In the 4th book of the Wheel of Time, The Shadow Rising, Chapter 10 (The Stone Stands) Rand uses a powerful weave with the help of Callandor to purge the Shadowspawn from the Stone of Tear. I always had a slight feeling that the magic system was a bit underdeveloped at this point, and that is why it is only a one-time stunt. Do we have any in-world explanation about the weave and why it was only used this one time?

  • I messed up. I was referring to The Shadow Rising, Chapter 10, The Stone Stands. I'm going to edit the question. – fbence Jul 2 '20 at 12:02
  • It's a weapon of mass destruction. Rand wasn't crazy enough to use it again. – Mithoron Jul 2 '20 at 16:18
  • @Mithoron Well, it's mass desctruction of Shadowspawn so I don't see the logic in that. – fbence Jul 2 '20 at 21:05
  • Like the whole point of the book series is that too much power is dangerous on itself. This weave was killing independently of the channeler, what if another subverted it? It was also a temptation to use so much power that it would kill Rand, even if it perhaps managed to kill all Shadowspawn in the world. – Mithoron Jul 2 '20 at 21:21

Rand doesn't know:

Rand was not even aware he had channeled until it was done; he could not have said what he had done if his life had depended upon it. But nothing could threaten his life while he held Callandor. The Power throbbed in him like the heartbeat of the world. With Callandor in his hands, he could do anything.

At this point, Rand hasn't really learned much at all about how to use the One Power. He's going mostly on pure instinct, channelling without knowing what he's doing, and relying on his great strength in the Power along with the occasional angreal or sa'angreal. Even later, after taking lessons from Asmodean (and Lews Therin in his head) and learning more about how to use the Power, he still doesn't know everything and sometimes relies on instinct. It might be that this is a weave he never formally learned about and thus wasn't able to use again.

Also, here he's using Callandor, one of the most powerful sa'angreals ever made, which may enable him to do things that he wouldn't normally be capable of even after more training in the Power. We learn later that Callandor is flawed - something we see evidence of even here, as he thinks he can do anything up to and including reversing death - and maybe its special properties include enabling him to access different weaves, maybe ones that need more power than he can handle without such a sa'angreal.

In any case, this particular weave doesn't seem to be explained or returned to later in the books. Out of universe, this might be Jordan forgetting it or considering it too much deus-ex-machina to be used in other battles to win so easily. In universe, either Rand never learning it in his more formal training, or it not being usable without a sa'angreal as powerful as Callandor, seem like reasonable assumptions.

Apparently it uses Air, Fire, and Spirit.

The only other nugget of information I was able to find about this comes from Encyclopedia WoT:

In TWoTRPG, this weave is described as using Air, Fire and Spirit.

  • Thanks, so it is a bit random as I remembered. For in-world handwaving explanations you could also throw in Callandor's TP/taint thing, maybe the weave is even impossible without Callandor, even if you had a same strength sangreal :) – fbence Jul 2 '20 at 12:24
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    I've written this answer in third person to avoid confusion :-) – Rand al'Thor Jul 2 '20 at 12:24
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    @Rand i.stack.imgur.com/U6OhF.png – marcellothearcane Jul 2 '20 at 14:25

Callandor doesn't have a protection against channelling too much power, like a normal angreal or sa'angreal. You could take in vast amounts of Saidin and risk killing yourself in the process.

Rand being the most powerful channeller alive on top of that - it is quite possible that he pulled off something that nobody including himself should be able to do, possibly straining himself beyond what's safe.

But at several other times in the books, he does use completely new weaves that nobody, including the Forsaken, has ever use before, including for example (spoiler):

Severing Asmodean's link to the Dark One

Which also seems like a quite handy trick, but it is only used once in the story as well.

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