|<< TWoK Chapter 64: A Man of Extremes / TWoK Chapter 66: Codes >>|
|“||I see them. They are rocks. They are the vengeful spirits. Eyes of red.||”|
Sadeas's and Dalinar’s forces arrive across from the Tower after a tiring journey. They can see the Parshendi still don’t have the gemheart out of the chasmfiend so they can still engage them. The only way onto the Tower is by the west and northwestern sides. The other sides are too wide to traverse. It appears the Parshendi are in full force with, as expected, at least 10,000 strong. This will be a huge battle, and if the Alethi win, it will change the tide of the war. Sadeas’s scouts cross to fields to set up on a neighboring plateau, to watch for more Parshendi forces should they happen to try to join the fight and outflank them.
Again, Sadeas entreats Dalinar to cross and attack at the same time, but Dalinar will not because of the bridgemen, telling Sadeas, "I’m sorry, old friend. It’s not a judgment of you. It is what I must do."
Sadeas rides off to venture across the chasm to take the fight to the Parshendi via the northern end. Once the path is cleared, Dalinar will cross nearby that point. The plan is to push the Parshendi toward the southeast portion of the plateau in order to divide their forces and leave them with no exit point along with being separated from any supporting forces that could show up.
Dalinar looks on at the one crew of bridgemen that wear strange orange armor and wonders why none of the other men are allowed them. Dalinar and Adolin prepare to cross as Sadeas’s forces near the crossing-point.
Kaladin runs along the chasm trying to distract the Parshendi all while they shoot arrows at him. He has four more of his men out there with him, but the Parshendi focus on him. They’ve lost five bridges already, but the force firing on them is one of the largest he’s encountered. Kaladin’s body, full of Stormlight, spins away from the volleys of arrows while knocking others down with his shield. He hears the Parshendi chanting their song in unison.
Sadeas’s forces make it across and the Parshendi have to engage them even though many still want to go for Kaladin with a few making gestures at him. Kaladin finally releases the storm within. He had never drawn in too much Stormlight so as not to broadcast to everyone what he could do, but the Parshendi seem to know he’s different.
There is a call for Kaladin which means he has men to whom he must attend. Skar was injured from an arrow in the foot. Moash then brings Teft over, who had taken an arrow as well. Kaladin confirms no one else from his group is injured. He has pressure put on Skar’s foot while he works on Teft. Kaladin hesitates before using the fire-hot knife on Teft’s wound as he would inhibit his training with the spear, but he knows it’s for the best.
Dalinar waits for an opening for his men to cross the chasm. Seeing Sadeas’s forces already losing men he orders a bridge into place and crosses along with his Cobalt Guard. They are just in time as Sadeas’s men are beginning to break. Dalinar crashes into the Parshendi with his Shardblade.
Dalinar takes the fight to the Parshendi after his forces arrive on The Tower. He wades through their lines with abandon, loosing The Blackthorn from within. Dalinar looks around for a Parshendi Shardbearer to attack to no avail. He feels his armor being hit by something heavy and looks around, then sees a group of Parshendi with rock slings from afar aiming at him. Dalinar runs to their ledge and cuts down those closest with Oathbringer. Once atop, he grabs some boulders and hurls them at the slingmen crushing them. He looks out to the battlefield and notes happily that Adolin is doing well. They are winning.
Dalinar rejoins the fight and tells his men to press the Parshendi on all sides. He slams into their lines killing many, but when he comes across a very young Parshendi he hesitates. He tries to stop one of his soldiers from cutting the man down, but isn’t heard above the din.
Dalinar feels sick looking around at the loss of life listening to the Parshendi war chant and even considers if the Parshendi should be part of uniting everyone. Could these visions be caused by the Nightwatcher or some other force? Above anything Dalinar questions his reason for this path of death. Adolin runs up asking what to do. Dalinar, confused, looks across the plateau and sees a large force of Parshendi crossing the chasm. Dalinar looks to where Sadeas's forces were and sees that they are retreating along their bridges and taking them along behind, stranding Dalinar’s forces on the Tower between two Parshendi armies.
-by Michael Pye
Quote of the Chapter:
Roshar had been united, once. Had that included the Parshendi?