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View Full Version : i was thinking today about how mesanna may have gotten past the purdge


hippie-joe
12-09-2009, 05:47 PM
so all the AS re-three oathed on the rod then made a statement of someform or another that they were not black ajah.

we already know that there is major holes in how the 3 oaths work.

my thought is that she worded her way around the speak no lies oath. she has had considerably more years doing that sort of thing than most other AS even with her being locked away with the other forsaken.

technically she is not black ajah she is forsaken, or chosen depending on who's POV. so could that be the loop hole she wormed through?
she couldn't have said she does not serve the DO, that would have gotten her.

so what do you think? how did she sneak by?

Weird Harold
12-09-2009, 07:30 PM
my thought is that she worded her way around the speak no lies oath. she has had considerably more years doing that sort of thing than most other AS even with her being locked away with the other forsaken.

Why would Mesaana have years of experience twisting the truth? She's been free to lie as much or as little as she felt like because she has never been bound by the Three Oaths -- probably has not been bound by a binder/oath rod at all.

Being bound by a Binder was semirhage's biggest fear and the attitude of the other Forsaken about binders is clearly negative. i.e. "Have you bound yourself like a criminal?"

technically she is not black ajah she is forsaken, or chosen depending on who's POV. so could that be the loop hole she wormed through?

Brandon's suggestion to think about ways of defeating the OAth Rod suggests that Mesaana has avoid being bound by ANY Oath, including the three oaths sworn before witnesses to clear herself of suspicion of being BA.

She may have sworn the Oaths, been bound by them, used the "I'm no lowly darkfriend, I'm an Elite servant of the DO, a Chosem" weasel wording to say she isn't Black Ajah, and then removed the Oaths either with a dreamed up Oath Rod in T'A'R or by pilfering the Oath Rod in the middle of the night to remove the Oaths. I seriously doubt that Mesaana would submit to being bound even temporarily by the Oath Rod.

Perhaps, Mesaana is immune to a Binder because she has been mind-trapped and the Cour'souvra blocks the effect of the Binder? She hasn't been forced to wear MOridin's colors as Moggy and Cyndane do, but she has been punished by Shaidar Haran, much as Moggy was before being mind-trapped.

Terez
12-09-2009, 07:55 PM
Brandon's suggestion to think about ways of defeating the OAth Rod suggests that Mesaana has avoid being bound by ANY Oath
I disagree. There's nothing about what he said to suggest that he meant anything other than that the Oaths are all about what the person swearing believes.

Joe, you should really keep up, you know. We were talking about this before the book came out. ;)

Weird Harold
12-09-2009, 09:26 PM
I disagree. There's nothing about what he said to suggest that he meant anything other than that the Oaths are all about what the person swearing believes.

Any HCFF, and most casual fans, know that defeating the Oaths is second nature to Aes Sedai, but Brandon said to think of ways to defeat the Oath ROD.

Terez
12-09-2009, 11:05 PM
So? The Oath Rod does what it does, and belief is a way to defeat it. He said we need to be thinking of ways to defeat it (in reference to Mesaana), and that is one way to defeat it that we are aware of - we won't likely be able to come up with anything else (no one has yet, and Brandon seemed to think that we could figure it out). Defeating the Oaths is second nature to Aes Sedai to an extent, but none of the other Blacks have been able to sidestep the Oaths that way, because they can't convince themselves that they aren't Darkfriends or that they aren't Black Ajah.

Weird Harold
12-09-2009, 11:20 PM
So? The Oath Rod does what it does, and belief is a way to defeat it. He said we need to be thinking of ways to defeat it (in reference to Mesaana), and that is one way to defeat it that we are aware of - we won't likely be able to come up with anything else (no one has yet, and Brandon seemed to think that we could figure it out). Defeating the Oaths is second nature to Aes Sedai to an extent, but none of the other Blacks have been able to sidestep the Oaths that way, because they can't convince themselves that they aren't Darkfriends or that they aren't Black Ajah.
If you can't see the distinction between defeating the oaths once bound and defeating the rod so that you are NOT bound to begin with, then I guess there's no point in trying to convince you.

It is the binding that reduces the lifespan, not the content of the oaths. The BA have "another trinity" because it is the number of oaths sworn that creates the ageless look, not the wording of or belief in the oaths sworn.

Defeating the Oath Rod so that no binding takes place is a different proposition than defeating a binding once it is in place.

Trutino
12-10-2009, 12:15 AM
It seems like there are two separate issues.

1. Mesaana is posing as an Aes Sedai. We know she has been using the Mask of Mirrors to disguise herself, likely creating the ageless look as part of her disguise. I don't think there is any reason to believe she had even faced binding until the end of tGS.

2. At the end of tGS Egwene forces everyone to re-swear the oaths. At this point, Mesaana either

a.) took the oaths and, believing she is not a darkfriend, was able to get around the question. She would either still be bound or has managed to unbind herself.

b.) Was presented with the oath rod, asked to swear, and was able to avoid being bound through some means.

Right now, the "Mesaana was bound and evaded the lying oath when she said she wasn't a darkfriend because she doesn't believe she is one or had convinced herself she wasn't one" theory seems to be the most popular, partly because of what Brandon has said:

Q: Do the Forsaken consider themselves Darkfriends?
A: Oooh, you are tricky! I know what you’re doing. [For those that don't, this guy is trying to figure out if this is how Mesaana beat the Oath Rod. - Terez] I would say that, in general, yes they do consider themselves Darkfriends, though there are ways somebody would be able to get around that. I would say, yes, that that is not the sort of mental gymnastics that…it is very easy to convince yourself that you are not a Darkfriend.

and

Q: Is Mesaana still in the Tower?
A: Egwene makes some deductions about this at the end of the book. Egwene is not incorrect.
Q: She could swear that she’s not a Darkfriend on the Oath Rod, right?
A: As long as she believed it to be true. Every remaining Aes Sedai in the Tower has retaken the Three Oaths. You should be thinking about ways to defeat the Oath Rod. There is a way to do it.


I thought it would be helpful to get the basics written out. Did I miss anything?

Terez
12-10-2009, 01:05 AM
If you can't see the distinction between defeating the oaths once bound and defeating the rod so that you are NOT bound to begin with, then I guess there's no point in trying to convince you.
This line sounds familiar. But in any case, I've made it quite clear why your logic makes no sense.

It is the binding that reduces the lifespan, not the content of the oaths.
What has that got to do with anything? Of course she's got a way to unbind herself - that's assumed. You still haven't proposed a plausible way that she could get around the Oath Rod other than by believing she's not a Darkfriend. Until you come up with that, you're just blowing hot air. ;)

Yuri33
12-10-2009, 01:53 AM
One plausible but admittedly boring way is to kill and assume the identity of a newly sworn non-Darkfriend AS.

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 02:57 AM
...a plausible way ... Until you come up with that, you're just blowing hot air. ;)

You mean until I come up with something you will accept as plausible.

I have suggested that Shaidar Haran mindtrapped her after her punishment and that protected her from the effects of the Binder so that she is not now and cannot be bound by the Binder. Asuggestion you've merely dismissed as not plausible without trying to refute it.

Q: She could swear that she’s not a Darkfriend on the Oath Rod, right?
A: As long as she believed it to be true. Every remaining Aes Sedai in the Tower has retaken the Three Oaths. You should be thinking about ways to defeat the Oath Rod. There is a way to do it.

Brandon affirmed that Mesaana could circumvent the First Oath if she believed in the distinction between 'DF' and "Chosen" and in the same answer implied we should be looking for a different answer; a way to defeat the Oath Rod (rather than a way to defeat the Oaths.)

GonzoTheGreat
12-10-2009, 05:47 AM
Other method: use the Mirror of Mists (inverted) on an unsuspecting AS who is not Black, to make her look like Mesaana. After she has retaken the vows (and has been crossed of the list as Mesaana's alter-ego), kill her and eat the body. Then that AS will be noted as having escaped (presumably Black), while Mesaana will be assumed to be in the clear. Some ketchup may be required.

WinespringBrother
12-10-2009, 08:56 AM
Whatever means that Mesaana used, it was probably known in the AOL (along with countermeasures for it) since otherwise the Binder would not have been very effective. I can think of 3 means that I haven't seen mentioned previously:

1) A personal shield, inverted, to protect from weaves of spirit from having any effect - maybe something similar to the wards that Aes Sedai use on their dreams.

2) A ter'angreal, possibly from the stores in the White Tower, that protects against weaves.

3) A specific ward or other form of protection against compulsion, since that seems to be how the Oath Rod actually operates.

GonzoTheGreat
12-10-2009, 09:23 AM
I am not sure it is Compulsion. That seems to wipe out rather large portions of the mind. If it were Compulsion, then all the AS would be basically mindless ninnies, and ... uh-oh.

Horrified extra thought: what's that gonna do to Egwene? :eek:

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-10-2009, 10:04 AM
Is it possible to hold the Rod without actually touching it? Yep. Inverting weaves so no one can see the thread of Air around it, the cushion of Air supporting it just out of range of your skin, then channeling into the Rod and saying the Oaths would seem another plausible explanation.

lurk
12-10-2009, 10:09 AM
Compulsion leaves traces as Rand and Nynaeve know. shields leave traces too. The warder bond does something to the person too without leaving a trace. So The binder could also do something to the body/mind and leave no trace.

Could we somehow deduce from the parts in the story when binders are used how they would work? Then we could try to find a way to beat the damn thing :)

lurk
12-10-2009, 10:12 AM
Saucey good call, like an insulating layer, but the question is, does the one channeling spirit in the binder notice something about the person holding it?

There is the tightening sensation, that could be noticeable... But else??

WinespringBrother
12-10-2009, 10:38 AM
SBC, the "air-glove" hypothesis makes sense. Though maybe the Dark One provides some kind of spiritual protection from binders.

Just realized, due to the life-shortening effects, the oath rod may have killed Mesaana had she actually been bound by it, if she is old enough. I don't remember her actual age but I'm sure its at least a couple of centuries, and maybe more. That's one trick no one can get away with LOL

lurk
12-10-2009, 10:42 AM
Another interesting topic.

Does swearing on the oath rod just simply tells your body to fall over at a certain age (like 300, stronger channelers tend to get older) OR does it just makes your body age differently from the moment of binding?

AND how does the DO's "protection of aging" work? does it stop your body from growing older (bit like vampirism i guess) or is ther some other way?

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 02:07 PM
Does swearing on the oath rod just simply tells your body to fall over at a certain age (like 300, stronger channelers tend to get older) OR does it just makes your body age differently from the moment of binding?

Check Terez' signature link. IIRC, the relevant RJ Q&A says that the Binder just reduces (halves?) the remaining life expectancy.

As for how the Binder works, compare the description of Verin's Suggestion weave settling into the captive AS and the Binder's effects settling into the newly raised AS. Compulsion doesn't necessarily have to scramble someone's brains; Greandal has just given Compulsion a bad reputation with her heavy handed over-use.

Trutino
12-10-2009, 02:27 PM
I know the forsaken didn't know how to physically circumvent the oath rod right after the bore was drilled. Otherwise Semirhage wouldn't have had to flee when presented with stilling or binding after her crimes were discovered. Whether they came up with something like the "air glove" after that but before the Lews Therin placed the seals, I don't know.

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 02:43 PM
I know the forsaken didn't know how to physically circumvent the oath rod right after the bore was drilled. Otherwise Semirhage wouldn't have had to flee when presented with stilling or binding after her crimes were discovered.

Whatever means that Mesaana used, it was probably known in the AOL (along with countermeasures for it) since otherwise the Binder would not have been very effective.

WSB is probably correct that it was the countermeasures to some simple method of blocking the effect of the Binder that Semirhage couldn't defeat rather than the Binder's effects. The countermeasure might have been something as simple as knowing to look closely to confirm the Binder's web sank in properly, (and knowing exactly what to look for.)

Bonzi77
12-10-2009, 02:59 PM
I know the forsaken didn't know how to physically circumvent the oath rod right after the bore was drilled. Otherwise Semirhage wouldn't have had to flee when presented with stilling or binding after her crimes were discovered. Whether they came up with something like the "air glove" after that but before the Lews Therin placed the seals, I don't know.

Not necessarily. If there's a way to circumvent the oath rod, chances are there's also a way to prevent the circumvention that has been lost from the AoL. Even if there isn't, if the way around the oath rod was known in the AoL, the powers that be would not have let anyone go before they swore correctly.

Terez
12-10-2009, 04:37 PM
You mean until I come up with something you will accept as plausible.
It's really simple - Brandon obviously implied that we should be able to figure it out, and your ideas don't have any evidence for them. The weakness of the Oaths, on the other hand, have plenty of evidence for them.

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 08:27 PM
It's really simple - Brandon obviously implied that we should be able to figure it out, and your ideas don't have any evidence for them. The weakness of the Oaths, on the other hand, have plenty of evidence for them.
Whywould Brandon confirm that the oaths can be circumvented by nitpicking definitions and then, two sentences later tell us we should be looking for a way to circumvent the 'oaths?'

He didn't do that of course, he told us, Yes the oaths can be circumvented but you should be looking for a way to circmvent the rod itself, OWTTE.

I may not know exctly what answer he told us to look for, but I'm pretty sure it is NOT the answer he confirmed just before telling us to look in a different direction.

Terez
12-10-2009, 10:16 PM
Whywould Brandon confirm that the oaths can be circumvented by nitpicking definitions and then, two sentences later tell us we should be looking for a way to circumvent the 'oaths?'
Looks to me like he wanted to make sure we knew that she hadn't found a way to avoid the Oath Rod completely (which is what some think).

I may not know exctly what answer he told us to look for, but I'm pretty sure it is NOT the answer he confirmed just before telling us to look in a different direction.
Perhaps, but he wouldn't have told us to think of ways to defeat it if it was going to be something random like the ideas put forth so far. This is a mystery we can solve; therefore, the importance of belief in the Oaths is the best solution to the mystery until someone comes up with something else that is logical and supported by evidence.

Also, he did not say there were multiple ways to do it - he said there is 'a way'. Which is another reason why belief makes the most sense.

Weird Harold
12-10-2009, 11:22 PM
Perhaps, but he wouldn't have told us to think of ways to defeat it if it was going to be something random like the ideas put forth so far. This is a mystery we can solve; therefore, the importance of belief in the Oaths is the best solution to the mystery until someone comes up with something else that is logical and supported by evidence.

He confirmed that the Oaths can be subverted by belief. If that is the way to defeat the Oath ROD, why do we need to keep looking for A way to defeat it?

I may not jnow the solution to the puzzle, but at least I recognise which solution he eliminated. :D In other words, "Belief" is NOT the best solution because it is the ONE thing Brandon's answer eliminated -- he said that would work but we need to keep looking. (because that isn't how she circumvented the re-swearing and absolution.

Terez
12-10-2009, 11:37 PM
He confirmed that the Oaths can be subverted by belief. If that is the way to defeat the Oath ROD, why do we need to keep looking for A way to defeat it?
To avoid wasting our time trying to figure out how she might have gotten out of taking the Oaths, or arguing that she is posing as a novice or Accepted or person who can't channel. He did NOT confirm that this was how Mesaana managed to stay in the Tower, and that's an important distinction at these book signings. I've watched several videos of them, and even done a transcription of one Q&A session - he's keeping in mind that most of the people at these signings are not obsessed internet fans, and he's good at avoiding outright confirmation, but not so good at avoiding big hints. In the Q&A I transcribed, someone asked him if the Forsaken consider themselves to be Darkfriends, and he of course immediately knew why the person was asking that question. He started off by answering that yes, in general, they do think of themselves as Darkfriends, but that yes, this is the kind of 'mental gymnastics' that....(I think he was going to say '...is needed to get around the Oaths', but he was avoiding saying that so instead he continued to say that it would be very easy to convince yourself that you are not a Darkfriend.)

I may not jnow the solution to the puzzle, but at least I recognise the puzzle to be solved. :D
Yay? For me it's enough to know that she's still in the Tower posing as an Aes Sedai - that is what is really important. The 'how' of it is, IMO, not a big mystery. If someone comes up with something supported by evidence, as to how she could have gotten around the Oath ROD, then I will be interested to hear it.

thisiscooling
12-10-2009, 11:44 PM
couldnt she have just dropped the illusion, or created a new one, and is now posing as a servant?

Weird Harold
12-11-2009, 02:50 PM
couldnt she have just dropped the illusion, or created a new one, and is now posing as a servant?
It would be less hazardous to simply leave and pop in as her silver surfer disguise to give orders and gather intelligence if she had to abandon her established identity.

hippie-joe
12-11-2009, 10:59 PM
well it doesn't surprise me that this topic has been discussed, T. but then i haven't been on here for at least 2 months. anyhow, i tend to lean toward what Wh is saying, though from what i remember there was only brief reference to the topic at hand so of corse there will be no hard evidence. i really meant this to be purely speculation, and let your imagination run free type thing. i'm not so hard core about this thati read all the QA and book signing videos and crap. although i would love to get the copy i just bought for my sister, who got me addicted to the series, for christmas, signed.

but i digress...

i didn't know that he had said that and so i deduce the same thing WH does. but i like gonzos idea... something about ketchup lol

Toss the dice
12-12-2009, 03:01 AM
Yeah, Mesaana definately ate someone. Probably used relish though. (well I would)

On a serious note, while I see what both Terez and WH are saying, I have to side with Terez on this one for now. That quote of Brandon's WAS in "two" parts, but I think it was that way due to the fact that he changed his mind about what he was going to say. I know WH sees the two parts as Brandon separating the "belief" theory to the Oaths and the "real" answer to this discussion. I can see that but I don't think that is the case.

Like Terez said, Brandon said we should be able to figure it out, and the "belief" theory fits right in, is the easiest solution, and that's pretty much all she wrote imo. It would be different if we had 1 or 2 at most, OTHER great potential solutions with plenty of EVIDENCE backing it/them up. As of now, all we really have is quite a few theory possibilities that don't have any solid evidence backing them up. Because of this, I think the path of least resistance (aka "belief" theory) will be the winner, as Brandon said we should be able to figure it out.

This was an easy one. :)

nameless
12-12-2009, 04:28 AM
Of the theories posted on this thread so far, only 3 fit with the mechanics of how Binding works that have been introduced so far. I agree with Toss the Dice that any of these three are more likely than an explanation involving speculation about a brand-new trick that hasn't been revealed yet, simply because RJ favors planting concepts early on rather than revealing them at the last minute all deus-ex-machina. The three are:

1: Say something that is technically true, but misleading, such as "I do not serve the Black Ajah." We've seen Aes Sedai do this sort of thing since the first book. Based on what we saw of the purge among the rebel Hall, the Aes Sedai were allowed to choose their own phrasing while declaring their loyalty (Egwene's "I am not a Darkfriend" vs. Romanda's "I am not a Darkfriend and I never have been" - The Gathering Storm, Sealed to the Flame).
2: Say "I am not a Darkfriend" after managing to convince herself that she is on such a different level from the lowly Darkfriends that the term doesn't even apply to her. We've seen that mental gymnastics of this sort can effectively circumvent the Oaths; for example, Beonin was able to ignore her oath of fealty once she convinced herself Egwene wasn't Amyrlin any more.
3: Use an inverted weave as a glove to prevent the Oath Rod from coming into contact with the skin of her hand. Since the ter'angreal requires direct contact, an invisible glove would render it ineffective while still giving the appearance of going along with the Purge. We've never seen anyone do this before but the concept of ter'angreal that don't function without direct contact has been introduced several times.

Of course it is a assumed in the first two scenarios that Mesaana would later retrieve the Oath Rod on her own and unbind herself.

Terez
12-12-2009, 05:23 AM
Of the theories posted on this thread so far, only 3 fit with the mechanics of how Binding works that have been introduced so far. I agree with Toss the Dice that any of these three are more likely than an explanation involving speculation about a brand-new trick that hasn't been revealed yet, simply because RJ favors planting concepts early on rather than revealing them at the last minute all deus-ex-machina. The three are:

1: Say something that is technically true, but misleading, such as "I do not serve the Black Ajah." We've seen Aes Sedai do this sort of thing since the first book.
It's worth noting that the Hunters allowed this wording when they first met (and busted Talene) - none of them even seemed to consider it might not be a strong enough statement.

2: Say "I am not a Darkfriend" after managing to convince herself that she is on such a different level from the lowly Darkfriends that the term doesn't even apply to her. We've seen that mental gymnastics of this sort can effectively circumvent the Oaths; for example, Beonin was able to ignore her oath of fealty once she convinced herself Egwene wasn't Amyrlin any more.
And we've seen Lanfear, evidently not believing herself to be a Darkfriend:

TITLE - The Dragon Reborn
CHAPTER: 20 - Visitations

Selene shook her head as if she had heard his thoughts. "You are more important than you yet know. Certainly more important than these so-called Aes Sedai know. You can have glory, if you know enough not to trust them."

"You certainly sound as if you don't trust them." So-called? A thought came to him, but he could not manage to say it. "Are you a...? Are you...?" It was not the kind of thing you accused someone of.

"A Darkfriend?" Selene said mockingly. She sounded amused, not angered. She sounded contemptuous. "One of those pathetic followers of Ba'alzamon who think he will give them immortality and power? I follow no one. There is one man I could stand beside, but I do not follow."
Also, another reason why I think that these two options are by far the most likely: not only is there a ton of evidence for it in the books....it's one of the themes of the books. Egwene had a vision of doing away with the Oaths altogether, but the reality of the Aes Sedai attachment to those Oaths is what made her give in. In the end, the Oaths served to purge the Tower of the Black Ajah....but not the lone Forsaken in the Tower. The Hunters touch on the weakness of the Oaths:

TITLE - Winter's Heart
PROLOGUE: Snow

Pevara frowned. “Before we give her to Elaida, Saerin, I want to dig out as much as we can. Names, places, anything. Everything she knows!” Darkfriends had killed Pevara’s entire family, and Seaine was sure she would go into exile ready to hunt down every last Black sister personally.

Still huddled on the Chair, Talene made a sound, half bitter laugh, half weeping. “when you do that, we are all dead. Dead! Elaida is Black Ajah!”

“That’s impossible!” Seaine burst out. “Elaida gave me the order herself.”

“She must be,” Doesine half whispered. “Talene’s sworn the oaths again; she just named her!” Yukiri nodded vehemently.

“Use your heads,” Pevara growled, shaking her own in disgust. “You know as well as I do if you believe a lie, you can say it for truth.”
Egwene muses on the frustration, that no one really believes that Aes Sedai are bound by the Oaths, as she stands on the bank of the Erinin during the siege:

TITLE - Crossroads of Twilight
CHAPTER: 16 - The Subject of Negotiations

Just coming in sight around a point of land, five, six – no, seven – riverships were slicing furrows down the Erinin. Large vessels as such things were seen on the river, one with three masts, their triangular sails stood out tight, and their long sweeps cut hard through the blue-green water to add a little more speed. Everything about the craft spoke of a burning desire for speed, a desire to reach Tar Valon now! The river was deep enough here that ships could run within shouting distance of the banks in places, but these sailed in almost single file as close to the middle of the Erinin as the steersmen could manage and hold the wind. Sailors clinging to the mastheads kept watch along the shoreline, and not for mudbanks.

In fact, they had nothing at all to fear so long as they kept out of bowshot. True, from where she sat her horse, she could have set fire to every one of those ships, or simply cut holes through their hulls and let them sink. The work of moments. Yet doing so surely meant some of those aboard would drown. The currents were strong, the water like ice, and the swim to shore long, for those who actually could swim. Even one death would make what she did using the Power as a weapon. She was trying to live as though already bound by the Three Oaths, and the Oaths protected those vessels from her or any other sister. A sister who had sworn on the Oath Rod would not be able to make herself set those weaves, perhaps not even to form them, unless she could convince herself she was in immediate danger from the ships. But neither captains nor crews believed that, apparently.

As the riverships came closer, shouts thinned to threadbare by distance drifted across the water. The lookouts up on the masts pointed to her and Gareth, and it quickly became apparent they took her for an Aes Sedai with her Warder. Or at least, the captains were unwilling to take the chance she was not. After a moment, the beat of the sweeps increased. Only by a fraction, but the oarsmen labored to find that fraction. A woman on the quarterdeck of the lead vessel, likely the captain, waved her arms as if demanding still more effort, and a handful of men began running up and down the deck, tightening this line or loosening that to change the angle of the sails, though Egwene could not see that they achieved anything. There were men on those decks other than sailors, and most of those crowded to the railings, a handful raising looking glasses of their own. Some seemed to be measuring the distance left to cover before they reached the safety of the harbor.

She thought about weaving a flare, a starburst of light, perhaps with a loud bang, just above each of the vessels. That would certainly let anyone aboard with brains realize that neither speed nor distance kept them safe here, only a forbearance born of the Three Oaths. They should know that they were safe because of Aes Sedai.

Exhaling heavily, she shook her head and mentally upbraided herself. That simple weave would also attract attention in the city, certainly more than the appearance of a single sister. Sisters often came to the riverbank to stare at Tar Valon and the Tower. Even if the only reaction to her flares was some sort of counterdisplay, once begun, that sort of contest could be very difficult to put a stop to. Once begun, matters might well escalate out of hand. There were too many opportunities for that, as it was, the more so these last five days.
And later in the book, before she is captured, she shows that she is still determined at least to have Aes Sedai retire into the Kin, free of the Oaths:

TITLE - Crossroads of Twilight
CHAPTER: - What the Oath Rod Can Do

Romanda grimaced faintly at her tea as if after all it lacked sufficient honey. Or in disappointment that Egwene had not said more. The woman shifted on her stool with the air of a swords-woman setting herself for another attack, blade coming up. “The things you’ve said about the Kin, Mother. That there are over a thousand of them rather than a few dozen. That some are five or six hundred years old.” She shook her head over the impossibility. “How could all of that have escaped the Tower?” She was challenging, not asking a question.

“We only recently learned how many wilders there are among the Sea Folk,” Egwene replied gently. “And we still aren’t sure how many there really are.” Romanda’s grimace was not so small, this time. It had been the Yellow that first confirmed hundreds of Sea Folk wilders in Illian alone. First blow to Egwene.

One blow was not enough to finish Romanda, though. Or even to wound her very badly. “We will have to hunt them down, once our business is done here,” she said in grim tones. “Letting a few dozen remain in Ebou Dar and Tar Valon, just to help us trace runaways, was one thing, but we cannot allow a thousand wilders to remain… organized.” She put even more contempt into the word, into the idea of wilders organizing, than she did into the rest. Myrelle and Maigan were watching closely, listening. Maigan was even leaning forward, she was so intent. Neither knew more than the stories Egwene had spread, which everyone assumed came through Siuan’s eyes-and-ears.

“Well over a thousand,” Egwene corrected, “and not one a wilder. All women sent away from the Tower, except for a few runaways who evaded capture.” She did not raise her voice, but she made each point firmly, meeting Romanda’s gaze. “In any case, how do you propose to hunt them down? They are spread through every country, in every sort of occupation. Ebou Dar was the only place they ever gathered or met other than by chance, and all those fled when the Seanchan came. Since the Trolloc Wars, the Kin have allowed the Tower to know only what they wanted known. Two thousand years, hiding under the White Tower’s nose. Their numbers have grown while the Tower’s numbers dwindled. How do you propose to find them now, among all the wilders out there that the Tower has always ignored because they were ‘too old’ to become novices? Kinswomen don’t stand out in any way, Romanda. They use the Power almost as often as Aes Sedai, but they show age like anyone else, if more slowly. If they want to remain hidden, we will never be able to find them.” And that was several more blows for Egwene, with none taken. Romanda wore a faint sheen of sweat on her forehead, a sure sign of desperation in an Aes Sedai. Myrelle was sitting very still, but Maigan seemed about to fall off her stool onto her nose no matter how steady it was.

Romanda licked her lips. “If they channel, they would achieve the look. If they age, they cannot be channeling very often if at all. And neither way could they live five or six hundred years!” No more dissimulation, it seemed.

“There is only one real difference between Aes Sedai and the Kin,” Egwene said quietly. The words still seemed loud. Even Romanda appeared to be holding her breath. “They left the White Tower before they could swear on the Oath Rod.” There; it was in the open finally.

Romanda jerked as if she had taken a mortal blow. “You’ve not taken the Oaths yet,” she said hoarsely. “Do you mean to abandon them? To ask sisters to abandon them?” Myrelle or Maigan gasped. Perhaps both.

“No!” Egwene said sharply. “The Three Oaths are what make us Aes Sedai, and I will swear on the Oath Rod as soon as it is ours!” Drawing a deep breath, she modulated her tone. But she leaned toward the other woman, too, trying to draw her in, to include her. To convince her. She almost stretched out a hand. “As it is, sisters retire to spend their last years in quiet, Romanda. Wouldn’t it be better if those were not their last years? If sisters retired into the Kin, they could tie the Kin to the Tower. There would be no need for a futile hunt, then.” She had gone this far; she might as well go the last step. “The Oath Rod can unbind as well as bind.”

Maigan thudded to the carpets on her knees and scrambled up, brushing at her skirts as indignantly as if she had been pushed. Myrelle’s olive face looked a little pale.

Moving slowly, Romanda set her teacup on the edge of the writing table and stood, drawing her shawl around her. Expressionless, she stood staring down at Egwene while Theodrin settled her yellow-embroidered cloak on her shoulders, fastened the golden pin and arranged the folds as carefully as any lady’s maid. Only then did Romanda speak, in a voice like stone. “When I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming Aes Sedai. From the day I reached the White Tower, I tried to live as an Aes Sedai. I have lived as Aes Sedai, and I will die as Aes Sedai. This cannot be allowed!”

She turned smoothly to go, but she knocked over the stool she had been sitting on, apparently without noticing. Theodrin hurried out after her. With concern on her face, oddly enough.

“Mother?” Myrelle drew a deep breath, fingers plucking at her deep green skirts. “Mother, are you really suggesting…?” She trailed off, apparently unable to say it. Maigan sat on her stool as though forcing herself not to lean forward again.

“I have laid out the facts,” Egwene said calmly. “Any decision will be the Hall’s. Tell me, Daughter. Would you choose to die, when you could live and continue to serve the Tower?”

The Green sister and the Blue exchanged glances, then realized what they had done and snapped back to ignoring one another. Neither answered, but Egwene could almost see the thoughts churning behind their eyes. After a few moments, she got up and set the stool back upright. Even that failed to rouse them further than perfunctory apologies for making her see to that herself. Then they lapsed into silent reflection.
The chapter is titled 'What the Oath Rod Can Do', and there are a few things about the chapter besides this quoted portion that stand out:

1. The Asha'man, nearly equaling the Tower in numbers, are not bound by Oaths (this in reference to the deaths of Kairen, announced in this chapter, and Anaiya, who was killed previously).

2. The sisters and even Accepted refuse to acknowledge Faolain and Theodrin as Aes Sedai because they have not sworn the Oaths.

3. The Seanchan are also not bound by Oaths, and Egwene knows they plan on attacking the Tower. Few sisters believe her.

4. Romanda and Lelaine both do their best to manipulate Egwene in this chapter, despite the Oaths, and there are hints that knowledge of the ferrets has leaked from Egwene's inner circle - mostly Sheriam's circle - of sworn sisters.

5. The plan to turn the harbor chains to cuendillar was betrayed to the Tower, despite the Oaths (and we still don't know for certain that it was a Black who betrayed the plan, though of course it's likely).

Egwene is, at this point, at a stand-off concerning her ideas about binding Aes Sedai. She needs more ammunition to work with. Every little detail that shows to the Aes Sedai that the Oaths are less than perfect is helpful. While option 3 could also do that to an extent, options 1 and 2 are more likely, and make a more direct point about the weakness of the Oaths (which, while well-known to all fans, has still not been enough to help Egwene make her case against them).

Weird Harold
12-12-2009, 05:30 AM
I know WH sees the two parts as Brandon separating the "belief" theory to the Oaths ...

It's more that I see the "belief theory" as a "Well, DUH," fact of life. If that's the answer, then there is zero mystery involved because that mode of circumvention is well known and has been confirmed by both RJ and Brandon.

Terez
12-12-2009, 11:33 AM
We are talking about the guy who still pretends that it's a mystery whether or not Moiraine will be rescued. And refuses to confirm the identity of Cyndane....

lsm
12-14-2009, 04:28 PM
so it can be

an air glove, belief not to be a DF, assume the identity of a an AS that reswore..

well how about swearing not to be bound by any other oaths. oaths can clearly be piled onto someone, and these can then be contradicted, but i don't see how an oath that limits the amount of binding a binder can impose on someone to be out there.

in the AOL it seems that binders are used on criminals.. wouldnt it be fair to assume that AOL justice would limit the amount of punishment put on someone by restricting the binder to be used to pile oaths on someone

nameless
12-14-2009, 11:46 PM
Odds are that if someone used a binder to swear not to be bound by any further Oaths they would find themselves physically incapable of speaking any sort of promise while holding an active Oath Rod. Remember that the only thing affected by the Binding is the voluntary behavior of the person being Bound. The mechanics of how the Power flowed through the Oath Rod into the subject would not change no matter what they swore.

My money's on the "I am not a member of the Black Ajah" solution because it's simple and elegant, and because Egwene began to suspect that she'd missed something. If Mesaana's solution was something completely out of nowhere there'd be nothing to tip Egwene off. It only takes a little bit of hindsight for Egwene to realize that the language used in her Purge to specifically target Aes Sedai might have created a loophole for one of the Forsaken. "I am not a Darkfriend" seems less likely because it requires more work on Mesaana's part. Lanfear didn't consider herself a Darkfriend because she wanted to supplant the Dark One and become supreme ruler of all creation, but Mesaana lacks her ambition and would have to have gone to considerable effort to make herself believe, even temporarily, that she wasn't the Dark One's servant.

hippie-joe
12-15-2009, 12:16 AM
so it can be

an air glove, belief not to be a DF, assume the identity of a an AS that reswore..

well how about swearing not to be bound by any other oaths. oaths can clearly be piled onto someone, and these can then be contradicted, but i don't see how an oath that limits the amount of binding a binder can impose on someone to be out there.

in the AOL it seems that binders are used on criminals.. wouldnt it be fair to assume that AOL justice would limit the amount of punishment put on someone by restricting the binder to be used to pile oaths on someone

that is an interesting idea but they foreswore all previous oaths and thus the oath to not take any other oaths would not matter.

also on a side note, if that oath wasn't removed then it would just be that they wouldn't be able to voice the next oaths. they wouldn't be able to summon the words

GonzoTheGreat
12-15-2009, 05:17 AM
Lanfear didn't consider herself a Darkfriend because she wanted to supplant the Dark One and become supreme ruler of all creation, but Mesaana lacks her ambition and would have to have gone to considerable effort to make herself believe, even temporarily, that she wasn't the Dark One's servant.Not quite. Lanfear considered DFs to be Ishamael's followers, and she considered herself his equal, not his follower. She did think both of them were following the DO, though.

Whether or not this would work for Mesaana right now is a bit of a puzzle. On the one hand, she wasn't a DF when Lanfear denied being one; they all were Chosen at the time. But now Moridin has been elevated to yet greater depths*, it might or might not be the case that they count as DFs.

* Shadow hierarchies are not all that easy to describe using Light derived mataphors, I notice.

Jemlin
12-15-2009, 12:08 PM
3: Use an inverted weave as a glove to prevent the Oath Rod from coming into contact with the skin of her hand. Since the ter'angreal requires direct contact, an invisible glove would render it ineffective while still giving the appearance of going along with the Purge. We've never seen anyone do this before but the concept of ter'angreal that don't function without direct contact has been introduced several times.

Of course it is a assumed in the first two scenarios that Mesaana would later retrieve the Oath Rod on her own and unbind herself.

This is what I am personally believing is more likely. I think Mesaana might assume it was a little too dangerous to re-word the oaths in front of other sisters, especially when they were on a hyper purging rage. It might have been easier just to have an inverted weave designed to counter the application of the Oaths. I don't recall any of the POV's claiming to have delved afterwards to make sure the Oaths were applied, so she shouldn't have the fear of such discovery.

Terez
12-15-2009, 12:54 PM
Who says she re-worded the Oaths?

Jemlin
12-15-2009, 01:52 PM
Who says she re-worded the Oaths?

Maybe it wasn't brought up in these forums, but the inconsistency of the Oaths as said by different Aes Sedai through out the books was brought up. It was assumed that each Aes Sedai might word them slightly differently...and that Mesaana might also word the Oaths in such a way as she would not be bound the same. I think its bogus.

Marie Curie 7
12-15-2009, 02:43 PM
Also, another reason why I think that these two options are by far the most likely: not only is there a ton of evidence for it in the books....it's one of the themes of the books. Egwene had a vision of doing away with the Oaths altogether, but the reality of the Aes Sedai attachment to those Oaths is what made her give in. In the end, the Oaths served to purge the Tower of the Black Ajah....but not the lone Forsaken in the Tower. The Hunters touch on the weakness of the Oaths:

And we get even more evidence for these options in TGS. For example, the hunters discovered yet another weakness of using oaths to bind sisters into obedience when we saw that Meidani was able to get around her fourth oath just by showing Egwene instead of telling Egwene.

Egwene is, at this point, at a stand-off concerning her ideas about binding Aes Sedai. She needs more ammunition to work with. Every little detail that shows to the Aes Sedai that the Oaths are less than perfect is helpful. While option 3 could also do that to an extent, options 1 and 2 are more likely, and make a more direct point about the weakness of the Oaths (which, while well-known to all fans, has still not been enough to help Egwene make her case against them).

Yeah, she is at a stand-off. But most of the Aes Sedai don't know yet that the Oaths shorten the life span, though, so that's something at least, and although that knowledge didn't stop Romanda from freaking out, it at least appeared to make Myrelle and Maigan think a little.

And in TGS we also see more from Egwene and Nynaeve about not needing the Oath Rod to be honest (I love this little bit with Elaida):

TITLE: Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 16 - In The White Tower

"The Seanchan are not working for Rand," Egwene said. "And they are a severe danger to the White Tower. I have spread no lies. To say otherwise would be to betray the Three Oaths."

"You haven't taken the Three Oaths," Elaida said sternly, turning toward her.

"I have," Egwene said. "I've held no Oath Rod, but it isn't the Rod that makes my words true. I have spoken the words of the oaths in my heart, and to me they are more dear, for I have nothing forcing me to hold to them. And by that oath holding me, I tell you again. I am a Dreamer, and I have Dreamed that the Seanchan will attack the White Tower."

Egwene said this in front of the Sitters who were present, too, so she planted a little seed for future consideration, perhaps. And Nynaeve's thoughts reinforce this same notion:

TITLE: Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 32 - Rivers of Shadow

"Your name is Loral, is it not?" Nynaeve asked.

The dosun nodded warily.

"You are aware that Aes Sedai do not lie?"

The housekeeper nodded again. Most Aes Sedai couldn't lie, though Nynaeve technically could, since she hadn't held the Oath Rod. That was part of what earned her a lesser status in the eyes of the others. Undeservedly so. The Oath Rod was only a formality; Two Rivers folk needed no ter'angreal to make them honest.

"Then you will believe me when I tell you that I do not suspect you personally of having done anything wrong. I just need your help."

So I think that change will come eventually, and the Oaths will be done away with for good. And perhaps other changes will come, too, to Aes Sedai organization and hierarchy (which was also hinted at in TGS, as it has been previously).

Terez
12-15-2009, 04:22 PM
Maybe it wasn't brought up in these forums, but the inconsistency of the Oaths as said by different Aes Sedai through out the books was brought up.
Yeah, I know (and if you are following the Dragonmount thread, then you can see I've posted in it quite a bit). But I don't think that's how Mesaana beat the Oath Rod, and I don't think anyone here has suggested it.

Solmancer
12-26-2009, 12:55 AM
Just thought I'd chime in on one, semi-unrelated point:

Semirhage likely fled binding because they most certainly would have made sure that the binding STUCK in the Age of Legends. Can you really believe they would allow for any chance of it not working? :) This also brings up the question of how they would have coerced Semirhage to be bound (use Compulsion to make her do it?), had that sentence been carried out.

Lastly, who says you have to hold the Oath Rod in your hand for it to work? For all we know, it just needs contact with your skin to do it. And on that note, does the wielder need to be the one to speak the binding words, or can someone supply them? And so on and so on.

lbeefus
12-26-2009, 02:04 AM
I haven't seen mention of the TP as a way to defeat the oath-rod. For the most part, any solution using the TP would be the same as an inverted weave, but using the TP, she could channel in front of the other Aes Sedai, right? Maybe one could interfere with the spirit channel?

Bonzi77
12-26-2009, 10:07 AM
Yeah, I know (and if you are following the Dragonmount thread, then you can see I've posted in it quite a bit). But I don't think that's how Mesaana beat the Oath Rod, and I don't think anyone here has suggested it.

I suggested it in one of the earlier threads on the topic, but I've since dropped the idea as others seem more likely to me.

Yuri33
12-26-2009, 04:02 PM
The only Forsaken with access to the TP currently is Moridin. There's no evidence Mesaana would ever be given such access, especially after her failure in keeping the WT divided.

Sephy-Stabbity
12-31-2009, 10:34 PM
So I came up with this one was Mesaana could have gotten past the oaths, and then I searched around and found out that there were some forums outside of theoryland that were discussing a similar idea. So I thought I'd post it on her :P

So, as far as i know, the exact wording of the three oaths is

1. Under the Light, I vow to speak no word that is not true.
2. Under the Light, I vow never to make a weapon for one man to kill another.
3.Under the Light, I vow not to use the One Power as a weapon, except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last defence of my life, the life of my Warder, or that of another Sister.

The oaths could be interpreted as only binding as long as you are "under the Light." However, if Mesaana is a Forsaken she has well, forsaken the light right? She's under the dark. So I was wondering, could that be a way for Darkfriends to get past the oath rod?

epic
01-01-2010, 12:34 AM
So I came up with this one was Mesaana could have gotten past the oaths, and then I searched around and found out that there were some forums outside of theoryland that were discussing a similar idea. So I thought I'd post it on her :P

So, as far as i know, the exact wording of the three oaths is

1. Under the Light, I vow to speak no word that is not true.
2. Under the Light, I vow never to make a weapon for one man to kill another.
3.Under the Light, I vow not to use the One Power as a weapon, except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last defence of my life, the life of my Warder, or that of another Sister.

The oaths could be interpreted as only binding as long as you are "under the Light." However, if Mesaana is a Forsaken she has well, forsaken the light right? She's under the dark. So I was wondering, could that be a way for Darkfriends to get past the oath rod?

You could be onto something

Although that also could be interpreted as "with the light as my witness" instead of how you meant it

GonzoTheGreat
01-01-2010, 06:21 AM
Yeah, but an important point with the Oaths seems to be that they work on how the one who is bound by them means them. Which could indeed get Mesaana off the hook quite neatly.

Weird Harold
01-01-2010, 03:06 PM
The oaths could be interpreted as only binding as long as you are "under the Light."

The Oath Rod imposes a tangible, literal, binding "into the target's bones" so the swearing of three Oaths is still going to cap the target's lifespan at about half of a normal lifespan, which the Forsaken viewpoints all agree is "A Thing To Be Avoided."

It wouldn't matter if the Oath was "I vow to protect Fairies from Technology," and two other meaningless statements, the Binding is still going to happen and lifespan is still going to be capped.

Getting around the Oaths once they're sworn is no big deal. We've known that almost since the beginning of the series -- "The Truth an Aes Sedai speaks isn't always the Truth you hear." If weasel-wording is the ansswer to "defeating the Oath Rod" then there is not, and never has been, any mystery.

Nordt
01-05-2010, 07:22 PM
The Black sisters in the tower got some notice, so Mesaana had some time to prepare. The rod was obviously NOT easy to beat in the Age of Legends as it was used a punishment. So any weakness must be something that Egwene did NOT check when using the rods.

Maybe they were not shielded when taking the Oaths, Romanda was not shielded when holding swearing in TGS. An it is not clear if she held the source, or if she channeled into the rod herself.

If they channeled into the rod themselves, Mesaana could easily get away with some reverse-weave trickery to disrupt it.

If they were not allowed to hold the source, but were not shielded, Mesaana could theoretically circumvent it using the true power. But we know only Moridin is allowed to use it.

If she were shielded, she got someone else to swear in her stead, using compulsion and illusions. How do we know that Mesaana does not keep the sister she is impersonating around in some cellar?

If she were shielded, maybe she possessed some ter'angreal that negated the effects of the rod, this seems like a cheap way of doing it, author-wise.

Or, if she were shielded, she used some mind trick to make her believe that she was not a darkfriend. But Brandons statement makes this seem unlikely.


To me, sending someone to swear in her stead seems the most likely

Zombie Sammael
01-11-2010, 04:58 PM
Hiya, first post.

I was trying to think up another way of defeating the Oath ROD, as opposed to the oaths themselves. What I came up with was swearing additional oaths. Presumably, if one were to swear conflicting oaths, there would have to be some order of precedence, i.e. "I swear not to betray the Black Ajah", if sworn first, would defeat "I swear to speak no word that is not true" allowing the swearer to lie in order to not betray the BA.

Mesaana could potentially get around the un-swearing and re-swearing by simply using a different oath rod for the first oath. I'm not sure if oaths sworn on a different binder can be removed by any binder. It may be something to do with the rank/numbering of the binder, as evidenced on the numerous different ones used.

That sounds to me like a way of defeating the oath rod rather than simply defeating the oath.

GonzoTheGreat
01-11-2010, 05:56 PM
Cute. I don't think it would work, but it is definitely a very cute solution.

Sukoto
01-11-2010, 08:02 PM
There has been a lot of bickering about what BS meant exactly when he told us to look for a way to get around the oaths/oath rod. People repeat themselves a lot and don't always articulate their ideas perfectly on the fly, and you can always get bogged down in semantics. My suggestion: don't get hung up on "oaths vs. oath rod." BS may not have even meant to imply anything by using two different terms. You can only find out by asking him again.

I'm with Nameless, my money is on the "I am not Black Ajah" solution. It's the simplest and most plausible.

Mesaana is smart, so she probably didn't even blink at the prospect of taking the oaths. She knew that she could do it without revealing herself, then remove the oaths soon after. All she had to do was say "I am not Black Ajah." A simple fact. No real convincing involved. Add that to Egwene's worry about missing something, and this explanation holds up quite well.

Luckers
01-12-2010, 04:08 AM
I was trying to think up another way of defeating the Oath ROD, as opposed to the oaths themselves. What I came up with was swearing additional oaths. Presumably, if one were to swear conflicting oaths, there would have to be some order of precedence, i.e. "I swear not to betray the Black Ajah", if sworn first, would defeat "I swear to speak no word that is not true" allowing the swearer to lie in order to not betray the BA.

No, we see what happens with contradictory Oaths in tPoD when Pevara commands Zerah to say the story of the Reds setting up Logain was a lie (Zerah was bound to both obey Pevara and to not speak a lie). The result was she choked--and likely would have choked to death had not Pevara told her she needn't lie.

Casabamelon
01-12-2010, 01:10 PM
Edit: Disregard. Misread original post.
________
Og Kush Seeds (http://marijuanaseeds.org/)

Tercel
01-12-2010, 04:45 PM
This also brings up the question of how they would have coerced Semirhage to be bound (use Compulsion to make her do it?), had that sentence been carried out.Semirhage tells us the answer to that question early in LoC: "They had offered her a choice that was no choice: To be Bound and never know her pleasures again, or to be severed - cast out as Aes Sedai. They were rational men and women, they had expected her to accept the binding. She had been one of the first to go to Shayol Ghul."

ie If she refused to bind herself, they would Still/Sever her.

If they channeled into the rod themselves, Mesaana could easily get away with some reverse-weave trickery to disrupt it.I think this is a very good idea. If they were channeling themselves into the rod, it takes only a little trickery to have the flow of Spirit not-quite-touching the rod, or some other weaving trickery.

Sukoto
01-14-2010, 12:57 AM
I just thought of something. Didn't all the AS un-swear their oaths before reswearing? Mesaana must have found a way around that part, since we know from Talene's experience that she couldn't have hidden the affects of unbinding herself from her oaths to the DO. Were they required to foreswear all oaths, or just "The Three Oaths"?

nategator
01-14-2010, 02:12 AM
Why not a weave that creates an illusion of another weave while channeling? We know that they can maintain a face and even body illusions (Semi = Fake Tuon). Also, Mes usually has an illusion around her when talking to BA. So why not an illusion that is person is channeling through the oath rod? The people would "see" the fake weaves and feel the use of the OP, just not for what they think. Inverted weaves might have to be used to create the entire illusion maybe, but then you would need to fake the channeling feel as well, so it would make more sense if it's a straight up use of the OP. The weaves just look different.

As to why we have never seen a FS use this weave...well, when would have it been useful? Seems that it would be helpful, however, for someone trying to teach channeling...Nice bit of irony if Mes was saved by a weave she had mastered during her teaching days.

Easy, no pesky 1/2 lifespan, no need to get the rod back to take the oaths off or tell the truth, and you do not have to eat anyone.

nameless
01-14-2010, 03:14 AM
I just thought of something. Didn't all the AS un-swear their oaths before reswearing? Mesaana must have found a way around that part, since we know from Talene's experience that she couldn't have hidden the affects of unbinding herself from her oaths to the DO. Were they required to foreswear all oaths, or just "The Three Oaths"?

Mesaana swore her oaths to the Dark One in the Pit of Doom while communing with His Presence. I'd guess it takes something a great deal more powerful than the Oath Rod to release her from that. Her biggest problem in unswearing the Oaths is that she never actually used the binder in the first place so she'd need to fake the accompanying discomfort, but that should not have been too hard since she could just watch the Aes Sedai ahead of her and simulate whatever gasping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, etc. they underwent when it was her turn.

Zombie Sammael
01-14-2010, 03:34 PM
No, we see what happens with contradictory Oaths in tPoD when Pevara commands Zerah to say the story of the Reds setting up Logain was a lie (Zerah was bound to both obey Pevara and to not speak a lie). The result was she choked--and likely would have choked to death had not Pevara told her she needn't lie.

Ah, dammit, I had forgotten about that - it was this time last year when I reread.

Then again, we don't yet know the significance of the numbering on the oath rods, save that there's a large gap between the WT rod (number three) and Pevara's (number one hundred and something). Maybe if Mesaana somehow had access to number one or two the consequences would be different. Perhaps the numbering indicates an order of precedence, i.e. conflicting oaths sworn on higher numbered rods take precedence while on lower they cause choking.

That, of course, is pure wild speculation - the numbers could just as easily be the day they were made or the makers favourite numbers or part of the recipe for chocolate cake!

I do agree with those that say the salient part of BS's "hint" is defeating the oath rod rather than just the oaths. I don't think Mesaana would particularly wish to be bound to make no weapon with which one man may kill another, or not use the OP as a weapon except against the Shadow, any more than she would want to bound against lying. I should point out that the lifespan reduction should be of no consequence to the Chosen, however; they have eternal life thanks to the DO anyway, and half of eternity is still eternity.

I think "defeating" may also be a key point. Not evading; defeating. Using a "glove of air" seems like an evasion rather than a defeat. Mesaana needs to be able to beat the rod somehow, for the reasons stated above.

Sukoto
01-15-2010, 02:06 PM
Mesaana swore her oaths to the Dark One in the Pit of Doom while communing with His Presence. I'd guess it takes something a great deal more powerful than the Oath Rod to release her from that. Her biggest problem in unswearing the Oaths is that she never actually used the binder in the first place so she'd need to fake the accompanying discomfort, but that should not have been too hard since she could just watch the Aes Sedai ahead of her and simulate whatever gasping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, etc. they underwent when it was her turn.

I really don't buy any idea of 'precedence' when it comes to the oath rod. If the Black Ajah's oaths can be undone with the oath rod, the Forsaken's oaths can, too. Remember, Rand cut Asmodean off from the DO using the OP. It makes sense that the Oath Rod can unbind the Forsaken's oaths to the DO. Of course Mesaana could fake being unbound from The Three Oaths, but she would had to have spoken words like, "I release myself from the Three Oaths." If she had said, "I release myself from all oaths," then she would not have been able to stop herself from screaming.

Terez
01-15-2010, 03:30 PM
When they are released of Oaths, it only affects those taken on the binder. Mesaana's oaths to the Dark One were not made on a binder, so she couldn't release herself from them using a binder. I don't think that she is even connected to the Dark One like you suggest; that connection was only Asmodean's protection from the taint on saidin, according to RJ.

nameless
01-15-2010, 05:11 PM
I really don't buy any idea of 'precedence' when it comes to the oath rod. If the Black Ajah's oaths can be undone with the oath rod, the Forsaken's oaths can, too. Remember, Rand cut Asmodean off from the DO using the OP. It makes sense that the Oath Rod can unbind the Forsaken's oaths to the DO. Of course Mesaana could fake being unbound from The Three Oaths, but she would had to have spoken words like, "I release myself from the Three Oaths." If she had said, "I release myself from all oaths," then she would not have been able to stop herself from screaming.

The Oath Rod can be used to remove Oaths sworn on the Rod. There's no reason to think it would have any effect whatsoever on any other oaths any more than it would affect Compulsions, Warder Bonds or anything else completely unrelated to Binding. You're getting confused because the Black Ajah used to Oath Rod to swear their oaths to the Shadow. If they unBound themselves it would indeed remove those Oaths and hurt like hell in the process. The Forsaken would not be able to release themselves with the Oath Rod because they were never bound by the Oath Rod in the fist place.

Sukoto
01-15-2010, 05:58 PM
When they are released of Oaths, it only affects those taken on the binder. Mesaana's oaths to the Dark One were not made on a binder, so she couldn't release herself from them using a binder. I don't think that she is even connected to the Dark One like you suggest; that connection was only Asmodean's protection from the taint on saidin, according to RJ.

Out of curiosity, are there any quotes that support what you say about oaths and binders?

I wasn't suggesting that Mesaana was connected to the DO in the same way as Asmodean. The reference was meant to illustrate how the One Power can be used to undo what the Dark One can do, so there is no reason to believe that oaths to the Dark One are too powerful to be undone using the oath rod, or that they somehow take precedence and are not affected by the oath rod. Mesaana may not be connected to the DO in the same way as Asmodean was, but there must be a connection. Otherwise, how could Shaidar Haran know her exact location to just pop in on her like that? He only seems to do that to the Chosen. It strongly suggests a connection. And because we know that the Chosen have all 'sworn to the Great Lord', it makes sense that Mesaana would be connected or bound to the DO in some way by an oath.

And what is the explanation for Talene? Do you think the Black Ajah oaths are taken on an oath rod? Verin didn't mention anything about swearing her oaths to the DO on an oath rod. It seems like she would have mentioned it if she had. All she said was that they were quite binding when placed on one who can channel. Also, IIRC, Verin wasn't sure if the oath rod would undo her oath to the DO or not, also further suggesting that it probably wasn't made on an oath rod. We know Talene was released from her oath to the DO using the oath rod. She was able to reveal her secrets before the hour of her death. It might be possible, though it doesn't seem likely, that the BA oaths are taken on an oath rod. I don't recall reading anything in the books to that effect. But we do know they can be undone using an oath rod. And the effect is very painful.

Neilbert
01-15-2010, 07:08 PM
Yes, Black Ajah swear Oaths on the Oath rod. This is why they too get the ageless look. I don't care to look it up to answer such an uninteresting question, but other Black Ajah have thought to themselves about forsaking the three Oaths and replacing them with a new trinity.

The oaths that the Forsaken swear to the Dark One are sworn in person at Shayol Ghul, and have nothing to do with the Oath Rod.

The oaths that normal darkfriends swear to the Dark One that remove certain protections and give the mark seen by Fain are apparently as simple as just swearing to serve the Dark One, and can be done anywhere, and also have nothing to do with the Oath Rod.