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adsuane's Black Ajah hunt

by Great Lord of the Dark: 2005-07-21 | 3.5 out of 10 (8 votes)

Previous Categories: Black Ajah in the White Tower

How and when did Cadsuane hunt the Black Ajah?

Once she had thought herself on the point of rooting out the Black only to watch her quarry slip through her fingers like smoke, her bitterest failure except possibly for failing to learn what Caraline Damodred's cousin had been up to in the Borderlands until the knowledge was years too late to do any good. Now, even the Black Ajah seemed a diversion from what was truly important.

Cadsuane seems to link the time of her hunt to the events in New Spring. Consider that Black Sister Merean Redhill was in the same area as Cadsuane and Moiraine, and the unexplained deaths that were occuring at that time, and it makes sense that Cadsuane may have taken note of it and investigated. Given the tone of her later comments "Were either of you involved in that... vileness ... right after the Aiel War?", it seems this was the time when she was frustrated in her efforts.

Of course, the Blacks outplayed Cadsuane, with some good luck thanks to the single-handed efforts of Chesmal: "Chesmal had induced the Reds to murder Sierin Vayu before Sierin could order her arrest perhaps fifty! To hear Chesmal tell it, she had saved the Black Ajah single-handed, and she would tell it, given half a chance. That sort of talk was not only boring, it was dangerous. Even deadly, if the Supreme Council learned of it."

Again, the linking of danger to the Blacks being associated with the doings of the Reds at that time, and Cadsuane having been active while those events were taking place, indicates that this was the time and place when she thought she had the Blacks cornered.

Cadsuane reported her findings to the Amyrlin Sierin, who ordered the arrest of fifty red sisters, which was likely an effort to locate the Black sisters among them. Chesmal baited the reds to kill Sierin, and Cadsuane's trap was never sprung. The hall took action against Toveine and two others instead of using the arrests to trap the Blacks as Cadsuane and Sierin had planned.

With her efforts thwarted, Cadsuane retired once again, but discovered the hunt for the Dragon Reborn was on. Whether she got this from a Black sister she killed, or from Sierin herself is a matter for debate. It seems plausible that Tamra may have left a letter for her successor in case she should mysteriously die in a sudden and unexpected manner. Such a letter would provide an excellent foundation for Cadsuane and Sierin concocting the plan I outlined.
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Tamyrlin: 2005-08-26

I find it odd to believe that Cadsuane would allow the existence of fifty black sisters be, for twenty years. It is possible she was aware, she does tie her failure to the hunt for Black Ajah, so maybe her hiding had more to do with hiding from the Black Ajah, then truly going into retirement. Do we know that Cadsuane had any connection to Sierin? Cadsuane had so much pull, I am surprised she let it be for almost twenty years.


Frenzy: 2005-08-26

It isn't that Sierin was going to arrest 50 Red sisters, that quote says that Asne has head Chesmal pat herself on teh back perhaps fifty times for her plan to get the Reds to murder Sierin. The only one in danger of being arrested was Chesmal.


Callandor: 2005-08-27

**Cadsuane seems to link the time of her hunt to the events in New Spring.**

I don't see that -- all I see is Cadsuane listing two bitter failures:

1. Not getting the Black Ajah

2. Not knowing about Moiraine in the Borderlands.

Granted, they more than likely are roughly the same time, but it's hardly conclusive ;)

And as Frenzy said, you did not give the complete quote, and took it greatly out of context. Chesmal merely loves to talk about her "glories" and Asne has simply heard them a lot.


Great Lord of the Dark: 2005-08-27

I've read that paragraph a dozen times, two dozen even! I always read it as fifty Red sisters nearly arrested. Every single time! It actually says that she told the story at least fifty times. Well how about that. Complete and utter misinterpretation. That's never happened before. ;)

Shazbot, how can I salvage this? Oh man, oh man, oh man.

Alright, I got it.

The numbers change nothing! In my earlier version, the risk was that Black sisters could get swept up in the mass arrest of Reds. In my new revised version, the only one in danger of getting arrested was Chesmal, and it was at Cadsuane's insistence!

Yes, Cadsuane went to Sierin as I described, no doubt having tried to learn what became of Tamra's searchers and discovering that Chesmal was suspicious because, "Chesmal Emry came in to... She... She announced that Meilyn had been found in her bed, that she'd died during the night."

A slim clue, but with bada$$ Sierin as Amyrlin, arresting someone on suspiscion is no big deal. Especially when it's Cadsuane who comes to you with the suspiscion.

Chesmal has Sierin murdered, and Cadsuane can't harm a sister without knowing for sure if she is a Darkfriend, allowing Chesmal to slip through her fingers like smoke.

Tam, even letting this possible Black go free is in Cadsuane's quote above, when she says even the Black Ajah is a diversion from what is truly important: the Dragon Reborn. Once she gets wind of him, she goes into retirement to prepare for his arrival, notably by hunting down as many male channelers as she can to gain enough insight to later aid Rand.


So, aside from a horrendous misinterpretation of text, most of the theory stands.

And yet, so far the theory is rated 4, much better than others in which I interpreted quotes correctly. Fascinating!


mako0424: 2005-08-28

Ouch, well, i hate critiquing theories roughly, but this really is connecting smoke fragments.

I dont think Cadsuane had anything to do with Sierin, but even though the two mentions of her failures

1. Moiraine and the search

2. letting Black ajah escape

i did relate it to having let Merean go, because Cadsuane took great interest in them, im sure Cadsuane related a bunch of random deaths to Black ajah, and we are all pretty sure Merean killed Latrelle, another big indication, but i dont think Cadsuane had anything to do with Chesmal or Sierin.

And another way Sierin might have known, dont forget, Siuan Sanche, realized i think it was the White ajah searcher, Meilyn, going from memory, but when Siuan says she waited under the bed, and Meilyn never arrived, and then it was Chesmal who annouced the next day Meilyn was found dead in her bed. Siuan even says she slides a note under Sierin's door explaining this discovery, and im sure Siuan could piece together that Chesmal's lie would be indicatice of Black ajah, and the death would be a darkfriend's doing, and this would notify Sierin of both, and explain a ton.

Siuan says to Moiraine, memory again, when Moiraine upbraids her for putting the note under the door that it was risky, Siuan replies, i wrote with my left hand but i was shaking so bad no body would recognize it anyways.

this explains all of it, Sierin's suspicion, knowledge of Chesmal's Black-ness, and the short term Amyrlin's necessary death.

Glad i pieaced that together cause i knew all of that, but had never put it together, it was Siuan who discovered Chesmal, and indirectly had Sierin murdered. but this also places Cadsuane near discovery of the Black and her failure into totally different and non-related section, as i said Merean i think was where Cadsduane was going, and Merean's disappearance slash death at Moiraine's hands may have resulted in Cadsuane's failure, would explain why someone of Cadsuane's influence, and willpower would give up too.

im done, but good theory anyways.

wow im good, sorry, haha


Wompat: 2005-08-29

but if Suian knew Chesmel was Black, why is she not only still around in the tower before the 13 leave, and why didnt Suian do anything once she became Amyrlin. i can see her being scared to trust anyone once Seirn dies, but once she has power, i'd think she'd do something to reveal Chesmal, much like the hunters in the Tower are doing for Elaida


Great Lord of the Dark: 2005-08-29

Siuan never knew Chesmal was Black. When Chesmal delivered the message, she might only have been relating what she was told. Siuan understood that the Black Ajah had killed Meilyn, but unless she started asking nosy questions, she would never trace back which Black sister the original story came from. Since asking questions might attract attention, she wisely kept her mouth shut, until 20 years later when Chesmal vanished from the Tower along with the other suspected Black Ajah. I would bet that at that point, Siuan kicked herself in the rear end over not seeing what was obvious. But until that moment, she had suspiscion, not proof. Hope that helps, Wompat.


Balinor: 2005-09-07

Not a bad theory, but I think you are missing one thing; the "vileness" Cadsuane refers to, I have always believed that to be in relation to men who could channel being taken (possibly by the Reds) and gentled before they could be given a trial in Tar Valon. Look at Thom Merrilin's nephew, Owyn. Apparently, there may have been more than one instance of this happening, soon after the end of the Aiel War. But your theory leads me to a theory of my own: that the Black Ajah was using the Reds as dupes to do their dirty work for them. In New Spring, Moiraine and Siuan figure out that the Black Ajah knows the Dragon has been reborn, but they don't know how old he is. Several unexplainably lucky men die, but they are all adults. So why wouldn't the Black put about the rumor that there are loads of men who can channel, and let the Reds take it from there? The Reds get a little over-zealous and gentle some men before they can be handled according to Tower law, or Black sisters in the Red Ajah spur other Reds to take the law into their own hands. The Blacks wouldn't care if the Dragon is gentled or dead, so long as he is out of the way.

Not a bad theory, but you may want to look at the context some of those quotes are in again.


CyberFade: 2005-09-07

Is there more in _New Spring_ that points to the time post Moiraine earning the shawl as being what Cads refers to here?

...her bitterest failure except possibly for failing to learn what Caraline Damodred's cousin had been up to in the Borderlands until the knowledge was years too late to do any good.

The years afterward part maybe, but I can't discount the above referring to events in tEotW from the above.


Traveller: 2005-09-08

I dont think it is from tEoTW coz when Cadsuane is discovered it is only a few years on, and she sounds like she has had plenty of time to mull it over by her "tone"


silverwolf: 2005-09-11

Moiraine wasn't the only Damodred in the borderlands at this time; Tigraine's brother Luc (now Slayer)was also there. I don't know which Cadsuane was referring to, but is there any reason everyone here assumes it was Moirane and not Luc? The only arguments I can see in favor of Moiraine are (1)Cadsuane's contact with Moiraine in New Spring, when we witness no contact with Luc, and (2)the unlikely possibility that Cadsune might have discovered what Luc was up to coupled with the fact that any such knowlege would still be useful. These two reasons, to me, don't seem enough to dismiss Luc out of hand.


Flinn Sedai: 2005-09-14

** Moiraine wasn't the only Damodred in the borderlands at this time; Tigraine's brother Luc (now Slayer)was also there. **

Just because Tigraine married into Damodred, does not make Tigraine's brother, Luc a Damodred, nor does it make him Caraline's cousin.


silverwolf: 2005-09-15

oops...sorry bout that.