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new angle

by WinespringBrother: 2003-04-30 | Not yet rated

Previous Categories: Who Killed Asmodean

"Agelmar Jagad and Davram Bashere will no leave the Blight, I think, and Pedron Niall will surely no be of use to you. (Sheriam, FOH ch 27)

Who was this Davram Bashere, and why was Elaida so frantic to find him? Why had Elaida forbidden anyone to mention the name of Mazrim Taim, the false Dragon, with a threat of stiff penalties? Why had Queen Tenobia of Saldaea and King Easar of Shienar both written letters politely but stiffly resenting White Tower meddling in their affairs? (FOH ch 40)

"I will not turn back," she went on fiercely, "whatever the rest of you do. I sent my dear Uncle Davram to bring me the head of the false Dragon Mazrim Taim, and now he and Taim both follow this al'Thor, if I can believe half what I hear. I have close to fifty thousand men behind me, and whatever you decide, I will not turn back until my uncle and al'Thor learn exactly who rules Saldaea." (POD, prologue)

"And I have five more," Tenobia put in as if announcing she had a new pair of slippers. "They found me just before I left Saldaea. By chance, I'm sure; they appeared as surprised as I was. Once they learned what I was doing-I still don't know how they did, but they did- once they learned, I was sure they'd go scurrying to find Memara." Her brows furrowed in a momentary glare. Elaida had miscalculated badly in sending a sister to try bullying Tenobia. "Instead," she finished, "Illeisien and the rest were more intent on secrecy than I." (POD, prologue)

The man approaching up the lone, red-and-white-tiled floor was certainly no Andorman, in his short gray coat and those baggy trousers stuffed into boots turned down at the knee. Slender and only a head taller than Enaila, he had a hooked beak of'a nose and dark tilted eyes. Gray streaked his black hair and a thick mustache like down,curved horns around his wide mouth. He paused to make a leg and bow slightly, handling the curved sword at his hip gracefully despite the fact that incongruously he carried two silver goblets in one hand and a sealed pottery jar in the other.

"Forgive my intrusion," he said, "but there was no one to announce me." His clothes might be plain and even travel-worn, but he had what appeared to be an ivory rod capped with a golden wolf's head thrust behind his sword belt. "I am Davram Bashere, Marshal-General of Saldaea. I am here to speak with the Lord Dragon, who rumors in the city say is here, in the Royal Palace. I assume that I address him?" For an instant his eyes went to the glittering Dragons twining red-and-gold around Rand's arms. (FOH ch 56)

"In truth," Bashere continued, "I cannot even speak for Saldaea. Tenobia rules; I am only her general. But I think once I send a fast rider to her with a message, the return will be that Saldaea marches -with the Dragon Reborn. In the meanwhile, I offer you my services, and those of, nine thousand Saldaean horse." (FOH ch 56)

He pulled open a small door, intending to find his way to the pantry. There should be some decent wine. One step, and he stopped, the blood draining from his face.

"You? No!" The word still hung in the air when death took him. (FOH ch 56)

Bashere took advantage of the silence. "You say you're Mazrim Taim?" He sounded doubtful, and Rand looked at him in confusion. Was this Taim or not? Only a madman would claim that name if it was not his. (LOC, ch 2)

"Do you loiter when you have been summoned by the Great Lord?" The voice sounded like rotted leather crumbling.

Demandred turned slowly- how dare a Halfman address him in that tone- but the quelling words died in his mouth. It was not the eyeless stare of its pasty-pale face; a Myrddraal's gaze struck fear in any man, but he had rooted fear out of himself long ago. Rather, it was the black-clad creature itself. Every Myrddraal was the height of a tall man, a sinuous imitation of a man, as alike as though cast in one mold. This one stood head and shoulders taller.

"I will take you to the Great Lord," the Myrddraal said. "I am Shaidar Haran." (LOC, prologue)

Only she herself knew that she had made her own journey to Shayol Ghul and down to the lake of fire. Only she knew that the Great Lord had all but promised to name her Nae'blis, a promise sure to be fulfilled with al'Thor out of the way. (LOC, ch 23)

She gaped at the Myrddraal standing there, pale and eyeless and clothed in black deeper than the ball, but larger than any she had ever seen. It had to be the reason she could not sense the Source, but that was impossible! Except. . . . Where had that strange sphere of black light come from if not from it? She had never felt the same fear others did at a Myrddraal's gaze, not to the same degree, yet her hands rose on their own, and she had to snatch them down to keep from covering her face. Glancing toward Moghedien and Cyndane, she flinched. They had adopted the same pose as her servants, crouching on their knees, heads to the floor toward the Myrddraal.

She had to work moisture into her mouth. "You are a messenger from the Great Lord?" Her voice was steady, but weak. She had never heard of such a thing, the Great Lord sending a message by Myrddraal, and yet. . . . Moghedien was a physical coward, but still one of the Chosen, and she groveled as assiduously as the girl. And there was the light. Graendal found herself wishing her dress were not cut so low. Ridiculous, of course; Myrddraal's appetites for women were well known, but she was one of the. . . . Her eyes drifted to Moghedien once more. The Myrddraal strode by her sinuously, seeming not to pay her any heed. Its long black cloak hung undisturbed by its movements. Aginor had thought the creatures were not quite in the world in the same way everything else was; "slightly out of phase with time and reality," he had called it, whatever that meant.

"I am Shaidar Haran." Stopping by her servants, the Myrddraal bent to grip them by the backs of their necks, one hand to each. "When I speak, you may consider that you hear the voice of the Great Lord of the Dark." Those hands tightened to the surprisingly loud sound of cracking bone. The young man spasmed as he died, kicking out; the young woman merely went limp. They had been two of her prettiest. The Myrddraal straightened from the corpses. "I am his hand in this world, Graendal. When you stand before me, you stand before him." (POD, ch 12)

"Take this to Lord Ituralde with all speed," she said, "and say only what I told you."

"As fast as horses can carry me, my Lady." Nazran bowed as he took the letter, one finger stroking thin black mustaches above a winning smile. Square and deeply brown in a well-fitting blue coat, he was handsome; just not sufficiently handsome. "I received this from the Lady Tuva, who died of her wounds after telling me that she was a courier from Alsalam and had been attacked by a Gray Man."

"Make sure there is human blood on it," she admonished. She doubted anyone in this time could tell human blood from any other, but she had found too many surprises to take an unnecessary chance. "Enough for realism; not enough to spoil what I wrote.

"His black eyes lingered warmly on her as he bowed again, but as soon as he straightened he hurried to the door, boots thudding on the pale yellow marble floor. He did not notice the servants with their eyes fixed ardently on her, or affected not to notice, though he had once been a friend of the young man. Only a touch of Compulsion had been needed to make Nazran nearly as avid to obey as they, not to mention certain that he might yet taste her charms again.

She laughed softly. Well, he believed he had tasted them; just a little prettier, and he might have. Of course, he would have been useless for anything else then. He would ride horses to death reaching Ituralde, and if that message, delivered by Alsalam's close cousin, supposedly coming from the King himself and with Gray Men trying to stop it, did not satisfy the Great Lord's command to increase chaos, nothing would, short of balefire. And it would serve her own ends very nicely as well. Her own ends. (POD, ch 12)

BWB: Kamarile Maradim Nindar, aka Graendal, was adept at intrigue, and one thing she had attributed to her was the strange harmful behavior of people in high office, and got credited with a variety of subversion efforts.

We have: all the borderland rulers abandoning their posts and turning their backs on the white tower, sisters turning their backs on the white tower, Bashere going awol, Bashere possibly being in the place where Asmodean was killed shortly after his leaving it (the wine pantry) and Bashere not recognizing Taim. Also, we have Graendal having visited Shayol Ghul before the appearance of Shaidar Haran at the beginning of LOC and having received the promise of great rewards, presumably for doing something noteworthy. So she was also there before Demandred got his marching orders. She is already active elsewhere in the northern parts of Randland, causing chaos in military matters.

What does it add up to? Chaos and misdirection.

I believe that Graendal is behind the rulers abandoning their posts in the borderlands and turning their backs on the white tower, using her abilities of compulsion. She may also be connected to the sisters going on their own instead of reporting to the tower.

As for Bashere going awol, note that he was possibly at the same location where Asmodean was killed. She probably compelled Bashere to decide to stay in Caemlyn as part of her ploy to get Tenobia to leave her post and chase after him, stripping the borderlands of defenses. As for Bashere not recognizing Taim, his mental abilities were probably diminished somewhat due to the level of compulsion used on him. And her keeping her own visit secret hints at her own agenda, separate from the orders she got from the Dark One, via Demandred.

I think she killed Asmodean because he might recognize her handiwork and blow the whistle on her to Rand.

Flame away :)
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Tamyrlin: 2003-05-09

Okay, well, you have created a lot of ground to cover. First, I like how you have combined all of the recent events in the Borderlands to Graendal's efforts. That wouldn't surprise me. As for Bashere going AWOL...that is an interesting twist, Bashere as a compelled servant of Graendal's. To prove that you might go hunting for some information that Graendal knows or acts on that only Bashere would have been privy to. The missing link to your theory is how Graendal found out about Rand's impending attack. If Bashere is her tool, then she most likely doesn't have someone in Rand's close circle at that point in the story. And we would have to assume that Asmodean was familiar with Bashere before this time, otherwise, hiding out in the Palace where she could be found after Rahvin was balefired to remove Asmodean, wouldn't seem so important. I think you may have something with Bashere, but what else did you expect from a professed Lanfearite :)


Wolfblade: 2003-05-10

Interesting one Question how wouldn't Asmodean regconize her but not totally surprise considering the Forsaken have him in their control. Just throwing this out there


Anubis: 2003-05-11

i dont like the bashere = evil connection. for one, theres the if he abandons you then you die min type prophesy. and then theres the fact that he has the seal. and hes perrins wifes daddy. and i dont think so. him and darea... it just dosnt mesh.


WinespringBrother: 2003-05-12

I don't think Bashere is evil, he is just a pawn. Remember, he did abandon his hunt for Taim, on the assumption that Tenobia would approve of his declaring for Rand, which she didn't. This points seemingly to outside interference. This could be explained by Rand's ta'veren-ness, but how about Bashere's confusion when seeing Taim? That seemed out of place, and raised a red flag. How can you hunt for someone when you aren't even sure what they look like?


Jiana: 2003-05-15

I don't think Bashere is evil. Right, it just doesn't mesh. I think as far as Bashere not recognizing Taim... we know that Taim escaped (or was set free?) before he was gentled. Then he showed up in Caemlyn, supposedly walking all the way. WE DO NOT KNOW what happened to Taim in the interlude! I have no idea who he really is, but I don't think Taim is Taim....


Oatman: 2004-04-11

If Bashere was evil or being compulsed im sure Perrin would have sniffed him out when they met each other. Its more likely that Taim isnt Taim.

The Borderlanders being compulsed is an interesting and possible idea, but I think that they are showing to much free will to have been compulsed heavily, and every one of them is strong willed, Morgase proved that a strong willed person can brake light compulsion when away from the source.


Callandor: 2004-04-11

**If Bashere was evil or being compulsed im sure Perrin would have sniffed him out when they met each other. Its more likely that Taim isnt Taim.**

We have yet to be unable to see who is evil within a character's first point of view. Every Darkfriend, Black Ajah, Slayer, and Forsaken we have seen through the eyes of, we can tell by the end of that chapter whether they are for the Light, or for the Dark.

Since we have been given Bashere's point of view in CoT, and there is nothing evil of it, he by extention is not of the Dark.


rollthedice: 2004-04-12

Bashere is more than likely not a DF or compulsed person like Callandor said. We are usually always revealed whether or not a character is a dark friend or if they are compulsed, and the only person that is a suspected dark friend or more is Taim, but we have not seen his point of view in a long time, if ever.


udernation: 2004-04-13

Two things:

Firstly, for Tam's required graendal proof, see JWB's theory on the message board.

Secondly, Bashere isn't necessarily compelled - graendal (i think sammael sauys this) uses compulsion like she does despite the fact that she can use subtler compulsions. Hence, she may be influencing events and more minor characters, rather than directly infuencing the rulers. This seams more likely to me.


charliec: 2004-04-13

Callandor: **We have yet to be unable to see who is evil within a character's first point of view. Every Darkfriend, Black Ajah, Slayer, and Forsaken we have seen through the eyes of, we can tell by the end of that chapter whether they are for the Light, or for the Dark.**

I'm re-reading the series at the moment (lots of quotes on their ways to other threads...), and had a bit of a surprise at the beginning of The Great Hunt, when there's a chapter from Liandrin's PoV... we find out that she's very unpleasant, but not actually a darkfriend- that isn't revealed until she kidnaps the girls and chats with Suroth.

PoVs don't necessarily reveal allegiances...


Callandor: 2004-04-13

**I'm re-reading the series at the moment (lots of quotes on their ways to other threads...that isn't revealed until she kidnaps the girls and chats with Suroth.**

**TITLE: Great Hunt

CHAPTER: 5 - The Shadow in Shienar

"In that moment of doubt and confusion, Liandrin struck. She did not move, but lashed out with the One Power. Amalisa gasped and gave a jerk, as if she had been pricked with a needle, and Liandrin's petulant mouth perked in a smile.**

I don't know about you, but when an Aes Sedai strikes at someone with the One Power, especially a weak form of Compulsion (which is outlawed by Aes Sedai), I don't think it is hard to see she is not a "good" person at all.


Callandor: 2004-04-13

**Firstly, for Tam's required graendal proof, see JWB's theory on the message board.**

The proof on the message board isn't that much of proof; just because you were convinced of it doesn't make it rock solid and iron clad.


charliec: 2004-04-14

Point being Callandor- sure she's not nice, but that doesn't make her evil. Randland isn't totally polarised, it's possible to be a total swine but not a darkfriend, just as it's possible for a darkfriend to seem very pleasant before you find out (that's why they're so hard to track down).

One of Liandrin's black sisters has a grandmotherly smile, and seems far too nice to be evil. Delana is pleasant enough. and so on.

It's quite possible that a darkfriend could go long enough without thinking "Mwahahahaha, I serve the Great Lord of the Dark" to survive a chapter in their PoV without betraying themselves. We've also seen plenty of unpleasant, nasty PoVs which apparently aren't from darkfriends- Elaida for example, or more controversially... Verin when she's employing some questionable methods.

At the end of that chapter I happily admit that I assumed Liandrin was evil the first time I read it, but there was still room for me to be wrong.


Callandor: 2004-04-14

**Point being Callandor- sure she's not nice, but that doesn't make her evil.

At the end of that chapter I happily admit that I assumed Liandrin was evil the first time I read it, but there was still room for me to be wrong.**

I said, when we get the Point of View of a person who is aligned with the Dark, a Darkfriend or a Forsaken or Padan Fain (although not anymore really) or Slayer or Shaidar Haran or whoever, WE know it by the end of that chapter.

I did not say that everyone who "seems" evil, works for the Dark (and thank you for the ever so enlightning lecture, even though I have read the books; thank you ever so much).

Liandrin did something that NO Aes Sedai is supposed to do (strike at a person who is not a Darkfriend with the One Power), she used a Forbidden weave of the One Power, and she mentions other orders she has to fulfill when Aes Sedai follow their own plans (granted this is a weak link, since a person could think her orders are coming from the Amyrlin (I guess)).

You yourself said that once reading that chapter you did not feel that Liandrin was good, showing you follow it yourself. This is really the most vague chapter for this principle, since their are not outright "Friends of the Dark" or "Great Lord of the Dark" as in later books (and a weak thing would say RJ didn't do that this early, but he did with Selene so whatever), but just by shear feeling from her and what she does is more then enough to convince anyone of her difference and seperation from the "good" Aes Sedai.


Darren: 2004-04-15

I don't think Bashere is evil, he is just a pawn. Remember, he did abandon his hunt for Taim, on the assumption that Tenobia would approve of his declaring for Rand, which she didn't....

Umm... Rand's Ta'veren. Tenobia'd proclaim for him too, were she in the same room.

Callandor, Verin used Compulsion too, and while many believe that she is a black sister, the jury is still out.

As for striking out with the One Power proving you're BA... forget all that. RJ really doesn't pay the attention to that oath that he should... I mean, it says "Under the Light.... I vow not to use the One Power as a weapon except..."

Now, I don't know about you, but a weapon is any instrument used to inflict physical damage on another, in my books. Hence, when the sisters lash Rand with the power in LoC... they're all breaking the Oath, and openly being BA... whenever one Sister strikes an Accepted with the power, never mind the wholehearted beating that Moiraine receives from Elaida (who is NOT BA) in New Spring... she is also breaking the oath. The Oaths do not allow for semantics.

RJ seems to not see it that way, so it seems unlikely that Compulsion is enough....

On a side note, I think the Oaths are removed one at a time by the Black Ajah. Liandrin, in TGH, does not speak even one word that is not true, even when she could. I also think she told the truth the whole time to Egwene et al when she abducted them, suggesting an Oath, yet we know that Alviarin can lie.


charliec: 2004-04-16

Apologies if I was patronising (sp?) Callandor...

All the same, while I didn't like her, and felt she was separate from 'good' Aes Sedai, there's plenty of characters who I dislike that aren't deliberately evil, but only small minded and selfish... an plenty of good characters who use very questionable methods. Liandrin uses a forbidden weave, but so do Moiraine, Verin, and the super-girls.

I just quote her as an example because after that chapter there was still room for her to be good-but-misguided (especially as she's Red). I'm fairly certain we'll see at least one surprise Darkfriend in the next 2 books... the Verin is evil camp can offer one suggestion, then there's the Vandene+Adeleas bit (who shielded the Draghkar at their house?), Bashere wouldn't be such a surprise!


Darren: 2004-04-17

**We have yet to be unable to see who is evil within a character's first point of view. Every Darkfriend, Black Ajah, Slayer, and Forsaken we have seen through the eyes of, we can tell by the end of that chapter whether they are for the Light, or for the Dark.**

Is this true, Callandor? I agree by and large, but the fact remains that the jury is still out on Verin, and there is still all that junk about Cadsuane being BA in New Spring (entirely on coincidence, as far as I can tell....)

For myself, I think neither is Black Ajah, yet I cannot say definitively, from their POVs....


Callandor: 2004-04-17

**Is this true, Callandor?**

The only one which comes close to nullifying it, is Liandrin's first POV, since she doesn't say "Great Lord of the Dark" or one of the close addatives for Darkfriends (Elza's first POV is basically the ultimate example of the principle at work), but I think that if you read the chapter, and do not get a very deep sense of, for lack of a better word (since "Evil" would need confirmation at that point), "otherness" from her that borders so close to evil, you aren't picking up on what she is doing ;).

If you believe the principle, it eliminates Verin and Cadsuane from Black Ajah possibility, since we have been given their POVs and no confirmation of evilness from them.


Anubis: 2004-04-18

i just read new spring and i think i have an angle on the cadsuane suspicion. Cadsuane muses to herself that she had been on the verge of uncovering the black ajah when they just vanished. i think that might have been what she was about in New Spring. Traveling where she knew a black sister would be, moirine prolly messed up her plans by incenerating the black and then having lan lie about it. (callandor i dont have a quote but i know its in there somewhere)

also i find it HIGHLY unlikely that a black sister would muse about nearly uncovering the black aja and have feelings of disappointment that that had failed.


Darren: 2004-04-18

I wouldn't go that far. Verin's pretty cold... I definitely didn't finish her sections with a warm fuzzy feeling. And it's not like RJ hasn't been known to be misleading.


Anubis: 2004-04-18

will not use the one power as a weapn except in defense of my life or etc..

a weapon, in alot of sisters minds (and perhaps all) (and in robert jordans mind most likely, i will explain) is somthing used to kill. The aiel use a spear because it has other uses aka hunting, and is not merely a weapon. A sword is just a weapon because its only purpose is to kill. Therefore killing is what makes a weapon a weapon. When elidia beat the sh*t out of siun and moirine, it was not use as a weapon. It was preparing them for their test. Elidia most likely saw that moir and siun were the 2 strongest upcoming aes sedai and for the good of the tower could not let them fail. So the beating itself did not make the use of the power as a weapon, just a teaching aid. Also elidia intended to heal them the next morning and in fact did. Also recall that elidia was not going to be punished for hurting accepted, but rather for helping accepted cheat on their aes sedai test. So your wrong and it aint a weapon unless its used to kill.


Darren: 2004-04-19

Yet RJ has Aes Sedai wondering what the difference is between killing and holding those with the power so that they might be killed. (New Spring) and of course, it's mentioned that the power could not be used to put holes in a ship unless the sister KNEW no one would die as a result. So there goes that strain of logic. Like it or not, RJ hasn't really though through that oath.

To be clear on RJ's feelings as to what constitutes a weapon, read EoTW again. Lan states quite clearly that both quarterstaffs and "those slings you boys use" are weapons. A quarterstaff, by and large, produces bruises no worse than the power lashing rand received.

Like it or not, it's an error.


charliec: 2004-04-19

The interpretation of the logic would be down to individual Aes Sedai, not a universal principle. Something can be a weapon in one circumstance but not in another context, prime example Egwene's washing pitcher when she's a damane.


Callandor: 2004-04-19

**Yet RJ has Aes Sedai wondering what the difference is between killing and holding those with the power so that they might be killed....Like it or not, RJ hasn't really though through that oath.**

**Like it or not, it's an error.**

No, the Oaths are open to the Aes Sedai perspective, which constitutes their weakness.

**Q: The oaths?

A: They are quite subjective, if an AS believes she is not lying, then the Oath doesn't stop her. So, that is what was going on in the torturing part of LOC. It depends on the psychology of the individual. It's like spanking a naughty child. Some people regard that as child abuse; some people regard it as reasonable punishment.**

**The Aes Sedai who beat Rand in Lord of Chaos did not necessarily violate the Three Oaths. Jordan explained that the Three Oaths are bound by literal intent and perception. He said that the Aes Sedai could have considered the beatings a just punishment rather than the use of a weapon. He also suggested that not everything that harms you need be considered a weapon. I think he gave the example of a whip used lightly not considered a weapon, versus a whip used to flay skin being considered a weapon. On the subject of the first Oath ("to speak no word that is untrue"), Jordan said that Aes Sedai can say something they believe to be true or something they don't mean literally. As an example of the latter, an Aes Sedai can employ hyperbole and say something like, "I'm going to tie yours ears over your head," when she means to do no such thing.**