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nameless
04-23-2010, 06:08 PM
When Noal is talking about his ambivalent feelings towards Jain Farstrider, supposedly his cousin, he lets slip the following:
"'He went gallivanting about the world and left a good and lovng wife to die of a fever without him there to hold her hand hile she died. he let himself be made inot a tool by-' Abruptly Noal's face went blank. Staring through Mat, he rubbed at his forehead as though attempting to recall something." (Knife of Dreams A Stave and a Razor)

So he's about to reveal something about Jain Farstrider when his Compulsion kicks in and forces him to keep his mouth shut. However, thanks to Ishy's insane boasting during the dream invasion scenes from tEotW we know what he was going to say: he let himself be made into a tool by Ba'alzamon.

So the question is, what did Farstrider do that helped the Shadow? The details we have about him are sketchy at best. We know he was a famous explorer and writer a la Marco Polo, that he is a hero to little boys all over Randland, and that he helped avenge Malkier, after which he sort of fell off the radar. "Tool" implies that he is a dupe rather than an out-and-out Darkfriend. What was he duped into doing? Is he still in play? Some people suspect that he's actually Noal, in which case, what has he been doing for the last 20years apart from getting old and waiting for Mat to show up?

Spasmodean
04-23-2010, 06:52 PM
Didn't he indirectly have a hand in Slayer's birth?

Ishara
04-26-2010, 10:31 AM
How?

Isam was Malkieri, as was Farstrider, sure. But that's the only connection I can think of...

Spasmodean
04-28-2010, 09:34 PM
How?

Isam was Malkieri, as was Farstrider, sure. But that's the only connection I can think of...
Don't have books to hand and am terrible at names - but didn't his capture of a Darkfriend connected to the Malkieri Royal family cause that DF's wife to flee into the Blight taking her young son, Isam with her?

Belazamon
04-29-2010, 12:26 AM
They both happened to be in the same place at the same time, but it doesn't seem there was any direct connection. "Lan is from Malkier," the Wisdom said softly, looking up. She seemed troubled.

It was not a question, but Agelmar nodded. "Yes, Lady Nynaeve, he is the son of al'Akir Mandragoran, last crowned King of the Malkieri. How did he become as he is? The beginning, perhaps, was Lain. On a dare, Lain Mandragoran, the King's brother, led his lances through the Blight to the Blasted Lands, perhaps to Shayol Ghul itself. Lain's wife, Breyan, made that dare for the envy that burned her heart that al'Akir had been raised to the throne instead of Lain. The King and Lain were as close as brothers could be, as close as twins even after the royal 'al' was added to Akir's name, but jealousy wracked Breyan. Lain was acclaimed for his deeds, and rightfully so, but not even he could outshine al'Akir. He was, man and king, such as comes once in a hundred years, if that. Peace favor him, and el'Leanna.

"Lain died in the Blasted Lands with most of those who followed him, men Malkier could ill afford to lose, and Breyan blamed the King, saying that Shayol Ghul itself would have fallen if al'Akir had led the rest of the Malkieri north with her husband. For revenge, she plotted with Cowin Gemallan, called Cowin Fairheart, to seize the throne for her son, Isam. Now Fairheart was a hero almost as well loved as al'Akir himself, and one of the Great Lords, but when the Great Lords had cast the rods for king, only two separated him from Akir, and he never forgot that two men laying a different color on the Crowning Stone would have set him on the throne instead. Between them, Cowin and Breyan moved soldiers back from the Blight to seize the Seven Towers, stripping the Borderforts to bare garrisons.

"But Cowin's jealousy ran deeper." Disgust tinged Agelmar's voice. "Fairheart the hero, whose exploits in the Blight were sung throughout the Borderlands, was a Darkfriend. With the Borderforts weakened, Trollocs poured into Malkier like a flood. King al'Akir and Lain together might have rallied the land; they had done so before. But Lain's doom in the Blasted Lands had shaken the people, and the Trolloc invasion broke men's spirit and their will to resist. Too many men. Overwhelming numbers pushed the Malkieri back into the heartland.

"Breyan fled with her infant son Isam, and was run down by Trollocs as she rode south with him. No one knows their fate of a certainty, but it can be guessed. I can find pity only for the boy. When Cowin Fairheart's treachery was revealed and he was taken by young Jain Charin already called Jain Farstrider when Fairheart was brought to the Seven Towers in chains, the Great Lords called for his head on a pike. But because he had been second only to al'Akir and Lain in the hearts of the people, the King faced him in single combat and slew him. Al'Akir wept when he killed Cowin. Some say he wept for a friend who had given himself to the Shadow, and some say for Malkier."
Seems like Isam and his mother vanished first, then Jain brought in Fairheart later.

Ishara
04-29-2010, 07:37 PM
Definitely - that was the quote I was thinking of - thanks!