|Chapter 3: Momentum|
|Follows||Chapter 2: One Problem Solved|
|Precedes||Chapter 4: Oaths|
Thirty-four years ago
Dalinar is charging across a burning field with his elites. The enemy has taken shelter in a town to the north and they set fire to the fields to prevent Dalinar from flanking them. Dalinar charges through the fire anyway so he can use a tactic called ‘Hammer and Anvil’. A tactic that won’t let his enemies get away from him. Dalinar bursts from the smoke and encounters a line of spearmen. He and his elites intimidate some of the spearmen, who drop their weapons and run. Dalinar uses his momentum to attack the spearmen and he slaughters them, laughing all the while. He pushes forward and finds a young man, crawling on the ground, screaming for his mother. Dalinar stabs him in the back. Dalinar is missing something, he doesn’t feel ‘alive’ yet. As more soldiers arrive, he pushes forward again, about fifty elites following him. He focuses on a high-ranking officer on a horse with armor made to resemble shardplate. He feels something stir inside of him. A need for a challenge. Dalinar brutally attacks the honor guard, repeatedly slamming his sword against another soldier’s shield until he gets an opening and finishes him off. Dalinar engages the lighteyes and remembers Gavilar mentioning something about the highprince’s son. The lighteyes accepts Dalinar’s challenge. Dalinar orders Jenin to shoot the highlord’s horse. Jenin complains that he finds this wasteful, but Dalinar tells him he’ll buy Jenin two when they are finished. Dalinar circles around the horse and finds his enemy rising. They batter at each other. Dalinar feels like he is winning, when suddenly a strap on his shield breaks. The enemy jumps on him and hits him with his shield. Dalinar blindly parries the next strike, disarming the prince, but is then punched in the face. The brightlord grabs his knife and comes in for the kill, but then the Thrill finds Dalinar. He looks up and rams his shoulder into his foe, unbalancing him. Dalinar goes to look for a sword, but Dym throws him a poleaxe. He trips the brightlord, but is then attacked by two honor guards. He quickly deals with them, trips the brightlord again and brings his axe down through his breastplate. The honor guards then break before Dalinar’s elites and try to flee. A dozen of them get shot in the back. The dying brightlord asks Dalinar why they attacked him. Dalinar says that he doesn’t know why. Gavilar chooses who they attack and then he points Dalinar in the right direction. Dym then finishes of the brightlord. Another soldier brings back Dalinar’s sword, but it has a back chip in it. He throws it away and selects a replacement from among the fallen.
They go farther down the street until they see more fighting soldiers. Dalinar orders Thakka to raid the houses and round up the families inside. Then he is hit with a black arrow. Thakka jumps in front of his brightlord, but Dalinar pushes him away. He wants to see where the arrow came from. A second arrow is fired, but Dalinar dodges it and calls for horses. They charge back around the town and climb the slope from where the arrows came. When they arrive, Dalinar is hit with another arrow while he gallops for the archer. The attacker tries to flee, but is kicked down. Dalinar notices a blue tattoo on his cheek. He deduces that the man is an assassin, sent there specifically to kill him. He then marvels about the 400-yard shot the man made and prompts him to do it again. The archer plants another arrow in a body 400 yards away. Dalinar welcomes him into his elites. The archer is reluctant, but Dalinar says that he can choose to be killed or to join him and name his price. The archer tries to protect the life of his highprince, but Dalinar says that it’s too late. The archer is horrified, but Dalinar proposes that their armies will refrain from looting the town if he joins them. The archer sullenly agrees. Once they reached the town again, Dalinar sends orders to stop the looting and then finds Torol Sadeas who has executed the local highprince and his officers. Sadeas asked what happened to Dalinar. He also tells him they lost the highprince’s son, so he might build a resistance. Dalinar informs him that he killed the son. He tells Sadeas to bring him something to drink and a pair of surgeons and to stop looting the town. He tells him that he promised it to his newest recruit. Sadeas is exasperated at this at first, but then sees how he can turn it around as a symbol that they are not without mercy. Sadeas says that they need to get Dalinar some shards, because he embarrasses them with his competence, even without shardplate and blade. Dalinar returns to the camp. He is done living for today and would have to wait for the next opportunity.
Thirty-four years ago 1140. During a summer, probably close to the weeping.
- Title references Dalinar's battle tactic and way of life. That he has to keep moving forward, using his momentum, never looking back.
- The assassination attempt on Dalinar earned him the nickname "Blackthorn", because of the black arrows stuck in his armor.
- Old Kholin Crest
Used for Dalinar's flashbacks
- Talenel wedge