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Terez
11-04-2009, 10:23 PM
So, WH has been arguing for years that the attack would be a raid, a top-down attack from the roof of the Tower. They instead attacked from the air, using force to blow open the walls.

Is it just me, or were their methods tactically retarded? I think WH's idea would have worked much better...also, they should have known that attacking like that would give the Aes Sedai an easy way to get around the Oath against using the Power as a weapon. They have enough Aes Sedai damane to have reasoned that out.

All in all, I was disappointed in the attack, because the way of going about it was so awkward and brutish - no finesse whatsoever.

Davian93
11-04-2009, 10:54 PM
Their intel (captured AS prisoner damane) told them the top half of the tower was unoccupied. They probably figured it would be easier and faster to open a hole in the side instead of having to move prisoners up 25 stories (based on a 50 story, 500 ft Tower estimate). It would have worked great if not for Egwene with a full circle and sa'angreal.

nameless
11-04-2009, 10:59 PM
So, WH has been arguing for years that the attack would be a raid, a top-down attack from the roof of the Tower. They instead attacked from the air, using force to blow open the walls.

Is it just me, or were their methods tactically retarded? I think WH's idea would have worked much better...also, they should have known that attacking like that would give the Aes Sedai an easy way to get around the Oath against using the Power as a weapon. They have enough Aes Sedai damane to have reasoned that out.

All in all, I was disappointed in the attack, because the way of going about it was so awkward and brutish - no finesse whatsoever.

None of the Seanchan except Tuon paid enough attention to the Aes Sedai damane to figure out the mechanics of the 3 oaths, and even she doesn't know the specific details of the "no weapon weaves" prohibition. Given Seanchan attitudes towards damane it seems likely that no one bothered to just ask one of them how it worked.

Weird Harold
11-04-2009, 11:09 PM
So, WH has been arguing for years that the attack would be a raid, a top-down attack from the roof of the Tower. They instead attacked from the air, using force to blow open the walls.

Is it just me, or were their methods tactically retarded? I think WH's idea would have worked much better...also, they should have known that attacking like that would give the Aes Sedai an easy way to get around the Oath against using the Power as a weapon. They have enough Aes Sedai damane to have reasoned that out.

All in all, I was disappointed in the attack, because the way of going about it was so awkward and brutish - no finesse whatsoever.
I still have at least tenpeople ahead of me for a hold on tGS at the library, so I can't comment on the atttack just yet.

I've had a feeling that the vague congratulations for a good prediction was premature, and this thread strengthens the feeling.

I suspect this is one of those things that RJ owuld have written better than Brandon. :(

Davian93
11-04-2009, 11:10 PM
I still have at least tenpeople ahead of me for a hold on tGS at the library, so I can't comment on the atttack just yet.

I've had a feeling that the vague congratulations for a good prediction was premature, and this thread strengthens the feeling.

I suspect this is one of those things that RJ owuld have written better than Brandon. :(

You were pretty correct overall. Yes, Brandon's "grasp" of tactics is a tad weak to say the least. RJ would have done a far better job on the attack.

Sei'taer
11-04-2009, 11:36 PM
You were pretty correct overall. Yes, Brandon's "grasp" of tactics is a tad weak to say the least. RJ would have done a far better job on the attack.

BAH...what kind of man are you? Discussing Seanchan raiding tactics while the Phils are getting their asses kicked

Anyway, they said this was the first time they had attacked with an aerial assault in this way. normally they land and attack, not attack directly. Thats probably the cause of the disjointed and odd attack.

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 05:47 AM
To be fair to the Seanchan: it seems as though their methods worked quite well until they ran into super-Egwene. Considering how they chewed up Adelorna's Battle Ajah, I do not think that they would have had to fear much from ordinary AS.
And of course, Egwene had been sul'dam-trained, so she was not a typical AS at all.

Davian93
11-05-2009, 07:26 AM
To be fair to the Seanchan: it seems as though their methods worked quite well until they ran into super-Egwene. Considering how they chewed up Adelorna's Battle Ajah, I do not think that they would have had to fear much from ordinary AS.
And of course, Egwene had been sul'dam-trained, so she was not a typical AS at all.

Of course, the "Battle" Ajah is the biggest joke on earth. It seems like most of them probably never even learned any attack weaves. They were a peacetime army that sat around polishing their armor and telling each other how tough they were so to speak.

1Powerslave
11-05-2009, 07:41 AM
Yeah, I also thought the Seanchan attack plan felt convoluted. And I was disappointed that the Tower was so easy to blast openings in. Isn't the shining walls warded to be all but impossible to destroy with the Power?
To'raken clining to the walls of the Tower, people climbing of and on... I guess it can be done, but it does seem very risky. The saddle must be vertical then. And the thing where they dragged the prisoners tied to long ropes under the to'raken also felt a bit overly colorful.

I agree about the "Battle Ajah". When is the dumbing down of Aes Sedai going to stop?

Terez
11-05-2009, 07:43 AM
The Tower was made with the Power, but I don't recall it being designed to hold up against power attacks. The only wards I know of are the ones that are supposed to keep out rats and crows and such.

Davian93
11-05-2009, 07:45 AM
Remember the comment in the early books about the Ivory Rod Sa'angreal (a strong Sister MIGHT be able to crumple the walls of the White Tower using it). Or, we find out, any average damane can do it no problem unaided.


Though, we do find out that plenty of wards had failed in Tar Valon recently. Perhaps the wards strengthening the walls had failed too.

Terez
11-05-2009, 07:59 AM
To be fair to the Seanchan: it seems as though their methods worked quite well until they ran into super-Egwene. Considering how they chewed up Adelorna's Battle Ajah, I do not think that they would have had to fear much from ordinary AS.
And of course, Egwene had been sul'dam-trained, so she was not a typical AS at all. Well, part of WH's prediction was that they would attack at night so as to be able to capture as many marath'damane as possible before raising an alarm. Their methods weren't working very well at all because, even though the resistance was unorganized due to the chaos, the resistance would have been practically non-existent if WH had been their general.

Of course, if WH was their general, he probably wouldn't have known that Elaida lived at the top of the Tower. But that was only an incidental reason for his idea, I think.

Perhaps that idea wasn't used because it would have been too successful?

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 08:36 AM
Just out of curiosity: why was super-Egwene able to join the fight, anyway?

I mean, she was supposedly a prisoner under guard. In most prisons, guards know that they're not supposed to go running off as soon as they hear something that might possibly be considered suspicious. Instead, they should ring the alarm at such a point, and let the moving squads take care of it.

Of course, the guards were from the "law enforcement" Ajah, so they were on a par in effectiveness with the Battle Ajah. Nynaeve already figured out how good the Healing Ajah is, and as for the Negotiation Ajah: they've met Rand.
Just about the only really capable AS are those in the Meddle In Other People's Business Ajah.

Sei'taer
11-05-2009, 09:37 AM
Just out of curiosity: why was super-Egwene able to join the fight, anyway?

I mean, she was supposedly a prisoner under guard. In most prisons, guards know that they're not supposed to go running off as soon as they hear something that might possibly be considered suspicious. Instead, they should ring the alarm at such a point, and let the moving squads take care of it.

Of course, the guards were from the "law enforcement" Ajah, so they were on a par in effectiveness with the Battle Ajah. Nynaeve already figured out how good the Healing Ajah is, and as for the Negotiation Ajah: they've met Rand.
Just about the only really capable AS are those in the Meddle In Other People's Business Ajah.

Several things were going on, I think.

1. The AS believe that their reputation keeps people from directly attacking the tower. They are also not very good jailers. It seems that everyone who is supposed to stay there has eventually gotten away.

2. The AS are relatively weak in the power. If Alivia is any indication, then the damane are relatively strong and they are trained as weapons. I can see the green "battle ajah" Getting hammerd by a well trained and true "battle ajah."

3. Egwene was a trained damane. WHile she may not have understood the tactics, she was trained to fight. She also had the threat of being collared on her side, which was a huge incentive.

4. I think all of the ajahs suck. They have been so weakened over time that they really don't know what their true purpose is anymore.

5. Freedom of religion means that the Black should be given a place in the tower.

6. The oaths were probably a huge hindrance in the fight too. If you have to feel threatened then which degree of threatened does it take for you to be able to fight back against an already powerful foe? Considering the idiocy I've seen in the tower, it'd take a lot.

7. And finally, isn't it mentioned somewhere that Egwene is a ta'veren also, though much, much, less of one than Rand, Mat and Perrin?

DeiwosTheSkyGod
11-05-2009, 09:49 AM
If Egwene were ta'veren, I think someone with the Talent (Nicola, Siuan) would have noticed.

One Armed Gimp
11-05-2009, 10:01 AM
Maybe you are referring to Talmanes asking her if she is.

I think the attack was well executed for the most part. A direct assault starting from a single location such as the top or bottom of the Tower would have been pointless. They would have degraded to a force on force fight that the AS would have won outright imo. Attacking from the air like that, kept the AS on their toes and somewhat unaware of what was going on. The Seachan made it difficult to form any type of resistance for the AS, an example of a good raid. However, they did not count on Egwene.

As for being able to take down some walls, I think the weakening wards is indication of a weakening WT.

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 10:01 AM
If Egwene were ta'veren, I think someone with the Talent (Nicola, Siuan) would have noticed.Well, they're AS, so noticing is not really something they're experienced at.

Mort
11-05-2009, 10:03 AM
So far as I know, Egwene has never been said to be a ta'veren in the books. Only that her thread were connected to Rand and the others.

I think we have discussed the possibility that she is or has been one though, but there aren't any evidence that can fully support that theory.

The AS never thought of being attacked in that way. They just couldn't believe it was possible, even though Egwene told them it would happen. Not a fault per se, more like human nature to not be able to believe something you would think unbelievable, especially coming from an Accepted who plays the figurehead of an opposing force.

Adelorna even feels that she is somewhat ashamed to be of the green ajah when she saw how easily they were taken down.

None of the AS have been practicing battle weaves in any extent since the trolloc wars, and none of those AS are alive today. Compared to the Damane who are used in battle regularly.

Element of surprise, inexperience in battle and the oaths were key for the attack to have any degree of success.

Egwene's edge were that she had a full circle with the strongest sa'angreal at hand, no oaths to hinder her (the attack on the to'raken might not even be possible with the oaths in place, or any preemptive strike of any kind) and her experience at being trained like a damane.

It would probably be wise to let that particular oath dissapear before the LB to be able to use any AS effectively. At least change it so the AS can have more wiggleroom in battle. Not that I think any AS would agree on that though, perhaps Egwene will but I doubt it.

Bonzi77
11-05-2009, 10:18 AM
Well, they're AS, so noticing is not really something they're experienced at.

Egwene has been around at least two people who have the Talent of seeing Ta'veren: Nicola (LoC C38) and Logain. Logain in particular, would have said something if she was.

As for the Seanchan attack, their goal was to get in, capture as many marath'damane as possible, and get out. In that light it made perfect tactical sense. A concentrated attack on unfamiliar ground would have ratcheted up their own body count, and probably led to less captured Aes Sedai, because the confusion would have faded a lot quicker.

Yellowbeard
11-05-2009, 10:19 AM
***puts on seanchan thinking cap***

regarding the seanchan tactics - it all depends on what their objectives are as to what tactics they employ.

if their objective was to simply kill/capture marath'damane, then keep the raid simple. they weren't trying to take the white tower.

in such circumstances, keeping the enemy confused and their resistance uncoordinated would be of vital importance.

landing on the roof, and sneaking your entire raiding force into one location where you're intel says there are no marath'damane seems to me that it risks having your entire fighting force bottled up and trapped.

if instead you can infiltrate the white tower in multiple locations simultaneously, and achieve a complete surprise attack at the same time, then you don't risk having your entire raiding force surrounded.

the only way thru the walls is to open holes, so you might as well hit as hard and loud and violently as you can right from the get go. create lots of panic in the servants, create lots of chaos. make it hard for the marath'damane to be able to locate where you're landing.

then in the confusion that follows, while the tower residents are marath'damane are running around trying to figure out what's going on, you pick them off in small numbers instead of letting them gather into any sort of groups. don't let them form strength in numbers.

most raids should be timed. you get in, fight for a prearranged amount of time, then withdraw. raids don't use knock-down-drag-out fighting tactics. so, after you've picked off a bunch small groups of marath'damane and caused much damage, you then get back on your to'raken, and withdraw with your captured prizes before your enemies can rally and organize a counterattack.

seems pretty well thought out to me.

Azure Skeith
11-05-2009, 10:38 AM
You were pretty correct overall. Yes, Brandon's "grasp" of tactics is a tad weak to say the least. RJ would have done a far better job on the attack.

I'm not so sure about that. From all the evidence I've seen, RJ has been trying to show that the randland armies are slowly integrating more 'modern' means of warfare. We can see that from Mat's use of guerrilla warfare and eventual implementation of firearms. RJ may have specifically placed this tactic into his notes to show the Seanchan developing airstrike raids: fly a plane in, bomb the place, get out.

Now, it is entirely possible he would have read it afterwords and decided against it, but maybe not.

Davian93
11-05-2009, 10:40 AM
Egwene has been around at least two people who have the Talent of seeing Ta'veren: Nicola (LoC C38) and Logain. Logain in particular, would have said something if she was.

As for the Seanchan attack, their goal was to get in, capture as many marath'damane as possible, and get out. In that light it made perfect tactical sense. A concentrated attack on unfamiliar ground would have ratcheted up their own body count, and probably led to less captured Aes Sedai, because the confusion would have faded a lot quicker.

Siuan can also see ta'veren...that talent very likely came back when she was healed. Her healing ability came back so it would seem that everything else would too.

Davian93
11-05-2009, 10:41 AM
I'm not so sure about that. From all the evidence I've seen, RJ has been trying to show that the randland armies are slowly integrating more 'modern' means of warfare. We can see that from Mat's use of guerrilla warfare and eventual implementation of firearms. RJ may have specifically placed this tactic into his notes to show the Seanchan developing airstrike raids: fly a plane in, bomb the place, get out.

Now, it is entirely possible he would have read it afterwords and decided against it, but maybe not.

RJ was a member of the Air Cav with a couple years of combat experience in Vietnam. It wasn't a slight on Brandon in the least but rather a comment that RJ would likely have written it better as its something he has direct experience with.

DeiwosTheSkyGod
11-05-2009, 11:05 AM
It would probably be wise to let that particular oath dissapear before the LB to be able to use any AS effectively. At least change it so the AS can have more wiggleroom in battle. Not that I think any AS would agree on that though, perhaps Egwene will but I doubt it.

I agree. Clearly even the so-called "Battle Ajah" couldn't do a damn thing in an actual battle, and it would probably be a little bit of a bruise to the Aes Sedai's egos to let the Kin, Wise Ones and Windfinders do all the fighting at TG. I do see Egwene and the Aes Sedai squabbling over this as usual, though.

Crispin's Crispian
11-05-2009, 11:30 AM
Regarding the Green Ajah, they seemed pretty pissed at themselves for not being able to defend the Tower. I think there's a pretty good chance that they're going to use the captured damane to train themselves for battle.

Either that, or Egwene's going to set up some kind of OP battle school. I wonder if the Seanchan woman from her dream is going to help with that.

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 11:40 AM
Will they manage to make that training effective in the few weeks they have left?
Especially given the fact that the damane aren't exactly going to be thrilled at the idea of associating with AS in the first place ...

Ozymandias
11-05-2009, 11:49 AM
I'll start by saying I didn't think the attack was that stupid. Bust a hole in the side of the Tower, go in, extract, get out. By cleaving through the middle, they eliminate the need to go all the way up or all the way down to get prisoners out. It also prevents resistance from coalescing by splitting everything up.


I agree about the "Battle Ajah". When is the dumbing down of Aes Sedai going to stop?

See, I disagree with this. If RJ, and now BS, have done anything about Aes Sedai, its been to point out that they're a fossilized group, incapable of change and to set in traditions. They do everything they can to condition their initiates to be mindless followers of what came before. This is why Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene are such revolutionaries. They get just enough training to understand and love the Tower, but not enough that they become brainwashed into Tower conceits (inability to Heal stilling, replicate ter'angreal, etc). And because they don't "know" enough not to try, they manage to bring huge discoveries to the Tower. It also helps they're the first ones to bother looking into the Aiel or Sea People for new techniques. Aes Sedai are so convinced they are the pinnacle of everything that they can't innovate. Even Egwene is beginning to succumb to it; assuming she (and the Tower) knows what is best for Rand.

The Green Ajah got its nickname in the Trolloc Wars. For all we know, they were incredibly effective then. It goes along perfectly with the whole "past veneration" theme that they've maintained the name without keeping the skills sharp. When was the last time Aes Sedai had to legitimately fight?

I don't think Aes Sedai are being dumbed down. I think they've been set up since early on as an essentially well-meaning powerful faction, but one too self absorbed and self confident to realize that their skills and powers lost their edge centuries ago, because they haven't been challenged in a millenium and haven't had to prove themselves in a millenium other than that.

Crispin's Crispian
11-05-2009, 12:22 PM
Will they manage to make that training effective in the few weeks they have left?
Especially given the fact that the damane aren't exactly going to be thrilled at the idea of associating with AS in the first place ...
If it's just a matter of learning weaves, they can probably do alright. They don't have too much of a choice, unless the Aes Sedai aren't going to actually take part in battling the Shadow.

a dragonburned fool
11-05-2009, 12:23 PM
The Green Ajah got its nickname in the Trolloc Wars. For all we know, they were incredibly effective then. It goes along perfectly with the whole "past veneration" theme that they've maintained the name without keeping the skills sharp. When was the last time Aes Sedai had to legitimately fight?

I don't think Aes Sedai are being dumbed down. I think they've been set up since early on as an essentially well-meaning powerful faction, but one too self absorbed and self confident to realize that their skills and powers lost their edge centuries ago, because they haven't been challenged in a millenium and haven't had to prove themselves in a millenium other than that.
Exactly. Also to fight well under surprise one must first expect any surprise. They never bothered to get prepared, how even the most capable warriors could fight well under such circumstances. Also they were caught too scattered.

I don't think they would need too much time to prepare. Elaida's embassy at Dumai Wells was quite effective against the Shaido until Taim came with his superior firepower. The Aes Sedai need just to take seriously the task to be prepared to battle, and they would fight Ok.

Crispin's Crispian
11-05-2009, 12:25 PM
Great post, Ozy--I couldn't agree more about the Greens.

Exactly. Also to fight well under surprise one must first expect any surprise. They never bothered to get prepared, how even the most capable warriors could fight well under such circumstances. Also they were caught too scattered.

As I noted below, they were definitely surprised by their incompetence. I really think they're going to make an effort to close that gap before the battles start.

Weird Harold
11-05-2009, 12:49 PM
***puts on seanchan thinking cap***

regarding the seanchan tactics - it all depends on what their objectives are as to what tactics they employ.

This is why I need to read and study the actual description of the attack when the library turns up a copy for me to read. (I'm not desperatae enough yet to buy hardback when the rest of my collection is MMPB.)

The top-down attack I proposed was predicated on a limited number of people available in a limited time frame. The time frame exapnded, the possible numbers grew, and the Seanchan's options multiplied. I still think the top-town attack would have been a better tactic than what I've seen described here.

landing on the roof, and sneaking your entire raiding force into one location where you're intel says there are no marath'damane seems to me that it risks having your entire fighting force bottled up and trapped.

...

then in the confusion that follows, while the tower residents are marath'damane are running around trying to figure out what's going on, you pick them off in small numbers instead of letting them gather into any sort of groups. don't let them form strength in numbers.

Which is easier:

a) blow holes in a building with private balconies on every floor above the public levels; thereby raising the alarm so the entire Tower can rally against you?

b) land quietly on the roof or those private balconies and surprise and collar as many marath'damane in their sleep as possible. Then blow holes in the walls to evacuate troops and prisoners when resistance wakes up and gets organized?

I think blowing holes in the walls sounds like Brandon wrote a brute-force, hackenslash attack because so many fans like brute-force hackenslash.

JSUCamel
11-05-2009, 12:56 PM
I think blowing holes in the walls sounds like Brandon wrote a brute-force, hackenslash attack because so many fans like brute-force hackenslash.

I think you should reserve judgment about what Brandon wrote or didn't write until you actually read it. :)

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 01:23 PM
If it's just a matter of learning weaves, they can probably do alright. They don't have too much of a choice, unless the Aes Sedai aren't going to actually take part in battling the Shadow.How do the AS make the damane teach them, though?
Based on what we know of the TAR teaching by done by Elyane and Nynaeve, AS do not make very good pupils. And that was when the AS considered the 'teachers' to be somewhat capable (Accepted, almost AS, not wilders) and the teachers were willing instead of horrified at the very idea of having anyone channel without a'dam to control them.

Weird Harold
11-05-2009, 01:34 PM
I think you should reserve judgment about what Brandon wrote or didn't write until you actually read it. :)
I am reserving judgement. I'm also pointing out that the spoilers so far sound like a hackenslash battle. That may not be the case, but it is certainly the impression I get from the second-hand commentary.

Crispin's Crispian
11-05-2009, 01:45 PM
All good questions.

There have to be at least one or two like Alivia, IMO. And moreover, there's a huge crop of novices that hasn't yet developed its arrogance and resistance to change. They will be the foot soldiers/cannon fodder of the White Tower.

Nelal Hurcran
11-05-2009, 02:13 PM
When was the last time Aes Sedai had to legitimately fight?

I'm gonna ignore Dumai's Well - as it was more of a slaughter - and go with Moraine at the EotW.

I worry about the remaining four Bloodknives. I hate to say it, but it was mostly luck that Bryne got rid of the one he did. And he still would have died if Siuan hadn't been thinking as quickly as she was. The amount of damage the remaining four can do....

With their limited lifespan, why haven't we seen some of their handy work already? It seems like they should have been busy in the few days that have passed since the raid, but Egwene doesn't mention them at all. Maybe we got lucky and they followed the BA out of TV?

Ozymandias
11-05-2009, 02:24 PM
I'm gonna ignore Dumai's Well - as it was more of a slaughter - and go with Moraine at the EotW.

Yes, individually they all face trials. But as a unit, as an army, they haven't had a real fight since the Trolloc Wars. The fall of Malkier might have counted, had they not made it in time. I would guess its been 2000 years since more than a dozen or so Aes Sedai have ventured out for a real knock down fight.

I worry about the remaining four Bloodknives. I hate to say it, but it was mostly luck that Bryne got rid of the one he did. And he still would have died if Siuan hadn't been thinking as quickly as she was. The amount of damage the remaining four can do....

They're dead. Their ring ter'angreal which give them their power and stamina also cause them to die within a few days. By the way, does anyone read a little bit into Sanderson's Allomancy here? A stone (/metal) which gives heightened power but also kills you? Not that Allomancy did that, per se, but its similar.

With their limited lifespan, why haven't we seen some of their handy work already? It seems like they should have been busy in the few days that have passed since the raid, but Egwene doesn't mention them at all. Maybe we got lucky and they followed the BA out of TV?

Actually, we have seen them. Remember all those fires started all over the city? I can guess who started them, or some of them, can you? Besides, they're not evil, they're not running around slaughtering innocent citizens. I think they just didn't do much... they're supposed to distract people and discourage pursuit. Many Aes Sedai were busy putting out fires, e.g. can't pursue. Seems like they did their job?

Nelal Hurcran
11-05-2009, 02:31 PM
I think they just didn't do much... they're supposed to distract people and discourage pursuit. Many Aes Sedai were busy putting out fires, e.g. can't pursue. Seems like they did their job?

Their mission was to kill AS.

These five would not return. They would stay behind, whatever the results of the raid, to kill as many marath'damane as they could. It was a terrible waste - those damane should be leashed - but better to kill them than leave them in the hands of the Dragon Reborn.

The fires could be their handy work - or just the crash sites of the to'raken - but that's not their main objective. We know they don't have much time, even if they remove the rings, so why haven't we heard of more deaths?

nameless
11-05-2009, 03:16 PM
I'm gonna ignore Dumai's Well - as it was more of a slaughter - and go with Moraine at the EotW.

I worry about the remaining four Bloodknives. I hate to say it, but it was mostly luck that Bryne got rid of the one he did. And he still would have died if Siuan hadn't been thinking as quickly as she was. The amount of damage the remaining four can do....

With their limited lifespan, why haven't we seen some of their handy work already? It seems like they should have been busy in the few days that have passed since the raid, but Egwene doesn't mention them at all. Maybe we got lucky and they followed the BA out of TV?

The Bloodknives aren't nearly as badass as the Seanchan think they are. Aes Sedai may be over-confident and under-observant, but Warders train with fancloth all the time and likely won't be impressed by an inferior version of psuedo-invisibility. They'll probably rack up a few kills before they're discovered but that's nothing a well-trained assassin couldn't have done even without their suicide rings.

ShadowbaneX
11-05-2009, 03:26 PM
This is why I need to read and study the actual description of the attack when the library turns up a copy for me to read. (I'm not desperatae enough yet to buy hardback when the rest of my collection is MMPB.)

The top-down attack I proposed was predicated on a limited number of people available in a limited time frame. The time frame exapnded, the possible numbers grew, and the Seanchan's options multiplied. I still think the top-town attack would have been a better tactic than what I've seen described here.



Which is easier:

a) blow holes in a building with private balconies on every floor above the public levels; thereby raising the alarm so the entire Tower can rally against you?

b) land quietly on the roof or those private balconies and surprise and collar as many marath'damane in their sleep as possible. Then blow holes in the walls to evacuate troops and prisoners when resistance wakes up and gets organized?

I think blowing holes in the walls sounds like Brandon wrote a brute-force, hackenslash attack because so many fans like brute-force hackenslash.
hey, WH, I just thought of something. SBC said that she had a spare copy of tGS that she didn't need. You seem to need one. Perhaps the two of you could share some information and you can get a copy much sooner then relying on the library.

SauceyBlueConfetti
11-05-2009, 03:35 PM
WH and I already chatted :) He graciously declined in favor of someone else who either is lacking fundage for the book or is in an area where it is not yet released...

If anyone is interested, let me know and I will pop the extra one in the mail. Free btw.

Mort
11-05-2009, 04:41 PM
Dammit WH, I don't get why you hang around here being spoiled by all the spoilers.
Personally, I would like to be a little surprised while reading :)

greatwolf
11-05-2009, 04:45 PM
I think the AS will change since they don't really have any choice but to learn if they want to survive TG. Whether they will is another matter entirely.

ShadowbaneX
11-05-2009, 04:46 PM
just a little point then, you're more likely to find people that haven't read the book in the General forums then in here (one of the exceptions being WH of course). Or T'A'R.

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 05:26 PM
The fires could be their handy work - or just the crash sites of the to'raken - but that's not their main objective. We know they don't have much time, even if they remove the rings, so why haven't we heard of more deaths?I don't think they are quite as dangerous as Gray Men. So while they may have killed a few AS, they probably got no more than one apiece on average. That one that Bryne and Siuan met didn't impress all that much with his stealth.

ShadowbaneX
11-05-2009, 05:29 PM
good point Gonzo.

The Seanchan aren't used to dealing with shadowspawn in general and specifically grey men. Over there they might be some of the nastiest, but overhere, the warders might well consider these guys pretty easy to deal with.

That said, if they'd gone slicing and dicing during the battle while more people were distracted, they might have racked up a higher kill count.

JSUCamel
11-05-2009, 05:30 PM
I don't think they are quite as dangerous as Gray Men. So while they may have killed a few AS, they probably got no more than one apiece on average. That one that Bryne and Siuan met didn't impress all that much with his stealth.

I need to do a re-read, obviously, but didn't Siuan detect him somehow with senses related to the Power? She didn't just see him with her eyes, did she? Cause otherwise, I mean.. that just defeats the purpose of their supposed supernatural stealth.

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 05:38 PM
I need to do a re-read, obviously, but didn't Siuan detect him somehow with senses related to the Power?No, she didn't.
She didn't just see him with her eyes, did she?Yes, she did.

Cause otherwise, I mean.. that just defeats the purpose of their supposed supernatural stealth.Quite so.
It wasn't Siuan who first noticed him, it was Gareth Bryne. Siuan didn't even know the assasin was there until he'd died, poisoning Bryne in the process.

ShadowbaneX
11-05-2009, 05:49 PM
We don't actually have Siuan's perspective for this part, it's Bryne's, and specifically it's as follows.

Vestas had set the three soldiers by themselves at the side of the green, beneath the boughs of a large shade tree.

(snip)

A shadow moved in the darkness beside the tree.

(Bryne kills him)

"Light," Siuan said. "I didn't even see him! He almost seemed part of the darkness ifself!"

So Siuan didn't even see him and Bryne just saw a shadow move.

JSUCamel
11-05-2009, 05:53 PM
We don't actually have Siuan's perspective for this part, it's Bryne's, and specifically it's as follows.



So Siuan didn't even see him and Bryne just saw a shadow move.

Well since Bryne can't channel the OP, it MUST have been the TP! The only power left to detect such mystical magic!

[/sarcasm]

In all seriousness, though, if one of these assassins was taken out so easily, what's the big deal? I don't have high hopes for the rest.

ShadowbaneX
11-05-2009, 05:55 PM
they also don't have shadowspawn and spend most of their time fighting each other. Sorta stands to reason that they're not that impressive when you've got Warders and Borderlanders to compare them too.

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 05:57 PM
Siuan saw him quite well once he was dead, and probably earlier. When he was busy bleeding all over Bryne she probably saw him already. She did know where to look for the poisoned needle.

Weird Harold
11-05-2009, 06:05 PM
hey, WH, I just thought of something. SBC said that she had a spare copy of tGS that she didn't need. You seem to need one. Perhaps the two of you could share some information and you can get a copy much sooner then relying on the library.

She offered, I declined. I could buy a copy when I'm in one of the bookstores I expect to visit over the nxt week, but I don't have room for hardbound books in my one-bedroom apartment. I won't be buying a copy until next year when the MMPB is released.

Terez fixed me up with an electronic copy, but I'll still wait for the library.

Enigma
11-05-2009, 07:39 PM
Might the Seanchan have attacked the way they did for PR reasons? I agree that WH's plan might have been more effective, at least before the WT started to rearrange itself. However any battle damage would be internal. The halls might be trashed, the wall hangings burned etc but from the outside there would be a good chance that it would look like business as usual.

The way the Seanchan did attack was crude but it left visible battle damage on the White Tower itself. Anyone in the city or nearby can now see that the Aes Sedai are not invincible, they can be hurt. A visible battle could do the Seanchan a lot more good that a hidden one, especailly to any group sitting on the fence not certain which is the best horse to back the AS or the Seanchan.

Belazamon
11-05-2009, 11:17 PM
The way the Seanchan did attack was crude but it left visible battle damage on the White Tower itself. Anyone in the city or nearby can now see that the Aes Sedai are not invincible, they can be hurt. A visible battle could do the Seanchan a lot more good that a hidden one, especailly to any group sitting on the fence not certain which is the best horse to back the AS or the Seanchan.
Good point.

Kurtz
11-05-2009, 11:27 PM
Might the Seanchan have attacked the way they did for PR reasons? I agree that WH's plan might have been more effective, at least before the WT started to rearrange itself. However any battle damage would be internal. The halls might be trashed, the wall hangings burned etc but from the outside there would be a good chance that it would look like business as usual.

The way the Seanchan did attack was crude but it left visible battle damage on the White Tower itself. Anyone in the city or nearby can now see that the Aes Sedai are not invincible, they can be hurt. A visible battle could do the Seanchan a lot more good that a hidden one, especailly to any group sitting on the fence not certain which is the best horse to back the AS or the Seanchan.

Interesting. Tuon did seem to want to make a statement more than anything else. In fact the plan even before that would only ever have been a statement. Let's hope Egwene bruised them enough.

Ishara
11-06-2009, 08:59 AM
Oooh, I agree. i think most of the rationale would have stemmed from the fact they'd never carried out an aerial attack, but the fact that it made such a visible impact on the Tower is definitely a plus. Egwene herself talks about the impact the smoking Tower will have on the masses, and none of them are good.

And yes, I have a feeling that Egwene's battle had a chilling effect on further attacks from the Seanchan - but just imagine what Rand will do when he finds out. I don't expect he'll be too pleased with Fortuona, and he does still need to "deal" with them.

Davian93
11-06-2009, 09:55 AM
Interesting Excerpt from the BS Q & A:

Question: Is it an assumption that we havenít seen the last of these individuals right here (I was pointing at the Seanchan assassins)?

Answer: There were five sent. We know one is dead. The other four, they may have lived or died through the assault, it was pretty chaotic, but they are expert warriors with teríangreal focused on letting them hide.

Question: How long does that affect last? Days?

Answer: That affect can be stretched if they take it off, for several weeks. It is going to kill them eventually. If they are wearing it straight, itís not going to last long, a matter of days, but if they take it off they can hide for a matter of weeks. So, there are four unaccounted for, who have orders to kill as many Aes Sedai as they can.

Translation: They're not finished. Some more AS will die as a result of this...maybe Egwene?!?

Mort
11-06-2009, 10:13 AM
Interesting Excerpt from the BS Q & A:



Translation: They're not finished. Some more AS will die as a result of this...maybe Egwene?!?

Wishful thinking :)
I wouldn't be so surprised if someone close to her dies though. Certainly not Silviana, not Siuan either, but maybe they'll have more run-ins with that lot. Next time it might be Siuan who notices them...

GonzoTheGreat
11-06-2009, 10:26 AM
Perhaps either Romanda or Lelaine, but not both. Then Egwene would have to deal with the survivor without being able to run for help to the other.

Weird Harold
11-06-2009, 12:32 PM
... Certainly not Silviana, ...

Perhaps this is how Beldeine becomes Egwene's Keeper to fulfill egwene's accepted test prediction?

JSUCamel
11-06-2009, 12:53 PM
Perhaps this is how Beldeine becomes Egwene's Keeper to fulfill egwene's accepted test prediction?

Does this have to happen? I thought the Tests weren't predictions of the future. Egwene doesn't have a daughter and hasn't named it Joiya (and I doubt she would if she did have a daughter).

Kurtz
11-06-2009, 12:54 PM
There really can't be many Aes Sedai left at this stage at the rate they are dying

Bonzi77
11-06-2009, 12:55 PM
Does this have to happen? I thought the Tests weren't predictions of the future. Egwene doesn't have a daughter and hasn't named it Joiya (and I doubt she would if she did have a daughter).

I don't believe it does. Isn't it just a "possible" future? None of the things Nynaeve saw have come true either and it doesn't seem possible that they could any more given what we know of events with the Two Rivers folk.

Tree Brother
11-06-2009, 01:04 PM
Will the Seanchan attack be judged successful? The lost rakan, suldam and damane, and in return, killed and captured AS, who cannot channel offensively.

Bonzi77
11-06-2009, 01:18 PM
Will the Seanchan attack be judged successful? The lost rakan, suldam and damane, and in return, killed and captured AS, who cannot channel offensively.

We haven't seen a Seanchan POV since the battle, so we haven't seen a counting of how many they captured and how many they lost.

Getting back to the tactics a moment. Do we know what (if anything) the Seanchan knew about the layout of the White Tower? To my understanding all they knew is that there was a place called Tar Valon where there was a White Tower where all the Aes Sedai lived. Their intelligence seems really incomplete. If that's true their tactics make perfect sense. They couldn't have known which part of the tower would have made a good entry point.

Weird Harold
11-06-2009, 01:20 PM
Does this have to happen? I thought the Tests weren't predictions of the future. Egwene doesn't have a daughter and hasn't named it Joiya (and I doubt she would if she did have a daughter).
Only the Third time through is for the "future."

Like Dreams, the arches don't predict reliably, but Sharina Malloy suddenly appeared int he series after Nyneave's testing and most people talk like it is a foregone conclusion she'll be Lan's AS advisor after the series ends.

Silviana is in the way of Beldeine fulfilling that 'dream of what might come' so the Seanchan assassins are a plausible way of making it possible for it to be true.

Weird Harold
11-06-2009, 01:32 PM
We haven't seen a Seanchan POV since the battle, so we haven't seen a counting of how many they captured and how many they lost.

Getting back to the tactics a moment. Do we know what (if anything) the Seanchan knew about the layout of the White Tower? To my understanding all they knew is that there was a place called Tar Valon where there was a White Tower where all the Aes Sedai lived. Their intelligence seems really incomplete. If that's true their tactics make perfect sense. They couldn't have known which part of the tower would have made a good entry point.
One of the things I considered in formulating the attack plan I proposed was what the Seanchan should know and could know about the White Tower.

TheWhite tower has been in existance for nearly three thousand years and the Seanchan control some of the greatest libraries in the world -- they have to have access to centuries worth of travelogue accounts and histories and such as well as having numerous captive Aes Sedai with relatively current information on the political and physical layout of the Tower.

If they didn't know that they could wander virtually undetected through the upper residential levels, their intelligence gatherers are criminally negligent.

JSUCamel
11-06-2009, 01:52 PM
Only the Third time through is for the "future."

Like Dreams, the arches don't predict reliably, but Sharina Malloy suddenly appeared int he series after Nyneave's testing and most people talk like it is a foregone conclusion she'll be Lan's AS advisor after the series ends.

Silviana is in the way of Beldeine fulfilling that 'dream of what might come' so the Seanchan assassins are a plausible way of making it possible for it to be true.

It's possible, I suppose.

greatwolf
11-06-2009, 05:05 PM
Getting back to the tactics a moment. Do we know what (if anything) the Seanchan knew about the layout of the White Tower? To my understanding all they knew is that there was a place called Tar Valon where there was a White Tower where all the Aes Sedai lived. Their intelligence seems really incomplete. If that's true their tactics make perfect sense. They couldn't have known which part of the tower would have made a good entry point.


Poor intel is possible, but have we considered that RJ/BS might want to make the SC appear a little dumb? We saw the way Ituralde handled them in KoD. That could be put down to Terez sorry Suroth. :)

This effort must have been known to the forsaken. Could they (especially Moridin) have had anything to do with the planning? Especially if you consider that Semi had orders regarding Rand's efforts at a truce?

Hope WH has finished tGS.

Terez
11-06-2009, 05:35 PM
What do I have to do with it?

greatwolf
11-06-2009, 06:25 PM
Your fault.

Obviously.

Marie Curie 7
11-06-2009, 11:23 PM
We haven't seen a Seanchan POV since the battle, so we haven't seen a counting of how many they captured and how many they lost.

Well, we know from Egwene that 40 total were taken from among the novices, Accepted, and Aes Sedai - at least 24 full Aes Sedai.

TITLE: Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: Epilogue - Bathed in Light

Nearly forty initiates - over two dozen of them full Aes Sedai - snatched in the night and carried off. It was like a story told to children at bedtime, warning of Fades or Halfmen who stole wicked children. Those women would be beaten, confined and turned into nothing more than tools. Egwene had to steel herself from reaching up to feel her neck, where the collar had held her. She wasn't focusing on that right now, burn it all!

As far as Seanchan casualties, we know that Egwene killed at least a dozen to'raken.

TITLE: Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 41 - A Fount of Power

Instead, she directed her anger - the anger of justice, the wrath of the Amyrlin. She blasted to'raken after to'raken from the air. They were much less maneuverable than their smaller cousins. She must have felled a dozen by now, and her actions had drawn the attention of those outside. The attack below was breaking off, the entire raid focusing on Egwene. The novices fought Seanchan raiding parties on the stairs, forcing them back. To'raken winged about in the air, swooping around the Tower, trying to take Egwene with shields or blasts of fire. Smaller raken darted through the air, crossbowmen on their backs launching bolts at her.

I don't think that we know exactly how many Seanchan were captured or killed during the attack, though.

...Speaking of raken and to'raken, I've been listening to the audiobook, and the reader pronounces raken like 'rah-kin'. But I heard Brandon in the signing reports use 'ray-kin'. This confuses me...I wonder which is correct.

nameless
11-07-2009, 12:32 AM
40 were captured, but we don't know how many of them were on the raken that crashed and burned and how many made it safely back to Seanchan territory.

Marie Curie 7
11-07-2009, 12:38 AM
40 were captured, but we don't know how many of them were on the raken that crashed and burned and how many made it safely back to Seanchan territory.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure we do know that. The ones that crashed would have been noted and the dead bodies surveyed. In fact, Egwene notes that Saerin took an inventory of those captured after the attack:


TITLE: Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: Epilogue - Bathed in Light

Egwene picked up another report, frowning to herself. It was a list of all the women in the White Tower, an extensive list several pages long, broken down by Ajah. Many names had a notation beside them. Black, escaped. Black, captured. Taken by the Seanchan. That last group was galling. Saerin - acting with foresight - had taken a census following the attack to determine exactly who had been captured.

nameless
11-07-2009, 01:04 AM
Based on past aftermath scenes of Power-related battles, not every corpse would have been easily identified as Seanchan or Aes Sedai. You could go by their clothes for the ones who still had clothes or their rings for the ones who still had hands, but my guess is sa'angrael amplified fireballs would make things... messy... at best. The distinctive uniforms sul'dam and damane wear would help a bit.

Tuon estimates about a dozen Fists of Heaven can fit on a given to'raken. If we assume they tried to load them to full capacity both ways, then Egwene personally took out over 140 passengers out of 300 attackers + 40 captives. Do we know if anyone other than Egwene managed to take down any raken? Saerin's resistance seemed focused around the ground levels.

Marie Curie 7
11-07-2009, 01:18 AM
Based on past aftermath scenes of Power-related battles, not every corpse would have been easily identified as Seanchan or Aes Sedai. You could go by their clothes for the ones who still had clothes or their rings for the ones who still had hands, but my guess is sa'angrael amplified fireballs would make things... messy... at best. The distinctive uniforms sul'dam and damane wear would help a bit.

~shrug~ You can speculate all you want. All I'm saying is that it is stated that Saerin reported exact numbers of initiates captured. Unless you have solid evidence to the contrary, in my opinion, you have to go with what is stated.

nameless
11-07-2009, 01:24 AM
I agree that Saerin got an accurate count of who was collared and hauled off on the back of a raken, just not that she had any way to tell how many of those were on raken that successfully got clear. We'll probably find out one way or the other when we see the Seanchan side's debriefing.

FelixPax
11-07-2009, 01:33 AM
Perhaps this is how Beldeine becomes Egwene's Keeper to fulfill egwene's accepted test prediction?

Beldeine finally bonded an Ashaman as a warder, we learned in tGS:

Beldeine looked up from her needlework, face dark. Then, unexpectedly, she stood and left the room. Her Warder, the youthful Asha'man Soldier Karldin, followed quickly from the side chamber, crossing the room with the Aes Sedai and following Beldeine out into the hallway outside. Cadsuane gave a sniff, then turneed back to her book.

This is the Asha'man who went with Loial to attempt to close up all the known Waygates, Karldin Manfor.

Beldeine as a Keeper for Egwene? Hmm...did that same testing of Egwene, claim too that Beldeine was forcefully turned to the Shadow's side against her will?

Ozymandias
11-07-2009, 02:43 AM
Still not sure why your all putting so much stock in the Bloodknives. Yeah, they have cool names and ter'angreal, but dealing with a marath-damane in Seanchan is different than a trained acolyte of the Tower. A wilder is someone with a few tricks, heightened senses, maybe an attack or two. These guys... they're not meant for going up against full-fledged channelers. So again, I'm not sure why your so sure they're bound to kill a bunch of Aes Sedai.

As far as I'm concerned, they're ultra-sneaky warriors who are good with a blade. Basically, a Warder. And does anyone think a bunch of Warders could attack and kill an alert Aes Sedai?

GonzoTheGreat
11-07-2009, 06:19 AM
Beldeine as a Keeper for Egwene? Hmm...did that same testing of Egwene, claim too that Beldeine was forcefully turned to the Shadow's side against her will?No, it didn't. It claimed that she had been stilled, and then told that only the Shadow could heal her.
Yet by now, she no doubt is well aware that others can heal stilling, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Nelal Hurcran
11-08-2009, 12:32 AM
As far as I'm concerned, they're ultra-sneaky warriors who are good with a blade. Basically, a Warder. And does anyone think a bunch of Warders could attack and kill an alert Aes Sedai?

Yes.

The training - and bond - that Bryne had allowed him to kill the Bloodknife, but it was nothing but luck that allowed him to see it.

We've heard nothing from any AS after the fact to say that they are "alert" an any way. In fact, I'll bet most of them are off guard, Egwene included. They've survived a direct attack from what they see to be the biggest threat in the world - except the Shadow; they are finally reunited; the depressing clouds are finally lifting; they really don't have any reason to be on alert, and really don't sound like they are.

Even after the devastating attack they just weathered, the AS still see the WT as the safest place in Randland. They aren't going to be looking for attackers. Unless Siuan or Bryne thought to warn somebody, they don't even know that the first one existed, let alone that there are others out there. The current series of events is absolutely perfect for some Assassin-caused chaos.

Greyman
11-10-2009, 04:07 AM
Still not sure why your all putting so much stock in the Bloodknives. Yeah, they have cool names and ter'angreal, but dealing with a marath-damane in Seanchan is different than a trained acolyte of the Tower. A wilder is someone with a few tricks, heightened senses, maybe an attack or two. These guys... they're not meant for going up against full-fledged channelers. So again, I'm not sure why your so sure they're bound to kill a bunch of Aes Sedai.

As far as I'm concerned, they're ultra-sneaky warriors who are good with a blade. Basically, a Warder. And does anyone think a bunch of Warders could attack and kill an alert Aes Sedai?Warders would be more likely to foil Bloodknives than the AS themselves. It's what Warders are for, after all.

Siuan would have died if Gareth were not with her, and vice versa--she did not notice the Bloodknife at all until too late, and for all his blademastery, the poison dart would have taken him down. According to Siuan's interpretation of Min's prophesy, anyway.

So, it's likely the rest of the Bloodknives would enjoy some measure of success until they run into a Warder or two.

lurk
11-10-2009, 11:50 AM
Element of surprise, inexperience in battle and the oaths were key for the attack to have any degree of success.




It would probably be wise to let that particular oath dissapear before the LB to be able to use any AS effectively. At least change it so the AS can have more wiggleroom in battle. Not that I think any AS would agree on that though, perhaps Egwene will but I doubt it.

Mort in TLB they will be mostly fighting shadowspan, the oaths are no hindrance whatsoever then.

And fighting other channelers (DF/BA) will be easy when the other side starts or when you feel threathened (which is easy considering the fear of DF channelers)

GonzoTheGreat
11-10-2009, 11:59 AM
But fighting DF channelers is even easier if you're allowed to attack them before they have seen you. If you can kill them before they know that they might become a threat to you, then they're not likely to ever become a threat to you. In which case the AS wouldn't be able to kill, of course.

Terez
11-10-2009, 12:26 PM
The Oath also allows for the Power to be preemptively used as a weapon against Darkfriends (hence Elaida's self-justification for using the Power to beat Egwene).

GonzoTheGreat
11-10-2009, 12:43 PM
Can you show me an actual version of the Three Oaths that allows that?

"Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or another sister."That says nothing at all of it being allowed against DFs.

Now, I would be willing to accept Egwene as Shadowspawn, so Elaida is off the hook, but I am not sure I would consider that charge believeable in, for instance, Alviarin's case.

Terez
11-10-2009, 12:49 PM
Well, Elaida is off the hook, though it looks like Moiraine might have problems if she encounters Darkfriends, lol!

TITLE: Great Hunt CHAPTER: 23 - The Testing

"Ter'angreal do many things, child. Like angreal and sa'angreal, they are remnants of the Age of Legends that use the One Power, though they are not quite so rare as the other two. While some ter'angreal must be made to work by Aes Sedai, as this one must, others will do what they do simply with the presence of any woman who can channel. There are even supposed to be some that will function for anyone at all. Unlike angreal and sa'angreal, they were made to do specific things. One other we have in the Tower makes oaths binding. When you are raised to full sisterhood, you will take your final vows holding that ter'angreal. To speak no word that is not true. To make no weapon for one man to kill another. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending your own life, that of your Warder, or that of another sister."

TITLE: Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 2 – Rhuidean

"I do have a plan." If they wanted to know, let them know, and he would be burned if he changed a word. "First, I mean to put an end to the wars and killing, whether I started them or not. If men have to kill, let them kill Trollocs, not each other. In the Aiel War, four clans crossed the Dragonwall, and had their way for better than two years. They looted and burned Cairhien, defeated every army sent against them. They could have taken Tar Valon, had they wanted. The Tower couldn't have stopped them, because of your Three Oaths." Not to use the Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn or Darkfriends, or in defense of their own lives, that was another of the Oaths, and the Aiel had not threatened the Tower itself. Anger had him in its grip now. Running and hoping, was he? "Four clans did that. What will happen when I lead eleven across the Spine of the World?" It would have to be eleven; small hope of bringing in the Shaido. "By the time the nations even think of uniting, it will be too late. They'll accept my peace, or I'll be buried in the Can Breat." A discordant plunk rose from the harp, and Natael bent over the instrument, shaking his head. In a moment the soothing sounds came again.

lurk
11-11-2009, 10:45 AM
Always trust Terez to rapidly find the quotes :D

That is what I was referring too

GonzoTheGreat
11-11-2009, 01:13 PM
Does the Oath they take depend on their graduation year?

Terez
11-11-2009, 02:14 PM
I think RJ slipped. :D

Davian93
11-11-2009, 02:15 PM
I think RJ slipped. :D

Yeah, likely a minor error. Suffice it to say, its clear in the text that AS can use the OP against a Darkfriend, not just Shadowspawn.

Ozymandias
11-11-2009, 04:02 PM
So, it's likely the rest of the Bloodknives would enjoy some measure of success until they run into a Warder or two.

No, its possible they would enjoy some success. Listen, I know it makes no sense to be on alert after your attacked, but thats the way humans function. Despite the attack being over for a whole 48 hours, which is of course long enough for them to forget it ever happened, my guess is the Aes Sedai are still tiptoeing around in shock at what happened, and are doublechecking every shadow.

Not to mention they'll be keeping their Warders close.

My guess would have been, that in the initial confusion the Bloodknives had plenty of success, but that after the main assault was over, they were quickly caught and killed. For all their success in the raid, the Seanchan are not accustomed to attacking large, organized groups of channelers, and their normal tactics for disrupting pursuit and maximizing damage may not work as effectively as they had hoped.

Terez
11-11-2009, 06:05 PM
BS has verified that the Bloodknives are still hanging around and will do some more damage in the next book. I thought I read that here, but it might have been at 13th depository.

ZaderGru
11-11-2009, 06:10 PM
You can use the power against anyone. As long as the power is not used as a weapon, eg Cads used the power on Tam and I believe it is a strech to say Cads feared for her life. Also there was a discussion either on the yuku boards or on the main site, about whether Kiruna lied to Perrin, after the battle of Dumai Wells. As per usual the discussion was side tracked into something similar to what was being discussed here. The point was made that the WT AS were beating Rand with the OP. Someone posted a Q+A from RJ Which went along the lines of, becuase they considered they were punishing Rand, it could not be considered using the OP as a weapon. So even the restriction of using the OP as a weapon has some loopholes


Is that a leak in my boat...no it is a loophole

legends be wrought
11-11-2009, 07:06 PM
You can use the power against anyone. As long as the power is not used as a weapon, eg Cads used the power on Tam and I believe it is a strech to say Cads feared for her life.

Cadsuane probably believed it was in Tam's best interest that he be "settled". Its all about frame of mind.

Kurtz
11-11-2009, 07:37 PM
Cadsuane probably believed it was in Tam's best interest that he be "settled". Its all about frame of mind.

The whole scene was a bit bizarre, i'm surprised Cadsuane used the power as we hardly ever see her use it.

Maybe she was just a bit pissed the way things had turned out.

Marie Curie 7
11-11-2009, 10:50 PM
BS has verified that the Bloodknives are still hanging around and will do some more damage in the next book. I thought I read that here, but it might have been at 13th depository.

That comment appeared here (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2566), in Tam's transcription of the SLC signing report. In that account, Brandon avoids saying outright that the other four Bloodknives are alive. He just said that it was possible that some were still alive and if they remove their rings they can live for weeks.

Question: Is it an assumption that we haven't seen the last of these individuals right here (I was pointing at the Seanchan assassins)?

Answer: There were five sent. We know one is dead. The other four, they may have lived or died through the assault, it was pretty chaotic, but they are expert warriors with ter'angreal focused on letting them hide.

Question: How long does that affect last? Days?

Answer: That affect can be stretched if they take it off, for several weeks. It is going to kill them eventually. If they are wearing it straight, it's not going to last long, a matter of days, but if they take it off they can hide for a matter of weeks. So, there are four unaccounted for, who have orders to kill as many Aes Sedai as they can.

GonzoTheGreat
11-12-2009, 06:29 AM
The whole scene was a bit bizarre, i'm surprised Cadsuane used the power as we hardly ever see her use it.

Maybe she was just a bit pissed the way things had turned out.She was getting just a bit worked up. Not everything has gone as she planned, and after spending a couple of decades of growing roses, she's not used to plans failing.

1Powerslave
11-12-2009, 08:51 AM
See, I disagree with this. If RJ, and now BS, have done anything about Aes Sedai, its been to point out that they're a fossilized group, incapable of change and to set in traditions. They do everything they can to condition their initiates to be mindless followers of what came before. This is why Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene are such revolutionaries. They get just enough training to understand and love the Tower, but not enough that they become brainwashed into Tower conceits (inability to Heal stilling, replicate ter'angreal, etc). And because they don't "know" enough not to try, they manage to bring huge discoveries to the Tower. It also helps they're the first ones to bother looking into the Aiel or Sea People for new techniques. Aes Sedai are so convinced they are the pinnacle of everything that they can't innovate. Even Egwene is beginning to succumb to it; assuming she (and the Tower) knows what is best for Rand.

The Green Ajah got its nickname in the Trolloc Wars. For all we know, they were incredibly effective then. It goes along perfectly with the whole "past veneration" theme that they've maintained the name without keeping the skills sharp. When was the last time Aes Sedai had to legitimately fight?

I don't think Aes Sedai are being dumbed down. I think they've been set up since early on as an essentially well-meaning powerful faction, but one too self absorbed and self confident to realize that their skills and powers lost their edge centuries ago, because they haven't been challenged in a millenium and haven't had to prove themselves in a millenium other than that.
I think it's fair to say that the Aes Sedai has been dumbed down. It doesn't matter if you think that you can trace a logical explanation to it; their ineffectiveness, incompetence and incapabilities remain. Also, this is hardly the only logical way for it to play out. Gathering knowledge at one place, i.e. universities, academies, is usally a way of producing MORE knowledge and building upon the knowledge you have, and of course preserving it. Obviously Jordan chose to have the Aes Sedai become power hungry, arrogant, over confident and petty bitches, whose knowledge has completely stagnated. But that that was the only logical way to go is hardly so. Just because they haven't been openly challenged by military forces or rivalling factions doesn't mean that all research will stop and that they will be more interested in drinking tea than keeping to their Ajah mottos. Instead, with their long life spans they logically should have perfected their skills. And the memory of the great challenges they have faced are not many generations past and should be fresh in Aes Sedai memory. Then to have the leader of the Green be taken so easily and be so surprised by the crude weapons that damane are, I think really is taking the dumbing down of Aes Sedai a bit too far.

So yeah, we shouldn't be surprised by that Aes Sedai are dumbed down, Jordan did have build up for it.
Also there is no indication the Aes Sedai know less than they did in the Trollocs wars, where they were very effective, is it? The world hasn't changed much since then, the same skills still apply. In the Trolloc Wars they fought dreadlords.

Kurtz
11-12-2009, 09:36 AM
Surely rather than being crude, the damane are the most refined weapons out there?

The failure of the Aes Sedai grates with me a little. They are put through their steps rather strictly during their training and they do face their greatest fears. Their pettiness and ineptitude is overstated in my opinion. I realise it would take a while for them to shake themselves into action but seeing them outdone by the ignorant Aiel and some Sea Folk was a bit much in my opinion. I struggle to believe that the Grey Ajah can be so easily overturned by people used to bargaining for tabac and silk.

Greyman
11-12-2009, 09:50 AM
I struggle to believe that the Grey Ajah can be so easily overturned by people used to bargaining for tabac and silk.Why? The Gray Ajah are just as prone to resting on their laurels as the rest. They are used to dealing with people who either repect or fear them--or both--and the sea folk have learned to do neither.

Kurtz
11-12-2009, 11:05 AM
Why? The Gray Ajah are just as prone to resting on their laurels as the rest. They are used to dealing with people who either repect or fear them--or both--and the sea folk have learned to do neither.

I still think it should at least leave them on level pegging. Every other people have been stuck in their own ways, yet Aes Sedai are the only one's unable to react to the change.

And just to have a mini-rant, the Sea Folk's treatment of teachers is one of the most outrageous and unfathomable things in the series

GonzoTheGreat
11-12-2009, 11:07 AM
Yeah, it seems that getting a reputation like that is quite a good way to have to pay a lot of gold for sub-standard teachers. Of course, Russia did this too, in the time of the Czars, but they weren't considered master merchants, as far as I know.

ShadowbaneX
11-12-2009, 11:29 AM
of all the Aes Sedai oddly it seems the Red are the most willing to adapt, specifically by taking male channelers are warders, but that seems to pretty much be a rare exception. All the other exceptions are pretty much individuals.

GonzoTheGreat
11-12-2009, 11:58 AM
Well, the Yellow were very interested in learning from Nynaeve.
The Green were eager to learn all those combat weaves that Egwene had picked up from the Seanchan.
The Grey have set up a special program to learn negotiation techniques from ta'veren.
The White have contacted the philosophers gathering in Rand's Academies.
The Blues have taken up the cause of keeping as many people as possible alive throughout and after TG.
The Brown ... well, they haven't changed much, I admit. They are still very willing to study anything that happens not to run away fast enough.

Tree Brother
11-12-2009, 01:26 PM
Well, the Yellow were very interested in learning from Nynaeve.
The Green were eager to learn all those combat weaves that Egwene had picked up from the Seanchan.
The Grey have set up a special program to learn negotiation techniques from ta'veren.
The White have contacted the philosophers gathering in Rand's Academies.
The Blues have taken up the cause of keeping as many people as possible alive throughout and after TG.
The Brown ... well, they haven't changed much, I admit. They are still very willing to study anything that happens not to run away fast enough.

The greens are the ones who go to the blight occasionally to fight with the Boarderlanders, and keep their skills sharp for the final battle.

Also, I think this might be a good spot to point out why the Red Ajah is so large. It is where everybody goes who does not fit into any of the other Ajahs. Unless they really, really want a Warder, in which case they would probably join Green.

Weird Harold
11-12-2009, 01:45 PM
... but seeing them outdone by the ignorant Aiel and some Sea Folk was a bit much in my opinion. ...

I think you've just illustrated why the Aes Sedai are having trouble upholding the reputation RJ built up at the beginning of the series.

"Ignorant Aiel" is an Aes Sedai-centric -- or at least wetlander-centric -- characterization and the Seafolk culture is held together by the art-of-the-deal. An Ivory Tower Intellectual who depends on her reputation to gain an advantage in bargaining with either will be lucky to go home with her bloomers, 'cause that's about all she's going to salvage. :D

RJ established that the White Tower was a bunch of "Ivory Tower Intellectuals" very early in the series. With a few exceptions who don't spend much time in the Tower, Aes Sedai have been portrayed as out of touch with reality and living off their reputation from about the middle of book 2.

Ozymandias
11-12-2009, 02:24 PM
Surely rather than being crude, the damane are the most refined weapons out there?

Quite the opposite. Damane are the very worst weapons there are. They are completely incapable of independent thought or action. Sul'dam are the weapons. They brings the brains and the edge. In a way, its like touching the Power. The One Power is incredible, but essentially harmless without someone to direct it. Same with damane and sul'dam. Damane are a source of massive power, but without a sul'dam to direct it, they're harmless little girls.

The failure of the Aes Sedai grates with me a little. They are put through their steps rather strictly during their training and they do face their greatest fears.

But they train as individuals! No one doubts the individual competence or ability of an Aes Sedai under fire. They train for that, because in a world where they are often traveling alone or with a Warder, there are any number of situations which require their preparedness. The problem when the Seanchan attacked is that an army full of soldiers who is each her own general is that it results in chaos. They can't function effectively as a force, and that destroys them. Sometimes, a little less courage and talent and little more cohesion and discipline will make for a better army. But the Aes Sedai have never had to fight as a large scale force before; not in 2000 years, really. The entire organization of the Tower, with its plots and machinations and factions, speaks to their fragmentation. Its played up as a positive, because it allows each woman to delve more deeply and more fully into what she is good at, but when it comes to Tarmon Gai'don, they're just gonna need a bunch of women who can stand in ranks and throw fire (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Their pettiness and ineptitude is overstated in my opinion. I realise it would take a while for them to shake themselves into action but seeing them outdone by the ignorant Aiel and some Sea Folk was a bit much in my opinion. I struggle to believe that the Grey Ajah can be so easily overturned by people used to bargaining for tabac and silk.

Again, this hardly seems remarkable. For the Sea Folk... well, the Gray Ajah is used to operating from a position of extreme strength. The White Tower backs them, they're seen as neutral arbiters, and they can channel besides, so everyone is slightly intimidated by them. Thats an excellent negotiating atmosphere. With the Sea Folk, they lose just about every one of those advantages; they're not neutral, they're facing hostile channelers across the table, no one is particularly intimidated. When they don't immediately get the deference and respect they expect, they get flustered. And when they get flustered, they lose.

As for the Aiel, its clear their training prepares them for a more well rounded life experience. They get trained in negotiation, healing, defense, all sorts of things that come with being the de facto spiritual rulers and behind-the-scenes power in a culture.

ShadowbaneX
11-12-2009, 03:29 PM
all the true "pillow-friends" join the Reds, duh (http://www.whysanity.net/monos/chasingamy_banky.html) (warning: foul language, NSFW).

Kurtz
11-12-2009, 04:44 PM
I think you've just illustrated why the Aes Sedai are having trouble upholding the reputation RJ built up at the beginning of the series.

"Ignorant Aiel" is an Aes Sedai-centric -- or at least wetlander-centric -- characterization and the Seafolk culture is held together by the art-of-the-deal. An Ivory Tower Intellectual who depends on her reputation to gain an advantage in bargaining with either will be lucky to go home with her bloomers, 'cause that's about all she's going to salvage. :D

RJ established that the White Tower was a bunch of "Ivory Tower Intellectuals" very early in the series. With a few exceptions who don't spend much time in the Tower, Aes Sedai have been portrayed as out of touch with reality and living off their reputation from about the middle of book 2.

The Aiel are ignorant though, and they've pretty much thumped their way through the series. Their strength is that the Wise Ones always work as one, which is easy as they just have to look after Aiel interests, who Rand has helpfully united. The Aes Sedai can't afford to be so straightforward.

As for the Sea Folks bargaining, it's completely disproportionate to their status as traders. Surely Domani Grey Ajah could compete. It just seems one of those things we have to accept which I don't like.


Quite the opposite. Damane are the very worst weapons there are. They are completely incapable of independent thought or action. Sul'dam are the weapons. They brings the brains and the edge. In a way, its like touching the Power. The One Power is incredible, but essentially harmless without someone to direct it. Same with damane and sul'dam. Damane are a source of massive power, but without a sul'dam to direct it, they're harmless little girls.

Damane are the weapon though, the sul'dam the wielders of that weapon.



But they train as individuals! No one doubts the individual competence or ability of an Aes Sedai under fire. They train for that, because in a world where they are often traveling alone or with a Warder, there are any number of situations which require their preparedness. The problem when the Seanchan attacked is that an army full of soldiers who is each her own general is that it results in chaos. They can't function effectively as a force, and that destroys them. Sometimes, a little less courage and talent and little more cohesion and discipline will make for a better army. But the Aes Sedai have never had to fight as a large scale force before; not in 2000 years, really. The entire organization of the Tower, with its plots and machinations and factions, speaks to their fragmentation. Its played up as a positive, because it allows each woman to delve more deeply and more fully into what she is good at, but when it comes to Tarmon Gai'don, they're just gonna need a bunch of women who can stand in ranks and throw fire (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Yeah, this predominantly down to them maintaining a peaceful land for centuries though. The reality is they should still be far more effective than the Windfinders or the Wise Ones in battle, since they at least are familiar with suitable weaves.

The only set of channellers that are really prepared are the Black Tower yet that mindless military order will only last as long as the Last Battle and thereafter they could be pretty disastrous for the world. And they've already split into two but have yet to unleash whatever fury that will possess as yet.





Again, this hardly seems remarkable. For the Sea Folk... well, the Gray Ajah is used to operating from a position of extreme strength. The White Tower backs them, they're seen as neutral arbiters, and they can channel besides, so everyone is slightly intimidated by them. Thats an excellent negotiating atmosphere. With the Sea Folk, they lose just about every one of those advantages; they're not neutral, they're facing hostile channelers across the table, no one is particularly intimidated. When they don't immediately get the deference and respect they expect, they get flustered. And when they get flustered, they lose.

As for the Aiel, its clear their training prepares them for a more well rounded life experience. They get trained in negotiation, healing, defense, all sorts of things that come with being the de facto spiritual rulers and behind-the-scenes power in a culture.

That's true enough about the Sea Folk/Grey Ajah I concede, just feel the Aes Sedai have become unfairly diminished. Whatever about their own conceits and arrogances they have tried to keep the world in good shape while the Sea Folk work purely for themselves.

As for the Aiel: Well I guess the Aes Sedai are peace time rulers. The Aiel have warred constantly since they been in the Waste, so it's no surprise the Wise One's are superior in handling chaotic situations, simply because they don't seem much bothered by them. Whatever is said about them, they value life a shit load less than Randlanders. In Athens vs Sparta i'm up for Athens every time.

nameless
11-12-2009, 06:35 PM
The Aes Sedai's major advantage over other groups of channelers is their facility with linking. The Tower Aes Sedai weren't in position to use this advantage against the Seanchan attackers because Alviarin mangaed to sow enough discord in the Tower that no one was ready to link up to anyone outside their own Ajah. For comparison, look at the rebel faction. They prepared for attack from the Forsaken by organizing a system that allowed every one of them, down to the last novice, to link up to a fairly large circle in a matter of minutes. If the Seanchan had attacked the rebels instead of the Tower itself they would have been put down almost immediately.

As for the Grey Ajah, remember that they're lawyers, not merchants. Just because they're good at negotiating treaties and arguing before judges doesn't mean they'll have any real skill at negotiating trade or commerce.