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View Full Version : Something that always bugged me about stilling...


Daemin
02-14-2012, 10:39 AM
We know that stilling can be used as punishment for breaking tower law that falls short of being severe enough to warrant the death sentence. We also know that every channeler thinks that stilling is worse than death. From that, I think its a reasonable assumption to think that most Aes Sedai should think that stilling someone is harming them.

The three oaths forbid Aes Sedai from using the one power as weapon except against dark friends, shadow spawn, or in defense of themselves, other Aes Sedai, or their warders.

So the thing that always bugged me is, how is it even possible for a sentence of stilling to be carried out? Why do the three oaths not prevent the Aes Sedai from doing so?

Once this thought crossed my mind, so many years ago now, it just raised further questions. How could the sisters beat Rand daily? Is unnecessary, sadistic punishment with the OP not considered using it as a weapon? What about genteling? Surely that is harming the man, especially since it is known that doing so will remove his will to live.

Any answer to this that I can think up just ends up seeming unsatisfactory and ad hoc.

Zombie Sammael
02-14-2012, 10:45 AM
We know that stilling can be used as punishment for breaking tower law that falls short of being severe enough to warrant the death sentence. We also know that every channeler thinks that stilling is worse than death. From that, I think its a reasonable assumption to think that most Aes Sedai should think that stilling someone is harming them.

The three oaths forbid Aes Sedai from using the one power as weapon except against dark friends, shadow spawn, or in defense of themselves, other Aes Sedai, or their warders.

So the thing that always bugged me is, how is it even possible for a sentence of stilling to be carried out? Why do the three oaths not prevent the Aes Sedai from doing so?

Once this thought crossed my mind, so many years ago now, it just raised further questions. How could the sisters beat Rand daily? Is unnecessary, sadistic punishment with the OP not considered using it as a weapon? What about genteling? Surely that is harming the man, especially since it is known that doing so will remove his will to live.

Any answer to this that I can think up just ends up seeming unsatisfactory and ad hoc.

The key thing is the word "weapon". This is actually highlighted in the series at the end of LOC, where the AS are able to beat Rand with the Power. They can do this only because they think of it as a punishment rather than an assault, and once one or two of them start wondering if he does deserve it, they're unable to do so anymore. As fine as the distinction is, there is a difference between a tool used for discipline and a weapon.

Davian93
02-14-2012, 11:01 AM
As Zombie states, they are simply playing semantics. Its only assault with the OP if they think of it that way.

Also, for some of those involved in the beating (Galina, Katherine), it didnt matter at all as they were Black Ajah and not subject to the Oaths.

Zombie Sammael
02-14-2012, 11:27 AM
As Zombie states, they are simply playing semantics. Its only assault with the OP if they think of it that way.

Also, for some of those involved in the beating (Galina, Katherine), it didnt matter at all as they were Black Ajah and not subject to the Oaths.

The point is that given all the ritual and ceremony that normally surrounds the stilling of a woman, no AS would ever think of it as a use of the Power as a weapon in that context.

Davian93
02-14-2012, 11:37 AM
The point is that given all the ritual and ceremony that normally surrounds the stilling of a woman, no AS would ever think of it as a use of the Power as a weapon in that context.

I agree.

GonzoTheGreat
02-14-2012, 11:46 AM
The point is that given all the ritual and ceremony that normally surrounds the stilling of a woman, no AS would ever think of it as a use of the Power as a weapon in that context.
As Dr Samuel Johnson said: "The prospect of hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully."

Frankly, I would expect an AS who is faced with being stilled to think of this defense. Maybe not all of them, but it would only take one.
Or, more accurately: if AS weren't what they are, then I would expect them to have figured this out.

eht slat meit
02-14-2012, 11:53 AM
Frankly, I would expect an AS who is faced with being stilled to think of this defense. Maybe not all of them, but it would only take one.
Or, more accurately: if AS weren't what they are, then I would expect them to have figured this out.

Grasping for the few tufts of grass on the cliffside: the alternative is execution or some sort of bizarre life-long shielding which results in the same.

Zombie Sammael
02-14-2012, 12:53 PM
Grasping for the few tufts of grass on the cliffside: the alternative is execution or some sort of bizarre life-long shielding which results in the same.

Well, we know that a perma-shield of sorts is possible, as is a shield that merely restricts the flow of Power.

Given that stilling can now be healed, I expect that in future a sentence of stilling might be imposed for a period of time, for example seven years stilling and imprisonment. If the Asha'man are in some way incorporated into AS structure, they could even determine whether the healing will be by man or woman as part of the sentence.

WinespringBrother
02-14-2012, 02:03 PM
There are several ways for Aes Sedai, masters of rationalization, to justify (at least to themselves) the act of gentling:

1. Many Red sisters (and probably others) consider men who can channel to be darkfriends, whether accurately or not.

2. It is possible to consider the gentling of a possible raving madman with the powers of fire and lightning at their fingertips to be a grave danger to other sisters if they walk about unhindered.

3. Gentling can be considered healing instead of harming, since it helps prevent madness.

I find it harder to justify stillings, especially in the cases of Siuan and Leane, even though it was Galina who led the circles, since other sisters participated. Though perhaps some kind of delusions allows a loophole in the oaths.

Davian93
02-14-2012, 02:42 PM
I cannot recall...did Elaida's proclamation against Siuan and Leane say they were Black Ajah or not.

Too lazy to look it up right now. However, if it did, that would justify any such stilling beyond the normal "Oh, its just legal punishment and acceptable under the Oaths"

EDIT: Nevermind...found the quote. Elaida doesnt say they're Darkfriends, she only implies it...which might have been good enough to convince the AS carrying out the sentences anyway:


TITLE: Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 47 - The Truth of a Viewing
"I don't know. There are not many Greens left, either. Not in the Tower. The other Ajahs split, one way and another. Most of the Reds are still here. As far as I know, everybody who opposed Elaida has either fled or else they are dead. Siuan. . ." It seemed odd, calling her that-Leane muttered angrily under her breath-but calling her Mother would only be a mockery, now. "Siuan, the charges posted against you claim you and Leane arranged Mazrim Taim's escape. Logain got away during the fighting, and they've blamed that on you, too. They don't quite name you Darkfriends-I suppose that would be too close to Black Ajah-but they do not miss by much. I think everyone is meant to understand, though."

Kimon
02-14-2012, 04:24 PM
There are several ways for Aes Sedai, masters of rationalization, to justify (at least to themselves) the act of gentling:

1. Many Red sisters (and probably others) consider men who can channel to be darkfriends, whether accurately or not.

2. It is possible to consider the gentling of a possible raving madman with the powers of fire and lightning at their fingertips to be a grave danger to other sisters if they walk about unhindered.

3. Gentling can be considered healing instead of harming, since it helps prevent madness.

I find it harder to justify stillings, especially in the cases of Siuan and Leane, even though it was Galina who led the circles, since other sisters participated. Though perhaps some kind of delusions allows a loophole in the oaths.

Aren't we overlooking something even worse that doesn't involve channeling? How did they justify murdering Siuan's warder? He could have simply been shielded, but instead they killed him. They were there to arrest Siuan, not merely to carry out an illegal coup d'etat. Even if it was very tenuously legal, they did nonetheless make the effort to have a limited Hall meet to depose Siuan and thus justify their actions, yet how can this justify killing a warder that could have been easily overpowered by a group of channelers even had he raised the alarm, and thus warned Siuan of their coming. After all, if their cause was legal and just, what matter if he raise an alarm?

Toss the dice
02-14-2012, 04:51 PM
Aren't we overlooking something even worse that doesn't involve channeling? How did they justify murdering Siuan's warder? He could have simply been shielded, but instead they killed him. They were there to arrest Siuan, not merely to carry out an illegal coup d'etat. Even if it was very tenuously legal, they did nonetheless make the effort to have a limited Hall meet to depose Siuan and thus justify their actions, yet how can this justify killing a warder that could have been easily overpowered by a group of channelers even had he raised the alarm, and thus warned Siuan of their coming. After all, if their cause was legal and just, what matter if he raise an alarm?

I've always wondered this myself. Given the situation, it was completely unnecessary to kill Siuan's Warder.

After the Black Ajah was rounded up, there was a little bit about what to do with their Warders; that some of them would be Darkfriends, but not all. There wasn't much content to go on, but it was said that it was an incredible mess, since it would be extremely difficult to sort out the Darkfriends from those that simply were crazy due to the Bond being broken. There was no mention that the crazy ones would be put to death.

Maybe Elaida's coup felt they had to kill Siuan's Warder. But any way you slice it, it was murder, and also surprising considering how many sisters were involved and all but the Blue Ajah was represented. You can't tell me Joline thought it was the right thing to do.

Zombie Sammael
02-14-2012, 04:53 PM
They probably either killed Siuan's warder through non-magical means, or he was killed in combat. I thought it said somewhere that he was killed in combat, come to think of it.

Kimon
02-14-2012, 05:01 PM
They probably either killed Siuan's warder through non-magical means, or he was killed in combat. I thought it said somewhere that he was killed in combat, come to think of it.

tSR Ch 47:

Yet it was not the sight of Leane that made her miss her step, but the tall, slender gray-haired man stretched on the floor with a knife rising from his back.

This doesn't sound much like a struggle. This sounds like they knifed him in the back before he fully knew what they were intending. There were some black ajah present, and one of the Forsaken, but they all, some known non-DFs, are complicit in this murder.

Zombie Sammael
02-14-2012, 05:07 PM
LoC Ch 47:



This doesn't sound much like a struggle. This sounds like they knifed him in the back before he fully knew what they were intending. There were some black ajah present, and one of the Forsaken, but they all, some known non-DFs, are complicit in this murder.

According to eWOT, he sensed Siuan's distress, ran to her aid, and was knife in the antechamber. That's probably what I was thinking of, unless someone has something different.

Kimon
02-14-2012, 05:14 PM
According to eWOT, he sensed Siuan's distress, ran to her aid, and was knife in the antechamber. That's probably what I was thinking of, unless someone has something different.

If so, they got that information from an interview. Nothing indicates that in the text, which only relates that Siuan saw him dead on the floor as she was being led out of her inner chamber.

eht slat meit
02-14-2012, 06:01 PM
Aren't we overlooking something even worse that doesn't involve channeling? How did they justify murdering Siuan's warder? He could have simply been shielded, but instead they killed him.

Seems to me that it's understood over the course of the series that the Warders are regularly used as a cheap (or not-so-cheap) rationalization for getting away with what one can't do with the OP. When those most willing to oppose you are dead, they're no longer a threat. So you get your warder to off Alric, start a large-scale warder v warder riot, and as long as you win, everything's gravy.

In other circumstances, they probably couldn't have gotten away with that, and I'm sure that Mesaana made things happen in a way as to force the confrontation.

And it's not as if just the BA does it either - Siuan was mighty quick to suggest having Egwene's little blackmailers meet with "accidents"...

Kimon
02-14-2012, 06:32 PM
And it's not as if just the BA does it either - Siuan was mighty quick to suggest having Egwene's little blackmailers meet with "accidents"...

Nicola and Areina were expendable nuisances, moreover the use of the word accident implies an intent to cover their tracks. Alric's death on the other hand was both pointless and in front of many witnesses.

eht slat meit
02-14-2012, 06:46 PM
Nicola and Areina were expendable nuisances, moreover the use of the word accident implies an intent to cover their tracks. Alric's death on the other hand was both pointless and in front of many witnesses.

"Expendable nuisances"? That's a polite way to describe a cold-blooded act of murder. It was obvious to everyone present, which is why Egwene shut it down.

Alric's death was part of a larger plot, and had a very specific point - to establish a wide and growing schism in the Tower that would eventually break it.

It's very easy to convince someone of a thing like Alric when they already rationalize murders to themselves. A small sacrifice in a greater cause. If we let him live, there's the danger he will rally others against us. Not because we're wrong, but because they are so wrong, they would stand against the Tower and tear it apart.

Pre-emptive strike, really!

Kimon
02-14-2012, 06:53 PM
"Expendable nuisances"? That's a polite way to describe a cold-blooded act of murder. It was obvious to everyone present, which is why Egwene shut it down.

Alric's death was part of a larger plot, and had a very specific point - to establish a wide and growing schism in the Tower that would eventually break it.

It's very easy to convince someone of a thing like Alric when they already rationalize murders to themselves. A small sacrifice in a greater cause. If we let him live, there's the danger he will rally others against us. Not because we're wrong, but because they are so wrong, they would stand against the Tower and tear it apart.

Pre-emptive strike, really!

Or to be more succinct, Alric was himself merely an expendable nuisance. That does not however change the fact that his murder was unnecessary. He was simply an annoyance that could be swatted, swept under the table, then forgotten. Nicola was also an annoyance, but at least killing her would have served a purpose, albeit a ruthlessly expedient one.

eht slat meit
02-14-2012, 07:07 PM
Or to be more succinct, Alric was himself merely an expendable nuisance. That does not however change the fact that his murder was unnecessary. He was simply an annoyance that could be swatted, swept under the table, then forgotten. Nicola was also an annoyance, but at least killing her would have served a purpose, albeit a ruthlessly expedient one.

I'm not inclined to think that a cold-blooded act of murder is any less of one simply because the person performing it is theoretically a hero, versus a Forsaken. That's what makes Egwene better than Mesaana... and a lot of Aes Sedai... the fact that she wasn't willing to murder a couple girls simply for the threat of exposing the fact that -SHE- broke Tower law.

sleepinghour
02-15-2012, 08:21 AM
The point is that given all the ritual and ceremony that normally surrounds the stilling of a woman, no AS would ever think of it as a use of the Power as a weapon in that context.

It's the same with the test for Aes Sedai. The Accepted are sometimes injured or die, but the Aes Sedai operating the ter'angreal clearly do not consider what they're doing as using the Power as a weapon, probably because they don't actually set out to kill the Accepted and can blame that on the ter'angreal. Nynaeve's test was more questionable, but they probably wrote it off as punishment or part of the test.
I'm not inclined to think that a cold-blooded act of murder is any less of one simply because the person performing it is theoretically a hero, versus a Forsaken. That's what makes Egwene better than Mesaana... and a lot of Aes Sedai... the fact that she wasn't willing to murder a couple girls simply for the threat of exposing the fact that -SHE- broke Tower law.
There's a scene in CoT where Egwene is shocked to find herself reconsidering Siuan's suggestion, then rejects the idea and debates what kind of circumstances would justify having someone killed. I thought that was an interesting scene, with Egwene acknowledging she had changed and determined to put a limit on it. Unfortunately she seems to be getting increasingly cold-blooded lately considering she was willing to murder captive Aes Sedai to take down a few fleeing Seanchan in TGS. She is certainly better than Mesaana (if that's meant to be some sort of praise :p), but I don't see her as less cold-blooded than a lot of Aes Sedai. Anyway, if you feel like discussing it further, we could take it to the Egwene thread.
“If Nicola has been bothering you, Mother, I will see to her.”
“I was just curious,” Egwene said carefully, swallowing a suggestion that the young woman and her friend both be watched closely. She did not want to talk about Nicola. It would be too easy to find herself with a choice between lying or revealing matters she dared not expose. A pity she had not allowed Siuan to arrange for two quiet deaths.
Her head jerked in shock at the thought. Had she gone that far from Emond’s Field? She knew she would have to order men to die in battle sooner or later, and she thought she might be able to order a death if the need was great enough. If one death could stop the death of thousands, or even hundreds, was it not right to order it? But the danger presented by Nicola and Areina was simply that they might reveal secrets that could inconvenience Egwene al’Vere. Oh, Myrelle and the others might be lucky to get off with a birching, and they would certainly consider that more than inconvenient, but discomfort, however great, was not sufficient reason for killing.

Daemin
02-15-2012, 08:52 AM
A nice discussion, but as I said at the top, most of the answers end up seeming unsatisfactory.

I guess what really bugs me is that the first 2 oaths are very specific, where as the last one is vague enough to be essentially worthless, except when the plot demands otherwise.

I mean, the 3rd could've been "I will not use the one power to cause harm except...". But even that ends up slippery if it's enforcement depends on the subjective opinion of the person as what constitutes "harm." You don't get such quibbles over what constitutes a lie ("From a certain point of view..." not withstanding), or what constitutes a (physical) weapon. Or how about "I will not use the one power to cause injury...", etc.

What it comes down to is that while the "don't lie" oath is just a fig leaf, what with pregnant silences and suggestions, the "don't use it as a weapon" isn't even that.

As to things like considering men who can channel a threat to other sisters just in virtue of the fact that they can channel... If we admit that pre-emptive defense is allowed by the oath, than whats to stop a paranoid schizophrenic Aes Sedai who is convinced that every is out to get them from going on a murder spree?

Zombie Sammael
02-15-2012, 09:25 AM
A nice discussion, but as I said at the top, most of the answers end up seeming unsatisfactory.

I guess what really bugs me is that the first 2 oaths are very specific, where as the last one is vague enough to be essentially worthless, except when the plot demands otherwise.

I mean, the 3rd could've been "I will not use the one power to cause harm except...". But even that ends up slippery if it's enforcement depends on the subjective opinion of the person as what constitutes "harm." You don't get such quibbles over what constitutes a lie ("From a certain point of view..." not withstanding), or what constitutes a (physical) weapon. Or how about "I will not use the one power to cause injury...", etc.

What it comes down to is that while the "don't lie" oath is just a fig leaf, what with pregnant silences and suggestions, the "don't use it as a weapon" isn't even that.

As to things like considering men who can channel a threat to other sisters just in virtue of the fact that they can channel... If we admit that pre-emptive defense is allowed by the oath, than whats to stop a paranoid schizophrenic Aes Sedai who is convinced that every is out to get them from going on a murder spree?

I'm not sure what answer you would find "satisfying", I'm afraid. To me, the distinction between a birch cane and a quarterstaff is obvious. The person being "disciplined" might not agree, but in the mind of the discipliner, it is obvious, and the mind of the AS is all that counts. Even more of a clue is given in the two terms used for ritual severing - "stilling" and "gentling". In the case of the latter, the man is made "gentle" by the process, in the sense that he is no longer (as) dangerous; this sounds more like a kind of healing, though it is certainly an unsatisfactory solution to the problem of men who can channel. In the case of the former, the same implication is made. The woman is made "still" i.e. rendered inactive by the process; it is a punishment.

GonzoTheGreat
02-15-2012, 11:42 AM
Oh yes, and if you hit someone hard enough with a birch cane in the right place, then he rests in peace. The fact that he's also dead does not mean that you used it as a weapon, of course.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2012, 11:52 AM
We know that stilling can be used as punishment for breaking tower law that falls short of being severe enough to warrant the death sentence. We also know that every channeler thinks that stilling is worse than death. From that, I think its a reasonable assumption to think that most Aes Sedai should think that stilling someone is harming them.

The three oaths forbid Aes Sedai from using the one power as weapon except against dark friends, shadow spawn, or in defense of themselves, other Aes Sedai, or their warders.

So the thing that always bugged me is, how is it even possible for a sentence of stilling to be carried out? Why do the three oaths not prevent the Aes Sedai from doing so?

Once this thought crossed my mind, so many years ago now, it just raised further questions. How could the sisters beat Rand daily? Is unnecessary, sadistic punishment with the OP not considered using it as a weapon? What about genteling? Surely that is harming the man, especially since it is known that doing so will remove his will to live.

Any answer to this that I can think up just ends up seeming unsatisfactory and ad hoc.
Belief and order give strength.

Zombie Sammael
02-15-2012, 12:22 PM
Oh yes, and if you hit someone hard enough with a birch cane in the right place, then he rests in peace. The fact that he's also dead does not mean that you used it as a weapon, of course.

If you hit someone hard enough with a television they rest in peace. It doesn't make the television intrinsically a weapon, unless you are using it as one (in the UK this is actually true legally speaking as well). The One Power is the same. Ritual Severing, Accepted testing, and ter'angreal research, while all dangerous to one extent or another, are not weaponising the OP.

confused at birth
02-15-2012, 12:29 PM
If you hit someone hard enough with a television they rest in peace. It doesn't make the television intrinsically a weapon, unless you are using it as one (in the UK this is actually true legally speaking as well).

A UK TV cannot be a weapon as you need a license to have it and any american can tell you that you dont need a license for weapons:p

Zombie Sammael
02-15-2012, 01:52 PM
A UK TV cannot be a weapon as you need a license to have it and any american can tell you that you dont need a license for weapons:p

Therefore, a television is not a weapon, and if an AS can work out how to sever someone with it, she's welcome to. :rolleyes:

GonzoTheGreat
02-15-2012, 03:10 PM
If you hit someone hard enough with a television they rest in peace. It doesn't make the television intrinsically a weapon, unless you are using it as one (...).
But if you deliberately drop a television on someone's head, and that person is seriously injured or killed as a result, then the courts would say that you had used it as a weapon.

Just as bricks aren't automatically weapons, but if you throw them at the police, or drop them from overpasses, then they are considered to be such.

On the other hand, a sword may be nothing more than purely a wall ornament. Or, in the case of the Aiel, an embarrassing memento of a night of heavy drinking. It need not be a weapon.

The One Power is the same. Ritual Severing, Accepted testing, and ter'angreal research, while all dangerous to one extent or another, are not weaponising the OP.
At least in the case of Severing, the OP is actually used as a weapon, just as an executioner's sword is a weapon used for severing heads.

Zombie Sammael
02-15-2012, 03:40 PM
But if you deliberately drop a television on someone's head, and that person is seriously injured or killed as a result, then the courts would say that you had used it as a weapon.

Just as bricks aren't automatically weapons, but if you throw them at the police, or drop them from overpasses, then they are considered to be such.

On the other hand, a sword may be nothing more than purely a wall ornament. Or, in the case of the Aiel, an embarrassing memento of a night of heavy drinking. It need not be a weapon.


At least in the case of Severing, the OP is actually used as a weapon, just as an executioner's sword is a weapon used for severing heads.

An executioner's sword isn't a weapon within the context of an execution any more than a guillotine is. It's a tool for carrying out executions. It is the context that makes all the difference. You could argue that the context is all down to interpretation, but since the oaths themselves work by interpretation, this is just another example of how they function.

GonzoTheGreat
02-15-2012, 03:54 PM
But then you can interpret the Aiel War as an execution with of an unwilling victim, and argue that the AS could've used the OP there too.
Which, I'll grant you, would be an argument which I would be inclined to accept. My main criticism of the Oaths is that the AS seem to be far too bound by them, for people who are supposedly trained* in using logic.

* Even those Novices and Accepted who eventually don't choose the White Ajah do get lessons from WA members, and are supposed to be able to use logic.

The Unreasoner
02-15-2012, 05:34 PM
I wonder... since lightning is an 'indirect' use of the Power, (ie, Mat can get hit by it) could an AS use it as a weapon indiscriminately?

Rand al'Fain
02-15-2012, 06:20 PM
I wonder... since lightning is an 'indirect' use of the Power, (ie, Mat can get hit by it) could an AS use it as a weapon indiscriminately?

Depends on the situation I would think. Though, have any Aes Sedai, ones that are actually bound by the 3 Oaths, actually used lightening against non-Shadowspawn indescriminately (outside of the Battle of the 3 Wells or whatever it was called, as all their enemies were in front)?

I think so long as they believe it is only enemies where they are striking, they won't bother to hold back, unless you're Egwene and decided to knock out several to'raken out of the sky carrying any number of innocent girls.

Aulis Vaara
02-15-2012, 07:26 PM
But then you can interpret the Aiel War as an execution with of an unwilling victim, and argue that the AS could've used the OP there too.
Which, I'll grant you, would be an argument which I would be inclined to accept. My main criticism of the Oaths is that the AS seem to be far too bound by them, for people who are supposedly trained* in using logic.

* Even those Novices and Accepted who eventually don't choose the White Ajah do get lessons from WA members, and are supposed to be able to use logic.

There's still a large difference between finding a tenuous justification and actually believing that justification. I would guess that most Aes Sedai, if not all of them, would know they were just making excuses and why, and that would allow the Oaths to kick in.

GonzoTheGreat
02-16-2012, 04:10 AM
There's still a large difference between finding a tenuous justification and actually believing that justification. I would guess that most Aes Sedai, if not all of them, would know they were just making excuses and why, and that would allow the Oaths to kick in.
But it is not about justification, it is about finding loopholes in the rules. If they believe that the loophole they have intend to use is logically sound, then they should be able to use it, because then they sincerely believe that the Oaths do not prohibit that.

Thus, if I were bound by those Oaths:
-I would be able to say anything I liked, because I think that in the right context, every word is true, and the Oath does not require the whole sentence to be true, only individual words.
-I would not be able to use the OP to beat someone into submission (as AS routinely do), as I would believe that that was using it as a weapon.
-I probably would be able to use the OP to make weapons for the Borderlanders, as those weapons would be intended to kill Shadowspawn, not humans.

The Unreasoner
02-16-2012, 01:53 PM
But it is not about justification, it is about finding loopholes in the rules. If they believe that the loophole they have intend to use is logically sound, then they should be able to use it, because then they sincerely believe that the Oaths do not prohibit that
Belief and order give strength.

On another note:
Is gravity/pavement made a weapon with the Power if a man is thrown off a building? Even if it is, is it not one woman killing a man/woman?

How about making weapons for Shadowspawn?

fionwe1987
02-16-2012, 01:58 PM
It's the same with the test for Aes Sedai. The Accepted are sometimes injured or die, but the Aes Sedai operating the ter'angreal clearly do not consider what they're doing as using the Power as a weapon, probably because they don't actually set out to kill the Accepted and can blame that on the ter'angreal. Nynaeve's test was more questionable, but they probably wrote it off as punishment or part of the test.

There's a scene in CoT where Egwene is shocked to find herself reconsidering Siuan's suggestion, then rejects the idea and debates what kind of circumstances would justify having someone killed. I thought that was an interesting scene, with Egwene acknowledging she had changed and determined to put a limit on it. Unfortunately she seems to be getting increasingly cold-blooded lately considering she was willing to murder captive Aes Sedai to take down a few fleeing Seanchan in TGS. She is certainly better than Mesaana (if that's meant to be some sort of praise :p), but I don't see her as less cold-blooded than a lot of Aes Sedai. Anyway, if you feel like discussing it further, we could take it to the Egwene thread.
There's no inconsistency in her position, though. She made it clear she would order a death if it would save many more. Destroying those to'raken before they could give Traveling to the Seanchan and cause even more destruction fits within those limits. Which is why even Adelorna didn't see it as a violation of the oaths.

The Unreasoner
02-16-2012, 02:12 PM
There's no inconsistency in her position, though. She made it clear she would order a death if it would save many more. Destroying those to'raken before they could give Traveling to the Seanchan and cause even more destruction fits within those limits. Which is why even Adelorna didn't see it as a violation of the oaths.
What I found interesting was Egwene stating things as 'fact' to Gawyn after she was bound, when they were not fact (and furthermore, not even demonstrated as 'probable fact')

fionwe1987
02-17-2012, 02:53 AM
What I found interesting was Egwene stating things as 'fact' to Gawyn after she was bound, when they were not fact (and furthermore, not even demonstrated as 'probable fact')
I'm confused... what did she claim to be fact that was not?

eht slat meit
02-17-2012, 09:49 AM
All ter'angreal use the One Power in some way. The bloodrings are ter'angreal.

Just a random aside, but might it not be that the blood-rings use the TP instead of the OP? Something about their generally lethal and poisonous nature doesn't ring consistent.

edit: yeah, that pun wasn't intended

GonzoTheGreat
02-17-2012, 09:52 AM
Just a random aside, but might it not be that the blood-rings use the TP instead of the OP? Something about their generally lethal and poisonous nature doesn't ring consistent.

edit: yeah, that pun wasn't intended
Another random aside: would those blood rings still work inside a Stedding?

Zombie Sammael
02-18-2012, 06:14 AM
Just a random aside, but might it not be that the blood-rings use the TP instead of the OP? Something about their generally lethal and poisonous nature doesn't ring consistent.

edit: yeah, that pun wasn't intended

We have yet to see any *angreal that use the TP. That doesn't mean they don't exist, but I think it's unlikely that the Seanchan have access to the TP in any way, unless the entire culture is actually influenced by the Shadow to a far greater extent than we aware. That is a possibility, I think, given the significance of the Towers of Midnight as a metaphor for the Forsaken and ravens as eyes of the Dark One.

Seeker
02-18-2012, 04:44 PM
The key thing is the word "weapon". This is actually highlighted in the series at the end of LOC, where the AS are able to beat Rand with the Power. They can do this only because they think of it as a punishment rather than an assault, and once one or two of them start wondering if he does deserve it, they're unable to do so anymore. As fine as the distinction is, there is a difference between a tool used for discipline and a weapon.

I think the problem here, though, is the concept that all Aes Sedai would define weapon in the same way. And this is one of the reasons I've always disliked the Three Oaths as a concept.

For instance, there should be Aes Sedai out there who cannot speak unless it is to say the word "True."

Weird Harold
02-18-2012, 10:27 PM
... one of the reasons I've always disliked the Three Oaths as a concept.

I don't think that RJ intended anyone to like the Three Oaths as as concept.

I think that he did intend them as an illustration of humanity's ability to get around any restriction that might be designed by a human mind,

Seeker
02-19-2012, 09:56 AM
Fair enough.

Dajoran
02-20-2012, 03:48 AM
We have yet to see any *angreal that use the TP. That doesn't mean they don't exist, but I think it's unlikely that the Seanchan have access to the TP in any way, unless the entire culture is actually influenced by the Shadow to a far greater extent than we aware. That is a possibility, I think, given the significance of the Towers of Midnight as a metaphor for the Forsaken and ravens as eyes of the Dark One.

I agree that the Seanchan would not have access to the TP at all.

However, Ishamael could have slipped them to Luthair before his epic voyage.

Zombie Sammael
02-20-2012, 04:15 AM
I agree that the Seanchan would not have access to the TP at all.

However, Ishamael could have slipped them to Luthair before his epic voyage.

The other problem I have with TP *angreal is simply why bother? The DO is capable of regulating the amount of TP one can channel, so there's not point to angreal or sa'angreal (various theories about Callandor aside). There's such a small number of people who can channel the TP, and permission from the DO is required to use it, that I don't see a lot of point to making ter'angreal. Presumably the DO would need to grant his permission to use those and for them to be powered, which sounds like a lot of effort to go to when you could just DIY. Plus, given the TP's destructive, pattern-rending nature, I'm not even entirely sure making a ter'angreal that used it would be possible. Sorry. :(

I am a big fan of the idea of a significant and not yet understood level of shadow influence on the Seanchan, however.

Dajoran
02-20-2012, 04:58 AM
I see your points and agree... (How very Aiel... I see you ZS).

However, in the interest of self-debate I shall initially stand over here ---> *TP FOR BLOODRINGS*

We could argue that due to the TP's pattern rending nature that it would be in the Shadow's best interest to create as many TP Ter'angreal as possible. Quickens up the destruction of the DO's prison and also creates a lovely amount of Chaos. Especially if it were revealed that certain ancient Ter'angreal that are used throughout the books are revealed to be TP sourced also.

However, to acquiesce to you, it's also a risky maneuver... due to what you are saying about permission, that for the DO to create a Ter'angreal he is to essentially giving up a part of Himself. Which, is indeed, quite risky… (I do not know the dynamics of Ter'angreal, but I always imagined them to be a self-sustaining piece of the power locked away in the object. Like you are giving an inanimate object the ability to channel one particular weave.)

In that, if you can lock up that part of the TP contained in the Ter'angreal, you have essentially locked up a part of the DO, which keeps him within the pattern; so even if the world does fall... in essence you have won... kinda. (Or at least came to a draw.)

So now, I am over here <--- *TP FOR BLOODRINGS?!?! YOU CRAZY! YOU CRAZY MAN!*


To talk about the Shadow’s influence in Seanchan… I thought it was always down to the influence that Ishamael had over Luthair. I would have always used the Essanik Cycle as evidence due to this quote:

“The Prophecies of the Dragon had been known in Seanchan even before Luthair Paendrag began the Consolidation. In corrupted form, it was said, much different from the pure version Luthair Paendrag brought.”

But then along came a Brandon:

information about what the Essanik cycle is. It is had only in Seanchan. It was given by damane in Seanchan,

So now I am lost.

GonzoTheGreat
02-20-2012, 05:35 AM
The bloodring could be a variation on the Gray Man and the gholam: a Shadow assassin that is difficult to guard against. None of them can channel, so none of them can use the TP themselves. But in all cases the TP may have been used in giving them their abilities. We have good reason to think that this is the case with the Gray Men and the gholams; whether or not it is true for the bloodrings too is speculation. Still, it would seem in character for the Shadow to use such a method, and it would seem out of character for those things to remnants from the AoL.

Thus, I think that the rings were made by some Forsaken during the War of Power, and after that Forsaken was killed by one of his (or her) friends, the rings just got lost, until somehow the Seanchan imperial family acquired them.

Zombie Sammael
02-20-2012, 05:47 AM
I see your points and agree... (How very Aiel... I see you ZS).

However, in the interest of self-debate I shall initially stand over here ---> *TP FOR BLOODRINGS*

We could argue that due to the TP's pattern rending nature that it would be in the Shadow's best interest to create as many TP Ter'angreal as possible. Quickens up the destruction of the DO's prison and also creates a lovely amount of Chaos. Especially if it were revealed that certain ancient Ter'angreal that are used throughout the books are revealed to be TP sourced also.

However, to acquiesce to you, it's also a risky maneuver... due to what you are saying about permission, that for the DO to create a Ter'angreal he is to essentially giving up a part of Himself. Which, is indeed, quite risky… (I do not know the dynamics of Ter'angreal, but I always imagined them to be a self-sustaining piece of the power locked away in the object. Like you are giving an inanimate object the ability to channel one particular weave.)

In that, if you can lock up that part of the TP contained in the Ter'angreal, you have essentially locked up a part of the DO, which keeps him within the pattern; so even if the world does fall... in essence you have won... kinda. (Or at least came to a draw.)

So now, I am over here <--- *TP FOR BLOODRINGS?!?! YOU CRAZY! YOU CRAZY MAN!*


To talk about the Shadow’s influence in Seanchan… I thought it was always down to the influence that Ishamael had over Luthair. I would have always used the Essanik Cycle as evidence due to this quote:



But then along came a Brandon:



So now I am lost.

Essentially, what it comes down to is whether the DO is as stupid as Sauron. Of course, you can use the sources and turning argument to suggest that one time, he was Sauron, but that requires a bit more intertextuality than we normally go for on TL. ;)

To clear up the point about the prophecies, there are three distinct prophecies: The Randland Karaethon Cycle, the Seanchan Karaethon Cycle, and the Essanik Cycle. One of the two Karaethon Cycles has been messed with by Ishamael, though we are not 100% sure which one; most people lean towards the Seanchan version, since the version Luthair brought over was different from the one known there before, thus making the assumption that the original Seanchan version was identical to the Randland version. You are right in noting that it all comes down to how much influence the Shadow has over where, though.

Oden
02-20-2012, 11:59 AM
I'm confused... what did she claim to be fact that was not?

She said the murders of Sisters was the the BA or Mesaana. I don't remember which one but it makes no great difference. Gawyn found out that there were shadow assassins, not channeling women, who were doing the killings.

eht slat meit
02-20-2012, 12:51 PM
However, to acquiesce to you, it's also a risky maneuver... due to what you are saying about permission, that for the DO to create a Ter'angreal he is to essentially giving up a part of Himself. Which, is indeed, quite risky… (I do not know the dynamics of Ter'angreal, but I always imagined them to be a self-sustaining piece of the power locked away in the object. Like you are giving an inanimate object the ability to channel one particular weave.)


There's a lot of exposition on balances in the book, and if you consider the TP a balance to the OP, it could be reasoned that the TP, while finite like the OP, is so vast that such a small bit would have no real influence over the DO, but would certainly go a long way to explaining why every bit of TP usage is micromanaged. Little things add up.

GonzoTheGreat
02-20-2012, 03:03 PM
However, to acquiesce to you, it's also a risky maneuver... due to what you are saying about permission, that for the DO to create a Ter'angreal he is to essentially giving up a part of Himself. Which, is indeed, quite risky… (I do not know the dynamics of Ter'angreal, but I always imagined them to be a self-sustaining piece of the power locked away in the object. Like you are giving an inanimate object the ability to channel one particular weave.)
Depends on whether or not the DO could shut down the flow to those rings. If he could do that if he wanted to, but hasn't bothered to do so (yet), then that could be a relevant issue.
Some people have suggested that one or more of those rings could be useful during the Last Battle. If that results in someone being suddenly exposed to attack, with a diminished life expectancy, and no other effects remaining, then the DO might have a lot more to gain than to lose from letting those rings be used in the last couple of thousand years.

Tomp
02-20-2012, 03:18 PM
A question on this subject.

Would an AS be able to bind someone with flows of air (and shield if it's a wielder) and then have her warder kill the person?

Zombie Sammael
02-20-2012, 03:25 PM
There's a lot of exposition on balances in the book, and if you consider the TP a balance to the OP, it could be reasoned that the TP, while finite like the OP, is so vast that such a small bit would have no real influence over the DO, but would certainly go a long way to explaining why every bit of TP usage is micromanaged. Little things add up.

Depends on whether or not the DO could shut down the flow to those rings. If he could do that if he wanted to, but hasn't bothered to do so (yet), then that could be a relevant issue.
Some people have suggested that one or more of those rings could be useful during the Last Battle. If that results in someone being suddenly exposed to attack, with a diminished life expectancy, and no other effects remaining, then the DO might have a lot more to gain than to lose from letting those rings be used in the last couple of thousand years.

I wonder how many of these rings there are. If I were the DO, I'd divide them by race. I'd make seven for the Aelfinn kings under the sky, three for the Ogier-lords in their halls of stone, and nine for mortal men doomed to die.

Seriously, as I tried to point out above, this is actually the exact plot of LOTR you are now discussing.

A question on this subject.

Would an AS be able to bind someone with flows of air (and shield if it's a wielder) and then have her warder kill the person?

I'd imagine so. I'd imagine that would be one of the ways in which a warder would be quite useful.

Tomp
02-20-2012, 03:28 PM
I'd imagine so. I'd imagine that would be one of the ways in which a warder would be quite useful.

With that intention in mind from the start?

GonzoTheGreat
02-20-2012, 03:34 PM
I wonder how many of these rings there are. If I were the DO, I'd divide them by race. I'd make seven for the Aelfinn kings under the sky, three for the Ogier-lords in their halls of stone, and nine for mortal men doomed to die.
Getting the Ogier to accept them might be tricky. Seeing as how those rings probably wouldn't work in a Stedding anyway and all, you know. Though the fact that right now they don't have halls of stone could be a further complication.

Seriously, as I tried to point out above, this is actually the exact plot of LOTR you are now discussing.
Not really. There at least some of the rings weren't made for evil purposes, and they were far more bound to the Dark Lord than I think these are. And, a lot more relevant still: here there isn't a master ring which could be destroyed.

I'm not sure the bloodrings would continue working if the DO's prison were properly repaired. That would be a good test for this idea, actually. Maybe Rand should try it. Purely to satisfy my curiosity, of course.

Zombie Sammael
02-20-2012, 03:37 PM
With that intention in mind from the start?

It would depend if she thought that she was using the Power as a weapon or not. I mean, as we've been discussing, if you think too hard about it, everything comes down to interpretation. There are two possible ways to interpret this: (1) the flows of air are an inherent part of the overall act and therefore are an example of the Power being used as a weapon, or (2) the flows of air are not in themselves a weapon but merely a binding, and the whole act is irrelevant. One point to also bear in mind is that stringing someone up in the air against their will (and also shielding them if necessary) is in itself a violent act of assault, and a court of law in England would probably find it be section 20 assault in the first place.

So my answer's changed - no, they wouldn't because stringing them up with the Power is using it as a weapon in the first place. Use of the Power as a weapon need not be lethal.

fionwe1987
02-20-2012, 05:20 PM
It would depend if she thought that she was using the Power as a weapon or not. I mean, as we've been discussing, if you think too hard about it, everything comes down to interpretation. There are two possible ways to interpret this: (1) the flows of air are an inherent part of the overall act and therefore are an example of the Power being used as a weapon, or (2) the flows of air are not in themselves a weapon but merely a binding, and the whole act is irrelevant. One point to also bear in mind is that stringing someone up in the air against their will (and also shielding them if necessary) is in itself a violent act of assault, and a court of law in England would probably find it be section 20 assault in the first place.

So my answer's changed - no, they wouldn't because stringing them up with the Power is using it as a weapon in the first place. Use of the Power as a weapon need not be lethal.
Oh for the love of... the Aes Sedai don't operate on the basis of modern English Law! Their interpretation of the Oaths will depend on the moral and ethical currents of their time in their world. Judging that by modern human mores is pointless.

professorskar
02-20-2012, 08:28 PM
Wasn't there a scene in New Spring where Moiraine was upset because she bound someone with air who was eventually shot by Ryne and/or Bukama? I infer from that that she probably wouldn't be able to hold the person in Air if she KNEW it was going to happen. But that could just be Moiraine's interpretation of the Oath.

I was thinking about the Bloodknives, too, and I figure I'll ask it here since it's been discussed in this thread already rather than start a new one for it.

I think RJ once said that the only ter'angreal the Seanchan could actively produce were the a'dam. I could be wrong but I'm too lazy to look this up right now. Let's just say that's the case. That would mean there's a limited amount of the Bloodknife rings. So, since the wearer will die after a few days once activating them...what happens to the rings after? Do they send like a random member of the Fists of Heaven on Bloodknife ring retrieval duty? You'd think they would want some way to secure them after. Can't just leave an important ter'angreal like that floating around, or worse, in enemy hands.

Zombie Sammael
02-21-2012, 05:31 AM
Oh for the love of... the Aes Sedai don't operate on the basis of modern English Law! Their interpretation of the Oaths will depend on the moral and ethical currents of their time in their world. Judging that by modern human mores is pointless.

I merely used the law as a way of illustrating the point that binding someone against their will is a violent act with a weapon. That particular point seems like the kind of common sense an AS could come up with, but as professorskar pointed out, the answer is so often "it depends". Another AS might feel that in order for the power to be used as a weapon, it has to actively be harming someone, not merely touching them.

GonzoTheGreat
02-21-2012, 05:46 AM
Another AS might feel that in order for the power to be used as a weapon, it has to actively be harming someone, not merely touching them.
Pick up AS with Air. Carry AS up all the stairs of the White Tower. Hang AS over the edge. Let AS go.

Now the OP did not harm her, did it?
So was it used as a weapon, or not?

PS Especially with the second AS you do this to, shielding may be useful.

Zombie Sammael
02-21-2012, 05:51 AM
Pick up AS with Air. Carry AS up all the stairs of the White Tower. Hang AS over the edge. Let AS go.

Now the OP did not harm her, did it?
So was it used as a weapon, or not?

PS Especially with the second AS you do this to, shielding may be useful.

I think that's what we're trying to work out, isn't it? As I said, according to the strictest interpretation, as soon as you've touched her with the power, you've used it as a weapon, but I then got told off for using the law as an example of this.