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GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2012, 06:53 AM
The Seanchan have a bit of a hangup over letting channelers operate freely. That is, they tell anyone who asks, because those people would use that power to grasp political power and oppress everyone. Therefor they make sure that channelers don't have the opportunity to get power by killing the males and collaring the females.

Now, what would that mean for Fortuona, if she started to channel?
Nothing at all, that's what. With her, the "she might grasp power" argument is irrelevant, as she's Empress already. Thus, she could actually openly channel without violating any of the official reasons against that.

Of course, prejudice is not always entirely sensible, but on the other hand, a lot of people do see the flaw in being prejudiced against an absolute monarch who can have you put to death whenever she wants.

So it would seem that the idea that when Tuon starts to channel then she has to free the damane is not quite solid.

Zombie Sammael
03-16-2012, 07:06 AM
That is an interesting argument, and in this case, the Gonzo logic actually makes sense.

Consider this, however: by being a channelling Empress, Tuon would be demonstrating that channellers with political power are in fact not dangerous, and capable of ruling benevolently (by her own standards). There is thus no risk in allowing channellers the freedom to seize that power, or at least no more risk than there is among the non-channelling population. Leaving the Damane enslaved - or, taking account of the fact that many of the Damane now want to be collared, continuing to enslave new ones - would thus have no justification, especially if some other way of binding the existing channelling groups to the Crystal Throne could be found (though this last is not necessarily a desirable goal for anyone but the Seanchan).

While Tuon may not technically have an obligation to free the Damane, she may feel that she has a moral obligation. By her own standards, Tuon is actually quite a moral person.

GonzoTheGreat
03-16-2012, 07:39 AM
Consider this, however: by being a channelling Empress, Tuon would be demonstrating that channellers with political power are in fact not dangerous, and capable of ruling benevolently (by her own standards). There is thus no risk in allowing channellers the freedom to seize that power, or at least no more risk than there is among the non-channelling population.
Well, that depends a bit on how they would formulate it.

If "channeling freely" were equated to "claiming the Crystal Throne", then for anyone apart from Empress it would still not be acceptable.

Zombie Sammael
03-16-2012, 08:04 AM
Well, that depends a bit on how they would formulate it.

If "channeling freely" were equated to "claiming the Crystal Throne", then for anyone apart from Empress it would still not be acceptable.

That's dealt with easily enough, when you consider that since Tuon will already have the Crystal Throne when she starts to channel, she will not be seizing it. Since Tuon is the standard by which we are judging all other free channellers, it can reasonably be assumed that other free channellers will also refrain from seizing the Crystal Throne. The difficulty will be if Tuon goes on to seize other thrones, but her behaviour thus far suggests she will not; she prefers client states.

WinespringBrother
03-16-2012, 08:05 AM
There is the fact that it was a marath'damane who wiped out the previous Empress and her family in a brutal manner, showing that the Armies of the Night are a hazard to stable (though in this case despotic) rule, and playing into Seanchan prejudices against free-range channelers.

Heinz
03-16-2012, 10:03 AM
I've always felt that the initial struggle of channeler vs non-channeler may have been about power. Regardless of what it was originally, the collaring of channelers is a way of life in Seanchan now. They have built an empire with damane being the basis of power in armies. The Empress owns and controls the majority, thus maintaining control. Tuon channeling will be a big deal, along with the knowledge that any sul'dam and anyone that can be a sul'dam can also channel.

SauceyBlueConfetti
03-16-2012, 10:54 AM
I think the key here is the word will get out (or has already) that sul'dam can channel. In the past, that was, if even known, a closely guarded secret.

We actually do not know if Tuon's mother could channel.

greatwolf
03-16-2012, 08:41 PM
I think the key here is the word will get out (or has already) that sul'dam can channel. In the past, that was, if even known, a closely guarded secret.

We actually do not know if Tuon's mother could channel.

Can I(or a mod) move the Tuon part of the OP strength debate here? Or would copying be better?

Anyway its likely Radhanan could channel. A good look at Tuon's pov in WH might help. First RJ gives us Talaan, mentioning her age(19) and the fact that she looks 14 or 15 to others. He has confirmed that slowing below 20 is rare(exceptional).

Then we jump to Tuon's pov where we find that two of Radhanan's children sparked (were found able to channel) and a third tested for suldam. Now at this point, its unlikely Radhanan would stop Tuon, whatever she knows about suldam and channeling. If she does, rumors could spread about Tuon that would be dangerous for Radhanan.

All it would take is someone putting two and two and making a grab for the throne (outside her lineage but with good reason). So she's silent and Tuon passes. If up to four of 12 (or more) children can channel, then people'll believe Radhanan can too, whatever she says. More people of that figure goes up.

But after telling us of Tuon's test, RJ drums in her appearance and youthfulness throughout WH. It isn't until CoT that we learn that Tuon is actually 19 going to 20 but appears younger than 16! And by KoD we learn Tuon can see weaves.

If Radhanan can't channel, then it means she is heterozygous for the trait and not homozygous, and the probability of any child being a sparker or learner depends entirely on chance. And her husband. But if both can then all of their kids would have the ability, and some would be sparkers (damane)and the rest learners (suldam).

But the imperial family are not tested, ostensibly because they can't be suldam! So we don't know how many of the remaining 9 could channel. And at least one is young enough that she could still spark).

Plus if Radhanan lets Tuon test, it would create a good cover for her if she channels unwittingly. The imperial family remains safe. If Tuon eventually turns out to be a sparker, then enough time would have passed that most would have forgotten the others who sparked.

Finally, the crystal throne knew the origin of the adam from the beginning. There is motivation enough for them to keep the suldam secret, and rather dangerous if they don't. Equally dangerous not to pass down the information to future Emperors/Empresses. If they don't know, they might test a suldam in public view and...

So what are the odds? Two sparkers known, a third with ability who could be a sparkers as strong as Talaan, and a fourth unknown? Out of twelve! Is she likely a learner. I think it would be quite a reasonable turn of events.

ETA: I might be wrong about the sparkers though, i just rechecked and it isn't specifically written that way, it could be they were made property for some other reason.

Davian93
03-16-2012, 09:08 PM
Or, perhaps, she just looks young because she's petite?

Rand remarks on this easy mistake here:


TITLE: The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 35 - A Halo of Blackness
Was this the Daughter of the Nine Moons? This child? Rand frowned as they approached, but realized that she wasn't actually a child, just a very small woman. Dressed in black clothing, she had dark skin, like one of the Sea Folk. There were gray-white ashes on the cheeks of her calm, round face. Upon close inspection, she appeared to be near his own age.

IE: She hasn't slowed, she just looks younger than her age at a first glance due to her size. Rand correctly judges her age as soon as he is closer to her.

greatwolf
03-16-2012, 09:22 PM
Or, perhaps, she just looks young because she's petite?

Rand remarks on this easy mistake here:



IE: She hasn't slowed, she just looks younger than her age at a first glance due to her size. Rand correctly judges her age as soon as he is closer to her.

Tuon herself disagrees.

Tuon knew she herself would never have such a commanding presence. Her eyes were too large, and a liquid brown. When she forgot to keep a stern mask, her heart-shaped face belonged on a mischievous child. The...

...Blessings of the Light, when she smiled, she still looked sixteen! At best!


Rand did get Taim's age wrong. Maybe BS was just emphasizing his poor judgement of character age, who knows?

suttree
03-16-2012, 11:33 PM
Does anyone have a quote that states the imperial family is never tested? I would like to check it out.

Always thought it was quite clear Tuon is a learner. I mean she says it herself she could learn but chooses not to...

Terez
03-16-2012, 11:42 PM
Does anyone have a quote that states the imperial family is never tested?
Just this:
Many had thought it odd when Tuon tested for sul'dam on reaching adulthood, though none could gainsay her, then. Except her mother, who had allowed it by remaining silent.That doesn't say she was never tested for the a'dam, but many believe it is implied.

To the OP, I have argued as much before. I remember getting into a bit of a flamewar with Yuri on this subject.

professorskar
03-17-2012, 10:52 PM
I always assumed the Imperial family were tested for the a'dam. There's a few reasons why they wouldn't be tested as sul'dam. Mainly, unless they decide to take it up as a hobby like Tuon, there's no reason to if they aren't going to be sul'dam. Also, and I might be mistaken on this one, aren't sul'dam property? As for the a'dam, I just can't imagine the Imperial family being ok with the possibility of a marath'damane Empress. I don't think they'd exempt themselves, they feel the same way about marath'damane as the rest of the Seanchan. A member of the Imperial family would probably just consider it their duty to become a damane and their name stricken from the histories.

greatwolf
03-18-2012, 08:37 AM
Also, and I might be mistaken on this one, aren't sul'dam property? As for the a'dam, I just can't imagine the Imperial family being ok with the possibility of a marath'damane Empress.

No suldam aren't property, damane are. But the origin of the adam is the problem. It was made by a marath damane (an AS) who collared one of her sisters.

Egwene knew incredulity must be painting her face, because Renna laughed openly. "When Luthair Paendrag Mondwin, son of the Hawkwing, first faced the Armies of the Night, he found many among them who called themselves Aes Sedai. They contended for power among themselves and used the One Power on the field of battle. One such, a woman named Deain, who thought she could do better serving the Emperor – he was not Emperor then, of course – since he had no Aes Sedai in his armies, came to him with a device she had made, the first a'dam, fastened to the neck of one of her sisters. Though that woman did not want to serve Luthair, the a'dam required her to serve. Deain made more a'dam, the first sul'dam were found, and women captured who called themselves Aes Sedai discovered that they were in fact only marath'damane, Those Who Must Be Leashed. It is said that when she herself was leashed, Deain's screams shook the Towers of Midnight, but of course she, too, was a marath'damane, and marath'damane cannot be allowed to run free. Perhaps you will be one of those who has the ability to make a'dam. If so, you will be pampered, you may rest assured."

Obviously the strength of Luthair's empire depends on the truth about suldam and damane being suppressed. He could have set up the seekers to keep this truth hidden. If that is the case, the truth is likely handed down from Empress to heir. If Tuon hasn't been told, its possible it isn't yet time or the throne already knows she's a sparker and therefore will be leashed eventually.

Seth Baker
03-18-2012, 09:12 AM
No suldam aren't property, damane are. But the origin of the adam is the problem. It was made by a marath damane (an AS) who collared one of her sisters.



Obviously the strength of Luthair's empire depends on the truth about suldam and damane being suppressed. He could have set up the seekers to keep this truth hidden. If that is the case, the truth is likely handed down from Empress to heir. If Tuon hasn't been told, its possible it isn't yet time or the throne already knows she's a sparker and therefore will be leashed eventually.

I don't understand your insistence that Luthair and his progeny MUST have known that the sul'dam could learn to channel. Seems like a huge logic leap, and you're pinning the rest of his theory on those tenuous grounds.

Rand al'Fain
03-18-2012, 04:56 PM
I don't understand your insistence that Luthair and his progeny MUST have known that the sul'dam could learn to channel. Seems like a huge logic leap, and you're pinning the rest of his theory on those tenuous grounds.

Well, considering that the one that created the first adam, brought in a fellow channeler on the other end of it, and was eventually collared as well, and the fact that only a woman that can channel (spark or learn) is able to use the adam, it really is not much of a leap.

suttree
03-18-2012, 05:21 PM
Well, considering that the one that created the first adam, brought in a fellow channeler on the other end of it, and was eventually collared as well, and the fact that only a woman that can channel (spark or learn) is able to use the adam, it really is not much of a leap.

Tuon making the distinction of her "choosing" not to learn may be a hint that they know the difference. Aside from that however I can't think of anything to give us any indication that they know the diff between learners and sparkers.

Seeker
03-18-2012, 05:38 PM
An interesting question is whether or not we can call Tuon a channeler yet.

Yes, she has the ability but she's a Learner and so far as we know, she hasn't touched the Source yet. Which means that it's still possible for her to go her whole life without ever doing so.

Terez
03-18-2012, 05:57 PM
That appears to be what she did in the future that Aviendha saw. I tend to think it will turn out differently, though.

greatwolf
03-19-2012, 05:25 AM
Tuon making the distinction of her "choosing" not to learn may be a hint that they know the difference. Aside from that however I can't think of anything to give us any indication that they know the diff between learners and sparkers.

The BWB states that Luthair knew that sul'dam were learners, but that the knowledge probably died out in a few hundred years. Of course that doesn't mean it did...

How come no one has ever tried the adam on the suldam in about 1000years or more? Far more likely that its been done, and the experimenters are likely to have been buried. Whether Tuon knows or not makes no difference.

And she's no different from those she despises if she holds on to power as the empress and condemning the AS for craving power. And yet she's practically AS!

Egwene's plan to unite the channeling societies is one of the most dangerous things that the seanchan will face, now or post TG, if there's no peace before Rand goes to SG.

GonzoTheGreat
03-19-2012, 05:30 AM
Egwene's plan to unite the channeling societies is one of the most dangerous things that the seanchan will face, now or post TG, if there's no peace before Rand goes to SG.
Actually, it might be more dangerous if there is peace then if there isn't.

Without a formal peace agreement, the Seanchan can start capturing or killing all those whom Egwene would try to gather into her alliance. Then it can be portrayed as "those defending freedom against the channelers who want to conquer all non-channeling people".
With such a peace in place, though, Tuon and her successors will be faced with the problem that the whole world knows about the fact that sul'dam can also (learn to) channel, while it will also be clear that free channelers are not the threat the Seanchan claim they are.

greatwolf
03-19-2012, 05:44 AM
Actually, it might be more dangerous if there is peace then if there isn't.

Without a formal peace agreement, the Seanchan can start capturing or killing all those whom Egwene would try to gather into her alliance. Then it can be portrayed as "those defending freedom against the channelers who want to conquer all non-channeling people".
With such a peace in place, though, Tuon and her successors will be faced with the problem that the whole world knows about the fact that sul'dam can also (learn to) channel, while it will also be clear that free channelers are not the threat the Seanchan claim they are.

That's one reason that details of any peace will be important to everyone. I think its lucky that Rand didn't force a peace in the state he was in pre ToM, or the result after would have been disaster irrespective of the outcome of TG. I think Ishy really prepared his traps well.

It won't be as simple as saying "lets put aside our differences till TG is over" it has to be much more. But the real problem will be convincing Tuon to give up the Empire (thats how it will sound) Even if you offer her damane sworn on the oath rod, she might easily realize how temporary this is -the damane will eventually die out, and much sooner- and refuse.

And how to convince her that male channeling is now safe? I think Rand made a very big mistake not announcing what happened at the cleansing.

Cortar
03-19-2012, 08:30 AM
And how to convince her that male channeling is now safe? I think Rand made a very big mistake not announcing what happened at the cleansing.


Well after thinking on this, I don't think annoucing it would have made any difference. People still won't believe, heck, even LOGAIN, a male channeller doesn't believe Rand cleansed the taint. Now imagine anyone else who can't even sense Saidin.

People will eventually figure out in Randland, it might just take a few decades of people not going crazy.

Grig
03-19-2012, 10:25 AM
But the real problem will be convincing Tuon to give up the Empire

I get a bit of a kick out of the idea that people just assume that a self-proclaimed monarchist was writing a story about voluntarily ending an Empire (one that has been portrayed very positively in-universe with the exception of the collaring thing; with Tuon's characterization, we're almost moving into benevolent dictatorship territory).

I mean, it might go there, but to have it as the default assumption? Kinda funny.

Enigma
03-19-2012, 10:28 AM
Actually, it might be more dangerous if there is peace then if there isn't.

Without a formal peace agreement, the Seanchan can start capturing or killing all those whom Egwene would try to gather into her alliance.

If I'm not mistaken we saw from Aviendha's vision of the future that it was the breakdown in the peace that allowed the Seanchan to start raiding the rest of the continent to capture female channellers. Before that they were confimed to the population of the area they controled.

The Last Battle would probably leave any survivors very good soldiers but the Seanchan are still the most powerful military because they have the experience of running a large military over a large area for long periods of time. Armies 100,000 strong are a recent thing in Randland and the Borderland armies might be big but they are in a defensive role just protecting the blight border.

As for what would happen if Tuon did start channeling? As some have pointed out as Empress she is suppost to have ultimate power but what are the chances that some discontented Seanchan noble might try to overthrow her using the justification of saving the empire from the bad old days when female channelers ruled and no one could go to bed at night certain that they would wake up again.

Grig
03-19-2012, 10:47 AM
As for what would happen if Tuon did start channeling? As some have pointed out as Empress she is suppost to have ultimate power but what are the chances that some discontented Seanchan noble might try to overthrow her using the justification of saving the empire from the bad old days when female channelers ruled and no one could go to bed at night certain that they would wake up again.

This. There's no way that Galgan wouldn't try to overthrow her if he had dirt as good as the Empress being marath'damane.

GonzoTheGreat
03-19-2012, 11:17 AM
If I'm not mistaken we saw from Aviendha's vision of the future that it was the breakdown in the peace that allowed the Seanchan to start raiding the rest of the continent to capture female channellers. Before that they were confimed to the population of the area they controled.
I wasn't quite clear. I was referring to peace being dangerous to the position of the Empress, because that would give time and opportunity to undermine the damane system through propaganda.
In case of war, such propaganda can be a lot more easily dismissed as "the marath'damane are merely trying to avoid admitting what they are".

suttree
03-19-2012, 11:54 AM
How come no one has ever tried the adam on the suldam in about 1000years or more?

Because the distinction between the two are so deeply rooted in their society. Damane aren't human after all. Why try a dog collar on a man to walk with him across the street? Besides if they did try it once, it very easily could have been on a Sul'dam that hasn't channeled enough to be held yet.

greatwolf
03-21-2012, 06:56 AM
Because the distinction between the two are so deeply rooted in their society. Damane aren't human after all. Why try a dog collar on a man to walk with him across the street? Besides if they did try it once, it very easily could have been on a Sul'dam that hasn't channeled enough to be held yet.

You really believe that the thought would have occured to only one person in the last thousand years? Bethamin caught on to it all on her own here, and so did others.

Really the issue is so obvious that the role of the seekers and listeners cannot be overempahsized. Without them, the empire would have lost its advantage long since.

BTW, nyn comments on being unable to tell the difference between her own channeling and Moghedien's when she was using the adam in tFoH. At least she knew because she couldn't channel in TAR to any effect. But for Tuon or other suldam, how would they know they were the ones channeling? They don't know what to look for (which nyn did) and they have no reason to look.

suttree
03-21-2012, 11:12 AM
Really the issue is so obvious that the role of the seekers and listeners cannot be overempahsized. Without them, the empire would have lost its advantage long since.


It certainly is one plausible if unsupported theory. I still feel we would have been given some slight hint if it were the case however. I feel that the knowledge was lost over the years as the BWB states.

Same goes for Tuon channeling. Her being a learner is far more likely from what we have in text.

BTW you took "once" a bit too literally in my statement above.

Enigma
03-21-2012, 12:15 PM
You really believe that the thought would have occured to only one person in the last thousand years? Bethamin caught on to it all on her own here, and so did others.

Really the issue is so obvious that the role of the seekers and listeners cannot be overempahsized. Without them, the empire would have lost its advantage long since.

Given that she is now dead its a bit irrelevent but its interesting to wonder who much the Empress knew. If I remember correctly when Rand & Aviendha went to Seanchan and encountered the party of soldiers with the damane and noble as well as a seaker when Rand tried to remove the A'dam Aviendha commented that she felt the power rush into both the damane and more importantly the sul'dam.

The Seaker arrested the noble for questioning on what had happened to the forerunners but at the end of the scene she also made it clear that she was also going to question the damane and sul'dam and that she had picked up on Aviendha saying the power flowed into the sul'dam as well.

It could well be that some Empresses knew the secret but its not too much of a stretch to imagine the ruler sacraficing their own children to being damane to preserve the foundation of the empire. Its not like the Empress seems to to have been very close to any of her children. It was more like a CEO of a very big company grooming younger executives to succeed her when she retires. If some of them dont work out or have to be sacraficed for the good of the company so be it.

greatwolf
03-22-2012, 05:32 AM
It certainly is one plausible if unsupported theory. I still feel we would have been given some slight hint if it were the case however. I feel that the knowledge was lost over the years as the BWB states.

Same goes for Tuon channeling. Her being a learner is far more likely from what we have in text.

BTW you took "once" a bit too literally in my statement above.

The bwb says the empress knows.

GonzoTheGreat
03-22-2012, 07:21 AM
The bwb says the empress knows.
Could you give a quote for this?
The BWB is somewhat big, you know.

suttree
03-22-2012, 11:10 AM
The bwb says the empress knows.

Nope.

BWB
It is fairly certain that in the beginning Luthair knew that sul'dam were women who could be trained to use the One Power, but with his antipathy toward Aes Sedai this information was likely suppressed. Certainly it was lost within a hundred years.

SauceyBlueConfetti
03-26-2012, 03:36 PM
It could well be that some Empresses knew the secret but its not too much of a stretch to imagine the ruler sacraficing their own children to being damane to preserve the foundation of the empire. Its not like the Empress seems to to have been very close to any of her children. It was more like a CEO of a very big company grooming younger executives to succeed her when she retires. If some of them dont work out or have to be sacraficed for the good of the company so be it.

I have conflicting thoughts on this. Part of me wants to believe that the Empress knows the royal family can potentially channel and in fact, sets the stage for the strongest to survive. And that she assumes one, if not more, of her children will be able to channel. There is also, to a point, conflicting information in the books:


This first quote indicates that Tuon believes she is not particulary loved by her mother. But love and respect are different, aren't they? It also (my bold) could imply that in the past royals were known to have channeled and "stricken from the records". Has it happened in the past? We don't know. I find it hard to believe it has NOT. But that is opinion. Wishful thinking on my part.

TITLE: Winter's Heart
CHAPTER: 14 - What the Veil Hides
"Perhaps in small doses, spread over sixteen years," she said. Catching sight of herself in the mirror, she held her smile long enough to make sure there was no sting in her words, then replaced it with sternness. She certainly felt more affection for the woman who had raised her than for the mother she had seen only twice a year before becoming an adult, or the brothers and sisters she had been taught from her first steps to battle for their mother's favor. Two of them had died in those struggles, so far, and three had tried to kill her. A sister and a brother had been made da'covale and had their names stricken from the records as firmly as if it had been discovered they could channel.

This next one implies from Turak's POV (he is speaking to Fain) that Tuon was in fact favored by her mother.

TITLE: Great Hunt
CHAPTER: 34 - The Wheel Weaves
If I kept the Horn of Valere, all between myself and the throne would think I meant to be first hereafter, and while the Empress, of course, wishes that we contend with one another so that the strongest and most cunning will follow her, she currently favors her second daughter, and she would not look well on any threat to Tuon. If I sounded it, even if I then laid this land at her feet, and every woman in the White Tower leashed, the Empress, may she live forever, would surely believe I meant to be more than merely her heir."

I agree that Tuon will likely channel. Out of necessity, lack of control or by choice I don't know. But the stage seems set for it, either in these books or the outriggers planned by RJ. Hate to think we might never know as I like this plotline. :(

Terez
03-26-2012, 05:17 PM
Probably the only members of the Imperial Family who get caught are the ones who have the spark and start channeling. Tuon becoming a sul'dam might have actually worked to prevent that. The a'dam might give an outlet of sorts. Of course, most wouldn't get away with this because they have to be tested to see if the a'dam will hold them. But if you can avoid the testing...

If she had consciously channeled, presumably the damane would sense the ability in her. But some of the sul'dam can actually be sensed, as Aviendha observed way back in "A Short Spear". They have to test until the age of 25 if I remember correctly, and most sul'dam don't develop the 'affinity' until they are older.

frenchie
03-26-2012, 05:26 PM
For some reason, I feel that she will be in a position that she is being attacked by Shadowspawn, and she will realize she's going to die, and just channel instinctively. And then the ball will start rolling from there. I have nothing to support this, but that's my thought on the matter.

Terez
03-26-2012, 06:02 PM
I think she's more likely to save Mat than herself, if only for plot value.

SauceyBlueConfetti
03-26-2012, 06:32 PM
I think she's more likely to save Mat than herself, if only for plot value.

Agreed. Or Selucia.

greatwolf
03-27-2012, 08:05 AM
Nope.

In fact I was actually trying to say that the information is passed from Luthair to his heirs but that post doesn't make my position quite clear. But if you read it properly, it has to have been passed down. If Luthair knew, and the information was being suppressed, then it was only lost to the genral public, not to those doing the suppressing. If they lost the info, how could they suppress it?

It would have eventually resurfaced in one form or rumor or something over the centuries and there would have been a need to start suppressing all over again. And the consolidation wasn't even complete till only recently.

I don't think Luthair's heirs (by this I refer to the Empress/Emperor and those trusted with the secret - probably some seekers and maybe a suldam or two) would be able to relax their efforts at suppressing until they conquered all of seanchan or better still, the whole world. Stopping halfway risks losing everything because without suldam and the adam, the crystal throne might easily become history.

The entire seanchan structure supports this.
1)Damane who can make adam are pampered - likely to protect the knowledge! 2) Suldam are given honoured places in society and no one looks at them crosswise. (The question is there, what's the difference between damane using the OP and the suldam doing it through the damane?)If enough questions are asked, unpleasant answers could come out!

3)Damane are made property. And a strict caste system enforced that prevents most people coming into any kind of contact with damane. And also prevents damane (who might sense the ability even in their suldam) from speaking out.

4)Seekers who help to protect this secret are also kept property, to be disposed of at will. Hawkwing's kingdom had no damane, property or caste system. And he did not use channelers in battle. This is all Luthair/seanchan. Neither Tuon or nay of her predecessors can claim they are truly following hawkwing's dream. A seeker who learnt of the secret could be disposed of if not trusted without any fuss at all.

5) The empress/emperor has several children. If some channel, they are struck out from the books and forgotten, thus encouraging the belief that the ability is either lacking in the imperial line or small. If the current empress has twelve children, is that twelve plus those struck out or just twelve? Who knows except the empress and her trusted property?

6)However one thing that may not have been done deliberately is with regard to men who can channel. Such men tend to be lucky and rise to power quickly. If the empress encourages the strongest of her children to take the throne after her, it is entirely possible that they unwittingly encourage channelers to the throne. Even the man that any empress marries may have risen to fame on account of the channeling gene! So its possible that the ruling classes in seanchan (and elsewhere) are filled with channelers or at least those with the trait!

suttree
03-27-2012, 10:58 AM
...

That was a fairly long post to essentially say you don't like that the BWB says the info is lost and are making up your own version of events. Before you claimed the BWB stated the Empress knows. That is false.

The BWB says in the beginning "Luthair" knew, not that the general populace did and with "his antipathy" towards AS that the information was lost.

greatwolf
03-31-2012, 08:07 AM
@suttree:

Obviously the strength of Luthair's empire depends on the truth about suldam and damane being suppressed. He could have set up the seekers to keep this truth hidden. If that is the case, the truth is likely handed down from Empress to heir. If Tuon hasn't been told, its possible it isn't yet time or the throne already knows she's a sparker and therefore will be leashed eventually.

Obviously you're only interested in snipping not mature discussion. You may continue on your own.

The adam quote:

Moghedien opened her mouth, and Nynaeve filled it with a gag of Air. Or rather she made ?s’foghedien
do it; with the a’dam linking them, it was like channeling herself, but Moghedien knew it was her own abilities
being. used like a tool in Nynaeve’s hand. Dark eyes glittered indignantly as Moghedien’s own flows snared her
arms

As Nynaeve climbed, she embraced saidar as fully
as she could, as much as Moghedien could handle, to the point where the sweetness of it became almost a pain.
That was the warning. More, and she would approach the point where it was more than she could take in, the
point where she would still herself, burn the ability to channel right out of herself. Or perhaps out of
Mogheaien, under the circumstances. Or both of them. Any way at all, it would be disaster now. She held that
point though, the . . . life. . . filling her a needle’s light pressure just short of breaking skin. It was as much as
she could have embraced had she been channeling on her own. She and Moghedien were much the same
strength in the Power; Tanchico had proved that. Was it enough? Moghedien insisted the men were stronger.
Rahvin, at least-Moghedien knew him-and it did not seem likely Rand could have su.rvived this long unless he
was just as strong. It was not fair that men should have the muscles and greater strength in the, Power too.

Nynaeve could use the adam to channel as easily as if she did so herself. And the experience itself is like her own channeling. So if a suldam channels while holding the adam, its unlikely they would know the difference.

And until one has channeled sufficiently to build her strength, there would be little for anyone to sense in any suldam that has channeled. For instance, nyn channeled years before going to the WT, but hadn't developed much of her strength till then. And even then grew slowly in the OP because of her block.

And there's no reason Tuon couldn't have a block as well. Who wants to be a dog? Cute pets yes, but no can do.

Enigma
03-31-2012, 08:55 AM
Do all sul'dam do the channeling and simply use the damane as batteries for one of a better word? Clearly Nynaeve did this with Moggy but Nynaeve was a semi trained channeler.

When Tuon got tired of the AS bugging her in the wagon it looked a lot like she was doing the actuall weaving once the collar was on one of the Aes Sedai.

Yet when Egwene was being trained I don't recall any suggestion that the sul'dam was making the weaves but rather she was giving orders to Egwene who shaped the waves. In part that explains why the training of damane is so brutal. The Sul'dam have to completly break their will so that they react without question or delay to any order or directins given them.

I wonder does it depend on the skill of the sul'dam with the average sul'dam either not having the skill or having mental blocks against weaving with really skilled sul'dam i.e. Tuon who shows she puts 110% into everything she does or Nynaeve who had training able to direct the weaves themselves.

greatwolf
03-31-2012, 04:32 PM
I wonder does it depend on the skill of the sul'dam with the average sul'dam either not having the skill or having mental blocks against weaving with really skilled sul'dam i.e. Tuon who shows she puts 110% into everything she does or Nynaeve who had training able to direct the weaves themselves.

Interesting. I didn't see that so clearly before. Of course, the suldam can't weave without seeing the weaves. So until the suldam can do that, they're dependent on the damane doing what they want them to do, but once they start to see weaves...

The problem is that they have to convince themselves they cannot channel. If they about sparkers and learners, some of them would figure it out once they started see weaves without adam. But they don't, and seanchan propaganda makes damane the vilest sort of people, so likely many would develop blocks against channeling conciously at this point.

But Tuon clearly was able to teach healing to her damane before she came to RL, so she'd been seeing weaves for sometime and she has only been suldam for three years! The odds strongly favour her having used the OP at some point. If she did, she might have been ill for sometime and that would be all. If she learned to be a suldam before long, there would be no need for her to experience the illness again.

suttree
03-31-2012, 05:18 PM
@suttree:
Obviously you're only interested in snipping not mature discussion. You may continue on your own.


I would love to continue if you were able to offer anything that supports your view. Once again from the BWB.

It is fairly certain that in the beginning Luthair knew that sul'dam were women who could be trained to use the One Power, but with his antipathy toward Aes Sedai this information was likely suppressed. Certainly it was lost within a hundred years.

Noting in the BWB hints it was passed down, nothing in the text hints that it was passed down, nothing says the "Empress knows" like you claimed. You aren't even misinterpreting, you are flat out making things up.


But Tuon clearly was able to teach healing to her damane before she came to RL, so she'd been seeing weaves for sometime and she has only been suldam for three years! The odds strongly favour her having used the OP at some point.

No they don't, the proof from the text and odds along with that favor her being a "learner". Not to mention Mylen was the one who showed Tuon the healing weaves correct? Not sure why your claim above would indicate she has channeled. She has taken a great interest in training damane and has spent a great deal of time doing it.

Terez
03-31-2012, 11:21 PM
I think greatwolf is talking about the fact that Tuon (not Mylen) taught Healing to her other damane. But that's just more confirmation of the fact that she can control the link directly. It doesn't mean she's channeled without an a'dam.

greatwolf
04-01-2012, 10:35 AM
I think greatwolf is talking about the fact that Tuon (not Mylen) taught Healing to her other damane. But that's just more confirmation of the fact that she can control the link directly. It doesn't mean she's channeled without an a'dam.

Yes but healing is a complex matter.

“And why are novices being allowed to practice that, Tiana?’’
Tiana flushed, as well she should. Such weaves were much too complex for novices, not to mention dangerous if misapplied. Done improperly, Healing could kill rather than cure. The woman channeling as well as the patient. “I can hardly stop them from seeing Healing done, Romanda.” she said defensively, moving her arms as if adjusting a shawl she was not wearing. “There are always broken bones or some fool who’s managed to cut himself badly, not to mention all the illness we have to deal with lately. Most of the older women only have to see a weave once to have it down.”

"I don’t know why," Nynaeve replied when she found an opening. "It just seemed right. I’ve almost alwa
ys used everything." Which produced a round of admonitions. Healing was Spirit, Water and Air. It was dangerous to experiment with Healing; a mistake could kill not only you but your patient

Skill with healing is often associated with those who dealt in herbs and older.

“she is showing a great skill with Nynaeve’s new way of Healing. Like a number of the older novices. Most were village Wise Women of one sort or another, though I don’t see how that can have any bearing.

She laid fingers against his cheek. “I thought so,” she said in that slow honey drawl. “You’re feverish. Some of your wounds must be infected.”
Mat blinked. He gave her a kiss that had to have curled her toes, and all she said was that his face was hot? He bent his head again-this time, she would bloody well need help to stay standing!-but she put a hand against his chest, lending him off.
“Selucia, fetch the box of ointments I got Irom Mistress Luca,” she commanded. Selucia went scurrying for Tuon’s black-and-white mount.
“We don’t have time for that now,” Mat said. “I’ll smear on something tonight.” He might as well have kept his mouth shut.
“Strip off, Toy.” she said in the same tone she had used with her maid. “The ointment will sting, but I expect you be brave.”
“I am not going to-!”

fionwe1987
04-01-2012, 10:54 AM
Yes but healing is a complex matter.





Skill with healing is often associated with those who dealt in herbs and older.

None of these things prove that she can channel.

suttree
04-01-2012, 11:45 AM
I think greatwolf is talking about the fact that Tuon (not Mylen) taught Healing to her other damane. But that's just more confirmation of the fact that she can control the link directly. It doesn't mean she's channeled without an a'dam.

Yeah that's what I was getting at, thanks for the earlier heads up by the way.

Terez
04-01-2012, 12:10 PM
Hi Greatwolf

Zombie Sammael
04-01-2012, 12:12 PM
Greatwolf is a girl? Are all the wolves on these boards girls?

Terez
04-01-2012, 12:14 PM
Hi Greatwolf

greatwolf
04-01-2012, 12:22 PM
None of these things prove that she can channel.

Proof? who talked of proof? If there was proof, there wouldn't be anything to discuss now, would there? All that we have is a lot of circumstantial evidence all pointing in the same direction. Enough evidence that its almost a forgone conclusion.

The thing about healing is that because its complex, its not something that Tuon would have likely picked up if she had just begun seeing weaves. Very likely she'd been doing so for a while before meeting the AS. (Maybe a year ago). And she has been suldam only three years. So she's been seeing weaves after only two years as suldam, but likely less.

The healing weave also requires some dexterity and understanding of channeling to manipulate it (Samitsu in CoT, iirc) and Tuon's ability to learn is either evidence of a very strong Talent or she's been seeing the weaves for years.

Terez
04-01-2012, 12:41 PM
She gets more practice than most sul'dam. It's a privilege to be 'complete' with a damane, since there are so many more sul'dam than damane, and we all know that most damane belong to the Empress, or to the Imperial Family anyway. Tuon would have, from the moment it was discovered she could use the a'dam (perhaps much more than 2 years ago), been able to link with the damane as often as she liked. Seeing as how it's one of her hobbies, we can assume that was quite often.

She's definitely learned how to channel. But the odds that she has ever done it without an a'dam are very low.

greatwolf
04-01-2012, 01:03 PM
She's definitely learned how to channel. But the odds that she has ever done it without an a'dam are very low.

Why low? Do you have a quote that she hasn't slowed?

ETA: Nyn channeled years before meeting Moiraine, and she could not see weaves till she went to the tower. But Tuon is just about three years as a suldam, and she's been seeing weaves for about two years!

Terez
04-01-2012, 01:09 PM
Why low? Do you have a quote that she hasn't slowed?

Nyn channeled years before meeting Moiraine, and she could not see weaves till she went to the tower. But Tuon is just about three years as a suldam, and she's been seeing weaves for about two years!
Nynaeve was channeling unconsciously without a link. Tuon was channeling consciously with a link. There's no reason to believe that she has channeled actively; the fact that she is a little small for her age is weak evidence alongside the fact that any damane should have been able to sense her ability if it were active. And the fact that it is apparently important to her that she has the ability to choose not to channel (and seems to believe that doing so would be make her equivalent to a murderer).

Zombie Sammael
04-01-2012, 01:13 PM
Nynaeve was channeling unconsciously without a link. Tuon was channeling consciously with a link. There's no reason to believe that she has channeled actively; the fact that she is a little small for her age is weak evidence alongside the fact that any damane should have been able to sense her ability if it were active. And the fact that it is apparently important to her that she has the ability to choose not to channel (and seems to believe that doing so would be make her equivalent to a murderer).

Although I agree with Terez that it's unlikely Tuon has channeled without the a'dam, the idea that she would have a wilder's block preventing her from channelling without being "complete" is interesting. That might well be the case with some other sul'dam.

Terez
04-01-2012, 01:26 PM
Well, I imagine that's why they can't see the weaves; they have developed a block. But Tuon seems uncommonly at peace with being able to see them, so I don't see her having a block really. If she had a block, she wouldn't be as adept as she is.

greatwolf
04-01-2012, 01:51 PM
Nynaeve was channeling unconsciously without a link. Tuon was channeling consciously with a link. There's no reason to believe that she has channeled actively; the fact that she is a little small for her age is weak evidence alongside the fact that any damane should have been able to sense her ability if it were active. And the fact that it is apparently important to her that she has the ability to choose not to channel (and seems to believe that doing so would be make her equivalent to a murderer).

As the damane should be able to sense that any suldam can channel? And tell who? The suldam?

Enigma
04-01-2012, 02:01 PM
I don't think Tuon has ever channeled under her own steam or without the adam. If she had one would think that what ever about damane ever daring to comment on one of the High High Blood, one of the Aes Sedai with Mat would have brought it up.

On the point of Tuon due to her position having access to damane when ever she wanted, just remember she may not have a lot of free time on her hands being busy studying the art of ruling, plotting to eliminate her brothers and sisters, avoiding their plots and sucking up to mom.

greatwolf
04-01-2012, 03:58 PM
I don't think Tuon has ever channeled under her own steam or without the adam. If she had one would think that what ever about damane ever daring to comment on one of the High High Blood, one of the Aes Sedai with Mat would have brought it up

They were never close enough. And even if they were, its something that they'd need to know to look for or they'll miss it.

suttree
04-01-2012, 04:26 PM
They were never close enough.

I would say being within inches of each other inside a wagon would qualify. They would have sensed it, end of.

Enigma
04-01-2012, 06:14 PM
As Suttree said they were in a rather small wagon together. Not to mention there were the times they tried to talk to her with a view to negotiating a peace treaty etc. Also we have seen where an Aes Sedai failed to pick up on an ability of a woman to channel when she (Egwene) was hidden behind Rand's mask of mirrors but no trained AS had ever failed to detect the ability in another woman unless it was masked.

If Tuon could channel I am sure that the Aes Sedai would have picked up on it and they would surely have tried to use that knowledge to help their 'bargening position' with her.

Terez
04-01-2012, 09:17 PM
As the damane should be able to sense that any suldam can channel? And tell who? The suldam?
The sul'dam who channel regularly through the link can be sensed, but in a different way. If Tuon had channeled actively, she could be sensed like a damane. Even Nynaeve should have been able to sense her.

fionwe1987
04-01-2012, 11:25 PM
I'm confused. The fact that Teslyn, Joline and Edesina didn't detect her ability is conclusive proof she hasn't channeled yet. Continuing this discussion is pointless.

greatwolf
04-01-2012, 11:56 PM
The sul'dam who channel regularly through the link can be sensed, but in a different way. If Tuon had channeled actively, she could be sensed like a damane. Even Nynaeve should have been able to sense her.

Either they sense them or they don't. Make up your mind. Thousands of damane over how many centuries have failed to pick up on the fact that suldam have some ability? Is that your position?

Despite Egwene's strength, three (two) strong AS failed to notice her and they were in the same room! And now you claim that you expect they should have noticed it in Tuon?

I'm confused. The fact that Teslyn, Joline and Edesina didn't detect her ability is conclusive proof she hasn't channeled yet. Continuing this discussion is pointless

Sure, and since Coiren and Galina failed to pick up on Egwene, her ability must have vanished. No better still, she can't channel can she now?

ETA: are we talking of the same three sisters who failed to notice that Setalle once had the ability?

suttree
04-02-2012, 12:50 AM
Despite Egwene's strength, three (two) strong AS failed to notice her and they were in the same room!

Which is explained by Egwene being invisible. Nevertheless she was sensed...

Worst of all, though, Nesune’s companions were so focused on young al’Thor that they seemed to have gone blind to all else.
"Do you have any notions," she mused aloud, "as to the sister who shared our interview?"
It might not have been a sister – three Aiel women seemed to turn up when she went into the Royal Library, and two could channel – but she wanted to see their reactions. She was not disappointed; or rather, she was. Coiren only sat up straight, but Galina stared. It was all Nesune could do not to sigh. They truly were blind. Only a few paces from a woman able to channel, and they had not sensed her because they could not see her.



ETA: are we talking of the same three sisters who failed to notice that Setalle once had the ability?

She was burned out...there is nothing left to sense. They should have picked up on other clues but that is rather irrelevant to the discussion.

Terez
04-02-2012, 01:54 AM
Either they sense them or they don't. Make up your mind.
The sul'dam ability has quite a different feel from the damane ability.

greatwolf
04-02-2012, 01:55 AM
Moiraine smiled, refusing to be diverted. "Unlike most women who claim to listen to the wind, you actually can, sometimes. Oh, it has nothing to do with the wind, of course. It is of Air and Water. It is not something you needed to be taught; it was born into you, just as it was born into Egwene. But you have learned to handle it, which she still has to learn. Two minutes after I came face-to-face with you, I knew. Do you remember how I suddenly asked you if you were the Wisdom? Why, do you think? There was nothing to distinguish you from any other pretty young woman getting ready for Festival. Even looking for a young Wisdom I expected someone half again your age."
Nynaeve remembered that meeting all too well; this woman, more self-possessed than anyone in the Women's Circle, in a dress more beautiful than any she had ever seen, addressing her as a child. Then Moiraine had suddenly blinked as if surprised and out of a clear sky asked ...
She licked lips gone abruptly dry. They were both looking at her, the Warder's face as unreadable as a stone, the Aes Sedai's sympathetic yet intent. Nynaeve shook her head. "No! No, it's impossible. I would know. You are just trying to trick me, and it will not work."
"Of course you do not know," Moiraine said soothingly. "Why should you even suspect? All of your life you have heard about listening to the wind. In any case, you would as soon announce to all of Emond's Field that you were a Darkfriend as admit to yourself, even in the deepest recesses of your mind, that you have anything to do with the One Power, or the dreaded Aes Sedai." Amusement flitted across Moiraine's face. "But I can tell you how it began."

Moiraine was in contact with nynaeve for a full TWO minutes, face to face before she realized. This is in the face of nynaeve's potential and the fact that she been channeling on and off for years and had even slowed.

Now how Terez expects that Tuon who has channeled less (maybe just once) would be sensed, I don't know. And Tuon obviously refuses to be associated with it. She channels using damane and enjoys it but refuses to be taught even if she could learn! That's a definite mindset there. The kind of thing that Moiraine says leads to blocks. Blocks that prevent you from further channeling.

The only other clue that Moiraine had apart from sensing nyn's ability was her youthfulness. The same youth that we see in Tuon and heavily foreshadowed by Talaan in the same book.

E: nyn and the others had 29 suldam in the palace with them for days, maybe weeks and did not notice the ability in them until it was pointed out.

Terez
04-02-2012, 02:04 AM
"The two women on leashes can channel," he whispered. "Can you block them?" Hurriedly he added, "Don't embrace the Source yet. They're prisoners, but they still might warn the others, and even if they don't, the women with the bracelets might be able to feel them sense you."

She looked at him oddly, but wasted no time on foolish questions such as how he knew; they would come later, he knew. "The women with the bracelets can channel also," she replied just as softly. "It feels very strange, though. Weak. As if they had never practiced it. I cannot see how that can be."
.

greatwolf
04-02-2012, 02:07 AM
Learn how to read. The sul'dam ability has quite a different feel from the damane ability.

Ohhh! So now its different eh? They're no longer sensing the ability to channel?

E: Avi sensed it and didn't say there was any difference. So that doesn't agree with anything you've said.

Terez
04-02-2012, 02:22 AM
Hi Greatwolf

greatwolf
04-02-2012, 02:30 AM
Hi Terez.

greatwolf
04-02-2012, 05:02 AM
That's dealt with easily enough, when you consider that since Tuon will already have the Crystal Throne when she starts to channel, she will not be seizing it. Since Tuon is the standard by which we are judging all other free channellers, it can reasonably be assumed that other free channellers will also refrain from seizing the Crystal Throne. The difficulty will be if Tuon goes on to seize other thrones, but her behaviour thus far suggests she will not; she prefers client states.

Since the digression is about done, maybe we can address the central issue?

Tuon, the suldam and the seanchan in general have a deep rooted phobia for damane. Actually channeling whatever Tuon's status will make her damane in the eyes of the people. Egeanin has already deserted the cause because she found out its all based on a lie. And she was a tough one. Most seanchan will probably fare no better.

The only hole I see in this is that it isn't a new moral dilemma in a sense. The seanchan use suldam to channel, so they really don't despise channeling yet they do. If they didn't see channeling as evil, they would accept healing. But their reaction to be touched with the power is similar to a RLer being touched by tainted saidin.

How could Tuon rule if people despise what she is? As Empress now, Tuon cannot learn to channel unless she can make the seanchan accept it. Yes the EVA has always used damane to strengthen itself and crush enemies. How does that make them different from AS? And the imperial family kill one another to obtain the favor of their parent. That's even worse than the AS behavior that they met in seanchan.

So the moral dilemma has always been there for them. But what would make them face up to it?

Terez
04-02-2012, 05:15 AM
Hi Greatwolf

suttree
04-02-2012, 10:59 AM
Ohhh!
E: Avi sensed it and didn't say there was any difference. So that doesn't agree with anything you've said.

Seriously?


"The women with the bracelets can channel also," she replied just as softly. "It feels very strange, though. Weak. As if they had never practiced it. I cannot see how that can be."

Enigma
04-02-2012, 03:56 PM
Egeanin has already deserted the cause because she found out its all based on a lie. And she was a tough one. Most seanchan will probably fare no better.

Egeanin's desertion is a bit more complicated that that. She discovered that no matter what way she turned she was damned from a political point of view. Finding out about the sul'dam did help her on her way but it was not the only reason.

How could Tuon rule if people despise what she is? As Empress now, Tuon cannot learn to channel unless she can make the seanchan accept it. Yes the EVA has always used damane to strengthen itself and crush enemies. How does that make them different from AS? And the imperial family kill one another to obtain the favor of their parent. That's even worse than the AS behavior that they met in seanchan.

So the moral dilemma has always been there for them. But what would make them face up to it?

Given the way the Seanchan are organised Tuon does not need to keep all her people on side just the nobles. The commoners might have misgivings but they will do what they are told. The nobles are a problem and Tuon is not exactly secure on her new throne. On the other hand these are desperate times. If we had been debating around say the time of TDR who would have believed that Aes Sedai and high ranking nobles would ever work along men who can channell before the taint was cleansed.

Tuon does have the end of the world going for her. In more conventional times she would probably be killed by an alliance of disgruntled nobles but faced with endless hoards of shadowspawn and the end of the world a female channeler suddenly does not seem quite as bad.

greatwolf
04-03-2012, 03:30 AM
Tuon does have the end of the world going for her. In more conventional times she would probably be killed by an alliance of disgruntled nobles but faced with endless hoards of shadowspawn and the end of the world a female channeler suddenly does not seem quite as bad.

Also applies to the damane. They've been the strength of the empire all the while but have the lowest possible place in it. I don't see how it will be easy to say "hey, we've been hypocrites all along!"