
'UK edition from Gollancz':
Even though Dalinar knows he should hate the Parshendi, he still respects them for their will to attack a Shardbearer so easily. Most regular soldiers would flee at the sight of a Shardbearer, but the Parshendi go right for them. Dalinar finds himself in the midst of many Parshendi, all of whom he quickly kills. A sudden bout of nausea takes him as he fights against the Thrill. But that doesn’t stop him from slicing through more Parshendi.
In the past, Dalinar savored the Thrill, reveling in it during previous campaigns. Once, he nearly attacked his brother, Gavilar, when he was lost deep within it. This was a time not long after Navani had chosen Gavilar over him.
Dalinar notices a second Parshendi army approaching, which had never happened in the past. It appears they are learning from Dalinar's and Sadeas’s attacks. He sends runners to inform everyone about the second force. Dalinar runs and climbs up a rock formation for a better look; the army is headed for Sadeas’s side. Dalinar calls for his horse and tells a runner to inform Adolin that he is now in charge of the assault. Dalinar wades through the middle of the Parshendi with his Shardblade twisting around him, clearing a path forward for him toward where he had seen Sadeas’s banner fall. Dalinar becomes The Blackthorn in this moment, unleashing himself as he hadn’t in years. "He was a maelstrom of death and steel."
Dalinar finds Sadeas encircled and being beaten by the Parshendi as he leaks Stormlight from his armor. Dalinar sees the hammer Sadeas must have dropped and picks it up, dispatching many Parshendi. He summons his Blade again and finishes those enemies near him. Sadeas’s armor is in bad shape, broken and cracked in many places with the chestplate all but gone, but he lives. More Parshendi come at them, seeing two Shardbearers in their grasp. Dalinar kills them all with the Thrill surging again. Dalinar is in danger of being overrun when Adolin bursts through the ranks from behind, decimating the forces there. Adolin’s men are right behind him. They surround Dalinar and Sadeas and take out the remaining Parshendi.
Adolin expresses his displeasure at his father’s run across the battlefield without any of his soldiers. The Plate on Dalinar’s back is in ruin and will require a lot of time and infused gemstones to repair the damage.
Sadeas is removed from his Shardplate by his soldiers and seems to be mostly okay though dazed. He learns they won the battle and the gemheart is being cut now. Sadeas congratulates Dalinar and Adolin. Dalinar makes it clear he was following the Codes to do so. Dalinar departs to check on Gallant. He sees the line of death he caused across the field and seems horrified at what he has done.
Quote of the Chapter:
|“|| "You do not abandon your allies on the battlefield. Not unless there’s no recourse. It is one of the Codes."
Sadeas shook his head. "That honor of yours is going to get you killed, Dalinar." He seemed bemused.