There were dead bodies everywhere, blood washing across the pockmarked ground in an unnatural stream. I stood alone, untouched, unmarked, whole as the day I came into this world, in a Void that held nothing. I was one with the sword, and it was a part of me.
Then I banished the Void, and found how wrong I was.
My exposed skin was nicked and cut, and oozing blood. My armor was bashed in uncomfortable places, nearly slashed through in others. Sweat poured into my eyes leaving a salty trail of pain across my temple where yet another scar would define my character. But standing there, on my feet, still breathing in the sweet air covered with the odor of blood, I had one thing on my mind: I was alive. They were not.
From across the clearing I heard some movement, the barest scratching of leather on leaves, a groan of pain. I cautiously approached a pile of bodies, my heart still pounding from the exertion I never felt in the Void, my sword at the ready to strike down whomever still survived. Poised to strike, mere inches from delivering death, I stayed my hand. It was my teacher of the sword who lay there, his life's blood mingling with that of the scum that attacked us. "My...child..." he whispered, his eyes already sightless as he saw the Light coming for him, but what was left of his hand scrabbled weakly in the bloody dirt and sand. I took it, trying to offer some comfort in his last moments.
"I am here," I said, in a voice too high to be my own. I cleared my throat, fought back the emotion, sought the Void. "I am right here."
My teacher tried to smile, but his mouth was ruined by a cut that exposed more than teeth. "I have taught you all I can," he said. "But it is not enough."
I was angry at him then. "You did! It is!" I insisted, gripping his hand tighter, trying to impress upon him that all that he taught me, all that he was, would live on. In me. "I am stronger than 50 men combined, my skills are the highest of any among our companions, and I--" Breaking off, I didn't say the callous thing I was going to say. But he knew.
"And you live, while I will not, shortly," he acknowledged wryly, blood and spit bubbling from his mouth. "So listen. Your training is not complete. You must still find and defeat him."
And with that, as I tried in vain to make him comfortable in the last beats of his heart. Teacher, friend, and more a father to me than my own had ever been. Two more heartbeats, maybe three, and he slipped away and took flight into the sky, to the Light I'm sure was waiting for him.
And that's why I'm here, but can't stay. I am seeking a Blademaster. Not one that walks in the Light, mind you, but one that long ago turned away from everything he had been trained to become, everything that had been taught him to champion the Light. He is a renegade, and travels alone. Have you seen him? Because when I find him, I will challenge him to a duel, to the death.
He was my father's, my friend's, my teacher's son of blood and bone. Ironic, is it not? But this is how the Wheel comes full circle. I will be everything the old man wanted his real child to become, and avenge him. His death will not have been in vain.
The Blademaster returns as a player achievement. It is open to the Warrior class only, Lightside or Seanchan. This is not a clan. You can be clanned, or not, to achieve it; it does not matter. We recommend you wait until you are the highest level you can achieve before trying for this, as this is single combat to the death and your equipment is forfeit, you will not get it back if you lose. You can only challenge a specific mob that you must find, as he moves around. To the victor go the spoils, including the title of Blademaster.
Due to code limitations, you can challenge the Blademaster with any weapon available to you. However, be warned: Any weapon other than a sword used against the Blademaster will result in a lot more pain and blood to you. A lot more.