Rand enters the Heart of the Stone and Be'lal confronts him. He calls Rand Lews Therin and tells him to take Callandor. Rand accuses him of caging Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve. Be'lal confesses surprise, then says Lews Therin always put his heart ahead of power. Rand asks who he is and Be'lal again reacts with surprise saying that Ishamael said Rand remembered nothing but he did not really believe it. He announces that his name is Be'lal and once again tells Rand to take the sword. He says he will give Rand this one chance because they were once allies. Rand brags that he has denied Ba'alzamon, the Dark One, and again Be'lal is surprised that that is what Rand thinks. Be'lal suddenly holds a sword of black fire and tells Rand to defend himself. Rand's sword of fire appears and they fence, but it is soon apparent that Be'lal is the better swordsman. Other fighting surrounds them, Aiel versus Defenders of the Stone. Rand trips over a body and falls as Be'lal prepares to kill him. Moiraine strides into the room and commands him to stop. Once again Be'lal is surprised saying he thought she was out of the way. He starts to do something to her but she balefires him before he can act. All the fighting stops. Moiraine tells Rand it is too soon, but now there is no choice. He must take Callandor. Whips of black lightning throw her across the room and a black shadow descends from the ceiling resolving into Ba'alzamon. Ba'alzamon says he has twice offered to let Rand serve him and twice he has been wounded. Now he will take Rand's soul. Rand feels an excruciating tearing. He throws out his hand and grasps Callandor. Ba'alzamon escapes through a twisting of reality. Rand twists reality in the same way and follows him.
As Egwene approaches the dungeon the entire Stone shakes. She continues on and locates the dungeon, finding a very faint Amico. Evidently she is drifting in and out of sleep while holding one of the ter'angreal. She shields Amico who screams, then steps out of the dream.
Mat and Juilin enter the dungeon and see Amico. Juilin warns Mat that she is one of the Aes Sedai who took the girls. Mat is suitably cautious, but though she seems awake she just looks at him and asks for help. He carefully takes the key and unlocks the cell by her. Nynaeve and Elayne are kneeling by Egwene. They react to him with disapproval and wake Egwene. They spot Juilin behind Mat and look like they are ready to kill him. He apologizes and says Liandrin forced him to aid her. They exit the cell and Nynaeve punches Amico, knocking her out. Egwene takes the ter'angreal from her. Free to channel again, Nynaeve Heals Egwene and Elayne. Mat tells them he is rescuing them, but they ignore him and walk out of the room. Mat and Juilin follow.
Perrin and Hopper continue to search for Faile. Twice more they found her, but she disappeared. Perrin smashes a brass door with his hammer. Inside, a flock of falcons attacks him cutting him with their talons. There is a perch with a falcon chained to it. The lock is shaped like the hedgehog. He breaks the chain and blacks out.
Rand follows Ba'alzamon through a strange version of the Heart of the Stone. The entire Stone rings like a gong. Ba'alzamon tries to balefire him, but he uses Callandor to deflect the beam. As he flees, Ba'alzamon leaves behind him a plethora of traps and dangers, but Rand springs them without thinking and follows. Finally, Ba'alzamon returns to the Heart of the Stone. Rand confronts him and sees black wires running from Ba'alzamon into the shadow surrounding him. Ba'alzamon calls on the Dark One to aid him and the shadow swells, but Rand uses Callandor to sever the black wires. Ba'alzamon seems to dwindle and grow larger at the same time as though there were two of him. Rand stabs Ba'alzamon through the chest with Callandor and the shadow vanishes. Suddenly they are both back in the real world. Ba'alzamon's body has a hole burned through the chest and burned pits where his mouth and eyes were. The fighting has resumed in their absence. Rand thinks he has killed the Dark One and won Tarmon Gai'don. He brings down lightning with Callandor, commands the fighting to stop, and claims the title of the Dragon Reborn. Everyone kneels to him.
Notes (Possible Spoilers)#
[#1] It is not clear if this "sword of black fire" is some manifestation of the True Power or just an ordinary One Power weaving that only bad guys use.
[#2] They both Travel into Tel'aran'rhiod.
[#3] It is not clear if this is Mat's explosion, Rand taking Callandor, Perrin smashing the door, or something else.
[#4] This is a big mistake on their part and it continues to build until ACoS,Ch22.
[#5] Somewhere in all this Amico is stilled. There are unique aspects to this stilling that make it difficult to say for certain exactly what happened to her.
[#6] This ter'angreal is the iron disc. (TSR,Ch11)
[#7] This time it is clear that this is Perrin breaking the door.
[#8] What are these black wires? See the discussion in the FAQ, Section 1.3.1.
[#9] Compare this with the severing of Ba'alzamon in TEotW,Ch51, the severing of Asmodean in TSR,Ch58 and the crossing of the balefire beams in ACoS,Ch41.
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