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deathjester
03-10-2010, 12:31 AM
A) Channeler from this age who was taught by a half-caught Ishmael in anticipation of the Dragon Reborn.

Argument against? His "So called Aiel" comment. If people in the Two Rivers know about the Aiel, I think people in Saldea would as well. Perhaps he was programmed by Ishmael or under his control.

B) Ishmael/Moridin himself. People have pointed out the color preference similarity. Strength in the OP is right under Rand, but Taim wasn't taxing himself when asked to hold as much of the one power as he could. The Dragon Reborn is the strongest for the light side. It doesn't make sense that Taim would be as strong. Taim has knowledge of the Age of Legends like he has been there (the Aiel comment).

Argument against? Timeline could be argued, but it could fit with a ressurected Ishmael. In this case Ishmael would be impersonating Taim. The real Taim is dead and Ishmael raped his memories. Wouldn't Saa be visible in his eyes? Would the mask of mirrors prevent this from being seen? He would have to be using the mask of mirrors to look like Taim. Not impossible, Moghedian lived among the Aes Sedai doing so. Is Ishadin capable of masquerading as Taim at this point? Or is he too damn crazy. He would also be getting sick using the one power, and he is seen exclusively using the True Power.

C) Taim is a good guy turned bad when he was freed by Black Ajah. Taim has moments where he can appear that he actually wants to help Rand. He also has moments where he is about to lose it in anger.

Arguments against? How does he have knowledge of the Age of Legends? Damn that Aiel comment! He would have had to have a Forsaken teacher and been programmed. Perhaps this was Demandred's assignment from Book 6. In this case Demandred and not Ishmael would most likely be behind Taim.

D) Taim was a newer Forsaken/channeler not known to the populous yet, who was trapped with the other Forsaken. He had not (in the Age of Legends) performed deeds that would earn him the infamy of the other Forsaken. This would explain his knowlege of the Age of Legends, Saidin, protection from madness.

Argument against. Timeline doesn't fit. Why doesn't he look like Aginor and Balthamel, who were freed early, but felt the passage of time?

E) Taim is somehow reborn, and can talk to his Age of Legends personage like Rand talks to Lews Therin.

Argument Against? For him to have had conversations and vivid memories, he would most likely have went crazy by the time he meets up with Rand. Voices are mentioned by Cadsuane, and later Semirhage. While no other Ashaman have admitted to this, it could be possible I guess. How could he avoid going crazy though, unless he had the same protection the other Forsaken have?

F) Taim was a darkfriend put into (or put himself into) a Stasis Box in the Age of Legends, and was released in this age.

Argument Against? Has anyone ever asked Robert Jordan if this was even possible?

Anyways, anything I've missed? Would gladly welcome more insight or ideas. If I had to pick right now, I would go with A or B.

Terez
03-10-2010, 01:09 AM
...anything I've missed?
Only this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_Razor).

reTaardad
03-10-2010, 01:25 AM
A) Channeler from this age who was taught by a half-caught Ishmael in anticipation of the Dragon Reborn.
Sounds good on paper, but I doubt Ishamael cares about anyone except himself, the Dark One, and the Dragon.

B) Ishmael/Moridin himself. People have pointed out the color preference similarity. Strength in the OP is right under Rand, but Taim wasn't taxing himself when asked to hold as much of the one power as he could. The Dragon Reborn is the strongest for the light side. It doesn't make sense that Taim would be as strong. Taim has knowledge of the Age of Legends like he has been there (the Aiel comment).
Since Taim is regularly seen at the school and teaching, I doubt Ishamael could pull this off unless he cloned himself. Also, I think I read somewhere that Ishamael/Moridin and Lews Therin/Rand were equal in strength.

C) Taim is a good guy turned bad when he was freed by Black Ajah. Taim has moments where he can appear that he actually wants to help Rand. He also has moments where he is about to lose it in anger.
This makes sense, but it's completely devoid of shock factor, i.e. boring. :p

D) Taim was a newer Forsaken/channeler not known to the populous yet, who was trapped with the other Forsaken. He had not (in the Age of Legends) performed deeds that would earn him the infamy of the other Forsaken. This would explain his knowlege of the Age of Legends, Saidin, protection from madness.
However unlikely to be true, this is cool. It seems legitimate that the Shadow would be scrambling to promote some peons when their side was losing. But the effect that time had on Balthamel and Aginor wouldn't necessarily affect him, they just happened to be trapped closer to the surface than anyone else.

E) Taim is somehow reborn, and can talk to his Age of Legends personage like Rand talks to Lews Therin.
Meh. Besides, didn't tGS prove that Lews Therin's voice isn't real? Or was it the other way around? I wasn't really paying attention to what the latest consensus was.

F) Taim was a darkfriend put into (or put himself into) a Stasis Box in the Age of Legends, and was released in this age.
Putting yourself into a stasis box seems the same as picking yourself up by your own collar. :confused:

Now, about that Aiel comment. It's really tempting to point to that and say that it's proof, but it could have been a red herring just like Taim's hook-nose and hatred of Rand was suppose to lead us to believe in Taimandred. Personally, I think it's just something he said. But if the comment does matter, then it makes A, B, and D more likely. I'll cross my fingers for D.

I think one of the most curious things about Taim involves the seal that he gave to Rand. If Taim is a Darkfriend, which we are lead to believe, would he have really given the seal to Rand? If so, does he know somehow that it won't matter in the long run, except to curry favor from Rand? Even more shocking, is it possible that the seal is fake?

reTaardad
03-10-2010, 01:34 AM
Only this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_Razor).

As the Italian proverb goes: "Even if it's not right, it's sounds pretty damn cool."

Something like that.

GonzoTheGreat
03-10-2010, 04:52 AM
Argument against? His "So called Aiel" comment.Once again, for the umptieth time:

Taim knows the Old Tongue quite well. That should be obvious from all the fancy terms he keeps inventing. So he knows that Aiel means "dedicated". Thus, if he uses "so called Aiel" while questioning the dedication of those Aiel, then he is really talking about the supposed dedication of the so called dedicated.

Compare the following:
And 'Aiel'. 'Dedicated,' in the Old Tongue. Stronger than that; it implies an oath written into your bones. I have often wondered what the Aiel are dedicated to.Now, it is of course possible that Moiraine is Ishamael too. We've never seen Moiraine and Taim together. Suspicious, that, neh?

deathjester
03-10-2010, 10:34 PM
As the Italian proverb goes: "Even if it's not right, it's sounds pretty damn cool."

Something like that.

Yeah I'm finally rereading the series, up to book 6. I have no idea what this "thing in books 4-6" is. Nothing really stood out in Books 4-5 that looks like it hasn't been discussed at one time or another.

The stasis box thing was the very last thing I could think of lol. I would actually be dissapointed if this was the case. It would be a funny question to ask the author though.

On my first read I thought Taim was a student of a freed Ishmael, due to the timeline. Alot of people seem to have him as a pet of Demandred, but I think Demandred is involved in Seanchen.

I never understood why people could think Semirhage could handle everything in the Seanchen mainland all by herself. It isn't a smaller nation like in the mainland of the story. She would be detected channeling there. When Aviendha gated there, she had Suldam and Damane there within hours. Semirhage could hide the ability to channel, but not channeling itself.

It always made sense to me that Seanchen is SO big (as big as the main continent in the story) that it would need multiple Forsaken to control/manipulate. That and Demandred could channel and use compulsion without detection. He could kill the Empress without detection. Then add that to the alliance Demandred has always had with Semirhage. Shara? I think maybe he could be gathering "damane" there, but I don't think that is where he is.

Anyways before the reread I thought Taim a student of Ishmael. I just read about Taim using compulsion on Bashere's men before Demandred would have had time to train him. So I'm pretty sure Ishmael is involved. You can't just train a Forsaken in a day.

What I'm looking for is evidence in my reread that shows how Taim could have had knowledge of the Age of Legends, as if he has been there.

I'm starting to lean towards Taim actually being Ishadin. The quote by the other Forsaken that he is more in control of himself, but madder then ever. This could fit with Taim. Taim seems in control, but he starting shaking with rage when talking with Rand.

I'm just finding it harder and harder to believe that Taim is a student. Also the strength thing with Taim not being as strong as Rand. Rand says he Taim was close to his strength, but that Taim did not appear as if he was straining himself when Rand told him to hold as much of the power as he could. He could have been holding back. I think this may be a clue that it is Ishmael.

I remember Ishadin saying that he was playing both sides while looking at a game board. Whether he is doing this through a puppet Taim, or is Taim himself, I'm not sure. Right now I'm leaning towards Taim being Ishadin. It could change in the reread, but Taim just appears to know too much about the Age of Legends.

So-called Aiel, no surprise at a Gateway, refusal to wear rank medals. If he was a puppet, why wouldn't he wear them? He doesn't want to look like he is opposing Rand does he?

Also Lews Therin goes off around Taim. Lews Therin seems to recognize forsaken. RJ had him rage about Demandred to throw us off the trail, but maybe it could be a clue that Taim is a Forsaken.

The only argument against Taim being Ishmael that I can think of, is his madness/sickness using Saidin. We really haven't seen (or I don't remember from the first read) if Taim and Rand have seen eachother face to face and channeled since the "crossed steams", have we? I can't remember if the scene with Rand killing the mad Ashaman was before or after that, or the scene with the Traitor's tree. Maybe someone could comment on that.

What if...Taim's body was taken by the Black Ajah, maybe Demandred even helped (gated the body to the Dark One), and it was used for a reincarnated Ishmael. Maybe Moridin's appearance is actually the mask of mirrors. This may explain Ishmael's access to Taim's memories. Maybe Ishmael/Dark One planned the whole thing. Taught Taim so that he wouldn't go crazy, accepted that he (Ishmael) would die with his old body, but would be reincarnated with Taim's body, which would allow him to infiltrate/lead Rand's male channelers. The only thing the Dark one didn't see in this was the crossed steams, which will cause Ishmael to turn to the light! Ok maybe I'm grasping at straws now lol. Would be pretty damn cool though!

nameless
03-11-2010, 12:54 AM
I never understood why people could think Semirhage could handle everything in the Seanchen mainland all by herself. It isn't a smaller nation like in the mainland of the story. She would be detected channeling there. When Aviendha gated there, she had Suldam and Damane there within hours. Semirhage could hide the ability to channel, but not channeling itself.

It always made sense to me that Seanchen is SO big (as big as the main continent in the story) that it would need multiple Forsaken to control/manipulate.

The difference between Avi and Semi is that Semirhage knew how to reverse weaves as well as invert them (for a refresher course on the difference check Cyndane's section from the Cleansing. A reversed weave is completely invisible even while it's in the middle of being woven). It's not only possible that she could have channeled without detection but proven that she did channel without detection. Reread the end of Knife of Dreams and you'll see her maintaining a saidar-based disguise while surrounded by sul'dam and damane who had no idea she was doing anything with the Power.

The Seanchan empire is big but it's also organized with a single centralized command authority. The Empress can single-handedly control the entire continent, which means that all Semirhage had to do was control the Empress. Her plan was to use her "Anath" disguise to beat Tuon into compliance and then assassinate the Empress and install Tuon as her replacement. When that fell through she tried a variation of the same theme using Suroth instead of Tuon which probably would have worked if not for Mat's interference.

ckparrothead
03-11-2010, 04:51 PM
I'm going with the Dreadlord angle.

Weren't there male and female Dreadlords during the Trolloc Wars?

I doubt the Shadow would just forsake male channelers as a potential resource for the War to come.

But in order to claim those resources, what would you have to do? You would have to gather men that could channel, give them protection from the taint, and send them out trying "recruit" other men that could channel.

Taim talks about how he's tested a bunch of men for ability to channel. He may have only found four or something like that, but that's not that surprising. The Dragon may have shaken a ton of acorns out of the tree pattern-wise, but before that it was very rare to come across women who could channel and even more rare to come across men who could channel. Not to mention how do you even get a man to agree to the test when it's in essence asking a guy if he might like to find out if he's fit to be a baby killer?

I think it just sort of makes sense that they find a guy that can channel, if he's willing to come to the Shadow, he's gold. You baby that kind of guy, you teach him, because you need him to get out there and find some more, recruit some male Dreadlords for the final battle. Would explain why he would channel openly, claiming to be the Dragon Reborn, as it would give him better opportunity to find people who could channel and would be willing to do so. After all, if the Dragon Reborn is doing it...

Not to mention ultimately he came for the Amnesty to try and weasel his way into the Black Tower once he sawt hat Rand was basically doing what he has been ordered to do. Recruiting is 100x easier as the M'Hael, and obviously he's had no issues turning a bunch of the Asha'Man over to the Shadow with him.

And I agree that if he knows the Old Tongue and was taught things by someone from the Age of Legends, then just out of a teacher-student thing he'd say something like these so-called Aiel.

Luckers
03-12-2010, 06:17 AM
I'm a fan of the Taim=Third Ager and New Chosen.

Third Age—New Chosen Theory

Essentially this theory states that Taim was born a Third Age man, was trained by Ishamael before being sent out to train other darkfriends in preparation for Tarmon Gai'don. It then goes on to suggest that in light of his success he has been raised full Chosen by Shaidar Haren--possibly with or without Moridin's knowledge. I will try to go through this as methodically as possible because it touches on a number of seperate points, so please bear with me as i struggle. Lol.

The Origins of Mazrim Taim

Ok, ignoring the suggestions that he is Be'lal or Moridin--I'm sure we all know the arguments for and against there--lets assume Taim is who he says he is. According to RJ he is 28 years of age in LoC, and the earliest a man can spark is 18*. This means that currently Taim has been channeling a minimum of 6 years and a maximum of around 11 years (a year has passed since LoC).

We also know something of what he was doing during the time prior to his announcing himself Dragon 2 years ago--he says that he found five men over the years who could channel, though the only one who had the courage to go beyond the training went mad after 2 years. That two years, along with the comment of 'over the years' plus the 2 years after he announced himself Dragon is why i set up the 6 year minimum, though in truth i believe it to be longer.

Now even 6 years is a long time for Taim not to be showing signs of the Taint--both the mental instability, and the physical rotting. Its not impossible of course, and some suggest that Taim's emotional instability and hubris might be a form of highly functional insanity, but even so, it seems a long time.

This is what i suggest. Around fifteen or sixteen years ago we know that Ishamael was in one of his free cycles (he personally physically forced Jarna Milari into the ter'angreal that killed her) and that he knew at the time that the Dragon Reborn had been born, and that Tarmon Gai'don was fast approaching. At this time I believe that he set out to gather channelers--beginning by testing and training men himself directly (and probably having women trained as well, Liandrin certainly infers as much in tFoH), and then setting them to go out and train men.

Why do I believe Taim is one such? For starters we know that Ishamael did it before, during the Trolloc Wars, so it makes sense that he would do it again. Secondly we have Taim's mannerisms--comments like 'so-called Aiel', the use of the lightning bolt sigil favoured by Sammael and Be'lal, the colouring of the tiles, the use of the Lord of Chaos comment--all of which imply, since we are assuming here that he is not a recycled Chosen, significant long term exposure to the Forsaken and their mannerisms.

Beyond which he actually states it, he says he found five men--he claims only one of those men went beyond the testing, and that man went mad in two years, yet this almost certainly must be a lie because we know Taim is a darkfriend--one way or another he IS a darkfriend. Thirdly, he comments to Rand that if you use to much power in testing a man for the ability, the resonance MIGHT kill him, yet if he learned this through personal experience then one of those five men died, and there is no 'might' about it. His knowledge is too exactly technical.

So that, according to this theory, is Taim's origins. From there i believe he was commanded to announce himself Dragon by Ishamael and perform atrocities to spread and heighten fear of the Dragon. Certainly that’s implied by the few comments we have about his actions in that time, of what he did to Bashere's emissaries.

Why Would The Dark One Raise Any New Chosen?

Firstly, we know that around book ten the Dark One was feeling remarkably dissatisfied with his Chosen. He was forced to rely on them because they were irreplaceable in their knowledge and ability, yet they were fractious and self-serving, and the previous threat of their utter annihilation was no longer available.

He responded to this in a number of ways. Reigning them in tightly under Moridin, Soulbinding Cyndane and Moghedian, having Shaidar Haren go over their heads to directly interact with darkfriends like Alviarin--and, I would suggest, raising Taim Chosen. It makes sense, Taim is the nearest thing this Age has to an Age of Legends level of training that the Dark One could find. He is strong in the power, and has been massively successful in gathering and training darkfriend channelers.

So their is a need for a reforming of power, and Taim fits as closely to being a viable candidate as any Third Ager ever could, but what evidence is there?

Why Do People Suggest He Has Been Raised?

It began with events in KoD--specifically the attack on the manor in Tear. Someone disguised as Sammale, yet with the Chosen Mark sent one hundred thousand Trollocs against Rand--and clearly against the better thoughts of the Shadow Coffee Club.

Now this didn't seem to make any sort of sense. The Forsaken just got back from having an encounter with Rand's channeling cadre. They know the type of power he has about him, and they know he has both the Choedan Kal and Callandor, and would have no reason not to have run and grabbed them the second Trollocs were sensed (even if he didn't, they would have expected that he would).

These people one and all know what the Power can achieve in battle. By all rights that action, from any of them, would be the dumbest thing ever. They had to know it wouldn't work, and all it would do is sharpen Rand's attention towards the north--they know this, its why Trolloc activity became so... quiet. They want Rand and all the Light focussed on struggling with each other, not aware of the threat to the north. It makes no sense.

Here enters Taim. We know that less than three days prior to the attack Taim was desperately seeking to learn Rand's location--and yes, he didn't get it from Logain, but even assuming one of Logain's men isn't a plant then there are 51 Aes Sedai who directly stated their intention to play on the rift between Logain and Taim who could have revealed it.

From there, the timing is perfect. Three days, time to go to the Trollocs, command them into the Ways, have them travel the Ways, leave at Stedding Shangtai, and make the trip from there down into northern Tear and the manor.

Furthermore, Taim is a man well known for presenting himself with Forsaken characteristics. Where the actual Chosen prefer more stylistic disguises, such as appearing made of fire, or silvery light that hides everything, of that trick of the power that made Slayer's eyes slide away, Taim is much more blunt.

And that holds through here. The method of the attack--the point. It makes no sense from one of the real Forsaken, but from Taim is makes a lot of sense. His methods are always blunt--this almost exactly matched what he did during the attack on the Sun Palace, throwing force as long as it can't be traced to him with no real pause for thought or planning on the off chance that it succeed. It matches what he did with saving Rand from the Grey Man, the way he set up his inner cadre of darkfriends, the attack on Demira, the way he responded to Pevara....

It matches Taim.

So thats it. It is an argument in the absense, but it fits.

Davian93
03-12-2010, 06:47 AM
I'm a fan of the Taim=Third Ager and New Chosen.


Join My Faction! (http://www.theoryland.com/factions.php?func=4&rec=143)

Elmindreda
03-12-2010, 08:30 AM
I'm new here, so hopefully not treading on any toes by posting:

I'd also cite as evidence the epilogue of Knife of Dreams. Not only does Taim make his "let the lord of chaos rule" comment but his palace is decorated in Moridin's colours and Sammael's Gauntlet and Lightning bolts insignia (hinting that the "someone masquerading as Sammael" is Taim). So, is Taim Ishy/Moridin trained but usurping the authority of the "dead" (unproven) Sammael?

Off at a tangent, a recent re-read of TSR reminded me of (in ch5) Joiya saying the BA meant to "turn" Taim, and while this is poo-poohed, something definitely happened to Taim after his escape (and the 13 dreadlords, 13 Myrdral thing has been shown for a while but never used ... not obviously at least). In ch2 of LOC Bashere notes that Taim looks different. If I recall, Taim makes some quip about shaving but what if it was the effect of the 13+13 on him (kind of like the de-aging of stilled Aes Sedai)?

Another possible pointer (or RJ slip) is that in KOD Ch3 Moridin has 11 seats at the forsaken meeting. With 3 (and possibly 4) Chosen dead and gone there'd only need to be 9 or 10 seats. Is this a hint of 1 or 2 new deadlords, unknown to the existing Chosen?

Luckers
03-12-2010, 08:37 AM
No offence Davian, but I prefer to remain specific to my own points--for instance I do not reguard Taim as the commander of the new Dreadlords, irrespective of the authority he has over the Black Tower Dreadbastards.

In point of fact I believe Taim was raised as a security policy for the Shadow, a way for the Dark One not to have to rely so heavily on the current Chosen. I believe he has no current direct authority in the Darkfriend hierarchy, and that his actions against Algarin's manor were off-script.

Davian93
03-12-2010, 08:41 AM
No offence Davian, but I prefer to remain specific to my own points--for instance I do not reguard Taim as the commander of the new Dreadlords, irrespective of the authority he has over the Black Tower Dreadbastards.

In point of fact I believe Taim was raised as a security policy for the Shadow, a way for the Dark One not to have to rely so heavily on the current Chosen. I believe he has no current direct authority in the Darkfriend hierarchy, and that his actions against Algarin's manor were off-script.

LOL...no offense taken. I dont have time to discuss it right now but I'll try to come back tonight and post something.

Terez
03-12-2010, 08:52 AM
I honestly don't see any evidence at all that Taim has been named as one of the Chosen. It's hardly necessary to get him to do what he's doing, and it seems fairly clear that he's taking orders from Demandred and Moridin. Combined with the Dark One's prejudice against 3rd-Agers....just seems a useless assumption. Yeah, he's a Darkfriend. Yeah, he's in charge of all the Darkfriends at the Black Tower, which makes him high up in the Darkfriend hierarchy. But chances are that Demandred has been taking most of the credit on his visits to Shayol Ghul.

Oh, and Fain sent the Shadowspawn to Algarin's manor.

Davian93
03-12-2010, 08:59 AM
Oh, and Fain sent the Shadowspawn to Algarin's manor.

Fain disguised himself as Sammael to do that?

Or are you arguing that Ishy was lying about that little tidbit?

Luckers
03-12-2010, 09:10 AM
Oh, and Fain sent the Shadowspawn to Algarin's manor.

You are joking, right? I've still not figured out Theoryland humour. You fake being serious, and get irritated when others don't take you seriously--or is that just Gonzo?

Either way let me know if you genuinely want me to slap you around about Fain. I know you like a good slapping Terez.

Davian93
03-12-2010, 09:11 AM
You are joking, right? I've still not figured out Theoryland humour. You fake being serious, and get irritated when others don't take you seriously--or is that just Gonzo?

Either way let me know if you genuinely want me to slap you around about Fain. I know you like a good slapping Terez.


That's just Gonzo...on the WoT boards at least.

Non-Wot is a free for all basically.

Terez
03-12-2010, 09:35 AM
lol, feel free to try Luckers.

As for the Sammael thing...there are a few options. Moridin lying is one option. The Fade lying is another option. Fain possibly having the illusion ability is another option. Mordeth seemed to be able to project a body despite not having one, in The Eye of the World, and then there's the fact that we're not actually sure that the illusion of Torval and Gedwyn was a ghost phenomenon - it might well have been Fain. And finally...Sammael's soul was corrupted by Mashadar when he was killed (which is why he couldn't be transmigrated), so it's possible that Fain can make illusions of the people that are killed by the evil of Shadar Logoth (which Torval and Gedwyn also were, and Mordeth as well, for that matter).

Luckers
03-12-2010, 09:52 AM
lol, feel free to try Luckers.

Okie dokie--and persuant to that, on the assumption that you're being serious, here is why Fain was not responsible for that attack on Algarin's manor.

The Order

The first issue here is that the order was not obeyed because the man who ordered it looked like Sammael, it was obeyed because the one who gave the order had the Chosen Mark.

"Sammael, or someone disguised as him, gave orders to the Myrdraal, and they obeyed so it was one of the Chosen."

[KoD--3--At the Gardens]

For clarity, the Chosen Mark is a sort of imprint the Dark One puts on the souls of his high chosen. RJ describes it thus.

Week 2 Question: Is the mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran the same as that the Forsaken received from the Dark One? If so, is she now a Forsaken, or some sort of lesser Chosen?

Robert Jordan Answers: The mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran was not the same as that given to the Forsaken, though it shares one function: Shadowspawn will recognize her as belonging to the Dark One. They will not obey her as they will the Forsaken, however, but she doesn't have to worry about one trying to kill her, either. She is not any sort of lesser Chosen. You might think of it more like the tattoo some people get put inside the ear of their dog, an identification so others will know who the dog belongs to as soon as they see it.

[Tor QotW]

Moridin's point is clear--despite the fact that he looked like Sammael, the fact that he was obeyed means he was one of the Chosen (and thus had the mark). Had he not had the mark, even looking like Sammael would not have helped.

But What of Fain?

We’ve seen Fain command Myrdraal in the past, without the Mark, so couldn’t he have used his tricks again? And Fain has a lot more going for him; he has the ability to create illusions, and thus could make himself look like Sammael, he’s got an ability to control or command Machin Shin, thus providing for the way a hundred thousand Trollocs passed through the Way’s safely.

But it is the very first point, the commanding of Myrdraal, where we run into trouble. Consider the way Fain gains the obedience of the Myrdraal.

With a sigh, he seated himself on the edge of his bed. The lamps were already lit, more than a dozen, leaving no shadow anywhere. The tent was as bright inside as noonday. "Have you thought over my proposal? Accept, and you walk free. Refuse.... I know how to hurt your sort., I can make you scream through endless dying. Forever dying, forever screaming."

The chains hummed at a jerk; the stakes driven deep into the ground creaked. "Very well. The Myrddraal's voice was dried snakeskin crumbling. "I accept. Release me."

Ordeith smiled. It thought him a fool. It would learn. They all would. "First, the matter of ... shall we say, agreements and accord?" As he talked, the Myrddraal began to sweat.

[tSR--31--Assurences]

Essentially, yes, he does use his abilities to gain obedience from the Myrdraal, but only in the form of giving it pain. As flashy as his methods are, they are still just a way of performing torture. It takes time for the Myrdraal to break—it even pretends to break, intending to later go back on its word.

The ‘Sammael’ did not torture hundreds of Myrdraal into obeying him. He commanded, they obeyed. Fain, for all that he had going for him, could not have done that.

As Moridin states that means the Chosen and their Mark.


----

Here is the rest of my thoughts on this issue. They somewhat repeat issues raised above.

----

Troop Movement; The Machin Shin Problem

If it wasn’t Fain, with his ability to command Machin Shin, then how did one hundred thousand Trollocs move through the waves unmolested by the Black Wind? Based on Moiraine and Rand’s fights with Machin Shin channelling does not provide the answer—the strongest channeler on earth could not have protected and shielded that many Trollocs for the time it took them to move through the Ways—and that many all at once should have attracted the Wind immediately upon entering.

When Was The Attack Launched

One of the suggested answers for the Machin Shin problem is that the movement was staggered. Sent bit by bit and built up in Tear before initiating the attack, much like how Isam gathered forces in the Two Rivers. Unfortunately this suggestion is just as problematic as the issue it is attempting to solve. Consider;-

According to the Steven Cooper Timeline, Rand has been at the manor in Tear for 28 days. Even sending the Trollocs through the ways in small groups, to have gathered a hundred thousand in twenty-eight days they would need to send at least 7100 through at a time, which given Machin Shin's nature is as impossible as the hundred thousand. Furthermore we know pretty much every Trolloc that was sent made it to the manor in tear, or rather every Myrdraal which amounts to the same thing in a group scenario. Even sending them in groups shouldn't be possible if Machin Shin were doing its job properly.

So Is Machin Shin Doing It’s Job?

Perhaps not. This provides the most viable answer to the Machin Shin problem—that rather than someone figuring out a way to get around it, it simply wasn’t there to cause a problem to begin with. Specifically I’m talking of its changing nature--ever since it encountered Fain in tEotW we have seen its behaviour change--waiting at Waygates, trying to force its way out and at times appearing as if it might succeed. These changes occurred within a six month period, and it has been a further year and half since then for it to continue to change.

Either way, whatever is going on with Machin Shin it did not attack the Trollocs, and that doesn’t stand as evidence that a plan was put in place by the person who ordered this attack for sending the Trollocs through in small groups. As such Moridin's comments indicate a certain degree of immediacy--he learned of it, and summoned the meeting in TAR straight away to issue his commands that the missing Trollocs be watched for. Likely within the last three or four days.

The Nature of the Attack

Ok, so send a hundred thousand Trollocs to kill Rand. Seems a simple enough plan, no? And indeed, as Logain states it was a close run thing. Without his Asha'men reinforcements they might have lost. Only pause for a moment a consider that--Rand had the male Choedan Kal and Callandor, and the Trollocs attacked in a neat little group that would have been right for the plucking. By all rights it should never have come to be as close as it did, only Rand's lack of foresight allowed for that.

Some point out that Rand may not have had the Choedan Kal or Callandor on him—that he had hidden them, or that Cadsuane had retained possession of them—but that’s irrelevant here. What we are discussing is the effects of the presence of these two sa’angreal would play to someone planning the attack.

The Forsaken knew Rand had the two sa’angreal with him. More importantly they had just walked away from getting spanked around by Rand and his followers due in large part to the superior preparation Cadsuane had put in place. In effect they had reason to not only be aware of the presence of those sa’angreal, they had reason to expect that Rand and those with him would be prepared to use them in the event of an attack. That Rand wasn’t is irrelevant, as is the fact that it didn’t occur to him when the attack was initiated.

From that point we have the fact that the Forsaken lived through the war known as THE war of the power. They knew what the power could do against an army unprotected by their own channelers. Effectively they had no reason to expect Rand to be an idiot, and from their perspective launching such an attack serves no purpose but to bring Rand's attention back onto the Shadow, which seems counter-productive after all their hard work on spreading dissension and causing drama amongst the light, whilst keeping the Blight as quiet as a lamb. It certainly did with Lan's.

Cyndane or Moghedien

So, for the majority of the Forsaken this attack would be an adventure in stupidity, or at the least short sightedness. Cyndane and Moghedien are the exception to this. Due to their enslavement to Moridin their resources are limited, and both have a deep obsessive hatred for one of the people present at Algarin’s manor. Cyndane also knows the trick of finding Rand through his ta’maral’ailen. So, they each have a specific motive—revenge—and both are limited in how they can enact that revenge, therefore explaining the easy ‘hit-or-miss’ nature of the Shadowspawn attack.

Moridin certainly seems concerned about letting Cyndane too close to Rand—saying that she would ‘accidentally’ kill him, and we’ve seen Moghedien detour from Moridin’s orders to try and kill Nynaeve in the past. That being said, Moridin still remains the big problem in this. When Moghedien makes her small diversion to try and kill Nynaeve she’s nearly out of her mind with fear that Moridin will know. She states “Moridin's instructions had been explicit, the price of disobedience made excruciatingly clear,” and the same again at the Cleansing—this time reinforced by Cyndane who made a similar comment about disobedience.


Moghedien’s fear at a small detour essentially rules her out—she literally is out of her mind with fear, even with her babbling to herself that he had never forbidden this. He had forbidden Shadowspawn involvement with the Light, and blatant act like subverting a hundred thousand Trollocs is a hundred fold the risk her trying to kill Nynaeve was. Cyndane likely faces the same restrictions though she has been willing to risk herself in her obsession with Rand in the past. Still, disobeying Moridin in such an open way bears such risk to either woman as to by itself make this theory unlikely.

So, without the limited resources and desperation Moghedien and Cyndane provide us with we are left wondering why the Forsaken used such a desperate plan. This leads to three options.

1. The attack was incidental.
2. They really did wish to draw Rand's attention to the North.
3. It wasn't the Forsaken.

The Attack Was Incidental

This suggestion is that the attack itself wasn't the point--if it killed Rand, hey great, but if not who cares. The issue here is what was the real intention? If it was simply to draw suspicion on one of their fellow Chosen why wear the Sammael mask? That straight up screams disguise, and given the Chosen all clearly thought he was dead (which he is) why would any be aiming for him. Why not appear as one of the alive and active Chosen? Unless of course there was no Sammael at all, as Dominic of the Thirteenth Depository point out. Or in other words, what if Moridin was lying?

Moridin

We can note there were already mind-games being played in the organisation of the room in the form of the additional chairs, so is it a far bet to suggest that this entire thing is some sort of game Moridin is playing to keep the Chosen off guard? Under this idea the attack being sent would serve the purpose of making the Chosen think they were being considered for treason, and given the Dark One’s treatment of treasonous Chosen thereby make them toe the line extra carefully.

In support of this idea, one may note that it wasn’t a stretch to figure out who the focus of the attack would be—and given Moridin can track Rand, yet makes no effort to place people at the Waygates near Rand’s position it would seem to indicate that Moridin did not care to make much of an effort to thwart the attack.

However, this idea is problematic. For one thing it seems overkill. The Forsaken had already been reined in by Shaidar Haren, and to directly underline that reining in Mesaana had been tortured for disobeying Moridin’s command to go and fight at the cleansing. Furthermore the Forsaken, those worth Moridin’s effort, anyway, were hardly cowards. They weren’t going to step back for the idea that they might be suspected of treason—especially given they all probably were contemplating treason. Aran’gar certainly was and she doesn’t bat an eye at this.

In effect the Forsaken had all been reined in as far as cheap theatrics were going to be able to achieve. Furthermore this attack serves no purpose but to refocus Rand on the north again—certainly it serves the trick with Lan. Given that keeping the light’s focus on the South and away from the Shadow is Moridin’s pet plan it seems unlikely he’d risk it for such a cheap trick.

Another point against Moridin is in the link between himself and Rand—note that he re-issues the no-kill order at the exact time the link grows strong enough to reveal itself for what it is—a link between his and Rand’s souls, as opposed to a channelling sickness side-effect of crossing balefire streams with Rand. That makes sense given what occurs to warders when their bond is broken. The bond and the link may be two distinct things, but Moridin must be at least concerned. That makes it less likely that he would wilfully risk Rand’s life before finding a way to safely break the connection.

Counter-point: Dominic of the Thirteenth Depository points out that the attack may not have been directed at Rand at all, but rather at his companions. Rand has assembled a very dangerous group and a worrying arsenal – sufficient to drive back an attack by all the Chosen but Mesaana and Moridin, without Rand himself , or the CK, even involved. Moridin may very well have qualms about letting such a group around Rand survive long enough to fight TG at his side. The real purpose of the attack may have been to destroy Rand’s “Companions”, possibly with commands issued to keep the Shadowspawn from killing Rand.

This idea would presumably imply that the effort with the Forsaken was simply a bonus. That Moridin took advantage of a pre-existing situation to serve a second purpose. However if the attack were officially sponsored by the Shadow to kill Rand’s coterie, why use Trollocs? If winnowing out Rand’s ranks was the purpose why not send the Gholam? Or even just a bunch of Grey Men? Rand may be well guarded, but his guards aren’t.

Sending a large force on the off chance of success against an enemy who could sweep them all aside like flotsam in a flood seems stupid and blunt. Moridin prides himself on the subtlety of his planning.

Graendal

It can be noted that with the exception of Graendal and Aran’gar the other six Chosen have seemingly formed alliances of three. Demandred, Mesaana and Semirhage, and the apparent alliance between Cyndane, Moghedien and Moridin (remember the Forsaken don't know of the cour'souvra, though Aran'gar guesses that that might be the case). This leaves Graendal and Aran'gar in a loose position. We know Aran'gar wasn't at fault (she wonders openly if Demandred is trying to hide that he did it), but it could be Graendal.

Under this theory Graendal caused the attack, intentionally blaming it on someone others would see through in order that everyone would suspect everyone else. People acting on their own causes division in alliances—‘if they’ve done this, what else may they be doing without my knowledge?’

Still this is problematic. Moridin’s control of Cyndane and Moghedien is openly authoritative, and that makes attempting to cause dissension between them pointless. Graendal could easily guess that both women would already be scheming against Moridin, and that Moridin would be aware of it. No one likes being forced to be openly submissive, much less one of the Chosen. As for Demandred, Semirhage and Mesaana—their alliance is constantly reinforced as weak. They do not tell each other their plans; they just hold a loose agreement not to move against each other until all the rest are out of the way. Graendal’s pretty cluey, and probably picked that up.

Graendal is also no fool. There are less self-destructive ways of causing dissension without risking the cause of the Shadow itself, much less disobeying the Dark One openly, especially given the Dark One only just cracked down on disobedience. Graendal’s shown herself to be too subtle for this sort of open movement.

Demandred

The only thing going for Demandred is his military background, and that in some ways stands against him, because he more than most would appreciate the stupidity of attacking Rand with a force that had no channelers. Dominic of the Thirteenth Depository also points out that his reaction to learning of the ‘Sammael’ speaks of his innocence—specifically, he blurts out that Sammael must be dead, realises that means one of them must be responsible, and backtracks to keep the idea of Sammael being alive open.

Counter-point: That could simply be good acting. Aran’gar considers that possibility.

Mesaana

Given her recent abuse for disobeying it would be strange for her to act now. Also no explanation for the stupidity of such an attack.

Semirhage

Given her plan to leash Rand, it is unlikely she would launch this attack anyway. And again there is no explanation for her to launch so stupid an attack.


The Attack Was Meant To Draw Rand's Attention North

I'm putting this up because I have seen it suggested, and more or less so that we can rule it out. The method of it would be that maybe one of the Forsaken was a double agent or has since decided to turn on the Shadow. Straight up it's unlikely, but as a source for this attack it’s impossible--there are better ways to warn Rand than to send an army to attack him, even if you feel certain it’s impossible that army would succeed. Some suggested Cyndane and Moghedian may fit here too, acting self-destructively out of a desire to get revenge on the Shadow for their soulbinding, but aside from the reasons above that stand against them disobeying Moridin, their obsessive hatred of Rand and Nynaeve respectively stop them trying to help Rand in anyway.

Nope. Looney bin with this one.

It Wasn't The Forsaken

Or rather, it wasn't one of the old Forsaken. Firstly, we know that around book ten the Dark One was feeling remarkably dissatisfied with his Chosen. He was forced to rely on them because they were irreplaceable in their knowledge and ability, yet they were fractious and self-serving, and the previous threat of their utter annihilation was no longer available.

He responded to this in a number of ways. Reining them in tightly under Moridin, Soulbinding Cyndane and Moghedien, having Shaidar Haren go over their heads to directly interact with darkfriends like Alviarin and so on.

It's in that last one that I believe the key is, specifically Shaidar Haren marks Alviarin with a weaker version of the Chosen Mark as a sign of favour. Now, that doesn't instantly mean that he's also raising new chosen, however it does show that Shaidar Haren is elevating Third Agers, and marking them--effectively it shows that the Dark One is attempting to create methods of accessing power without having to rely on the current Chosen too heavily.

Now Alviarin only gets a weak mark, which makes sense. She is not overly strong in the power, and her education is that of a Third Ager, and we know that the Dark One values these things in his Chosen. RJ stated it thus...

the Dark One, who believes that his people from the age of Legends are in all practical ways better -- for which read better trained, more capable, and thus better able to serve him efficiently and effectively -- than the people of the present time. And he is right. In a way. They are certainly better trained, with a much wider knowledge.

[Tor QotW]

So, the Dark One clearly places value on knowledge and strength, yet he can't (and doesn't) like having to rely on his current Chosen, who in recent days have caused problems with disobedience. The answer is Taim.

Mazrim Taim

Origins

Firstly according to RJ he is 28 years of age in LoC, and the earliest a man can spark is 18*. This means that currently Taim has been channeling a minimum of 6 years and a maximum of around 11 years (a year has passed since LoC).

We also know something of what he was doing during the time prior to his announcing himself Dragon 2 years ago--he says that he found five men over the years who could channel, though the only one who had the courage to go beyond the training went mad after 2 years. That two years, along with the comment of 'over the years' plus the 2 years after he announced himself Dragon is why I set up the 6 year minimum, though in truth I believe it to be longer.

Now even 6 years is a long time for Taim not to be showing signs of the Taint--both the mental instability, and the physical rotting. It’s not impossible of course, and some suggest that Taim's emotional instability and hubris might be a form of highly functional insanity, but even so, it seems a long time.

This is what I suggest. Around fifteen or sixteen years ago we know that Ishamael was in one of his free cycles (he personally physically forced Jarna Milari into the ter'angreal that killed her) and that he knew at the time that the Dragon Reborn had been born, and that Tarmon Gai'don was fast approaching. At this time I believe that he set out to gather channelers--beginning by testing and training men himself directly (and probably having women trained as well, Liandrin certainly infers as much in tFoH), and then setting them to go out and train men.

Why do I believe Taim is one such? For starters we know that Ishamael did it before, during the Trolloc Wars, so it makes sense that he would do it again. Secondly we have Taim's mannerisms--comments like 'so-called Aiel', the use of the lightning bolt sigil favoured by Sammael and Be'lal, the colouring of the tiles, the use of the Lord of Chaos comment--all of which imply significant long term exposure to the Forsaken and their mannerisms.

Beyond which he actually states it, he says he found five men--he claims only one of those men went beyond the testing, and that man went mad in two years, yet this almost certainly must be a lie because we know Taim is a darkfriend--one way or another he IS a darkfriend. Thirdly, he comments to Rand that if you use too much power in testing a man for the ability, the resonance MIGHT kill him, yet if he learned this through personal experience then one of those five men died, and there is no 'might' about it. His knowledge is too exactly technical.

So that, according to this theory, is Taim's origins. From there I believe he was commanded to announce himself Dragon by Ishamael and perform atrocities to spread and heighten fear of the Dragon. Certainly that’s implied by the few comments we have about his actions in that time, of what he did to Bashere's emissaries.

What Ties Taim to this Attack

1. Timing. We know that less than three days prior to the attack Taim was desperately seeking to learn Rand's location--and yes, he didn't get it from Logain, but even assuming one of Logain's men isn't a plant then there are 51 Aes Sedai who directly stated their intention to play on the rift between Logain and Taim who could have revealed it.

From there, the timing is perfect. Three days, time to go to the Trollocs, command them into the Ways, have them travel the Ways, leave at Stedding Shangtai, and make the trip from there down into northern Tear and the manor.

2. History. Taim is well known for assuming Forsaken characteristics and mannerisms. He copies their language, uses their designs (the fist holding three prongs of lightning) and colours (the use of Moridin's red and black). It would fit with his nature to appear as Sammael.

3. Modus Operendi. Whilst the attack makes no sense from one of the real Forsaken, It fits Taim. His methods are always blunt--this almost exactly matched what he did during the attack on the Sun Palace, throwing force blindly as long as it can't be traced to him with no real pause for thought or planning on the off chance that it succeed. It matches what he did with saving Rand from the Grey Man, the way he set up his inner cadre of darkfriends, the attack on Demira, the way he responded to Pevara....

Taim is blunt, and so was this attack.

Why Would Moridin Let Taim Do This?

Who says he’d know? Shaidar Haren’s presumed reasoning for raising a new Chosen is to provide the Dark One with resources outside the established second age power structure—Moridin may be nae’blis, may even be well trusted by the Dark One, but that doesn’t mean the Dark One will tell him everything that he is doing. Indeed, that would be against everything we’ve observed of his behaviour. Here are Semirhage’s thoughts on the matter.

Asmodean. A traitor, and so doomed, but he really had vanished, and Shaidar Haran's existence and her own orders here combined to remind her that the Great Lord worked in his own ways toward his own goals. The Chosen were no more than pieces on the board; they might be Counselors and Spires, but they were still pieces. If the Great Lord moved her here secretly, might he not be moving Moghedien or Lanfear, or even Asmodean? Might Shaidar Haran not be sent to deliver covert commands to Graendal or Sammael? Or for that matter, to Demandred or Mesaana? Their uneasy alliance—if it could be called by so strong a name—had lasted a long time, but neither would tell her if they received secret orders from the Great Lord, any more than she would ever let them learn of the orders that had brought her here, or those that had had her send Myrddraal and Trollocs to the Stone of Tear to battle those sent by Sammael

[LoC-6-Threads of Woven Shadow]

Moridin may be the greatest of the great pieces, but to the Dark One he is still a piece.

Ok, But Why Hasn’t the Dark One Done Anything?

The question of why the Dark One would let Taim go his own way, or at the least warn Moridin that Taim was about when some unknown Chosen started issuing orders contrary to the Shadow’s game plan is answered by the same answer we gave for Moridin above—who's to say he even knows this is going on, and thus needed to give Moridin this information? As Demandred states "He was never sure how much the Great Lord knew of the world. He had been as startled by ignorance as by knowledge." And as to why Moridin wouldn't have gone to him with this, maybe the Dark One is too busy. He denies access to himself as he chooses. Elaida says that "...the dead appearing was the first sign, a thinning of reality as the Dark One gathered himself."

We haven't seen the Dark One in person since he began to 'gather himself', but whatever he's been doing he's still in the process of doing it.

In the end though, the Mazrim Taim theory fits motive, opportunity, and methodology, but has the weakness of forcing us to assume facts not in evidence—specifically that he has been raised to the level of Chosen.

Terez
03-12-2010, 10:23 AM
LOL, all your points are pretty easy to knock (that was excessively wordy, by the way), but I have a test in a couple of hours, and then I have to move my stuff home for spring break, so I'll have to get back to you later. ;) I'm interested to see if maybe you can anticipate any of my arguments. You should be able to, with a little bit of thought.

Spasmodean
03-12-2010, 02:19 PM
About the "so-called Aiel" comment - Saldea is the westernmost nation in the Borderlands, you need to go through all 3 others before you get to the Aiel Waste.

Shienarans would know Aiel, perhaps even Arafellins, but I doubt a Kandori or Saldean would unless they had military training.

And given Taim's attitude towards swordplay I doubt he has much military background.

Tree Brother
03-12-2010, 03:47 PM
Luckers, either the person who ordered the attack was Chosen, or the person who did it was able to trick the Myrdraal.

"Sammael, or someone disguised as him, gave orders to the Myrdraal, and they obeyed so it was one of the Chosen."

Assuming Moridin didn't do it, how confident are you that what he thinks is true is actually true?

Lets say that Fain "owns" his on Myrdraal, and he orders it to tell other Mydraal to assemble the troups on Sammael's orders?

One of the key parts of your argument is:

So Is Machin Shin Doing It’s Job?

Perhaps not. This provides the most viable answer to the Machin Shin problem—that rather than someone figuring out a way to get around it, it simply wasn’t there to cause a problem to begin with. Specifically I’m talking of its changing nature--ever since it encountered Fain in tEotW we have seen its behaviour change--waiting at Waygates, trying to force its way out and at times appearing as if it might succeed. These changes occurred within a six month period, and it has been a further year and half since then for it to continue to change.

Either way, whatever is going on with Machin Shin it did not attack the Trollocs, and that doesn’t stand as evidence that a plan was put in place by the person who ordered this attack for sending the Trollocs through in small groups. As such Moridin's comments indicate a certain degree of immediacy--he learned of it, and summoned the meeting in TAR straight away to issue his commands that the missing Trollocs be watched for. Likely within the last three or four days.

I highlighted the suspect part.

I think that it is more likely that Fain is the only person who can bring them through the Ways.

The primary arguments against Fain are:

1) There needs to be a way for him to "trick" the bad guys into thinking a Chosen ordered them. (I don't think this too much of a stretch, really. Who would have thought he could order the one(s) that he did previously?)

2) He wants to be the one to kill Rand personally. ( I think he is unstable enough to do it indirectly anyway.)

Still, I think this is more likely than it being Taim. Because for him, you need to assume:

1) He has been made Chosen (or a high level Dreadlord?), even though we know that the DO thinks very little of non-AOL channelers. And the Mark Shadar Haran did, did not confer Chosen status (your quote). It is likely that Taim would need to be brought to Shayol Ghul for that (not to say he hasn't been there, of course).

2) If Taim were in fact Chosen, it is unlikely that Moridin would not know, and would have approved of his actions. Even if Taim were Chosen, I doubt he would have free reign to do something like this. Moridin is unlikely to allow that. It is much more likely that any new-age Chosen would be mind trapped.

3) You need to assume that Machin Shin has been neutralized. I do not think the cleansing affected Machin Shin, and it is still a problem in the Ways. And this is the Major item that makes Taim unlikely to be behind it.

Of the two options (Fain vs. Taim) I think it much more likely that Moridin was simply assuming it has to be done by Chosen, rather than stating a "Fact", and Fain is the more likely of the two.

nameless
03-12-2010, 06:45 PM
I was about to post pretty much the same thing... Fain doesn't need to convert hundreds of Fades because if just one Fade tells all the others that Sammael wants them to organize an attack, they're gonna believe him.

As for Machin Shin, remember that Perrin and co. encountered it doing its thing just fine in tSR at least six months after it was acting strangely outside the stedding in tGH.

halo6819
03-12-2010, 07:15 PM
yes, but i think we can agree that fain could tell machin shin to stay away from 100k trolocs if he waned to... i imagine when fain dosnt give it specific orders, machin shin wanders about bored and what not...

deathjester
03-13-2010, 04:08 AM
About the "so-called Aiel" comment - Saldea is the westernmost nation in the Borderlands, you need to go through all 3 others before you get to the Aiel Waste.

Shienarans would know Aiel, perhaps even Arafellins, but I doubt a Kandori or Saldean would unless they had military training.

And given Taim's attitude towards swordplay I doubt he has much military background.

Interesting discussions. :) Anyways some of my thoughts.

I believe the entire continent would have known about the Aiel War. It is the biggest single event in modern history before the series begins. The children from the Two Rivers can name off every Forsaken and they have been off the earth for thousands of years. Merchants travel between countries. News would spread even if somehow Saldea didn't fight in the Aiel War. Look at how merchants bring news into the Two Rivers in the story.

All the Borderlanders are war nations. They have to be near the blight. They live breathe and die war. The Aiel is the most feared known military force on the planet. Saldea isn't like the Two Rivers that is in the middle of nowhere, and Two Rivers folk knew about the Aiel War. Illian was FAR away from where the Aiel war occured and Tam fought in it. Add to that I think everyone in the known world has read the adventures of Jain Farstrider or heard of them, and he traveled pretty far. Add to that Gleeman who would have told stories and sang songs about the Aiel war. The Aiel War was the WW1 of it's time.

I used to think Taim had to be a student as well. I think everyone was afraid to assume he was a Forsaken after the whole Demandred is Taim thing. I believe Robert Jordan did this on purpose so that we wouldn't suspect a reincarnated Ishmael. There is no reason it can't be Ishmael as far as a timeline (Lanfear died after Ishmael and is seen reincarnated before Moridin), but we are led to believe that because we don't see Moridin until after Taim. Taim's appearance and Lews Therins ramblings about Demandred when he is around Taim led us to think that Demandred was Taim, until it was revealed he couldn't be. Like I said more and more I am starting to think Taim is Ishmael reincarnated.

Here is my new theory. Ishamael died. Ishmael needed a new body. Not just any body, one that he could use for a special purpose, to play "both sides" of the Shara board. I think Moridin's appearance is the mask of mirrors.

I think the Black Ajah's mission while freeing Taim was so that Ishmael could have a new body. Perhaps Taim did teach Ishmael when Ishmael was free, but he betrayed him, or rather the Dark One did. The Dark Side has no problems killing somone to further their agenda.

Rand knows the Forsaken, or rather Lews Therin does. When Rand is around Taim, Lews Therin has always gone into a rage screaming about the Forsaken. I believe Lews Therin knows Taim is a Forsaken, but he can't identify him due to the new body. Rand or Lews Therin rather, was able to point to Dashiva despite him having a new body. He knew something was wrong, if not who he was. He knew the Forsaken were with him in The Shadow Rising in the Aiel Waste. He makes the comment about "chosen" to Nynaeve when she is accompanied by Moghedian when they help him to kill Rahvin.

I think Rand or Lews Therin rather, knows Taim is a Forsaken. In Book 7 we have the chapter after Dumai's wells from Book 6 where Perrin is smelling everyone. He smells that Rand is furious with Taim for suggesting he have a full Ashaman accompany him, then Rand's smell changes to thoughtful and plotting and agrees. Lews Therin knows the Forsaken somehow. I think Rand has figured out that the best place for The Dark Side to recruit dreadlords is a place he knows. He decides to go with it. It isn't ideal but neither was Asmodean as a teacher. If Taim was a new channeler I don't think Lews Therin would react the way he does around Taim. He could be wary of him, like he is around other Ashaman, but he wouldn't go CRAZY and rant exlcusively about the Forsaken, the way he does around Taim.

Sounds far fetched, but I think it could fit. Ishmael was most likely in need of a new body, it was probably totaled from being free/half freed. Ishmael as Moridin often ruminates over just how much of everything was planned by the Dark One. The Dark One might have thought it would give them an advantage by using a "known" person as a body, but perhaps he didn't count on Lews Therin in Rand's head being able to see past that, and he surely didn't count on the crossed streams which I think will play a huge part in this story (am hoping for a light side Ishmael, and think it may happen due to the historical Ishmael who was evil but repentent). Rand wants to trust Taim at first, but Lews Therin knows better.

I think RJ has set up the readers to believe Taim is not a Forsaken. He led us on with Demandred. He has led us to think that Taim is moving around Shadowspawn pretending to be Sammael, so Taim cant be Moridin due to Moridin wondering about who sent them.

I think Fain sent the shadowspawn. Why? Why would Taim need to use the ways. Why not a gateway? If he truly is a new Forsaken, he would have the ability to mark the Shadowspawn. Shadowspawn cannot survive passing through gateways, and simply die without a mark on them when this occurs. Then we have the issue which Machin Shin.

Fain can't mark the Shadowspawn, even if he could corrupt an Aes Sedai who could form a gateway. The ways are what he can use, so he most likely is the one using them. Why would the Shadowspawn obey? Fain scares the living (you know what) out of Myrddraal. They are his now. They order Trollocs around. He hasn't been capturing them for no reason. I mean who would want a pet Myrddraal?

Fain has one obsession, to see Rand die. He NEEDS to do it. He HAS to do it. He has been changed by the Dark One for the sole purpose of tracking Rand around. He was changed by Shadar Logoth. He is more powerful now, but he is still a slave until Rand dies. He needs to be rid of Rand so that he can be free. Fain has the abilty to control Shadowspawn by controlling their captains (Myrddraal). Whether this is just fear induced control on the halfmen, or it has something to do with his new abilities I don't know.

Anyways those are my theories and thoughts on Taim and Fain. If I'm wrong, it doesn't bother me any. Just the way I see it right now, and it is different then I saw it on the first read (on my second read now). We will all read and find out, and I'm sure we will all love what Robert Jordan had in store for us in his notes, before his unfortunate death.

RJ said he had the endgame plotted and in his head, way before the middle of the story. He has manipulated us as well as an Aes Sedai. Well enough to argue amongst ourselves lol. Remember we are all on the same side. We all have read a series that most people would call us insane for reading just because of the length, and the time between book releases. I would be willing to bet most of us read some of these books within a 2-3 day period, forsaking sleep in some cases to go to work the next day lol.

Love the arguments. Love the different points of views and theories. Remember to keep it civil though. Some people have only read through the series once. Some people are going to miss some things the first time, second time, and maybe even a third time in a 10,000 page book lol :). This doesn't have to be a e-peen contest. None of us wrote the Wheel of Time, we are just fans, so RELAX out there lol.

Will I be crushed if I find out Taim didnt kill Asmodean? Nope. Will I be upset if Ishamel isn't Taim? Nope. Will I be upset if Demandred's plot doesn't have to do with the Seanchen? Nope. I will have that much more respect for RJ, that he could leave us guessing this far into a series. So many things could go either way at this point. I'm the OP of this thread and I listed every possibility I could think of on Taim's true identity. More then 1 could work. We just have to read and find out and see which way RJ went with Taim.

Terez
03-15-2010, 01:00 AM
Just so you know, Luckers, I haven't responded because I think the arguments have been covered fairly well already. I feel like you probably had to go out of your way a little bit to avoid anticipating those arguments.

Fain makes the most sense to me because the attack is the sort of thing that would satisfy Fain's two main obsessions: killing Rand (though he probably didn't have much hope of that), and pissing off the Shadow. The scene with Moridin in particular brings Fain to mind, just because that frustration that Moridin shows is exactly the sort of thing that I think Fain is after (short of actually being able to kill them all).

But there are some other reasons to think it was Fain, of course. One reason that comes to mind is that we haven't seen Fain at all since Far Madding. He has to have been up to something during that time, and I don't think that RJ would abandon him altogether for two whole books. We saw a similar hint of Slayer in Crossroads.

Another reason is that it seems to mirror the Whitecloak attack Fain sent in Lord of Chaos. A 'test' that didn't succeed in killing Rand only because of ta'veren luck. Fain is obsessed with killing Rand, above all, because it would free him from the compulsion to hunt. He wants to do it by his own hands, but the Caemlyn attack showed how desperate he was, even then. His swipe in Cairhien was a crime of opportunity, and Fain was probably (with good reason) scared shitless the entire time. Far Madding, I see as his last desperate attempt to do it with his own hands, in a place where Rand didn't have access to the Power. But even that failed, and he was forced to try something different.

I don't believe that any of the Forsaken would have wasted 100,000 Shadowspawn on a stunt like that, because all of the Forsaken know what sort of toys and friends Rand carries around with him. Taim knows as well, of course, so he falls into that category.

Luckers
03-15-2010, 03:20 AM
Just so you know, Luckers, I haven't responded because I think the arguments have been covered fairly well already. I feel like you probably had to go out of your way a little bit to avoid anticipating those arguments.


Curious. You stated above that "all [my] points are pretty easy to knock". So far only one has been addressed--Fain. There were many others.

As for easy to 'knock' (challenge?), I am not sure. As I understand the suggestion is this--Fain, prior to this, tortured a Myrdraal into obedience (as it takes days for this method to work at least), then disguised himself in the guise of Sammael, commanded the Myrdraal to command other Myrdraal to command Trollocs to go through the Ways and attack Rand, all in front of witnesses who were close enough to see the Sammael in enough detail to describe him accurately to Moridin.

Alright then--the first issue is that these witnesses were close enough to see the imposter in enough detail to describe him to Moridin clearly enough that Moridin identified him as Sammael. Shadowspawn can sense the Mark, irrespective of whether they are being directly commanded, which we know from RJ's comments about Alviarin's lesser Mark. Furthermore, Myrdraal are described frequently as sly and crafty creatures. They witness this Myrdraal being commanded to command other Myrdraal countermand stated orders, and yet sense no Mark, and recieve no direct commands, and would not pause to question.

Or, more directly to the point, that those that stayed behind to report to Moridin would not inform him of this going on? They were close enough to get the physical appearence, but missed that the man spoke only to one Myrdraal and lacked the Mark?

Secondly, the no attack order came from the Chosen. Moridin states that that they obeyed the imposter means it was a Marked Order--have you considered the posibility that he was saying exactly what he said--that for them to even be able to obey requires the Mark because it circumvents the existing order.

So yes, on this one issue that you've 'knocked' me on, I don't feel particularily offstep.

Terez
03-15-2010, 03:39 AM
Curious. You stated above that "all [my] points are pretty easy to knock". So far only one has been addressed--Fain. There were many others.
You addressed other suspects that neither of us support, so there is no point in further addressing those. Taim has been addressed.

As I understand the suggestion is this--Fain, prior to this, tortured a Myrdraal into obedience (as it takes days for this method to work at least), then disguised himself in the guise of Sammael, commanded the Myrdraal to command other Myrdraal to command Trollocs to go through the Ways and attack Rand, all in front of witnesses who were close enough to see the Sammael in enough detail to describe him accurately to Moridin.
There's no need to assume that we know all of the details of how it happened, and as I mentioned before, there are several options. It's enough to know that it is well within Fain's capabilities, and that he has been planning a strike at the Shadow for some time, and that he is known to have subverted at least one Fade. He knows how to hurt them. What were the 'agreements and accords' all about? What could Fain possibly do with a Fade? That info was planted several books ago, and it's gone nowhere.

Alright then--the first issue is that these witnesses were close enough to see the imposter in enough detail to describe him to Moridin clearly enough that Moridin identified him as Sammael.
What witnesses? Moridin doesn't mention any.

Shadowspawn can sense the Mark, irrespective of whether they are being directly commanded, which we know from RJ's comments about Alviarin's lesser Mark. Furthermore, Myrdraal are described frequently as sly and crafty creatures. They witness this Myrdraal being commanded to command other Myrdraal countermand stated orders, and yet sense no Mark, and recieve no direct commands, and would not pause to question.
Again, you're fabricating witnesses, when you have no reason to assume that there were any. Fades can be subverted, but their natural tendency is to serve the Shadow without question. There need not be any witnesses at all. The Fade that Moridin questioned might well have been the one that Fain subverted. Alternatively, Fain might have subverted several of them.

Or, more directly to the point, that those that stayed behind to report to Moridin would not inform him of this going on? They were close enough to get the physical appearence, but missed that the man spoke only to one Myrdraal and lacked the Mark?
I suppose this is possible. Again, no need to assume there were witnesses, but the Mark might be something that requires a certain amount of proximity to detect, and for all we know, Fain might know how to duplicate it, via Mashadar's consumption of Sammael's soul, or via his own strange and inexplicable talents.

Secondly, the no attack order came from the Chosen. Moridin states that that they obeyed the imposter means it was a Marked Order--have you considered the posibility that he was saying exactly what he said--that for them to even be able to obey requires the Mark because it circumvents the existing order.
Not sure what your point is here. Either the Mark was faked, or the orders came through Fain's subverted Myrddraal. This is not a separate argument. And then, there is the possibility that Moridin is lying, that you are still ignoring. It may be that he has no idea how the Shadowspawn were stolen, and he made up this story to negate some of the embarrassment.

So yes, on this one issue that you've 'knocked' me on, I don't feel particularily offstep.
You wouldn't. But you're still wrong. ;)

nameless
03-15-2010, 07:43 PM
As for easy to 'knock' (challenge?), I am not sure. As I understand the suggestion is this--Fain, prior to this, tortured a Myrdraal into obedience (as it takes days for this method to work at least), then disguised himself in the guise of Sammael, commanded the Myrdraal to command other Myrdraal to command Trollocs to go through the Ways and attack Rand, all in front of witnesses who were close enough to see the Sammael in enough detail to describe him accurately to Moridin.



I don't think anyone suggested anything like that. The two theories on the table are that either one of the Chosen disguised themselves as Sammael and sent the attack or that Fain used his captured Fade (or Fades) to organize the attack and claim Sammael told them to do it. In the second case no one is actually disguising themselves as anything, and no one actually sees an impostor Sammael. The actual conversations would have gone something like this:

Fain to Fade 1: get an army together to go attack al'Thor and tell everyone Sammael told you to
Fade 1 to Fades 2-100: Sammael wants us to get an army and attack al'Thor
Moridin to Random Fade: Why the hell did you attack al'Thor?
Random Fade: Sammael told us to do it

In this situation Moridin assumes someone with the Chosen Mark is responsible for the attack because he does not know of anything else capable of causing Fades to obey orders. Fades 2-100 assume Fade 1 is on the up-and-up for pretty much the same reason: he's obviously obeying someone so therefore his orders must come from someone who's supposed to be obeyed. As far as they're concerned nothing is scarier than their Great Lord's wrath and no fellow Myrdraal would ever be stupid enough to risk betrayal so they don't actually need to see Sammael or the Mark.

It's a question of how much the Shadow knows about Fain's activities. If they think the two Fades Isam killed in tSR were the only defectors they wouldn't be on their guard against further treachery from within, in which case it becomes plausible that Fain could use a small number of subverted minions to fool a large number of Shadowspawn. If they were on guard he'd have a much harder time and Aran'gar's theory that it was one of the other Forsaken in disguise becomes much more likely.

edit: or maybe it was one slain Fade defector? I don't remember offhand how many Fade head trophies Isam actually brought in during the Two Rivers sequence.

Terez
03-16-2010, 01:06 AM
Join the faction!

Fain sent the Shadowspawn attack (http://www.theoryland.com/factions.php?func=4&rec=188)

Neilbert
03-16-2010, 02:01 AM
edit: or maybe it was one slain Fade defector? I don't remember offhand how many Fade head trophies Isam actually brought in during the Two Rivers sequence.

I think it was one, but I never got the impression it was a defector, though it is a possibility. I just assumed the Fade was killed both to incentivize the others, and to build Lucs cred among the Two Rivers folk.

nameless
03-16-2010, 04:07 AM
Well, I know Luc/Isam was busy trying to deal with the fist of Trollocs that attacked Tarren Ferry against orders and broke the Whitecloak quarantine and I just assumed his executing one of his Fades was connected... I'd have to reread the tSR to see whether the Fade's head trophy appeared before or after the Taren Ferry attack.

GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2010, 05:41 AM
Perrin caught it out of the air and hurled it well over the stakes despite its weight. Four or five Trolloc heads, no doubt, and perhaps a Myrddraal. The man brought in his trophies every night, still seeming to expect them to be put up for everyone to admire. A bunch of the Coplins and Congars had given him a feast the night he came in with a pair of Fades' heads.How many heads does the average Fade have?

And this was after the raid on Taren Ferry, just to keep things indeterminate.

Terez
03-16-2010, 07:07 AM
Fain still had his Fade in The Fires of Heaven, so Luc didn't get that one.

Luckers
03-17-2010, 07:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
As I understand the suggestion is this--Fain, prior to this, tortured a Myrdraal into obedience (as it takes days for this method to work at least), then disguised himself in the guise of Sammael, commanded the Myrdraal to command other Myrdraal to command Trollocs to go through the Ways and attack Rand, all in front of witnesses who were close enough to see the Sammael in enough detail to describe him accurately to Moridin.



There's no need to assume that we know all of the details of how it happened, and as I mentioned before, there are several options. It's enough to know that it is well within Fain's capabilities, and that he has been planning a strike at the Shadow for some time, and that he is known to have subverted at least one Fade. He knows how to hurt them. What were the 'agreements and accords' all about? What could Fain possibly do with a Fade? That info was planted several books ago, and it's gone nowhere.


What of those things? They do not answer the problems with this idea, and lacking direct evidence to suggest that they were involved who can you raise them, then argue 'oh, well, we don't know the answers to those questions'?

I mean at the beginning of this you stated flat out that Fain did it. Now you would have us presume events occurred with no evidence, and ignore problems that you cannot answer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
Alright then--the first issue is that these witnesses were close enough to see the imposter in enough detail to describe him to Moridin clearly enough that Moridin identified him as Sammael.

What witnesses? Moridin doesn't mention any.


Ok, given you argue Fain did it, then you don't believe Moridin did it. Moridin had enough detail to identify the imposter as having the look of Sammael (he directly states that it was either Sammael or someone disguised as him).

As such either Moridin was there to see it in person, in which case he with his might Chosen Mark would simply have counter-manded the order--or he had witnesses.

Thereby, I renew my contention: the first issue is that these witnesses were close enough to see the imposter in enough detail to describe him to Moridin clearly enough that Moridin identified him as Sammael. Shadowspawn can sense the Mark, irrespective of whether they are being directly commanded, which we know from RJ's comments about Alviarin's lesser Mark. Furthermore, Myrdraal are described frequently as sly and crafty creatures. They witness this Myrdraal being commanded to command other Myrdraal countermand stated orders, and yet sense no Mark, and recieve no direct commands, and would not pause to question.

Or, more directly to the point, that those that stayed behind to report to Moridin would not inform him of this going on? They were close enough to get the physical appearence, but missed that the man spoke only to one Myrdraal and lacked the Mark?

Again, you're fabricating witnesses, when you have no reason to assume that there were any.

Read above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
Or, more directly to the point, that those that stayed behind to report to Moridin would not inform him of this going on? They were close enough to get the physical appearence, but missed that the man spoke only to one Myrdraal and lacked the Mark?

I suppose this is possible. Again, no need to assume there were witnesses, but the Mark might be something that requires a certain amount of proximity to detect, and for all we know, Fain might know how to duplicate it, via Mashadar's consumption of Sammael's soul, or via his own strange and inexplicable talents.

Again we know as a fact there are witnesses, but I could buy the proximity issue, possibly--though that would be presuming something without evidence.

But the slyness of Myrdraal point holds true--seeing one Myrdraal instructed to counter-mand orders with no use of the Chosen Mark is highly problematic, and something that the witnesses would mention to Moridin.

As for the last point, I don't see that as possible. Fain felt no connection to Shadar Logoth, suffered nothing at its fall (as per Jordan's comment)--and moreover whatever the Mark does it is a open link to the Dark One. We know this through the fact that Asmodean having the black cords (whatever they are) severed removed the Mark and thus his ability to command or be safe from Shadowspawn.

Ultimately there is not reason to think Fain may have gained this, reason against on the Mashadar side, and the fact that this is involved in an active connection to the Dark One, which Fain would not dare do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
Secondly, the no attack order came from the Chosen. Moridin states that that they obeyed the imposter means it was a Marked Order--have you considered the posibility that he was saying exactly what he said--that for them to even be able to obey requires the Mark because it circumvents the existing order.


Not sure what your point is here. Either the Mark was faked, or the orders came through Fain's subverted Myrddraal. This is not a separate argument.

My point was that there are existing orders against Trolloc movement, stated by the Forsaken. Given Moridin's comment that the fact that the Trollocs obeyed this order must mean the Mark, may mean literally that--that since it circumvented a prior Marked order, it must have been delivered by someone with the Mark.

I mean your making all these presumptions about Moridin's knowledge, but he states it flat out--that they obeyed means the Mark--of course he could be wrong, I don't deny that. I was just pointing out that you never even paused to consider that he knew EXACTLY what he was talking about--indeed, that a man who has controlled the Shadow's forces for the last four millenia might well be aware that Fades and Trollocs can be circumvented, and that for him to say flat out that it means the Mark has weight. Considerable weight.

Also, "Either the Mark was faked, or it came through Fain's Myrdraal"?

Talk about grandiose statements. There is nothing to suggest the Mark can be faked and alot against it, and Fain is an implausible argument--the most likely candidates are Cyndane, Moridin and Taim. I'm a Taim boy, but I concede the viability of Cyndane and Moridin arguments.

And then, there is the possibility that Moridin is lying, that you are still ignoring. It may be that he has no idea how the Shadowspawn were stolen, and he made up this story to negate some of the embarrassment.


Ok, so now your argument was there was no Sammael, and that some Myrdraal just rocked up and commanded the other Myrdraal to disobey current orders (issued by the Forsaken)--which they did, without question, despite their stated slyness--and Moridin, all flustered, made up a story about a fake Sammael to explain his failure.

No offence but this is getting weak.

Solmancer
03-19-2010, 06:17 PM
I've always wondered if Taim is a recycled Chosen from the Age of Legends. It's not like there weren't spares that could potentially have been given another chance after the current crop have proven... ineffectual at getting results.

No real evidence aside from circumstancial comments and quotes, alas, plus I don't have anything other than TGS on hand. However, I can see other Chosen from that era being potentially reincarnated and then stuck under Moridin's thumb, especially if that Chosen was one who had died in the line of duty (uncaught?) but not unfaithful to the cause.

If any of you reading this have played Mass Effect 2... yeah something like that happening, for similar reasons. :)

Terez
03-20-2010, 03:40 PM
I missed this post (happens a lot these days):

What of those things? They do not answer the problems with this idea, and lacking direct evidence to suggest that they were involved who can you raise them, then argue 'oh, well, we don't know the answers to those questions'?
All I'm saying is that we simply don't know. I think that part of your problem is that you feel the need to fill in all the details of what's going on. You have to make quite a few assumptions in order to assume that Taim could have done it (this has already been addressed, but you are making me repeat myself). I don't feel the need to make those leaps with Fain, because there are several options for how it could have been done, and I see no need to choose, when there is not really enough information to make a good decision.

I mean at the beginning of this you stated flat out that Fain did it. Now you would have us presume events occurred with no evidence, and ignore problems that you cannot answer?
Why not? Every suspect has similar problems, and the case for Fain is undeniably the strongest case.

Ok, given you argue Fain did it, then you don't believe Moridin did it. Moridin had enough detail to identify the imposter as having the look of Sammael (he directly states that it was either Sammael or someone disguised as him).
You seem to have missed the point. I never said that Moridin did it. You don't know how much detail Moridin had, because you don't know whether or not Moridin is being entirely truthful. A direct statement is not irrefutable evidence, by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not sure what planet you live on, but we all know that here. POV evidence is required for actual truth. In any case, Moridin lying is only one option (an option that you refuse to recognize).

Thereby, I renew my contention: the first issue is that these witnesses were close enough to see the imposter in enough detail to describe him to Moridin clearly enough that Moridin identified him as Sammael.
You have no proof that there were any such witnesses, so this point is invalid.

Shadowspawn can sense the Mark, irrespective of whether they are being directly commanded, which we know from RJ's comments about Alviarin's lesser Mark. Furthermore, Myrdraal are described frequently as sly and crafty creatures. They witness this Myrdraal being commanded to command other Myrdraal countermand stated orders, and yet sense no Mark, and recieve no direct commands, and would not pause to question.
This is silly. Do you really believe that every time a Forsaken wants to send Shadowspawn off somewhere that he or she personally gives orders to every Fade? There is certainly no evidence to support that belief; in fact, there is plenty of evidence that Fades follow the Shadow without question. Fain's ability to subvert Fades is obviously an anomaly. So what reason would a Fade have to mistrust another Fade?

Or, more directly to the point, that those that stayed behind to report to Moridin would not inform him of this going on? They were close enough to get the physical appearence, but missed that the man spoke only to one Myrdraal and lacked the Mark?
RJ did not write this.


[quot=Luckers]Again we know as a fact there are witnesses[/quote]
We do not - not by any means. If you continue to repeat this, I will begin to think you are daft.

Ultimately there is not reason to think Fain may have gained this, reason against on the Mashadar side, and the fact that this is involved in an active connection to the Dark One, which Fain would not dare do.
There's plenty of reason to think that Fain might have developed the ability, especially considering that he has an obvious interest in subverting Myrddraal that has been established since book 2. He can recognize Darkfriends on sight, which we've not seen anyone else do, and the ability came out of the evil of Shadar Logoth, which he now personifies. Sammael's soul need not have anything to do with it, but it's still an option. We don't know enough about the evil of Shadar Logoth to say for sure that it's unconnected, and the coincidence is certainly something to keep in mind.

My point was that there are existing orders against Trolloc movement, stated by the Forsaken. Given Moridin's comment that the fact that the Trollocs obeyed this order must mean the Mark, may mean literally that--that since it circumvented a prior Marked order, it must have been delivered by someone with the Mark.
Yes, and there are several ways that Fain might have either imitated or gotten around this, as has been pointed out many times. Also, if you're going to take this approach, it makes more sense that Fain would be the one to countermand earlier Forsaken orders, especially orders from Nae'blis. Because Fain obviously doesn't give a shit about what Nae'blis wants, but Taim should. And Taim isn't stupid enough to waste the resources on it, while Fain wants nothing more than to waste the Shadow's resources.

I mean your making all these presumptions about Moridin's knowledge, but he states it flat out--that they obeyed means the Mark--of course he could be wrong, I don't deny that.
You have denied it several times, and you have refused to even recognize the possibility that he might have been lying. Not that I really believe that he's lying, but his words are not as ironclad as you pretend. He definitely doesn't know everything. And don't make assumptions about what I did or did not consider. You have no reason to assume that I didn't consider that he knew what he was talking about. Why would you say that?

TThere is nothing to suggest the Mark can be faked and alot against it, and Fain is an implausible argument--the most likely candidates are Cyndane, Moridin and Taim. I'm a Taim boy, but I concede the viability of Cyndane and Moridin arguments.
These statements don't mean anything. It's just your opinion. There's no reason to believe that the Mark can't be faked, and no reason to assume that the Mark was even necessary for this little venture. None of the Forsaken are likely candidates because none of them are stupid enough to believe that 100,000 Shadowspawn would stand a chance against Rand and Co. None of them would waste the resources on a mission doomed to fail.

Fain is the only suspect with a believable motive, and all of the clues are there to tell us that he's capable of pulling it off.

Your entire post was just bluster. As usual. ;)

Luckers
03-22-2010, 10:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
I mean at the beginning of this you stated flat out that Fain did it. Now you would have us presume events occurred with no evidence, and ignore problems that you cannot answer?

Why not? Every suspect has similar problems, and the case for Fain is undeniably the strongest case.

Oh? Every suspect has the problems Fain does? How peculiar.

I've addressed the other suspect, and their problems--feel free to discuss this.

In the mean time try and answer where Fain fails.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
Ok, given you argue Fain did it, then you don't believe Moridin did it. Moridin had enough detail to identify the imposter as having the look of Sammael (he directly states that it was either Sammael or someone disguised as him).

You seem to have missed the point. I never said that Moridin did it. You don't know how much detail Moridin had, because you don't know whether or not Moridin is being entirely truthful. A direct statement is not irrefutable evidence, by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not sure what planet you live on, but we all know that here. POV evidence is required for actual truth. In any case, Moridin lying is only one option (an option that you refuse to recognize).


I do recognise Moridin lying as a viable theory--I covered it in some detail in my theory. But your avoiding the reality of what you are suggesting.

I ask you, clearly and cleanly. Is it your position that there was no Sammael. That Fain's toy Myrdraal commanded other Myrdraal to obey, and they--despite their stated slyness--did so. And that Moridin made up the whole story about Sammael to save face.

If that is not your position, then I demand you clarify yourself. Either you therefore believe Moridin, and not Fain, was responsible--or you must admit that someone brought Moridin the information, and that subsequently there were witnesses.

Or is it your claim that Moridin was present and Fain in some way stopped him from counter-manding the Shadowspawn from attacking? Or are, perhaps, Fain and Moridin working together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
Shadowspawn can sense the Mark, irrespective of whether they are being directly commanded, which we know from RJ's comments about Alviarin's lesser Mark. Furthermore, Myrdraal are described frequently as sly and crafty creatures. They witness this Myrdraal being commanded to command other Myrdraal countermand stated orders, and yet sense no Mark, and recieve no direct commands, and would not pause to question.

This is silly. Do you really believe that every time a Forsaken wants to send Shadowspawn off somewhere that he or she personally gives orders to every Fade? There is certainly no evidence to support that belief; in fact, there is plenty of evidence that Fades follow the Shadow without question. Fain's ability to subvert Fades is obviously an anomaly. So what reason would a Fade have to mistrust another Fade?


Firstly, thats misrepresentative. Re-read my post and we can discuss my thoughts on Forsaken commands and the Mark.

As for what reason a Fade would have to distrust a Fade--every statement about their nature. Additionally, we've seen elements in the Shadow fight each other--the attack on the Stone in tSR, for instance. Don't try to claim Shadowspawn have never before been subverted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
Or, more directly to the point, that those that stayed behind to report to Moridin would not inform him of this going on? They were close enough to get the physical appearence, but missed that the man spoke only to one Myrdraal and lacked the Mark?


RJ did not write this.

Nope. I did. Though back in the day there was this group that thought I was RJ in a wig.

In any case, care to respond?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
Ultimately there is not reason to think Fain may have gained this, reason against on the Mashadar side, and the fact that this is involved in an active connection to the Dark One, which Fain would not dare do.

There's plenty of reason to think that Fain might have developed the ability, especially considering that he has an obvious interest in subverting Myrddraal that has been established since book 2. He can recognize Darkfriends on sight, which we've not seen anyone else do, and the ability came out of the evil of Shadar Logoth, which he now personifies. Sammael's soul need not have anything to do with it, but it's still an option. We don't know enough about the evil of Shadar Logoth to say for sure that it's unconnected, and the coincidence is certainly something to keep in mind.

RJ did not write this. (OH NO HE DIDN'T!)

Well... yes he did... Fain's methods of subverting Myrdraal are clearly stated. It does not work in this way.

That being said I might have been willing to concede the point about Sammael soul and Shadar Logoth being connected to Fain--addmitedly based on the the lack of effect resulting from destruction of Shadar Logoth and the distinct lack of connection in Fain's POV's I'd judge it unlikely.

Might have been willing, mind you. The Chosen Mark--whatever it is--involves a direct connection to the Shadow. We know this because Asmodean's Chosen Mark was destroyed when Rand sliced the black threads--yes, we don't know exactly what the black threads do, but they were directly connected to the Shadow--and the severing of them cut off Asmodean's protection from Shadowspawn, which is direct result of the Mark.

Ergo, Fain manifesting this ability involves a mark which directly links to the Dark One--something Fain would never do.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
My point was that there are existing orders against Trolloc movement, stated by the Forsaken. Given Moridin's comment that the fact that the Trollocs obeyed this order must mean the Mark, may mean literally that--that since it circumvented a prior Marked order, it must have been delivered by someone with the Mark.


Yes, and there are several ways that Fain might have either imitated or gotten around this, as has been pointed out many times. Also, if you're going to take this approach, it makes more sense that Fain would be the one to countermand earlier Forsaken orders, especially orders from Nae'blis. Because Fain obviously doesn't give a shit about what Nae'blis wants, but Taim should. And Taim isn't stupid enough to waste the resources on it, while Fain wants nothing more than to waste the Shadow's resources.


Taim is ambitious--stepping above himself is not out of character--in fact its rather specifically Taim's stated nature.

Furthermore, this attack exactly matches Taim's MO. A blunt attack issued on the chance of success provided Taim can avoid blame--this is EXACTLY what he does in the attack on the Palace in tPoD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
I mean your making all these presumptions about Moridin's knowledge, but he states it flat out--that they obeyed means the Mark--of course he could be wrong, I don't deny that.

You have denied it several times, and you have refused to even recognize the possibility that he might have been lying. Not that I really believe that he's lying, but his words are not as ironclad as you pretend. He definitely doesn't know everything. And don't make assumptions about what I did or did not consider. You have no reason to assume that I didn't consider that he knew what he was talking about. Why would you say that?


I have addressed Mordin lying.

As for assumptions--I didn't make them. You have never addressed the posibility that Moridin--a man who has commanded the Shadow's fources for upward of four millenia--might have been very correct in what he stated.

I've considered him lying. I've addressed the resulting theories, and did so before you even raised this--but you have not even stepped closed to considering that Moridin meant exactly what he said.

It's not a casual point Terez. Moridin has lived for a long time, commanding Trollocs all the while. That he stated that their subversion means the Chosen Mark is not something you can easily shrug aside with 'maybe he was wrong'.

That he lied is possible--I've addressed that. But that doesn't save your point. If he lied then he did it, not Fain. If he didn't lie then the above holds weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
TThere is nothing to suggest the Mark can be faked and alot against it, and Fain is an implausible argument--the most likely candidates are Cyndane, Moridin and Taim. I'm a Taim boy, but I concede the viability of Cyndane and Moridin arguments.

These statements don't mean anything. It's just your opinion. There's no reason to believe that the Mark can't be faked, and no reason to assume that the Mark was even necessary for this little venture. None of the Forsaken are likely candidates because none of them are stupid enough to believe that 100,000 Shadowspawn would stand a chance against Rand and Co. None of them would waste the resources on a mission doomed to fail.

You really didn't read my original comment did you?

I dismiss all the other Forsaken on this point. Moridin too, for that matter--he sits above the others because of the ease with which he could subvert Trollocs--but I do NOT think him likely.

Cyndane, however, has motive--a desperation for revenge. And she has reasoning--constricted by the cour'souvra her resources are limited. This attack makes no sense from the other Forsaken, it simply awakens Rand to the threat, and they know well what a channeler can do in war--especially one equiped with the choedan Kal and Callandor, which after the Battle of Shadar Logoth they had no reason to think he wouldn't use.

Cyndane however escapes that limitation--her rage and her limitations provide for her taking such a chance.

Taim, however, is more likely. This precisely matches his methodology.

Fain is the only suspect with a believable motive, and all of the clues are there to tell us that he's capable of pulling it off.

Is Fain's motive that believable--he's stated clearly that he wants to be the one to kill Rand. H killed Kisman for it--why would he suddenly be willing to accept having a Trolloc slay Rand.

Your entire post was just bluster. As usual.

How distinctly rude.

Tree Brother
03-22-2010, 11:08 AM
Well... yes he did... Fain's methods of subverting Myrdraal are clearly stated. It does not work in this way.
...
Might have been willing, mind you. The Chosen Mark--whatever it is--involves a direct connection to the Shadow. We know this because Asmodean's Chosen Mark was destroyed when Rand sliced the black threads--yes, we don't know exactly what the black threads do, but they were directly connected to the Shadow--and the severing of them cut off Asmodean's protection from Shadowspawn, which is direct result of the Mark.

Ergo, Fain manifesting this ability involves a mark which directly links to the Dark One--something Fain would never do.


All Moridin says is that Sammael, or someone pretending to be him, ordered this.

Assuming he is being truthful, he himself assumes that only a Chosen can order Myrdraal, and the Myrdraal he interviewed (or some third party if the Myrdraal running the show was killed in the action) said Sammael did it.

For example, the following could have occurred (this is speculation)

1) Fain "convinces" a Myrdraal to coordinate this, and tells it to say Sammael ordered it.
2) Fain tells Mashadar to go play somewhere else.
3) Rand and company kill them all, except for maybe a Trolloc that escapes.
4) Moridin has the Trolloc questioned, and he says Sammeal ordered the attack.
5) Moridin, "knowing" that only Chosen can order Myrdraal, and knowing Sammael is dead, assumes someone impersonated him.

Pure speculation, but plausible. And personally, I think that (2) points to Fain. No Chosen could have done that. And that many creatures in the Ways would have definitely gotten its attention.

GonzoTheGreat
03-22-2010, 11:14 AM
Actually, there is quite a bit of speculation involved in step 1). It assumes that if a Fade passes on orders from a Forsaken, then that Fade will be automatically believed.
What Moridin actually say suggests (without explicitly saying it) that whoever pulled this off personally ordered all those Fades, which means that he (or she) actually did have the Chossen Tag which is necessary to get such total obedience.

Tree Brother
03-22-2010, 11:22 AM
I am not so sure about that. I think it is equally speculation that all the Fades involved were ordered simultaneously.

By the way, we, the readers, know that Fain can order at least one Fade around, without the use of any "Chosen mark". I do not think Moridin knows Fain can do that.

Daekyras
03-22-2010, 11:43 AM
I am not so sure about that. I think it is equally speculation that all the Fades involved were ordered simultaneously.

By the way, we, the readers, know that Fain can order at least one Fade around, without the use of any "Chosen mark". I do not think Moridin knows Fain can do that.

Well slayer would from tSR. He spent his time down there trying to catch Fain and with all the trollocs Fain was using he would have to know Fain could at least control one Fade.

If slayer knows it's a safe bet that Moridin knows...

Terez
03-22-2010, 12:16 PM
How distinctly rude.
Just trying to return the favor. ;)

greatwolf
03-22-2010, 04:10 PM
About the "so-called Aiel" comment - Saldea is the westernmost nation in the Borderlands, you need to go through all 3 others before you get to the Aiel Waste.

Shienarans would know Aiel, perhaps even Arafellins, but I doubt a Kandori or Saldean would unless they had military training.

And given Taim's attitude towards swordplay I doubt he has much military background.


That's a good catch. If Taim is truly a borderlander, then he's no stranger to swords. His attitude toward swordplay is odd to say the least. But Taim seems to know enough to have defeated Bashere - a great captain - on the field. That's a feat indeed. Learning enough about command and tactics and strategy to defeat a great captain is not likely to take anything less than years of study, OP or no.

So where did he get his military skills and why does he despise swords and aiel?

nameless
03-22-2010, 11:18 PM
Moridin does not know that whoever did it has the Chosen Mark; he simply makes this assumption based on the facts that the Fades obeyed the attack order. If he learned from Luc/Isam that Fain has the ability to command Shadowspawn without the Chosen Mark then his reasoning is sophistry, which supports Terez's idea that he may have been lying. If he doesn't know about Fain's defectors then he doesn't have all the facts, which also points to his conclusion being unreliable.

Myrdraal are sly but they are also loyal. The Fades who attacked each other in the Stone did so on orders from the Forsaken. Even Sammael, whose attack was thwarted, did not doubt for a second that it was thwarted by one of the other Chosen, even if he was wrong about which one. It never crossed his mind that the Fades who moved against him might have decided to betray the Shadow altogether. Even extremely clever people have trouble thinking the unthinkable, and it is perfectly reasonable to believe that Myrdraal, for all their slyness, would never consider that another Myrdraal would turn against the Shadow and suffer the unspeakable tortures sure to come to any such traitors. They know that nothing is scarier than the thought of their master's vengeance, except for the ones who have experienced Fain's tortures first hand, and they're not likely to tell the others about it.

I'm not saying it's 100% certain Fain did it. I think Demandred is also a strong candidate. However, no one in the "Fain couldn't possibly have done it" camp accounts for how the attackers moved through the Ways without attracting Machin Shin except for one poster claiming the Black Wind must have lost its fighting spirit after the encounter with Fain in tEotW which clearly isn't true based on events of tSR.

Terez
03-23-2010, 12:07 AM
TITLE - The Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 31 - Assurances

With a sigh, he seated himself on the edge of his bed. The lamps were already lit, more than a dozen, leaving no shadow anywhere. The tent was as bright inside as noonday. "Have you thought over my proposal? Accept, and you walk free. Refuse... I know how to hurt your sort. I can make you scream through endless dying. Forever dying, forever screaming."

The chains hummed at a jerk; the stakes driven deep into the ground creaked. "Very well." The Myrddraal's voice was dried snakeskin crumbling. "I accept. Release me."

Ordeith smiled. It thought him a fool. It would learn. They all would. "First, the matter of... shall we say, agreements and accord?" As he talked, the Myrddraal began to sweat.
1. Fain could have subverted several Fades directly. From this quote, it's obvious that he intended to try.

2. Fain could have used this Fade to pull off the entire shebang. From the way the scene goes down, it appears that there was a lot of risk involved for the Fade in Fain's proposal, but little to none for Fain.

3. Fain could have actually impersonated Sammael using his illusion talent, and used whatever info he got from the Fade to pull it off smoothly. Perhaps he was able to fake the Mark. Perhaps he managed it by commanding that one Fade a certain distance from others. All sorts of possibilities here, since we have no idea what actually happened. Besides having nothing but Moridin's word, which we probably shouldn't trust too blindly, it's not as if he gives much detail.

4. The one Fade might have lied to Moridin about Sammael.

5. Moridin might have lied about Sammael.

It would be idiotic to choose one of these options when all of them are possible, because it's more than enough to establish that Fain could have done it. The possibilities are multiple, and that is what makes the theory strong.

Then there is the fact that Fain actually has a believable motive, while none of the Forsaken or Forsaken-wannabes have a believable motive. For all of them, whether actual Forsaken or wannabe, the risk is too great (being caught out by Nae'blis=bad), not to mention the wasted resources, and the chance of success too small.

For Fain, the risk is probably negligible. He would love to waste the Shadow's resources. The chance of success is not a factor in his choice, because it's not his neck on the line (and also because he's batshit crazy). We saw very nearly the same scenario, when he ordered his Whitecloaks to attack Rand in Caemlyn.

Also, the Shadowspawn were moved by the Ways. Fain was the first to do this in The Eye of the World, and RJ likes to come full circle. Fain's relationship with Machin Shin should also not be overlooked. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Fain's Gollum parallel has something to do with the Ways, and subversion of Shadowspawn. There is also foreshadowing of Rand cleansing the Ways, like he did saidin.

Luckers' arguments just dance little circles around all of these things. I'm not going to theorize about exactly how Fain did it, because there are a number of ways he might have done it, but Fain is clearly the most logical suspect. Taim is so weak as to be random.

Belazamon
03-23-2010, 12:31 AM
Ordeith smiled. It thought him a fool. It would learn. They all would.1. Fain could have subverted several Fades directly. From this quote, it's obvious that he intended to try.
Just to nitpick, I didn't read that as specifically referencing Fades, but more of a paranoid "I'll show them! I'll show them all!!" sort of rant.

Carry on. :)

Terez
03-23-2010, 12:55 AM
Well obviously, if that interpretation wasn't the common casual one, we wouldn't be having this argument. :rolleyes:

nameless
03-23-2010, 01:29 AM
That's a good catch. If Taim is truly a borderlander, then he's no stranger to swords. His attitude toward swordplay is odd to say the least. But Taim seems to know enough to have defeated Bashere - a great captain - on the field. That's a feat indeed. Learning enough about command and tactics and strategy to defeat a great captain is not likely to take anything less than years of study, OP or no.

So where did he get his military skills and why does he despise swords and aiel?

Remember Rand's alternate Portal Stone life as an archer in the Queen's Guards? Even an undetectably small amount of channeling can turn the tide of a battle. The Seanchan, using the Power, were able to take out a half-legion of Children under the command of one of their best battle leaders without losing a single soldier. Don't underestimate the potential of a channeler of Taim's strength, especially when he doesn't need to hide the fact that he's channeling. His earthquake trick would stop cavalry in its tracks, effectively nuetralizing Saldea's main advantage, and while killing hundreds may not seem like much in a fight involving thousands on either side, the morale impact of seeing hundreds of your comrades blown apart by something they couldn't possibly defend against is likely to be enough to make thousands more turn and run.

Plus, there's the outside possibility that he studied tactics without studying swords. After all, the general who picks up a sword has set aside his baton and become a common soldier.

Luckers
03-23-2010, 04:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckers
How distinctly rude.

Just trying to return the favor.

What can I say? 'When in Theoryland...'

Luckers' arguments just dance little circles around all of these things. I'm not going to theorize about exactly how Fain did it, because there are a number of ways he might have done it, but Fain is clearly the most logical suspect. Taim is so weak as to be random.

You realise I take this as a victory? Blindly restating your position whilst ignoring the points made against it and then declaring it 'clearly the most logical' are all signs of someone incapable of defending their position, but too proud to admit it.

I can abide that.

Terez
03-23-2010, 12:38 PM
What can I say? 'When in Theoryland...'
pssh, I was thinking more of my reception at Dragonmount a few years ago. ;) I still like you though, Luckers.

You realise I take this as a victory?
You would. But I will be laughing when the next book comes out, so it's all good. I didn't ignore the points made against it - I ignored the 'points' that you pulled out of your ass that don't really mean anything.

incapable of defending their position
There is more to defending your position than responding to every badly-framed argument against it. But I might go back and pick apart your post later.

Enigma
03-23-2010, 02:31 PM
Remember Rand's alternate Portal Stone life as an archer in the Queen's Guards? Even an undetectably small amount of channeling can turn the tide of a battle. The Seanchan, using the Power, were able to take out a half-legion of Children under the command of one of their best battle leaders without losing a single soldier. Don't underestimate the potential of a channeler of Taim's strength, especially when he doesn't need to hide the fact that he's channeling. His earthquake trick would stop cavalry in its tracks, effectively nuetralizing Saldea's main advantage, and while killing hundreds may not seem like much in a fight involving thousands on either side, the morale impact of seeing hundreds of your comrades blown apart by something they couldn't possibly defend against is likely to be enough to make thousands more turn and run.

Plus, there's the outside possibility that he studied tactics without studying swords. After all, the general who picks up a sword has set aside his baton and become a common soldier.

If you look at the regular Aes Sedai you could see a reflection of Taim's attitude. "Why do I need to study herbs I can heal with the One Power?' I see him as a man who learned what he can do and figured that his ability would make him better than any number of swordsmen. This might even be strengthened if he was not really good with swords in the first place.

He may not even have needed to study tactics to win against even a great captain, especially if the great captain did not have Aes Sedai support.

Put it another way, I know nothing about military tactics but if you put me down in the middle of say Agincourt some distance in front of the french knights and give me a heavy machine gun and lots and lots of ammo with a generous helping of grenades and assume I know how to use the said machine gun and ammo I think I would probably have a good chance of beating all those trained military men because I can kill them long before they get to me and once they start seeing the ground exploding in the midst of their ranks panic will set it and disciplin may not fail entirely but it will suffer.

Thats even without Taim having some of his own followers who may know a thing or two about battle. All false dragons who were strong in the OP were a problem because they were an army in their own right. A

Terez
03-23-2010, 03:33 PM
In the mean time try and answer where Fain fails.
Not sure what you are asking here.

I ask you, clearly and cleanly. Is it your position that there was no Sammael.
Is this a question?

That Fain's toy Myrdraal commanded other Myrdraal to obey, and they--despite their stated slyness--did so. And that Moridin made up the whole story about Sammael to save face.
They are sly, but there is no evidence that they would ever lie to each other about orders from the Shadow, and plenty of evidence against. They use their slyness against the enemy, not against each other.

But this has already been addressed, several times. There are several options for how it went down, and your insistence that I pick one is ludicrous.

If that is not your position, then I demand you clarify yourself. Either you therefore believe Moridin, and not Fain, was responsible--or you must admit that someone brought Moridin the information, and that subsequently there were witnesses.
This has mostly been addressed. The confusion about Moridin is a straw man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man) on your part; I never suggested that Moridin did it. But I think you are just not using your brain.

Scenario: Moridin learns from Fade about 100,000 Shadowspawn being ordered into the Ways. Moridin questions Fade about who gave the orders. Fade doesn't know; Fade just knows that they had orders. Moridin suspects Fain (because he knows more about Fain than the rest of the Forsaken), but tells story about Sammael to cover some of his embarrassment. Because if the other Forsaken realize how much trouble a non-channeler is giving him, it will damage his street cred. That's why he's delegated the task of hunting Fain to Slayer. Anyway, no witnesses necessary.

Scenario 2: Moridin learns from Fain's Fade (or one of Fain's Fades) about the missing Shadowspawn. Fain's Fade did not participate in the attack, because it was doomed to fail. The Fade tells him a story about how he saw Sammael giving the orders. Moridin never suspects that the Fade is lying, because Fades simply do not lie to Forsaken. His mind jumps to the most obvious possibility, that one of the Forsaken used Illusion to impersonate Sammael. As your belligerence about the Mark so aptly demonstrates, that should be the only possibility. Though of course, Moridin likely suspects Fain still, but would rather believe that one of his Forsaken had done it, than believe that the renegade had grown so powerful. No witnesses necessary.

Scenario 3: Moridin learns about the missing Shadowspawn through the grapevine, perhaps a rumor started by Fain's Fade(s), but can't manage to track down a Fade that actually saw Sammael. It would explain why he didn't know what the orders actually were, and no witnesses necessary.

Again, the sky is the limit on options here. No need to type them all out, because I trust that most readers are not predisposed to dismiss Fain as a suspect like you are, and therefore not inhibited in their creativity for thinking up scenarios.

But I'll clearly state my position for you:

Fain sent the the attack. Even further, he was likely responsible for the Shadowspawn that attacked Tylee in TGS.

That's it. There are plenty of ways that it might have happened, but they are only a part of my position in that they demonstrate that Fain was capable of ordering the attack.

As for the last bit of that quote, about the witnesses (again), it's simply a non sequitur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_%28logic%29). This is why I didn't want to pick apart your post, by the way. I am repeating myself.

Or is it your claim that Moridin was present and Fain in some way stopped him from counter-manding the Shadowspawn from attacking? Or are, perhaps, Fain and Moridin working together.
Straw men again. It's the lazy debater's tactic, to make up positions that the opponent did not claim or even imply - ridiculous positions that are easy to tear down - all the while ignoring the opponent's quite logical arguments.

As for what reason a Fade would have to distrust a Fade--every statement about their nature. Additionally, we've seen elements in the Shadow fight each other--the attack on the Stone in tSR, for instance. Don't try to claim Shadowspawn have never before been subverted.
Hasty generalization. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization) Show me JUST ONE QUOTE that even suggests that a Fade would lie to another Fade (besides the situation with Fain, of course). All the attack on the Stone shows is that the Dark One was up to something (via Semirhage's point of view...likely he was protecting Rand against Sammael, and sowing chaos at the same time). All of the Fades involved were following their respective orders, and they are smart enough to know that the Forsaken are often at odds with each other. It is not their place to second-guess their orders, though.

RJ did not write this. (OH NO HE DIDN'T!)
Let me explain the difference between what you did, and what I did. You stated an opinion as if it were fact. I pointed out that RJ did not write that. Then, I offered a list of possibilities for how it might have gone down. You try to steal my response, as if it makes the slightest bit of sense (it doesn't).

Fain's methods of subverting Myrdraal are clearly stated. It does not work in this way.
Argumentum ex silentio. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_silence) Fain's methods of subverting that one Fade, back in The Shadow Rising, were hinted at (it involved pain, I gather). But his powers had developed since The Great Hunt - he eventually had to kill that Fade in order to subvert the Trollocs that were with it - and there's plenty of evidence later on that Fain's powers are continually evolving and growing. All I'm saying is that it's quite possible he is somehow able to fake the Mark, not that there is any specific evidence for it. It's one of the weaker scenarios, but since it's not a necessary scenario, the weakness of it doesn't hurt my theory at all (just adds another possibility). It's not surprising that you concentrated mostly on this point, but it doesn't help your position any.

That being said I might have been willing to concede the point about Sammael soul and Shadar Logoth being connected to Fain--addmitedly based on the the lack of effect resulting from destruction of Shadar Logoth and the distinct lack of connection in Fain's POV's I'd judge it unlikely.
EPIC FAIL.

We haven't had any Fain POVs since Lord of Chaos, and we have not seen Fain at all since the Cleansing.

In any case, the 'soul access' possibility is another weak scenario. Just a possibility I threw out there, because you seem to lack an imagination.

Taim is ambitious--stepping above himself is not out of character--in fact its rather specifically Taim's stated nature.

Furthermore, this attack exactly matches Taim's MO. A blunt attack issued on the chance of success provided Taim can avoid blame--this is EXACTLY what he does in the attack on the Palace in tPoD.
False analogy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_analogy). It's nothing like the attack on the Sun Palace. In that case, he merely ordered the same thing that Demandred ordered. He wasn't going against his orders at all. We have no evidence that Taim would disobey Demandred in this or anything else. Even Moridin was not opposed to Rand being killed; he simply thought it more important to have Rand's toys.

Taim is quite obviously concentrated on the impending Black Tower battle, and he has reason to be confident in that regard. There is no reason to assume he would countermand his orders and risk the wrath of Nae'blis (aside from wasting valuable resources) for a move that has such a small chance of success.

You have never addressed the posibility that Moridin--a man who has commanded the Shadow's fources for upward of four millenia--might have been very correct in what he stated.
What, that Sammael has resurfaced? We know as per RJ that's not true. That it was someone posing as Sammael? I never denied that possibility, and I've even given you scenarios before, for how Fain might have pulled it off.

That he lied is possible--I've addressed that. But that doesn't save your point. If he lied then he did it, not Fain. If he didn't lie then the above holds weight.
Non sequitur, again. But I've already addressed this.

Cyndane, however, has motive--a desperation for revenge.
That's not enough for motive. She would also have to have some sort of hope that the attack would be successful...and she knows better. She would also have to be willing to risk being caught, which is unlikely.

Taim, however, is more likely. This precisely matches his methodology.
You have yet to provide any actual evidence for that assumption.

Is Fain's motive that believable--he's stated clearly that he wants to be the one to kill Rand.
And he has shown before that he is crazy enough to order an attack on Rand despite that fact (Whitecloaks in Caemlyn). Why? Because he's sick of being the Dark One's hound. He wants to be free of that compulsion. Far Madding was his last desperate attempt to do it with his own hands, in a place where Rand couldn't use the Power. That desperate attempt failed.

But again....I'm repeating myself.

greatwolf
03-23-2010, 04:40 PM
If you look at the regular Aes Sedai you could see a reflection of Taim's attitude. "Why do I need to study herbs I can heal with the One Power?' I see him as a man who learned what he can do and figured that his ability would make him better than any number of swordsmen. This might even be strengthened if he was not really good with swords in the first place.

He may not even have needed to study tactics to win against even a great captain, especially if the great captain did not have Aes Sedai support.

Put it another way, I know nothing about military tactics but if you put me down in the middle of say Agincourt some distance in front of the french knights and give me a heavy machine gun and lots and lots of ammo with a generous helping of grenades and assume I know how to use the said machine gun and ammo I think I would probably have a good chance of beating all those trained military men because I can kill them long before they get to me and once they start seeing the ground exploding in the midst of their ranks panic will set it and disciplin may not fail entirely but it will suffer.

Thats even without Taim having some of his own followers who may know a thing or two about battle. All false dragons who were strong in the OP were a problem because they were an army in their own right. A


The problem isn't merely Taim's attitude. Taim is saldean (or claims to be) and presumably lived in the borderlands. All BLers are expected to be familiar with swords and fighting even if they're not in the army. If he was aiel or a southerner, the attitude would be completely justifiable. But for a BLer, it is rather peculiar at the very least.

But what makes Taim's situation even odder is that he knows enough of military tactics to defeat a great captain. Let me make this point clear. Being a great captain is a thing of reputation. Most people who have acquired it gradually over the years as they rise through the ranks.


But as far as we can tell, Taim was unknown before his rise as a false dragon. If he was serving in any military unit, his abilities would have been remarked and he would have had a following in the BLs where men are very practical about such things.


The specifics

IIRC, Taim was winning the battle with Bashere when he was taken. Cadsuane confirms that she was there when Taim was taken and we know other sisters where there. Yet Taim defeated them! More important, Bashere was sent to take down a man who could channel. He knew that he would be facing a man who could channel. And he had AS support, yet he was beaten!

This means Taim is in a class by himself. Its not every general who can coordinate his forces with OP wielders. But Taim did successfully. And he did it while defeating a great captain and the likes of Cadsuane? If he had completed his routing of Bashere and the AS, his fame would have been magnified and it would have been difficult for men not to accept him as the dragon.

So you can ask yourself if Taim is any kind of military rookie. And if he's so vastly experienced, why does he despise swords? Why would any craftsman despise the tools of his trade? Without evidence to the contrary, it is clear Taim must have learnt military tactics and the OP over a period of time. And he did not learn it on the battlefield else his fame would have been noised about.


That leads us to the option of Taim having had a teacher. Someone who knows the OP and enough about military tactics to make Taim good enough to defeat Bashere.

Very peculiar indeed.

Heinz
03-23-2010, 05:46 PM
Rand also has zero military record prior to tFoH. His training from Lan and Moiraine focused on swordsmanship and politics respectively, with a little bit of other fighting technique from Rhuarc. Now, there's plenty of chances for any of these or all or other sources to give military strategy and tactics training off-screen, but the same can be said of Taim. Really, all we get in the books is that Rhuarc, Bael and other clan chiefs, along with Lan and later Mat and Bashere, telling Rand what to do and Rand basically following their battle plan. It isn't Rand's military genius that is winning battles. Rand, of course, also has his tag-along memories. We are not told Taim has the same, and any speculation that he does and is a re-born AoL'er is just that, pure speculation. It can be a fun topic to chat about, but it cannot be touted as fact.

What this all really comes down to is that we don't know 95% of Taim's backstory. It isn't that it's shrouded in mystery or has been purposely with-held, it simply hasn't been a part of the story yet. Without knowing that, we can't say that it seems 'awefully funny that he beat Bashere'.

We don't know the conditions of the battle; the numbers of troops, the terrain, the weather, the morale situation, the quality of Taim's army or Bashere's, the presence of Aes Sedai at the battle and what they were doing to help or not doing to not help, the luck of battle. We only know that Taim had Bashere beat. Period. Maybe the terrain was rocky and through forests, making Bashere's heavy cavalry ineffective? Or swampy? Maybe Bashere's army was moving to engage Taim quickly and was engaged by Taim before it was fully arrayed in battle formation from its previous marching formation?

All of it is speculation with Taim. There isn't currently a way to know, and may never be if it never is relavent enough to the story for it to be written into the final 2 books. My point is, his almost victory over Bashere, spoken of in two sentences long after, is very weak evidence that Taim is not who he says he is or was receiving training prior to declaring Dragon (false).

You have more to stand on pursuing Taim's knowledge and abilities with the One Power, than on this. Though I myself do not believe that, prior to his capture and escape from Aes Sedai following the visions from Falme, he was any more than Mazrim Taim, false Dragon extraordinaire.

greatwolf
03-23-2010, 06:50 PM
You have more to stand on pursuing Taim's knowledge and abilities with the One Power, than on this. Though I myself do not believe that, prior to his capture and escape from Aes Sedai following the visions from Falme, he was any more than Mazrim Taim, false Dragon extraordinaire.


I would be more sympathetic to this view if Cadsuane and the AS hadn't been involved in attempting to capture Taim. Logain was strong and had an army with him and wasn't facing a great captain. He succeeded in killing some AS but got captured. By Cadsuane.Cadsuane is experienced at taking male channelers.


Putting Taim's success against Cadsuane and Bashere to luck or terrain is really strecthing it. Anyone who can defeat a noted general or aes sedai deserves some credit. Taking both together...


Well if you want to pursue the angle that Taim has some residual kmemory or knowledge of some sort from the aol, you free to but in the face of RJ having debunked Taimandred, I think you'll have a hard time pinning down anything.

All it leaves is that Taim must be a pretty odd character.

nameless
03-23-2010, 07:07 PM
The assumption you're making that doesn't hold up is that Taim himself is the one who devised the battle plan. As Heinz points out, Rand has followers with decades of military experience and leaves the planning up to them even though he is the leader and the figurehead. There's no reason to believe Taim wouldn't have recruited a few tacticians of his own. Aes Sedai don't make as much difference on the battlefield as they do 1 one 1 against a channeler (or 6 on 1 if they're smart) because their Oaths prohibit them from attacking Taim's troops directly unless they put themselves in the middle of the melee, at which point they're too busy trying to stay alive to be effective against Taim.

greatwolf
03-23-2010, 07:42 PM
. As Heinz points out, Rand has followers with decades of military experience and leaves the planning up to them even though he is the leader and the figurehead. There's no reason to believe Taim wouldn't have recruited a few tacticians of his own.


Like Niall? He could defeat Bashere, but what does he know about coordinating with channelers?
Who would you suggests would be the tacticians for an unknown false dragon being hunted by the WT? Notice I don't accuse you of assuming anything.

nameless
03-23-2010, 08:15 PM
I don't think he recruited one of the Great Captains, I think he recruited some soldiers who knew enough about war that their knowledge plus his channeling were enough to overcome Bashere. His fight with Bashere wasn't the first time he used the Power in conjunction with his army so they'd have plenty of chances to work out the kinks as they went along. He doesn't have to have better tacticians than Bashere to win because his Power can be used offensively and Bashere's Aes Sedai allies can't do anything but defend. His commanders just have to be competent enough to keep from being caught with their pants down and let Taim's superior firepower do the rest, kind of like Grant did with Lee during the American Civil War.

You made an assumption. Everybody does it. Don't take it as an insult when someone points it out to you.

greatwolf
03-23-2010, 09:14 PM
. His fight with Bashere wasn't the first time he used the Power in conjunction with his army so they'd have plenty of chances to work out the kinks as they went along.


It wasn't? How do you know that?

nameless
03-23-2010, 10:02 PM
Because the Aes Sedai were there specifically to capture a man who could channel and no one would know he could channel if he hadn't done so on at least one occassion before then. What's more, they sent a large contingent including Cadsuane herself, so he'd probably done something impressive enough to tell them just one or two Reds wasn't gonna cut it.

greatwolf
03-24-2010, 01:03 AM
Because the Aes Sedai were there specifically to capture a man who could channel and no one would know he could channel if he hadn't done so on at least one occassion before then. What's more, they sent a large contingent including Cadsuane herself, so he'd probably done something impressive enough to tell them just one or two Reds wasn't gonna cut it.


You specifically said he had channeled in conjuction with his army. I'm asking you to remind me of this.

His fight with Bashere wasn't the first time he used the Power in conjunction with his army so they'd have plenty of chances to work out the kinks as they went along


Cadsuane wasn't sent with other sisters, she choose to go on her own.

nameless
03-24-2010, 01:23 AM
That's also an assumption. Like I said, everbody makes 'em. I think it's a reasonable one, though, in that any army gathered around the Dragon banner* would expect their leader to perform miracles that granted them victory, and it'd be pretty damn strange if he let them fight and die for him without lending a hand. Faith in him is what keeps them following, and the fact that they kept following suggests that he did something to affirm their faith.

Good point about Cadsuane, but the other 5 still represent that the Tower takes him fairly seriously.

*except for those morons in Murandy who picked a "Dragon" that couldn't even channel.

GonzoTheGreat
03-24-2010, 05:51 AM
You specifically said he had channeled in conjuction with his army. I'm asking you to remind me of this.
Nothing definite, but hints can be found here:
"Not that they don't want to, I expect, only the Governor don't trust them no more than I do. He won't let but maybe ten or so inside the walls at one time, and ain't they mad about that. The rest have a camp a little ways north, I hear. Bet they got the farmers looking over their shoulders. The ones that do come in, they just stalk around in those white cloaks, looking down their noses at honest folk. Walk in the Light, they say, and it's an order. Near come to blows more than once with the wagoneers and miners and smelters and all, and even the Watch, but the Governor wants it all peaceful, and that's how it's been so far. If they're hunting evil, I say why aren't they up in Saldaea? There's some kind of trouble up there, I hear. Or down in Ghealdan? There's been a big battle down there, they say. Real big."
A bit more confirmation comes from this, though:
"Three more false Dragons." Liandrin bit the words off. "In Saldaea, Murandy, and Tear false Dragons ravage the land. The while, you Blues smile and talk of nothing, and try to hold on to the past." Anaiya raised an eyebrow, and Liandrin snapped her mouth shut with a sharp sniff.
...
"It isn't so grim as that," Anaiya said. "As far as we know, only the one in Saldaea can channel. He has not had time to attract many followers, and sisters should already be there to deal with him. The Tarens are harrying their false Dragon and his followers through Haddon Mirk, while the fellow in Murandy is already in chains."So at that point, Taim's army was not large, but it was big enough to be mentioned. And it was also known that he could channel, which suggests fairly strongly that he had done so.

greatwolf
03-24-2010, 01:12 PM
Nothing definite, but hints can be found here:

A bit more confirmation comes from this, though:
So at that point, Taim's army was not large, but it was big enough to be mentioned. And it was also known that he could channel, which suggests fairly strongly that he had done so.

The statement was rather clear, Gonzo. I only need o see that Taim had been channeling in coordination with his army. It isn't an assumption is it?

nameless
03-24-2010, 03:50 PM
*sigh*... if you're not gonna read posts before replying there's not much point to this

greatwolf
03-24-2010, 04:15 PM
*sigh*... if you're not gonna read posts before replying there's not much point to this

You give up?

greatwolf
03-24-2010, 05:20 PM
For the record, I haven't made any assumptions about Taim. I only pointed out the facts that are known about him and you drawn conclusions on it.

We know for a fact that Taim defeated Bashere. We know too that Cadsuane and other AS were there. We don't know for a fact that Taim had any officer capable of defeating bashere or experienced at coordinatng an army with a channeler.

We also know Cadsuane's angreal and terangreal. If Taim could defeat her with all that, then he's very, very good. And still less than 30 IIRC.

Enigma
03-24-2010, 06:14 PM
We know for a fact that Taim defeated Bashere. We know too that Cadsuane and other AS were there. We don't know for a fact that Taim had any officer capable of defeating bashere or experienced at coordinatng an army with a channeler.

Even if the Aes Sedia were there, given the limitations of the oaths it would not be very easy for them to affect the battle.

They can try to shield Taim but lets consider hwo WoT battles are fought even with small armies. Taim is just one man in a very large group of men. He is using Saidar which the Aes Sedai can't easily detect. Even Caddy's toys only give general direction.

Taim on the other hand would know that there would be very few women right in the middle of the battle, the wives/girlfriends would be in the rear. So if he sees a woman in the middle of the fighting its pretty safe to assume that she is AS and he throws everything he has at that point. He is nearly as strong as Rand and when fighting the Shaido Rand was channeling at over half a mile.

Can an As just blast away and hope to get Taim? The three oaths may allow her to attack men who are threatening her and her sisters/warders but can she attack a unit half a mile away who might threaten her in 30 minutes?

Having As there certainly gives the attackers a chance to win but its hard for women to block a man's weaves because they can't see them. I could be wrong here but the way I
see it is that the AS would try as best they could to limit Taim's attacks, and to try to figure out where exactly he was and then try to conver him while driving off any followers he might have that are in the way.

That leaves a lot of time for Taim to really cut into Bashere's army.

greatwolf
03-25-2010, 06:53 PM
Even if the Aes Sedia were there, given the limitations of the oaths it would not be very easy for them to affect the battle.


How would the oaths limit them? They are aware that they are going into a battle. With an army opposing them. And a channeler whose weaves they can't see and who may be insane already. I don't see what you mean.

In any case, they may want to use the least destructive means not because of any limitation but due to their modus operandi. In such cases they are usually ready to defend themselves adequately. Unless you're arguing they're too dumb to protect themselves.

That leaves a lot of time for Taim to really cut into Bashere's army.


With what? Fireballs that will meet with shields of air? or lightning that will meet with inverted domes of air?

In case you've forgotten, Cadsuane was able to hold out against lightning attacks launched by forsaken on her own! I doubt Taim's stronger than that. And she organised AS to counter the forsaken using linked circles. If they did well against the forsaken, why did they fail against Taim?

greatwolf
03-25-2010, 07:05 PM
So at that point, Taim's army was not large, but it was big enough to be mentioned. And it was also known that he could channel, which suggests fairly strongly that he had done so.

According to the post Gonzo, Taim didn't have many followers. Perhaps not even a proper army. And it also makes clear he hasn't had enough time. Time is needed to train an army into a disciplined fighting force that is properly coordinated.

GonzoTheGreat
03-26-2010, 05:15 AM
According to the post Gonzo, Taim didn't have many followers. Perhaps not even a proper army. And it also makes clear he hasn't had enough time. Time is needed to train an army into a disciplined fighting force that is properly coordinated.AS have a tendency to underestimate the importance (and hence size) of ordinary armies, because "those men can't channel and hence aren't important".
On top of that, this was based on a report they got in Tar Valon, and the information was then carried with them to Fal Dara, where they told Moiraine about it. That would give Taim at least a month in which to increase his army. If you think back on how many Dragonsworn came falling out of the trees within a month of Rand showing himself in Falme, then you may understand that Taim's following could have grown to a fairly considerable size by then. And on top of that there will be plenty of people in Saldaea who have military experience, and probably even quite a few who have some experience in working together with AS. So integrating the use of the OP into an army wouldn't be impossible at all.

Heinz
03-26-2010, 09:34 AM
It still isn't safe to assume Taim had to defeat Aes Sedai and Bashere's army. We know Aes Sedai were sent, we know Cadsuane attached herself to said Aes Sedai. We do not know the extent of their involvement. As mentioned, the Three Oaths would prevent them from taking direct part in battle short of in defense of their life. As we saw with Mat and his two Aes Sedai companions at the end of KoD, just being part of a battle isn't enough. They have to FEEL in danger.

We don't have the facts, and making assumptions is a stretch with so large of gaps in our facts. In short, I don't see as there's a way to name Taim a piece of a Darkfriend/Chosen conspiracy, or simply acting on his own during his time as false Dragon.

greatwolf
03-26-2010, 05:06 PM
As we saw with Mat and his two Aes Sedai companions at the end of KoD, just being part of a battle isn't enough. They have to FEEL in danger.

We don't have the facts, and making assumptions is a stretch with so large of gaps in our facts.


Matt and his AS were facing an army without a man who can channel. It seems wrong to me to equate the danger of an army with bows and swords to one with a channeler in it. And a male for that matter who could have already gone mad. I think the AS would naturally go into such a conflict expecting weaves to come out of nowhere.

When the AS faced the aiel at dumai's wells, the used the OP to kill despite the fact that they were "safe" behind a barrier of air that the shaido WOs (untrained "wilders")couldn't get through. I think this is a more appropriate comparism.

greatwolf
03-27-2010, 03:49 PM
Having As there certainly gives the attackers a chance to win but its hard for women to block a man's weaves because they can't see them. I could be wrong here but the way I
see it is that the AS would try as best they could to limit Taim's attacks, and to try to figure out where exactly he was and then try to conver him while driving off any followers he might have that are in the way.



BTW, you know Cadsuane has terangreal that can help her locate channeling even before she comes anywhere near the channeler? And probably detects hostility as well. And the assumption that red sisters will not tear Taim's army apart the moment the first arrow is loosed is very unlikely.

Enigma
03-28-2010, 10:36 AM
Yes I know that Cadsuane has ter'angreal that detects male channeling and hostility. On the hostility part I would guess the whole army is hostile so I can't see that picking up Taim.

Secondly the ter'angreal only gives general direction as seen at the cleansing of Saidan. I assume that Taim will have other men around him and will not be having banners proclaiming his exact position the As can't simply link into a circle of 13 and shield him. There are too many targets and if they link they can overwhelm any man but what if they try to shield the man standing next to him? They would be wide open to a counterattack and aside from who ever is directing the link, the rest of the 12 are helpless.

Yes Cadsuane can keep a shield up against forsaken level attacks but if I'm not mistaken it took all of her strenght with very little left for anything else. She had to weaken the shield to wash away some of Nynaeve's tirdness. Again this leaves them vulnerable to conventional attack.

Don't get me wrong I am not saying that the AS would be helpless and Taim should just wipe them out but its not going to be a one sided fight by the AS either. A channeler of Taim's strenght can dish out a lot of damage and the AS may not be able to completly protect the soldiers with them. Nor can they just show up and over whelm him. First the have to find him and a lot would depend on who well they can work with Bashere's army and use the soldiers as a screen against Taim's men and a conventional attack.

Neilbert
03-28-2010, 12:37 PM
Yes I know that Cadsuane has ter'angreal that detects male channeling and hostility. On the hostility part I would guess the whole army is hostile so I can't see that picking up Taim.

Huh? Did I miss something?

greatwolf
03-28-2010, 04:05 PM
Secondly the ter'angreal only gives general direction as seen at the cleansing of Saidan.


The direction was good enough that Elza (a DF) was able to target the forsaken every time even at a distance of miles. What more do you want?


Don't get me wrong I am not saying that the AS would be helpless and Taim should just wipe them out but its not going to be a one sided fight by the AS either. A channeler of Taim's strenght can dish out a lot of damage and the AS may not be able to completly protect the soldiers with them..


Exactly what I said. Taim vs Cadsuane (+angreal and loads of terangreal + loads of experience) + other AS (experienced at taking men channeling (BTW they never see the men's weaves, but they always get them) + Bashere (a great captain specifically tasked top bring down a false dragon and very much aware what he was getting into) + an experienced, well trained bordeland army.

The outcome? Clear victory for Taim.


That victory alone is enough to declare Taim a tactical genius. And a great channeler to boot. In fact I could almost go as far as saying defeating cadsuane makes a channeler 'forsaken class' or very close to it.


From what we know of the shadow, Sammael and Demandred were both great commanders and could have pulled off this kind of result. If we assume that "Taim is Taim" then we'll be forced to put him in the same category as these two.


Edit: OTOH, Taim isn't nearly old enough to have learnt all that. Unless he's had a tutor for years. Someone versed in both military tacvtics and channeling - Ishamael, possibly.

Yet class tutorials hardly ever translate into heavy victory like this on your maiden outing.

GonzoTheGreat
03-29-2010, 04:50 AM
Edit: OTOH, Taim isn't nearly old enough to have learnt all that. Unless he's had a tutor for years. Someone versed in both military tacvtics and channeling - Ishamael, possibly.At least to a fair extend, Alexander the Great was self taught*. And he wasn't all that much older than Taim is now, by the time that he (Alexander) had conquered the whole world, or at least all that mattered#.

* All right, he may also have learned a bit from his father and his father's generals. And from Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers ever.

# As a Roman later correctly noted, Alexander didn't conquer Rome.

greatwolf
03-29-2010, 11:43 AM
Alexandar learned to channel? :p

Cor Shan
04-15-2010, 03:20 AM
Edit: OTOH, Taim isn't nearly old enough to have learnt all that. Unless he's had a tutor for years. Someone versed in both military tacvtics and channeling - Ishamael, possibly.

Yet class tutorials hardly ever translate into heavy victory like this on your maiden outing.

So what, Taim lead Trolloc raids?

greatwolf
04-16-2010, 02:07 PM
So what, Taim lead Trolloc raids?

Not nearly enough.

It takes time to learn to lead and experience. Plus the kind of stuff Taim needs to learn just can't happen overnight. That why RJ has Mat and Rand having memory "assists" woven into the plot.

To do what Taim evidently did, he needed to be a military genius with years of training, leadership and coordination under his belt. Not to mention training in channeling especially against weaves he can't see (saidar). And who could have taught Taim all that so soon? Who taught him to channel? When and why?

The only fact that's clear about Taim right now is thathe's as rotten as last month's fish.

But that isn't the end of the curiosities with Taim. We started with the fact that a man who is a borderlander seems to hate swords despite the fact that he's also apparently a military genius.

So if you think he led men against trollocs what was he using? Poles? Or the OP ?


If he'd been using the OP for years, he'd have been found out before now.

greatwolf
04-25-2010, 07:41 PM
I've seen some posts that suggest that Taim could be one of the forsaken. Given what I've been carping on about Taim's abilities and achievements, I'll say its quite likely he is.

Except for one thing. Two things actually. First I recall RJ said Taim is Taim. I don't remember where and my memory could be faulty, but I think he said so. Yet RJ's denial of Taimandred is the only one I know to be qualified by "manical laughter". So maybe we can look beyond that answer. Though there are other things to consider such as his age.

But the second problem arises : which one of the forsaken would fit? To find who would fit, one of the major changes to the way we (or should I say I) have been reading the story would be faced with is that there are actually three forsaken cooperating at the BT not two. That is Demandred, Osangar and whoever happens to be Taim.

That just doesn't sound like the forsaken we know. Two in the BT is one thing, but not three. Especially since WH explained the relationship between Demandred and Dashiva/Osangar. I could see the character easily accepting Dashiva in the BT especially if he's under orders to do so. But accepting another male forsaken?

Even if the DO himself ordered it, I'd expect them to attempt eliminating each other as soon as they heard those orders.

Then again, which of the forsaken would impersonate Taim and use Demandred's hooked nose profile and mannerisms? They have to be aware of the history between LT and Demandred. They know what adopting a disguise like that would mean. It could be calculated to get LT to attack Demandred, but might end up very likely with LT attacking whoever bore the disguise right there and then.


Of course of the other male forsaken, Belal, Rahvin were already balefired by the time Taim came to the BT. Sammael has died since. That leaves only four to do the impersoantion : Ishamael, Arangar, Osangar/Dashiva and Asmodean. Asmodean is probably still dead, and Dashiva's death in WH didn't seem to affect Taim.

Leaves just two choices really, Ishy and Arangar who seems to have been playing the impersoanting game. But would he/she impersonate a Taim that seems to be holding a very important role for the shadow at the BT? Whoever was doing that would have to be doing it under orders. And Arangar's game as far as we know, isn't officially sanctioned by the shadow.


All in all, I'd say it still boils down to Taim being Taim and a very odd character. And also a possible plot error somewhere. :)

Sodas
04-25-2010, 11:48 PM
No, I don't find him odd at all.

I think Taim started out thinking he was the Dragon, and therefore was actually a Lightfriend. As he says when he meets Rand for the first time, he felt he was the Dragon, or at least could have been, because of his strength in the One Power.

It was his defeat by the Pattern itself, and his near death experience, that drove him towards the Dark. He became right for the Dark to help him escape, and he ended up heading to Andor, under Rahvin's control at the time. There he could have become a Darkfriend.

Rand's attack on Rahvin changed that. Taim, at that point a Darkfriend, was at risk to die by Rand's hand as well. But luckily, Natael, dropped into his lap on, and he took advantage, and increased his stock amongst the Dark.

Later, after his escape from Caemlyn, Taim was trusted enough to approach Rand directly, where he was thrust into a role as Rand's teacher. He might have wanted to be next to Rand all the time, but instead he was put in charge of building Rand's channeling forces. So obviously, he gained even more clout among the Dark. He is, after all, the leader of more male Channelers than any Forsaken. Sure, Moridin and Demandred showed abilities to instruct Dark Asha'man as well, but Taim is their leader on a day to day basis. So of course the Dark One is going to reward Taim.

Afterall, Taim knows the Lord of Chaos phrase. And so does all his followers. They are all very much favored by the Dark One. He might after the failures of the Forsaken, be realizing that Age of Legend help isn't so great after all. And were once, all his information might have been really coming from the Forsaken and a few Darkfriend, he could now be getting many more differet thoughts trickling up from the new, 3rd Age Dreadlord's who now report to him as well.

In essense, Taim is now very important to the Dark, perhaps even more important than any Forsaken left minus Moridin.

greatwolf
04-26-2010, 12:41 AM
No, I don't find him odd at all.

I think Taim started out thinking he was the Dragon, and therefore was actually a Lightfriend. As he says when he meets Rand for the first time, he felt he was the Dragon, or at least could have been, because of his strength in the One Power...




...In essense, Taim is now very important to the Dark, perhaps even more important than any Forsaken left minus Moridin.



Well you obviously haven't followed the gist of what I've been saying.


You've given Taim a lot of credit for actions after his capture, but did you consider everything he did before he was captured? IIRC correctly Taim was captured in a battle he was "winning" at the time Rand declared himself.

And who was he up against? A collection of AS including Cadsuane with all her experience and her terangreal. And a well trained saldean army commanded by one of the best. A great captain called Bashere.


To spell it out properly, Taim's success against a great captain means he is worthy of the title himself. And he's in his late twenties! How many general are that young? Much less great captains?


But Taim didn't just defeat a great captain, he had to do it against one backed by AS. And Cadsuane. We've seen the advantages that Cadsuane's terangreal and angreal can give. She can detect channeling across miles, and she's about forsaken level strength even before adding her angreal. How would Taim top that?


I could say a lot more on his achievements but you'll get the picture. Taim could only have achieved so much at that age, and without slowing if he was forsaken trained.


But why would a man that is forsaken trained use phrases like "so called aiel" and why is he so familiar with the ways of OP battle? He even seems to know how sammael would fight.


While Taim could have been trained by the forsaken in the very short time after their release, (Demandred is the one who uses proxies, but anyone could have trained him) it still doesn't add up.

Taim seems to be strong enough in the OP at the time of his capture to match Cadsuane and her angreal and also Bashere's army at the same time. And Cadsuane had other AS in support.

Franly, that is a scenario few of the forsaken would win. I can think of only a few of them who could outwit Bashere : Demandred, Sammael, Belal Rahvin and possibly Ishy. But teaching a third age to be both forsaken level strength and skill at warcraft in such a short period of time beats the imagination.

Sodas
04-27-2010, 03:54 PM
I get what you are saying, I just don't agree that you can come to the conclussion that Taim HAD to have had Forsaken help at that time.

And who was he up against? A collection of AS including Cadsuane with all her experience and her terangreal. And a well trained saldean army commanded by one of the best. A great captain called Bashere.

Who says Taim's Dragonsworn weren't also well trained? Weren't those particular Dragonsworn also Saldaeans/Borderlanders? So, no, I don't see Bashere has having a major advantage when it comes to his personnel. In fact, those following Taim might have been more fanatical than Saldaea's.

Really, I think the differences is in the numbers. Saldaea was split between fighting Taim and fighting the unusual amount of Shadowspawn that year. So it might not have sent it's entire forces at Taim. And on top of that, Dragonsworn could and should have defected from Bashere's armies to Taim.

So I don't necessarily see Taim winning a victory of genius proportions, when he might have had numbers in his advantage.

To spell it out properly, Taim's success against a great captain means he is worthy of the title himself.

One success doesn't make a career. But I agree that Taim shows ability in the military area.

But Taim didn't just defeat a great captain, he had to do it against one backed by AS. And Cadsuane. We've seen the advantages that Cadsuane's terangreal and angreal can give. She can detect channeling across miles, and she's about forsaken level strength even before adding her angreal. How would Taim top that?

I think that speaks to his abilities, not to his military prowess. I think if you asked Cadsuane if she thought it was hard to catch a powerful male channeler, even with all her special tools, the answer would never be that it was easy. Particularly since he gained a large force of people fanatically surrounding him.

Taim could only have achieved so much at that age

I disagree. He came into his own at just the right time to take advantage of the increase in Shadowspawn activity. He could have achieved very much in a country thinking that it was already the end of days.

But why would a man that is forsaken trained use phrases like "so called aiel"

Because the Forsaken are all about belittling the Aiel's past as pacifists.

and why is he so familiar with the ways of OP battle? He even seems to know how sammael would fight.

I agree, he was Forsaken trained ... just not until he reached Rahvin in Caemlyn.

Taim seems to be strong enough in the OP at the time of his capture to match Cadsuane and her angreal and also Bashere's army at the same time. And Cadsuane had other AS in support.

And he had plenty of help. I think you are jumping to conclusions here.

Belazamon
04-27-2010, 04:17 PM
I think you are jumping to conclusions here.
I'm sorry, I just had to take this one down for posterity. :D

Sodas
04-27-2010, 06:13 PM
I'm sorry, I just had to take this one down for posterity. :D

And here I thought you already had one of these installed in your house

http://promote-my-site.com/images/jump_to_conclusions.jpg

:D

Belazamon
04-27-2010, 06:22 PM
When you jump to Conclusions, it's a long swim back.

nameless
04-28-2010, 02:09 AM
If the answer is right, who cares if the question was wrong?

GonzoTheGreat
04-28-2010, 04:26 AM
If the answer is right, who cares if the question was wrong?Right.

greatwolf
05-02-2010, 09:26 AM
I see my former post got eaten.

I get what you are saying, I just don't agree that you can come to the conclussion that Taim HAD to have had Forsaken help at that time.



Not my conclusion, just the best possibility I could find. Either he was forsaken trained and better (or luckier) than the forsaken, or he was one of the forsaken.


Really, I think the differences is in the numbers. Saldaea was split between fighting Taim and fighting the unusual amount of Shadowspawn that year. So it might not have sent it's entire forces at Taim.



What numbers? First, if the saldeans had a choice between trolloc invasions and a false dragon and they chose to send their great captain to face the false dragon, what does that say of the threat level assaigned to Taim? And more importantly, numbers count for little when the army of bows and swords is faced with AS and a great captain on his home turf.





One success doesn't make a career. But I agree that Taim shows ability in the military area.


Yeah, we agree on something here, but remeber he didn't just show military prowess, he did it while channeling to defeat the best the AS had with hundreds of years of experience at such things. Even among the forsaken, we've seen few who can combine military prowess with that level of skill.



I think if you asked Cadsuane if she thought it was hard to catch a powerful male channeler, even with all her special tools, the answer would never be that it was easy. Particularly since he gained a large force of people fanatically surrounding him.


Not easy, but she took care of Logain in a jiffy before heading to saldea. And if its not easy for Cadsuane, how much more difficult would it be for Taim? Unless he had training or is a forsaken himself, holding out against AS and someone as skilled, strong and experienced as Cadsuane should be very very difficult. Defeating them while beating a great captain should be impossible.



I agree, he was Forsaken trained ... just not until he reached Rahvin in Caemlyn.


After defeating Cadsuane and co plus Bashy? You actually want to ascribe that to an untrained channeler?

Or to help from fanatics who don't know anything about the OP? Do you really think I can take that seriously?


One option I'm trying to consider is if Taim has any meaning in the old tongue. I think its a wild shot but...

Sodas
05-03-2010, 04:00 AM
Yeah, we agree on something here, but remeber he didn't just show military prowess, he did it while channeling to defeat the best the AS had with hundreds of years of experience at such things.

Well, that is where we differ. There is no evidence that she was defeated by Taim in the books. Quote me if I'm wrong. So I don't think he defeated her. He did defeat Bashere, we all know that. But we know that she never mentions from her POV of her being defeated by Taim. Taim never brags of defeating Cadsuane either. So where does this come from?

Afterall, I don't expect an an Aes Sedai could get directly involved during a battle like that, as the Aes Sedai are limited by the 3 oaths.

GonzoTheGreat
05-03-2010, 04:21 AM
On top of which, she may have been hunting for him in the wrong place anyway. We know that she was up there trying to catch Taim, but that does not mean that she was the one who caught him.

Enigma
05-03-2010, 12:59 PM
Do we know how many soldiers Bashere was able to bring with him against Taim? His nation might have a strong army but most of them were lined up to protect against the blight and shadowspawn. When the Borderland rulers brough their armies south it was dressed up as a big thing because normally the soldiers were needed at their posts to protect the people from becoming trollock supper.

We do know that Bashere brough 9,000 soldiers after Taim when he signed up with Rand. What if Taim had 20,000 with him when he fought Bashere, what if he had 30,000. Great captain or no great captian quantity has a quality all of its own.

Secondly until Rand declared himself the pattern seemed to be wanting to bring out a lot of false dragons. Perhaps the pattern was on Taim's side as well.

In summary I don't think we know enough about the battle to say if Taim was very lucky or very skilled.

For those who believe Taim must have had a little coaching my one pet theory is that when the BA were invovled in the vileness we know that Ishamael called them off. I presume that Ishamael told them imstead to check out any strong channelers as he or the DO did not know what age Rand would be. If the BA come on Taim they could capture him and bring him to SG or some other location where Ishamael can check him out. Its not too much of a stretch to imagine that if Taim was caught but found not to be the dragon reborn Ishamael could make him an offer he could not refuse and the rest becomes history.

greatwolf
05-07-2010, 09:36 AM
Its not too much of a stretch to imagine that if Taim was caught but found not to be the dragon reborn Ishamael could make him an offer he could not refuse and the rest becomes history.


I won't argue that directly. But how much would any of the forsaken teach Taim? They don't want more competition.

GonzoTheGreat
05-07-2010, 10:31 AM
I won't argue that directly. But how much would any of the forsaken teach Taim? They don't want more competition.That is no doubt true for the other Forsaken, but I'm not sure Ishamael is all that worried about the possibility.

Kimon
05-07-2010, 07:10 PM
Well, that is where we differ. There is no evidence that she was defeated by Taim in the books. Quote me if I'm wrong. So I don't think he defeated her. He did defeat Bashere, we all know that. But we know that she never mentions from her POV of her being defeated by Taim. Taim never brags of defeating Cadsuane either. So where does this come from?

Afterall, I don't expect an an Aes Sedai could get directly involved during a battle like that, as the Aes Sedai are limited by the 3 oaths.

It seems reasonable, even if not definitive, to think that Bashere had Aes Sedai (perhaps including Cadsuane, perhaps not) at Irinjavar. Suian in TDR only says this about his taking:

"The false dragon's horse reared up and threw him. He was knocked unconscious, and his followers cried out that he was dead, and fled the field, and he was taken. Some of my reports speak of visions in the sky at Falme. I'll wager a gold mark to a week-old delta perch that was the instant Rand Al'Thor proclaimed himself."

It's possible that the Aes Sedai were only near enough that Bashere was able to bring them in to shield Taim while he was still unconscious, but it seems more likely that they were there. Otherwise, I think it likely that Bashere and his Saldaeans would have done the expedient thing and just killed him as a matter of public safety out of concern that he might regain consciousness before the Aes Sedai could arrive.

Concerning the 3 Oaths and limiting consequences vis-à-vis Aes Sedai involvement, they would still have been useful in negating and defending against the weaves that he was using- even if they couldn't see them. And, of course, they would be quite useful in trying to shield him, something they could do without violating the oaths.

Frankly I'm not at all surprised that Taim might be a match for Bashere even with some Aes Sedai- especially if say Bashere only had 2 or 3, and none of those were Cadsuane with her assorted ter'angreal. I'd say that the Wells definitively demonstrated his prowess. The only problem here seems to be that you need to downplay his efficacy at this point so as to allow for your assumption of his training later by Rahvin. That clearly is not an issue if one assumes that he had already been well-trained by Ishamael prior to Irinjavar...

greatwolf
05-10-2010, 07:45 AM
That is no doubt true for the other Forsaken, but I'm not sure Ishamael is all that worried about the possibility.


Yes, and Ishy could have been Taim if you need another theory, but the rub is that Taim's not just good with the OP, he's also very good in the military thing too. Could Ishy have taught that? I don't think he was listed among the shadow's greats in the BWB.

Sodas
05-10-2010, 04:59 PM
I think 2 posts ignoring my response is enough. Greatwolf is wrong about Caddy. She didn't fight Taim. If u have an objection to that Kimon, spell it out, or cut the bull about it being a possibility.

As it stands, Taim fought Bashere and his calvary, and maybe a couple Aes Sedai tagged along. That's not that impressive.

Taim should be more powerful than two regular Aes Sedai, even linked, considering his near Rand level of channeling. And Taim's channeling makes up somewhat for his Dragonsworn's lack of military unity. And there are other key factors, like numbers and such.

Ultimately, there is nothing that suggests that Taim HAD to have forsaken training to do what he did. In fact, the real problem here is not Rahvin training him, but believing Taim incapable of doing what he did on his own.

Terez
05-10-2010, 05:33 PM
TITLE: Crown of Swords
CHAPTER: 19 - Diamonds and Stars

Breathing the steam from her teacup, Cadsuane went on, suddenly chatting pleasantly. "It was Logain, practically on my doorstep, that lured me away from my roses. Phaw! A scuffle at a sheep fair could have lured me from those Light-cursed plants. What's the point if you use the Power, but do it without, and you grow ten thousand thorns for every—Phaw! I actually considered taking the oath as a Hunter, if the Council of Nine would allow it. Well. It was a nice few months, chasing down Logain, but once he was taken, escorting him to Tar Valon appealed as much as the roses. I wandered a bit, to see what I could find, perhaps a new Warder, though it's a bit late for that in any fairness to the man, I suppose. Then I heard of Taim, and I was off to Saldaea as fast I could ride. There's nothing for a bit of excitement like a man who can channel."
.

Ieyasu
05-10-2010, 05:51 PM
.

yes she rode after him... but did she ever confront him in battle? We know Bashere did... but what about Cads? Is she definitively the AS who captured him? Are we certain she was part of the party that captured him initially? I thought it was Bashere and his men who captured him when he was thrown from his horse when Rand Vs Ishy was playing in the sky... am i misremembering things? Is this not what Taim himself said? I seem to remember when he confronted Bashere and proved he was himself that he said something along the lines of "i would have had you then, bashere, if only those lights in the sky bla bla bla"
no?

Terez
05-10-2010, 06:05 PM
I dunno if you're paying attention, but it was already pointed out that no one defeated Taim. The Pattern defeated him.

Ieyasu
05-10-2010, 06:18 PM
I dunno if you're paying attention, but it was already pointed out that no one defeated Taim. The Pattern defeated him.

I dont know if you are paying attention, but I said nothing about who defeated him... I did speak about who captured him however...

I dont know if you are paying attention, but several people (including you) have pointed out that Cads was going to the area to combat him... They have even gone so far as to say she was the one who captured him... you yourself provided a quote from her saying she rode after him as well... I am asking if she ever confronted Taim or merely rode to the same country he was in?

And while the pattern facilitated his defeat, I'd say the human forces that captured him would get the credit for that... aka pattern makes him fall off of his horse...but bashere's men captured him while he was down, thus defeating him. Do the people in Randland say the pattern defeated him? Or do those people say the person who captured him defeated him? ;)

Kimon
05-10-2010, 09:37 PM
I think 2 posts ignoring my response is enough. Greatwolf is wrong about Caddy. She didn't fight Taim. If u have an objection to that Kimon, spell it out, or cut the bull about it being a possibility.



It is a possibility Sodas. You have merely chosen to fill Taim's omission of mention of Aes Sedai with the assumption that that must mean that Cadsuane was not there. I merely stated that we can't know one way or another, but do know that Cadsuane went in search of him, as she tells us in the quote Terez provided above. This does not require that she found him and was present at Irinjavar, but it certainly offers the possibility. And note Cadsuane's words just prior to where Terez began her quote. Annoura asks Cadsuane if she has seen Taim and Logain, and mentions that she (Annoura) has heard rumors that Taim is now serving Al'Thor, and Cadsuane responds:

"I do have an ear to catch rumors, too, Annoura," Cadsuane said acerbically. "Though I could wish I didn't, for what I hear of that pair. All of my work thrown away to be done over. Others' as well but I did my share."

She then quickly mentions the Asha'man, spends a dozen or so lines sipping tea, and then the quote that Terez gave is picked up. But note that she strongly implies that she played a direct role in his capture. I've stated why I think it likely that some Aes Sedai were present with Bashere, but if you require reiteration, here is Al'Thor's description to Taim of what happened to recent false dragons who weren't captured by Aes Sedai:

"A nameless fellow beheaded in Haddon Mirk by the Tairens. Another burned by the Murandians. Burned alive, Taim! That's what the Illianers did to Gorin Rogad four years ago, as well."

Gorin Rogad couldn't channel either. But it stands to reason, would Bashere and his Saldaeans have risked waiting the light knows how long for an Aes Sedai to show up to shield Taim, maybe with someone sitting next to him with a ready rock to bludgeon him back to unconsciousness in case he came to before they arrived, or would Taim have ended up another "Charyou" festivity...

GonzoTheGreat
05-11-2010, 03:48 AM
Gorin Rogad couldn't channel either. But it stands to reason, would Bashere and his Saldaeans have risked waiting the light knows how long for an Aes Sedai to show up to shield Taim, maybe with someone sitting next to him with a ready rock to bludgeon him back to unconsciousness in case he came to before they arrived, or would Taim have ended up another "Charyou" festivity...With someone who can actually channel, burning alive may not be the best option. Slitting his throat, and then possibly burning the corpse, would be a lot safer.

Same as with all those supposed witches during the witch hunts, really. Anyone who fails to use the fire against the would-be inquisitors was obviously innocent, making those God fearing folks just plain murderers. :p

Kimon
05-11-2010, 11:22 AM
With someone who can actually channel, burning alive may not be the best option. Slitting his throat, and then possibly burning the corpse, would be a lot safer.



True, but less entertaining for the spectators. I suppose they could have compared his weight to a duck's, I mean everyone knows that the practical way to hunt for darkfriends - silly Aes Sedai and their oathrod questioning...

greatwolf
05-11-2010, 01:56 PM
I think 2 posts ignoring my response is enough. Greatwolf is wrong about Caddy. She didn't fight Taim. If u have an objection to that Kimon, spell it out, or cut the bull about it being a possibility.


I'm not ignoring you. But I can only get so much time online aneed I need to respond to new things. Your arguements are not new, you've said them before and I've answered. The only other posts I can give you now depend on my finding time to quot.
For one, I'm looking for the quote that says the AS usually use six to shield a man. It means Taim likely faced more than six at once.

greatwolf
05-12-2010, 07:45 AM
But we know that she never mentions from her POV of her being defeated by Taim. Taim never brags of defeating Cadsuane either. So where does this come from?

Afterall, I don't expect an an Aes Sedai could get directly involved during a battle like that, as the Aes Sedai are limited by the 3 oaths.

So many holes in the stuff you're saying here. Why would Taim know any of the soldiers or AS sent against him? He knows Bashere, he is afterall uncle to the Queen and very powerful in Saldea. But why would he know caddy? Who most AS think is dead?

And why won't AS get involved in battles? The green is the 'battle ajah' despite the three oaths and the red live to hunt darkfriends and men who can channel knowing they could easily get killed in the process. I find the logic quite wanting.

Bashere

You accept that Taim defeated Bashere, but you seem not to want to accept the implications. Look closely then at the battle at Irinjavar(?)

Bashere is known to be a great captain, a title that implies that Bashere is skilled at fighting battles and winning them. Familairity with different aspects of warfare is a thing for generals. In the borderlands, battles involving the support of sisters are not unheard of, in fact frequently hoped for as Jagad confirmed in EotW.

We know Tenobia is connected to the WT (or was) and had an AS advisor. So Bashere would know whether he would have AS help for the battle or not before even setting out.

Furthermore, there are strong suggestions (cant quote here) that there had been battles against Taim before Irinjavar. Likely those battles played a part in the decision to send Bashere against Taim.

So Bashere likely had reports of previous battles (unless Taim beat Bashere more than once) and knew Taim's fighting style and capability. He had every reason to be fully prepared at Irinjavar. And we know for certain he had AS help.

Yet he lost.


To you that might mean nothing but if you use Ituralde as a yardstick for a GC, you might understand why I think its special.


Taim isn't really old enough to be a GC. And he doesn't have the background or its been omitted. Just how do you omit the fact that a powerful false dragon is a potential GC? So was Taim really the one who defeated Bahsere?


I've thrown up all sorts of possibilities concerning Taim, including that he could be forsaken trained. But now I think two things are most likely.

First possibility is that Taim and Demandred are one and the same and that RJ's just playing AS word games with us somehow. This possibility however does not explain why Demandred would not recognise Flinn at the cleansing.

However it answers a lot of things like how Taim's military genius and how he could defeat Caddy and her supporting AS. Its the kind of thing we expect from the forsaken.


The second possibility is that One of the forsaken (likely the big D) was also close to Taim at Irinjavar. That would also explain much and fit right into Demandred's love of proxies. But it also does not explain why Taim's mannerisms mirror Demandred's so much. Perhaps Taim isn't just a proxy, but a long lost cousin of Demandred's?


These are the likeliest two possibilities for me. I know, there're lots of others, but nothing that really matters much. Or do you have something that could really stand up to scrutiny? :p

GonzoTheGreat
05-12-2010, 09:15 AM
Third possibility is that, like a lot of men who can channel, Taim also was lucky. That's one of the signs that Moiraine was looking for in New Spring, actually. If so, he might have won at least in part because of luck: accidentally having some forces in the right place at the right time to foil Bashere's plans.

JSUCamel
05-12-2010, 09:28 AM
Third possibility is that, like a lot of men who can channel, Taim also was lucky. That's one of the signs that Moiraine was looking for in New Spring, actually. If so, he might have won at least in part because of luck: accidentally having some forces in the right place at the right time to foil Bashere's plans.

Well, the fact is that the Three Oaths preclude Caddy from attacking Taim outright. According to the Oaths, Caddy has to believe one of two things: that her life, her Warder's life or a sister's life is in danger; or that Taim is Shadowspawn.

Caddy hasn't given any hints (iirc) that she believed Taim to be Shadowspawn (or even Darkfriend), so that leaves the fact that if there was an actual battle between Caddy and Taim (I'm not sure there was -- correct me if I'm wrong -- and even so, if they were both at a battle, it doesn't mean the two of them fought), then she had to feel threatened. Knowing what we know about Taim and how smart he actually is (if arrogant), then we can reasonably expect that Taim knows about the Three Oaths. A smart man wouldn't threaten any Aes Sedai ("Battle Ajah" or otherwise, given that the Green Ajah hasn't actually seen battle in a few centuries -- they don't get special exceptions to the Oaths, you know) or their Warders, and thus he could escape -- running away is hardly a threat, after all -- without a battle ever occurring.

I feel obligated to point out two fallacies in the above logic: the weaves required to capture a channeler may not be considered weapons, and the second is that the Aes Sedai may consider the mere existence of a male channeler to be threatening to their lives -- and we know that perception is what matters when it comes to the Oaths.

However, the theory that Taim is a military genius on the level of Ituralde, Bashere and Bryne isn't necessarily proved by the episode with Cadsuane -- my above scenario is a possible explanation* as to how Cadsuane was unable to capture Taim to begin with.

*Granted, I haven't read that particular chapter where we find that out recently, so I may be missing some details.

greatwolf
05-13-2010, 08:41 AM
Third possibility is that, like a lot of men who can channel, Taim also was lucky. That's one of the signs that Moiraine was looking for in New Spring, actually. If so, he might have won at least in part because of luck: accidentally having some forces in the right place at the right time to foil Bashere's plans.


Logain was also a channeler. So were lots of men over time, it still didn't stop them from being taken. You'll have to find some other reason why Taim would be different.


Well, the fact is that the Three Oaths preclude Caddy from attacking Taim outright. According to the Oaths, Caddy has to believe one of two things: that her life, her Warder's life or a sister's life is in danger; or that Taim is Shadowspawn.


Threat? Threat?

First, you missed out the fact that the AS are trying to capture Taim in the middle of a battle between two armies. Even Joline and co in KoD eventually felt threatened by arrows alone. Threatened enough to kill.

But this is different. This is an army with TAIM! Logain had rcently killed some sisters in Ghealdan. And men channeling can go mad anytime. And Cadsuane more than anyone knew all that. Is this really a serious suggestion that she'd feel there was no threat to her, other AS or their warders?

I wouldn't expect caddy to go in wanting to kill anyway, so it doesn't count as diminished effectiveness on her part.

JSUCamel
05-13-2010, 09:14 AM
Threat? Threat?

First, you missed out the fact that the AS are trying to capture Taim in the middle of a battle between two armies. Even Joline and co in KoD eventually felt threatened by arrows alone. Threatened enough to kill.

Threatened by the arrows, not by Taim. Not sure how much of a difference that makes -- if Joe attacks me with a dagger, does that mean I can use the Power to take out Bob, who doesn't? I'm not sure the Oaths would allow that.

But this is different. This is an army with TAIM! Logain had rcently killed some sisters in Ghealdan. And men channeling can go mad anytime. And Cadsuane more than anyone knew all that. Is this really a serious suggestion that she'd feel there was no threat to her, other AS or their warders?

All I'm saying is that it's possible. Cadsuane is rather level-headed and is not going to make rash assumptions in the face of danger. I'm not saying I agree with my previous scenario, but I'm suggesting that it's possible that Taim could have been as non-threatening as possible to Caddy and the other sisters, and they would have been restricted by the Oaths in attacking him.

Now whether that's what happened or not is an entirely different question... I was simply pointing out that just because Taim escaped doesn't mean that he's the equivalent of a Great Captain, and it certainly doesn't make him a military genius -- he could have simply taken advantage of the Oaths, which anyone of his intelligence could do.

GonzoTheGreat
05-13-2010, 01:51 PM
Logain was also a channeler. So were lots of men over time, it still didn't stop them from being taken. You'll have to find some other reason why Taim would be different.Logain didn't lose the first time he came up against Aes Sedai:
After a time, Moiraine asked, "What did you learn in the common room?" Knives and forks stilled, suspended in mid-air, and all eyes turned to the Warder.
"Little that's good," Lan replied. "Avin was right, at least as far as talk has it. There was a battle in Ghealdan, and Logain was the victor. A dozen different stories are floating about, but they all agree on that."
Logain? That must be the false Dragon. It was the first time Rand had heard a name put to the man. Lan sounded almost as if he knew him.
"The Aes Sedai?" Moiraine asked quietly, and Lan shook his head.
"I don't know. Some say they were all killed, some say none." He snorted. "Some even say they went over to Logain. There's nothing reliable, and I did not care to show too much interest. "

nameless
05-13-2010, 04:01 PM
Threat? Threat?

First, you missed out the fact that the AS are trying to capture Taim in the middle of a battle between two armies. Even Joline and co in KoD eventually felt threatened by arrows alone. Threatened enough to kill.

But this is different. This is an army with TAIM! Logain had rcently killed some sisters in Ghealdan. And men channeling can go mad anytime. And Cadsuane more than anyone knew all that. Is this really a serious suggestion that she'd feel there was no threat to her, other AS or their warders?

I wouldn't expect caddy to go in wanting to kill anyway, so it doesn't count as diminished effectiveness on her part.

Joline and co. were in the middle of an army being attacked by another army, and even then they could not join in until their attackers were something like 100 yards away. There was a significant delay between when people around them started getting killed by arrows and when they started feeling threatened enough to kill with the Power. If the Aes Sedai facing off against Taim deployed themselves in the middle of Bashere's army, they would likely be able to fight as soon as Bashere's army closed with Taim's army, but if they stayed off to the side they would not be able to join in until Taim attacked them specifically (which he'd be an idiot to do). We can't make any assumptions about how they deployed themselves because there are pros and cons to either position. Mingling with the army makes them more effective fighters but also puts them in much more risk and forces them to deal with Taim's soldiers as well as Taim himself. If they chose to stand off to the side and simply shield Taim instead of fighting his whole army, they'd still have the problem of figuring out which one of the thousands of Dragonsworn was the one who could channel. Cadsuane's ter'angreal would narrow it down but is not sensitive enough to pick him out of a group from a distance unless he stands still long enough for her to ride around triangulating his position.

Sodas
05-14-2010, 02:29 AM
I think it's sad that anyone still thinks Jordan wasn't telling the truth about Taim not being Demandred. But that is why your take is so weak.

Cadsuane didn't battle Taim. So stop quoting it as if there is any proof in the books of the notion. Cadsuane never mentions actually trying to capture Taim, just riding there to hunt him. And she should have, considering it is her point of view. What better time to mention being beaten by Taim and how the Pattern saved her royal butt.

That's a Major hole in your argument considering you believe beating Cadsuane is a feat only a Forsaken could achieve.

More importantly. I agree that if Taim is who he is, then he shouldn't know Cadsuane. But if was anything but, who is to say he couldn't? You don't think Ishmael might want to warn Taim that she defeated Logain and was on her way to Taim?

greatwolf
05-15-2010, 08:55 AM
I think it's sad that anyone still thinks Jordan wasn't telling the truth about Taim not being Demandred. But that is why your take is so weak.

Cadsuane didn't battle Taim. So stop quoting it as if there is any proof in the books of the notion. Cadsuane never mentions actually trying to capture Taim, just riding there to hunt him. And she should have, considering it is her point of view. What better time to mention being beaten by Taim and how the Pattern saved her royal butt.

That's a Major hole in your argument considering you believe beating Cadsuane is a feat only a Forsaken could achieve.

More importantly. I agree that if Taim is who he is, then he shouldn't know Cadsuane. But if was anything but, who is to say he couldn't? You don't think Ishmael might want to warn Taim that she defeated Logain and was on her way to Taim?



Reread the post. Please! It offers two options as being strongest. I don't think we'll know for sure until RJ/BS decide to give us more information. Unless you aren't thinking about it, I expect that we'll find out a lot about why Taim and Demandred's mannerisms are similar in the next book. It might be pure chance, but I think we'll find out one way or another.


Your choice is Ishamael? I think Demandred is better at battles and he loves proxies and as such is a better choice but...


Lastly, Cadsuane isn't the only thing here. I've told you repeatedly that AS usually send at least six sisters to shield the man. Plus how many others the WT decided to send at the time.

Cadsuane's statements suggest that she was there. She implied as much when she said her work had been wasted. She couldn't have been referring to Logain since she was unaware at the time that it was possible to heal a gentled man. We know she knew nothing of that till CoT.


Mingling with the army makes them more effective fighters but also puts them in much more risk and forces them to deal with Taim's soldiers as well as Taim himself. If they chose to stand off to the side and simply shield Taim instead of fighting his whole army, they'd still have the problem of figuring out which one of the thousands of Dragonsworn was the one who could channel


And the point is??

I've said it wouldn't matter to Cadsuane and I suspect most of the other AS. Taim's presence puts that army on a different risk level to the army that Joline and co faced. Yet it shouldn't affect Cadsuane's tactics as she's not the type to go for wanton killing and I suspect she'd try to keep other sisters from slaughtering that army unnecesarilly.

As she must have done with Logain.


and as for triangulation, remember many weaves like fireballs tend to originate in the immediate vicinity of the channeler. And besides other people may have seen Taim channeling. Enough to draw pictures of him for Bashere and the AS.

Toss the dice
05-27-2010, 03:20 AM
"Taim despises swords though he was raised in the borderlands. And he also defeated a great captain(with AS and Cadsuane herself!) though he has no military record to speak of. Truly Remarkable."

I noticed that the quote in your sig is related to this thread.

1. Maybe he despises swords because he can channel. Or maybe he is simply one of those raised in the borderlands that doesn't like swords.

2. His army defeated a great captain. Overwhelming numbers, luck, strategy from those WITH him, tips on Bashere's movements, etc could all be perfectly legitimate reasons how he beat Bashere.

3. All we know about Cadsuane is that she left to go help capture him. We don't know if she even saw the guy. "All her work wasted" could be anything from: packing supplies and coordinating a team of AS to go after him, only to never even see him or play any part whatsoever, to: actively participating in taking him down, aka capturing him when the pattern caused him to fall off his horse. We simply don't know, but personally i'm leaning towards her doing jack squat. Certainly not a "battle" between her and Taim. Not even a whiff of that has ever been mentioned by anyone in the books.

4. Again, Taim has zero need of any military background to beat Bashere. You think because he proclaimed himself the DR, that he himself was the sole general leading and directing his army in open warfare? Of course not. The man had commanders. And just because Bashere is a great captain doesn't mean a commander or group of commanders can't beat him. And that's if you even discount anything "extra," like luck, etc.

I know you think Taim is Demandred, and i know why. But you are wrong for the simple reason that RJ said he's not. I myself thought Taim was Demandred, and had my own reasons for it, but RJ's statement ended up making them moot.

Is there some cool story and thing to figure out about Taim's history? In all likelihood, yes. There's a lot we don't know, and its probably quite interesting. I can't wait to find out more. But the reasons you give in your sig for Taim being Demandred are very weak, and it doesn't matter anyway because RJ said he was not.

greatwolf
05-28-2010, 08:02 PM
More importantly. I agree that if Taim is who he is, then he shouldn't know Cadsuane. But if was anything but, who is to say he couldn't? You don't think Ishmael might want to warn Taim that she defeated Logain and was on her way to Taim?

Maybe I should quote that passage fully:

Cadsuane shook her head in pitying style. "If you want to see what a man is made of, push him from a direction he doesn’t expect. There’s good metal in that boy, I think, but he’s going to be difficult." Steepling her fingers, she peered across them at the wall, musing to herself. "He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair. Push him too far off balance... Phaw! Al’Thor’s not so hard yet as Logain Ablar or Mazrim Taim, but a hundred times as difficult, I fear." Hearing those three names together clove Merana’s tongue to the roof of her mouth.


"You have seen Logain and Taim both?" a staring Annoura said. "Taim, he is following al’Thor, so I hear." Merana managed to swallow a relieved sigh. Tales of Dumai’s Wells had not had time to spread yet. They would, though.


"I do have ears to catch rumors, too, Annoura," Cadsuane said acerbically. "Though I could wish I didn’t, for what I hear of that pair. All my work thrown away to be done over. Others' as well, but I did my share. And then there are these blackcoats, these Asha’man." Taking a cup from Daigian, she smiled warmly and murmured thanks. The round-cheeked White seemed ready to curtsy, though all she did was retreat to a corner and fold her hands. She had been longer a novice, and Accepted, than anyone in living memory, barely allowed to remain in the Tower, gaining the ring by a fingernail and the shawl by an eyelash. Daigian was always self-effacing around other sisters.


Breathing the steam from her teacup, Cadsuane went on, suddenly chatting pleasantly. "It was Logain, practically on my doorstep, that lured me away from my roses. Phaw! A scuffle at a sheep fair could have lured me from those Light-cursed plants. What’s the point if you use the Power, but do it without, and you grow ten thousand thorns for every - Phaw! I actually considered taking the oath as a Hunter, if the Council of Nine would allow it. Well. It was a nice few months, chasing down Logain, but once he was taken, escorting him to Tar Valon appealed as much as the roses. I wandered a bit, to see what I could find, perhaps a new Warder, though it’s a bit late for that in any fairness to the man, I suppose. Then I heard of Taim, and I was off to Saldaea as fast I could ride. There’s nothing for a bit of excitement like a man who can channel." Abruptly her voice hardened, and her gaze. "Were either of you involved in that... vileness... right after the Aiel War?"

I guess this means my systems's back :)



1. Maybe he despises swords because he can channel. Or maybe he is simply one of those raised in the borderlands that doesn't like swords.


Before channeling, one has to grow up somewhere. We've seen how strong cultural influences can be in wotland. Taim grew up a borderlander. A society where learning the sword is part of growing up, unlike say, andor. To BLers, a sword is a tool and as common as men. Its rather peculiar to say the least to grow up in a kitchen and end up hating knives or abhorring them.

But that's only part of the strangeness. If Taim is so well versed in military matters, then we should assume he's no pacifist. So why does he hate swords? I don't recall ever hearing of a marine who despised guns much less a general.

But it would be perfectly ok attribute if Taim was from the aol. I seem to recall Sammael moaning for shocklances as well.

Have we any other BLer, channeler or not who despised swords?


2. His army defeated a great captain. Overwhelming numbers, luck, strategy from those WITH him, tips on Bashere's movements, etc could all be perfectly legitimate reasons how he beat Bashere.


No you aren't reading it right at all.

He consistently defeated the armies of saldea. More than once at least though we don't know how many battles occured. But we know that he was able to defeat a saldean army led by Bashere, which was most likely supported by AS and Cadsuane.

3. All we know about Cadsuane is that she left to go help capture him. We don't know if she even saw the guy.

I've addressed this over and over

4. Again, Taim has zero need of any military background to beat Bashere.

hmmm reminds me of hawkwing. Please try to appreciate the facts. Bashere is not considered a fool. Armies have faced men channeling in the past and any commander worth his onions will be fam iliar iwth how to go about it. If for instance, it is required that AS be available then Bashere won't commit himself with them. Plus, he considered a great captain, that means he shoulld do far more than just what any general would do.

I know you think Taim is Demandred, and i know why. But you are wrong for the simple reason that RJ said he's not. I myself thought Taim was Demandred, and had my own reasons for it, but RJ's statement ended up making them moot.


Reading the books makes it intuitively obvoius that Taim is De Man dred. :p

Seriously though, I didn't know of the rebuttal until I joine the online community.

What I think?

First, that RJ made a plot change. Because it was too obvious (and no longer fun for him?) and until this thread came, I was thinking that Demandred had some link (the warder bond kind or rather what sammael used on that messanger) to Taim.

But now I think it was simply that Demandred was there. Or at worst Ishy.

But if Taim is demandred, I'd love to hear RJ's explanation for this. It would be a really great dribble. We could ask BS, I'm sure he'll let something slip. ;)

As for the sig, its not supposed to be proof of anything except that there a lot more to Taim than we thought. Your associating it with Taimandred only shows how strong the possibility is as I've already remarked earlier.

nameless
05-28-2010, 10:29 PM
Before channeling, one has to grow up somewhere. We've seen how strong cultural influences can be in wotland. Taim grew up a borderlander. A society where learning the sword is part of growing up, unlike say, andor. To BLers, a sword is a tool and as common as men. Its rather peculiar to say the least to grow up in a kitchen and end up hating knives or abhorring them.

But that's only part of the strangeness. If Taim is so well versed in military matters, then we should assume he's no pacifist. So why does he hate swords? I don't recall ever hearing of a marine who despised guns much less a general.

But it would be perfectly ok attribute if Taim was from the aol. I seem to recall Sammael moaning for shocklances as well.



Actually Sammael was a blademaster IIRC, along with LTT and Bel'al, so there's no reason to think people looked down on low-tech weapons during the Age of Legends.

As far as Taim's attitude, it'd be strange to find a general who thought guns were useless but not so strange to find one who thought it'd be a waste of time for his new recruits to learn how to make their own knives out of flint. Taim believes the time asha'man candidates spend training with swords would be better spent training with the One Power... at least that's what he claims. He's a Darkfriend, though, so he could be lying. Maybe he understands the value of learning close combat and sent the sword teacher away because he wanted to weaken the Black Tower, and he's just using arrogance as a cover so no one will suspect him of sabotage.

Neilbert
05-28-2010, 11:53 PM
Reread the post. Please!

...

Your choice is Ishamael?

LMAO that's impressive. You have to be trying, to cram so much irony into a post.

Weird Harold
05-29-2010, 04:18 AM
I don't recall ever hearing of a marine who despised guns much less a general.

I've known a lot of military people who "despise" training with obsolete weapons -- even if they happen to be realitvely proficient with them.

Taim's attitude about swords is close kin to the logic that took guns out of fighters and air-combat-maneuvering out of flight training because dogfighting was a thing of the past.

greatwolf
05-29-2010, 05:59 PM
As far as Taim's attitude, it'd be strange to find a general who thought guns were useless but not so strange to find one who thought it'd be a waste of time for his new recruits to learn how to make their own knives out of flint.

AS can channel, but they see no problem (quite the opposite) in their warders using swords. There have been other false dragons, but they used swords but Taim seems to want to do away with swords.

While it could possibly be a ruse, Taim's confidence in LoC when surrounded by six swords makes one think it is more of attitude than fakery.

Tumad emerged into the sunlight first, then a black-haired man of slightly above average height whose dark face and tilted eyes, hooked nose and high cheekbones, marked him another Saldaean, though he was clean-shaven and garbed like a once prosperous Andoran merchant lately fallen on hard times. His dark blue coat had been of fine wool trimmed in darker velvet, but wear had made the cuffs ragged, his breeches bagged at the knee, and dust coated his cracked boots. Still, he walked proudly, no mean feat with four more of Bashere’s men behind him, those almost straight, slightly serpentine blades bare and the points inches from his ribs. The heat hardly seemed to touch him. The Maidens’ eyes followed his progress.
Rand studied Taim as the man and his escort crossed the courtyard. At least fifteen years older than himself; thirty-five, then, or a few years more at most. Little was known and less written of men who could channel – it was a subject most decent people avoided – but Rand had learned what he could. Relatively few men actually sought it out; that was one of Rand’s problems. Since the Breaking, most men who channeled had the ability born in them, ready to spring out as they grew into manhood. Some managed to keep madness at bay for years before Aes Sedai found and gentled them; others were already hopelessly mad when found, at times less than a year after first touching saidin. Rand had clung to sanity for close to two years, so far. Yet in front of him he had a man who must have managed it for ten or fifteen. That alone was worth something.
They halted a few paces before him at a gesture from Tumad. Rand opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Lews Therin rose up in a frenzy in his head. Sammael and Demandred hated me, whatever honors I gave them. The more honors, the worse the hate, until they sold their souls and went over. Demandred especially. I should have killed him! I should have killed them all! Scorched the earth to kill them all! Scorch the earth!
Face frozen, Rand fought for his own mind. I am Rand al’Thor. Rand al’Thor! I never knew Sammael or Demandred or any of them! The Light burn me, I am Rand al’Thor!Like a faint echo, one more thought came from elsewhere. The Light burn me. It sounded like a plea. Then Lews Therin was gone, driven back into whatever shadows he lived in.
Bashere took advantage of the silence. "You say you’re Mazrim Taim?" He sounded doubtful, and Rand looked at him in confusion. Was this Taim or not? Only a madman would claim that name if it was not his.
The prisoner’s mouth quirked in what might have been the beginning of a smile, and he rubbed his chin. "I shaved, Bashere." His voice held more than a hint of mockery. "It is hot this far south, or had you not noticed? Hotter than it should be, even here. Do you want proof of me? Shall I channel for you?" His dark eyes flickered to Rand, then back to Bashere, whose face was growing darker by the minute. "Perhaps not that, not now. I remember you. I had you beat at Irinjavar, until those visions appeared in the sky. But everyone knows that. What does everyone not know, that you and Mazrim Taim will?" Focused on Bashere, he seemed unaware of his guards, or their swords still hovering near his ribs. "I hear you hid what happened to Musar and Hachari and their wives." The mockery was gone; he was just relating what had happened, now. "They shouldn’t have tried to kill me under a parley flag. I trust you found them good places as servants? All they’ll really want to do now is serve and obey; they won’t be happy otherwise. I could have killed them. They all four drew daggers."
"Taim," Bashere growled, hand darting for his hilt, "you... !"
Rand stepped in front of him, seizing his wrist with the blade half-drawn. The guards’ blades, Tumad’s as well, were touching Taim now, very likely touching flesh the way they were shoved against his coat, but he did not flinch. "Did you come to see me," Rand demanded, "or to taunt Lord Bashere? If you do it again, I’ll let him kill you. My amnesty pardons what you’ve done, but it doesn’t let you flaunt your crimes."
Taim studied Rand a moment before speaking. Despite the heat, the fellow barely sweated. "To see you. You were the one in the vision in the sky. They say it was the Dark One himself you fought."
"Not the Dark One," Rand said. Bashere was not fighting him exactly, but he could feel the tension in the man’s arm. If he let go, that blade would be out and through Taim in a heartbeat. Unless he used the Power. Or Taim did. That had to be avoided, if it could be. He kept his grip on Bashere’s wrist. "He called himself Ba’alzamon, but I think he was Ishamael. I killed him later, in the Stone of Tear."
"I hear you’ve killed a number of the Forsaken. Should I call you my Lord Dragon? I have heard this lot use the title. Do you mean to kill all the Forsaken?"
"Do you know any other way to deal with them?" Rand asked. "They die, or the world does. Unless you think they can be talked into abandoning the Shadow the way they abandoned the Light." This was becoming ridiculous. Here he was, carrying on a conversation with a man who certainly had five sword points drawing blood beneath his coat while he himself held on to another man who wanted to add a sixth and draw more than a trickle. At least Bashere’s men were too disciplined to do more without their general’s word. At least Bashere was keeping his mouth shut. Admiring Taim’s coolness, Rand went on as quickly as he could without seeming to be hurried.


Of course, we know Demandred could ward himself against attack but any of the forsaken could have taught this to Taim. Though only Demandred has been shown to know this weave.

I've known a lot of military people who "despise" training with obsolete weapons -- even if they happen to be realitvely proficient with them.

Taim's attitude about swords is close kin to the logic that took guns out of fighters and air-combat-maneuvering out of flight training because dogfighting was a thing of the past.

Regarding swords as obsolete would be clear proof Taim is not of this age. But all we have is that Taim despises them. And there's no indication that Taim is proficient or even knows how to handle a sword. Compare this with Naeff.

Spasmodean
05-29-2010, 07:52 PM
If the Aes Sedai facing off against Taim deployed themselves in the middle of Bashere's army, they would likely be able to fight as soon as Bashere's army closed with Taim's army, but if they stayed off to the side they would not be able to join in until Taim attacked them specifically (which he'd be an idiot to do).

This is the part I disagree with mainly.

The difference between Taim/Logain's army is that they were led by men that could channel.

If they won they could be putting a madman in power. So each and every one of the enemy soldiers constituted a threat due to their association and goals.

We ALSO know that the Oaths are affected by what you believe.

The Reds in particular seem to have a very jaundiced view of all men and are probably conditioned within the Ajah to regard every male channeler and their followers to be the next world breakers.

nameless
05-29-2010, 09:03 PM
"Threat due to their association and goals" isn't good enough. We've seen time and again that there must be immediate danger. Verin (who ironically enough wasn't bound by the Oaths at all) made this very clear when she yelled at Egwene for attacking the Whitecloaks outside Tar Valon. The fact that the Children of Light wanted to kill her and every other Aes Sedai was not sufficient to meet the 3rd Oath's requirements; it would only have been enough if they were actively trying to kill her. Alanna experiences the same restriction after the Whitecloaks (probably the same Whitecloaks, in fact) kill one of her Warders in Two Rivers. Hawkwing's army laid seige to Tar Valon for years with the express purpose of destroying all Aes Sedai. If the 3rd Oath were as loosely interpreted as you suggest the Aes Sedai could have torn the beseigers apart on the first day. If the men trying to starve you to death don't qualify as sufficiently immediate threat it seems unlikely that men merely marching under the Dragon banner would.

Toss the dice
05-29-2010, 11:28 PM
In terms of the evidence for Taim being affiliated with an earlier time, another thing that i didn't see mentioned yet was Taim saying something like "your so-called Aiel" or "these so-called Aiel" to Rand. I'm pretty sure he says it at the farm, and it's around book 6 or so. If no one remembers that or knows what book, I can dig it up.

Also, in LoC on page 111 in paperback, Taim says this to Rand: "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if every one of these simpletons passes," the hawk-nosed man muttered with a glance at Rand. "You seem to have luck enough for ten men."

The only reason I can think of why Taim would refer to Aiel as "so-called Aiel" is if he knew them when they were different. It's not as if Taim doesn't believe Aiel exist. He knows very well that they do. And that can only mean one thing...

His calling the men at the farm "simpletons" is another little shred of evidence for Taim being from an earlier time (such as the AoL), or something along those lines. Why else would he call them that? If one were to assume Taim WAS born in this time and isn't affiliated with an earlier time, (disregard any previous regular reincarnations) I can think of many names he would call the Ashaman hopefuls, but "simpleton" doesn't fit right. Of course, the big thing is putting this along with the other pieces of evidence.

The "luck enough for ten men" comment is IMO the weakest evidence of the three I gave here. It does seem to be delivered from a Taim that is more familiar with Rand (or rather Lews Therin and his luck), than Taim necessarily should be. This was probably in my top 5 biggest pieces of evidence years ago for thinking Taim was Demandred, due to Demandred's opinion of Lews Therin. Of course we know RJ denied that he was, so that is a moot deal now. But on the other hand, from a current Taim POV in this time, he easily could and even is probably likely to view what he knows of Rand al'Thor as being lucky.

These are just a few little things I thought I would mention. Unsure if they've been posted yet in this thread.

Weird Harold
05-29-2010, 11:46 PM
Regarding swords as obsolete would be clear proof Taim is not of this age. But all we have is that Taim despises them. And there's no indication that Taim is proficient or even knows how to handle a sword. Compare this with Naeff.

So the Designers and Generals who declared dogfighting an obsolete tactic were from the future?

Taim thinks swords are "obsolete" -- for asha'man -- because no swordsman can survive to reach an asha'man and an asha'man's sheilds will keep him safe if the swordsman did get close.

Taim's attitude about swords is partly due to the "do everything with the OP" training philosophy and partly due to Taim's arrogant assumption that asha'man don't need weapons, they ARE weapons.

Neilbert
05-30-2010, 01:35 AM
In terms of the evidence for Taim being affiliated with an earlier time, another thing that i didn't see mentioned yet was Taim saying something like "your so-called Aiel" or "these so-called Aiel" to Rand.

The only reason I can think of why Taim would refer to Aiel as "so-called Aiel" is if he knew them when they were different. It's not as if Taim doesn't believe Aiel exist. He knows very well that they do. And that can only mean one thing...

It's a red herring dude. Taim speaks Old Tongue, Aiel means "dedicated". Taim is just saying "what if these so called "dedicated" betray you?" RJ was playing games. They worked too well, probably to his great amusement.

His calling the men at the farm "simpletons" is another little shred of evidence for Taim being from an earlier time (such as the AoL), or something along those lines.

Something along those lines... like a super arrogant darkfriend likely personally trained by a Forsaken?

greatwolf
05-30-2010, 03:59 AM
So the Designers and Generals who declared dogfighting an obsolete tactic were from the future?

For the Generals, it was an obvious and inevitable conclusion that all could and did agree on. Not so Taim. He's the only channeler who feels swords are useless. The AS don't have the same attitude. Nor does Logain or Rand. But as I said earlier, its not just this this or any other single point that makes Taim so remarkable, rather its when you put it all together.

How do you fit his obvious military disposition and probable childhood in the borderlands with his stance on swords. Taim's background is full of holes and we can only theorize on why.

E: The invention of missles and long range weapons and sensors made swords obsolete. Technology was widespread and accepted but it still didn't prevent Generals from giving their men side arms. For Taim, the technology has not changed and no other general or channeler considers swords obsolete.

GonzoTheGreat
05-30-2010, 04:07 AM
Perhaps Taim actually is an Aiel. That would explain his disdain for swords very well, wouldn't it?

greatwolf
05-30-2010, 05:06 AM
Perhaps Taim actually is an Aiel. That would explain his disdain for swords very well, wouldn't it?

Actually, its more plausible than you think. The WO have been sending men who can channel into the blight for hundreds of years probably. Ishy could have started a recruitment program for them. He should. But that still won't wash.

Taim has learnt a lot for someone not yet thirty.
Military tactics (enough to best Bahere) Cnanneling (enough to best...i needn't say it again :) ) Old tongue (enough to be familiar with aiel in a way most AS have never associated the word) and he knows enough of fighting to despise one tool that everyone in his native saldea considered essential.

Even aiel do not learn that fast. :p

Weird Harold
05-30-2010, 08:27 AM
For the Generals, it was an obvious and inevitable conclusion that all could and did agree on.

You'd be surprised at how few Generals really came to that conclusion.(note that the US is really the only military power to remove the guns from their fighter/interceptor design specs. )

Among those commanding Asha'man, two support traditional military training in addition to Channeling and one considers swords and the rest of the traditional military training that Logain emphasizes a waste of time. The ratio of people whose opinons are relevant is about the same as for the gun-armed dogfighter vs missile-armed interceptor debate in the 50's and 60's.

Other soldiers and channelers opinions are irrelevant because they don't command asha'man.

nameless
05-30-2010, 08:48 AM
For the Generals, it was an obvious and inevitable conclusion that all could and did agree on. Not so Taim. He's the only channeler who feels swords are useless. The AS don't have the same attitude. Nor does Logain or Rand.


The Aes Sedai think it's useful for their Warders to have swords but they don't personally learn to use them. Even Taim recognizes the value of having "normals" around to deal with the sword to sword fighting; after all, he's the one who started the recruiting campaign for the Legion of the Dragon. He just thinks it's a waste of time for channelers to practice mundane combat.
I think there's a hint of Taim's attitude in the ritual the Wise Ones made Aviendha undergo when she enlisted as an apprentice. The destroyed all her weapons in front of her as if they were trash, sending a clear message that sharp pointy bits of metal are well and good for a Maiden but they're beneath the status of a Wise One.

greatwolf
05-30-2010, 09:08 AM
I think there's a hint of Taim's attitude in the ritual the Wise Ones made Aviendha undergo when she enlisted as an apprentice. The destroyed all her weapons in front of her as if they were trash, sending a clear message that sharp pointy bits of metal are well and good for a Maiden but they're beneath the status of a Wise One.


They burned her clothes too. I guess that means clothing is beneath the status of a WO. :p


Taim isn't the only arrogant person in the series, but Amys identifies with her past as a maiden no matter how much she distances herself from it as a WO. Taim reacton to swords is much more curious for a Saldean. If he was andoran, it wouldn't have struk me as much of a curiosity.

Enigma
05-30-2010, 09:08 AM
Here is a thought on Taim's attitude to swords. What if he is just not very good with one? I was reading the RJ quote database here and he was asked about the level of fensing skill at the Black Tower and his reply stated that you need a certain tallent to be very good and how often you practices also has a lot to do with how good you will become.

It stands to reason that some people are just not very good with swords just as some people are not very good at tenis or snooker or any other sport that requires a certain hand/eye coordination.

Given what we know about Taim's personality I could very easily see him trying like a good borderlander to learn the sword and just plain sucking at it. Its not just his channeling strenght that is forsaken class, so is his ego. Being terrible at something that would be considered so much part of being a man in the borderlands would be a real hard pill for Taim to swallow.

So instead of admitting that he is not very good at something he dismisses it instead. "I'm a really strong channeler, why would i waste time on swords"

By the way when I say he was not very good given Taim's ego being barely compitent in his mind might be the same as being really bad especially if he is accustomed to being head of the class.

greatwolf
05-30-2010, 10:21 AM
Other soldiers and channelers opinions are irrelevant because they don't command asha'man.


Swords are obsolete is definitely a rare opinion for a third ager. Anyone else who can make Taim a little less suspicious?

I only know of Sammael and we know why he wants shocklances.

GonzoTheGreat
05-30-2010, 10:29 AM
Swords are obsolete is definitely a rare opinion for a third ager. Anyone else who can make Taim a little less suspicious?Well, there's Siuan's attitude towards swords, as portrayed in TGH when she is teaching Nynaeve and Egwene.

Neilbert
05-30-2010, 01:47 PM
A man being able to channel and do so skillfully is certainly rare for a third ager soooo....

Taim isn't your average third ager

Belazamon
05-30-2010, 03:29 PM
A man being able to channel and do so skillfully is certainly rare for a third ager soooo....

Taim isn't your average third ager
Circular reasoning. If Taim was your average third-ager, he would be dead or gentled, not a former False Dragon.

Neilbert
05-30-2010, 03:56 PM
That wasn't intended to be a conclusion, just pointing out that Taim is far from typical for a variety of reasons so expecting typical behavior from him is a little dumb.

knightofround
05-31-2010, 04:00 PM
mispost

Weird Harold
06-01-2010, 03:57 AM
Swords are obsolete is definitely a rare opinion for a third ager. Anyone else who can make Taim a little less suspicious?

I only know of Sammael and we know why he wants shocklances.
For third agers in general, but for those who have an option, eg Asha'man, it is about a 40-60 split against swords. It might actually be higher because some of Logain's faction and the non-aligned asha'man aren't terribly enthusiastic about swords either.

The opinions of those third-agers who don't have an alternative to swords are irrelevant to the opinions of those who do have an alternative.

greatwolf
06-07-2010, 06:24 AM
Taim strode into the room as though he owned the Palace. She did not need him named. Blue-And-gold Dragons wove round the sleeves of his black coat from elbows to cuffs, in imitation of the Dragons on Rand’s arms. Though she suspected he would not appreciate the observation. He was tall, nearly as tall as Rand, with a hooked nose and dark eyes like augurs, a physically powerful man who moved with something of a Warder’s deadly grace, but shadows seemed to follow him, as if half the lamps in the room had gone out; not real shadows, but an air of imminent violence that seemed palpable enough to soak up light.


A very interesting description.

It would be really nice to find out about Taim. Finally. Its a far more interesting puzzle than asmodean.

greatwolf
06-07-2010, 06:41 AM
For third agers in general, but for those who have an option, eg Asha'man, it is about a 40-60 split against swords.

I'm not sure where you got your poll from. Are there any WOs that despise swords? They can channel, and the society is similar to the BLers with its focus on fighting skills, but i don't recall even one of them who considers swords (spears here) as obsolete. And that's inspite of the WOs knowing the truth about the aiel past.

GonzoTheGreat
06-07-2010, 07:00 AM
It would be really nice to find out about Taim. Finally. Its a far more interesting puzzle than asmodean.Could be the same puzzle, of course.

Weird Harold
06-07-2010, 08:14 AM
I'm not sure where you got your poll from.

That's a "guesstimate" based on Tovienne's assessment of the factions in the BT.

Are there any WOs that despise swords?

Once again you miss the point.

Wise Ones forswear ALL weapons whether they can channel or not. They do not despise weapond in the hands of others, but weapons in the hands of Wise Ones are not going to happen.

Aes Sedai foreswear weapons for themselves and even foreswear using the OP as a weapon except as a last defense.

Pretty much all of the female channelers foreswear weapons and partcipation in combat except as a last defense.

The asha'man on the other hand is a group formed as a combat unit and only Taim's faction "despise" swords with an arrogant "I don't need a weapon because I AM a weapon" attitude.

greatwolf
06-09-2010, 11:47 AM
Wise Ones forswear ALL weapons whether they can channel or not. They do not despise weapond in the hands of others, but weapons in the hands of Wise Ones are not going to happen.


WOs use belt knives. AS can use a sword to kill same as everyone else, the three oaths don't prevent that. They don't, but they seem to have a healthy respect for swords. That's really far from Taim's attitude and it seems to be attitude based on knowledge since the same attitude tends to creep down to his toadies.

Not all WOs can channel. Senna, the WO who died protecting Rand probably tried to stand against a draghklar with a belt knife.


But Taim's attitude is far from all that. He had six swords at his ribs and continued taunting Bashere! Of course, it seems Demandred had a warding that prevented physical attacks like that to a large degree, but then I'd have to assume that Dem had been teaching Taim for some time to allow an attitude like that develop.

Or else I assume He's Taim :p.

GonzoTheGreat
06-09-2010, 12:00 PM
"A sword?" the Amyrlin said. "I never thought swords were much use – even if you have the skill, child, there are always men who have as much, and a deal more strength – but if you want a sword ..." She held up her hand – Egwene gasped, and even Nynaeve's eyes bulged – and there was a sword in it. With blade and hilt of an odd bluish white, it looked somehow ... cold. "Made from the air, child, with Air. It's as good as most steel blades, better than most, but still not much use." The sword became a paring knife. There was no shrinking; it just was one thing, then the other. "This, now, is useful." The paring knife turned to mist, and the mist faded away. The Amyrlin put her empty hand back in her lap. "But either takes more effort than it is worth. Better, easier, simply to carry a good knife with you. You have to learn when to use your ability, as well as how, and when it's better to do things the way any other woman would. Let a blacksmith make knives for gutting fish. Use the One Power too often and too freely, and you can come to like it too much. That way lies danger. You begin to want more of it, and sooner or later you run the risk of drawing more than you've learned to handle. And that can burn you out like a guttered candle, or – "This suggests that Siuan does not think all that highly of swords either, at least not for someone who can use the OP.

Enigma
06-09-2010, 02:17 PM
In the scene with Taim meeting Rand & Bashere I would put his lack of fear at all the swords pressing against him as confidence in his own abilities as opposed to anything else.

If the soliders did try to run him through they would either have to be ordered to do so or for one of them to over react something Taim was sure to spot.

All he has to do is embrace the source and there are any number of weaves that would deal with all the soldiers. A simple weave of air could cut off all their heads before they could react a bit like Cyndane did to the man she was talking to in WH when she felt the CK being used.

The only other channeler there was Rand and it would probably be safe to assume that Taim could kill the soliders before Rand could react and after that he can stage a figthing retreat.

Yes there were were Aiel and other soliders present but Taim was able to teach the Asha'man how to shield themselves from flying rocks shards, stopping a few arrows should be easy with the only real channenge being Rand.

greatwolf
06-10-2010, 08:06 AM
In the scene with Taim meeting Rand & Bashere I would put his lack of fear at all the swords pressing against him as confidence in his own abilities as opposed to anything else.

...only real channenge being Rand.


In LoC, Taim bluntly refused to let the ashaman raise the barrier against the Shaido despite Rand's order. He clearly knew his limits. Thats as far as the confidence goes. Its confidence in what he knows he can do. Not delusional arrogance. Therefore it stands to reason that he had the training and experience to withstand Rand + Bashere and his men.


Since he'd stood off Bashere and caddy before, he had grounds for such confidence. I might add though, that Taim apparently went into that meeting beleiving Rand to be the Dragon of the aol. At least in terms of strength if not skill as well.

Casabamelon
06-10-2010, 09:10 AM
In LoC, Taim bluntly refused to let the ashaman raise the barrier against the Shaido despite Rand's order. He clearly knew his limits. Thats as far as the confidence goes. Its confidence in what he knows he can do. Not delusional arrogance. Therefore it stands to reason that he had the training and experience to withstand Rand + Bashere and his men.

Why does it have to be delusional arrogance? He could believe (and rightly so) that he was too big of a prize for Rand to have skewered. He ignored the swords because he knew no one would have the balls to order him killed before he saw Rand, and he knew Rand needed all the help he could get. While I do think that Taim is a bad guy, I don't think this rises to PROOF that he's a bad guy who's automatically receieved extra-marital training.
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greatwolf
06-10-2010, 03:48 PM
. While I do think that Taim is a bad guy, I don't think this rises to PROOF that he's a bad guy who's automatically receieved extra-marital training.

Extra marital? As in outside marriage?

You talk of proof, but the only thing we've been given is evidence. Plenty of it. But you may be right still, if he's not trained he may simply have memories from the aol due to barrier degradation or something. Or maybe he's Ishy. :p

Enigma
06-10-2010, 05:47 PM
Personally I think that Taim may have received some training from Ishamael but its by no means certain. Perhaps the Shadow only invited him in once he became leader of the Black Tower.

In any event the way I see his first meeting with Rand was confidence not arrogance. For a channeler of Taim's strenght who has some experience the only real danger he has to face is another channeler provided he is not caught off guard. He could have ripped the palace apart if he had wanted to unless Rand stopped him.

Granted Rand though that Taim would need his help to escape if the soldiers and Aiel tried to kill him but Rand is not beyond making mistakes and at that point Rand was still pretty mellow, and did not spend a lot of time wondering how he could use the power to kill ordinary soldiers.

Taim knows that he is too big a prize for any of Rand's people to turn away when he shows up so its safe enough to approach the guards. If they do try anything he can always defend himself.

Once he gets to Rand he clearly seemed to think that Rand would be strong but not as experienced as he was was. If it came to a fight between him and Rand the soliders and Aiel would not really be a problem. He would not even have to consentrate on dealing with any of the soliders beyond those with their swords pressing against him because we have seen when forsaken strength chanelers start battling each other unless you are forsaken strenght yourself you are likely dead meat simply from what the two channelers are throwing at each other.

greatwolf
06-12-2010, 04:28 AM
He would not even have to consentrate on dealing with any of the soliders beyond those with their swords pressing against him because we have seen when forsaken strength chanelers start battling each other unless you are forsaken strenght yourself you are likely dead meat simply from what the two channelers are throwing at each other.


I can agree with that as per Moiraine/Merean. But the crux is that confidence itself. Is it based on knowledge and ability? Or just swaggering? If knowledge, what did Taim know? As at this time, iirc, the forsaken were not sure if Rand was really LTT. If Taim knew he risked facing the LTT from the aol, and he was so certain he could take him and the aiel and anyone else there (there were rumors of an AS with Rand.


Or else he was pretty certain he had a smooth tongue as Casbamelon suggested.

Enigma
06-12-2010, 10:34 AM
I don't see how Taim what ever his background could see facing Rand as the same as facing an AoL channeler. At that point none of the forsaken were aware of the LTT factor and they put down his success to luck and what ever tibits he could get from Asmodean. The general forsaken opinion seems to have been that Asmodean would reall suck as a teacher and was far from a dependable allie.

Taim had been channeling a number of years, enough to have a rough control over what he was doing. Maybe he did not know a lot of fancy weaves but given his success as a false dragon it seems clear that he knew how to look after himself.

If he has no shadow connections he probably figured he might be facing a man with a lot of military resources and one who was just as strong as him but a lot less experience. If he did have Shadow coaching his thinking may have been the same or at best he may have been briefed that Rand may know a few tricks but if Taim was that high up in the Shadow to get a briefing he should be high enough up to get taught a few tricks himself.

greatwolf
06-12-2010, 11:36 AM
I don't see how Taim what ever his background could see facing Rand as the same as facing an AoL channeler.

Rand is the dragon. And in the aol, the dragon was the strongest channeler.

At that point none of the forsaken were aware of the LTT factor and they put down his success to luck

No. Lanfear saw him as LT and so did the others who hated LT - Demandred and Sammael, and likely Ishy.


if Taim was that high up in the Shadow to get a briefing he should be high enough up to get taught a few tricks himself.


Enough to make him take that kind of risk? Demandred is a gambler, but maybe Taim is too. And it is a risk for a man who has just escaped captivity.


I don't really see how he could have accomplished so much if he wasn't forsaken trained (at the very least) long before this.