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Old 04-26-2011, 05:38 AM
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Default The Battle of Caemlyn: Mat vs Demandred?

So, I've been thinking about the Legion of the Dragon a lot since I started buying into the Demandred=Roedran theory. The Legion is mostly fishy for these reasons:

1. They are mysterious. We don't know anything about their leaders aside from Bashere himself.

2. They were Taim's idea in the first place, and they have been recruited mostly by his recruiting parties.

3. They adopted the 'volunteers' from Sammael's army who were led by Eagan Padros, who tried to kill Rand in TPOD, along with confirmed Darkfriend Asha'man in a separate attempt, and Weiramon, now a confirmed Darkfriend, in yet another attempt.

4. We know that they are a pretty huge army now, and they're trained by some ideas worked out between Mat and Bashere. They're remarkably efficient infantry trained with crossbows. A dangerous weapon supposedly more completely dedicated to Rand than any other army aside from the Aiel.

5. They're camped outside Caemlyn. Elayne wondered in KOD if they were leaving when the Aiel left, but apparently they did not. The TOM glossary adds a new bit to the entry that has been the same for several books now:

Quote:
Legion of the Dragon, the: A large military formation, all infantry, giving allegiance to the Dragon Reborn, trained by Davram Bashere along lines worked out by himself and Mat Cauthon, lines which depart sharply from the usual employment of foot. While many men simply walk in to volunteer, large numbers of the Legion are scooped up by recruiting parties from the Black Tower, who first gather all of the men in an area who were willing to follow the Dragon Reborn, and only after taking them through gateways near Caemlyn winnow out those who can be taught to channel. The remainder, by far the greater number, are sent to Bashere's training camps. The Legion of the Dragon is at present training for the Last Battle.
So, they are very much an unknown factor right now. It's very believable that they are being controlled by one of the Forsaken - very likely Demandred - and it's also very possible that they will have something to do with Bashere's 'something dark'.

However, the Legion of the Dragon is only one of the many armies hanging out around Caemlyn. Elayne describes that here:

Quote:
"You will recall your orders regarding mercenary bands?"

"Yes," she said, grimacing. She was getting thirsty. Gloomily, she eyed the cup of warm goat's milk on the table next to her chair. News of battle brought bands of sell-swords eager to offer their services.

Unfortunately for most of the mercenaries, the siege had been a short one. News traveled fast, but weary and hungry soldiers traveled slowly. Soldier bands continued to arrive at the city in a steady flow, the men in them disappointed to find no need for their weapons.

Elayne had begun by sending them away. Then she'd realized the foolishness in this. Every man would be needed at Tarmon Gai'don, and if Andor could provide an extra five or ten thousand soldiers to the conflict, she wanted to do so.

She didn't have the coin to pay them now, but neither did she want to lose them. So instead, she had ordered Master Norry and Captain Guybon to give all of the mercenary bands the same instructions. They were to allow no more than a certain number of soldiers into Caemlyn at a time, and they were to camp no closer than one league from the city.

This was to leave them with the idea that she'd meet with them eventually and offer them work. She just might do that, now that she had decided to take the Sun Throne. Of course, the last sell-swords she'd hired had gone rotten on her more often than not.
At the time, the Band was only one of those many mercenary bands. When Elayne discovered Mat was with them, she allowed them to camp closer to the city:

Quote:
"I'm sorry to make you wait so long, Mat."

"It's nothing," he said. "You're busy."

"It's embarrassing," she said. "One of my stewards lumped you with the mercenary groups. It's so hard to keep track of them all! If you wish, I'll give you leave to camp closer to the city. There's not room inside the walls for the Band, I'm afraid."

"That won't be needed," Mat said, taking one of the seats. "Letting us move closer is kind enough. Thank you."
And the move is noted later:

Quote:
Eventually, he bade the other two a good night. Noal wanted to head back to the Band's camp, which was now only a ten-minute ride from the city. Thom agreed to go with him, and they took Mat's pack full of nightflowers—though both men looked as if they would rather be carrying a sack full of spiders.

And later:

Quote:
It had been about a week since the testing of the dragons, and she'd put all of the bellfounders in her nation to work on creating them. These days, one could hear a steady sound in Caemlyn, repeating booms as members of the Band trained with the weapons in the hills outside of the city. So far, she had let only a few of the weapons be used for training; the different teams rotated practicing on them. She'd gathered the larger number in a secret warehouse inside Caemlyn for safekeeping.

How secret is that storehouse? Were any of the mercenary bands or the Legion allowed to witness the demonstrations outside the city? Later, part of the Band was moved to Cairhien, splitting their forces:

Quote:
Norry moved on. She had a letter from Talmanes, agreeing to move several companies of soldiers from the Band of the Red Hand to Cairhien. She ordered Norry to send him a writ with her seal, authorizing the soldiers to "lend aid restoring order." That was, of course, nonsense. No order needed to be restored. But if Eiayne was ever going to move for the Sun Throne, she'd need to make some preliminary moves in that direction.


Mat notes later that it was about half of them, actually:

Quote:
A military camp at evening was one of the most comfortable places in all the world, even if half the camp was empty, the men there having gone to Cairhien. The sun had set, and some of those who remained had turned in. But for those who had pulled afternoon duty the next day, there was no reason to sleep just yet.

Elayne brought those with her to Merrilor, along with the bulk of her troops from Andor:

Quote:
The Cairhienin were Elayne's now, by reports, and were coming through with the Andorans and a large number of men from the Band of the Red Hand. Egwene had sent an offer, and a woman to offer Traveling, to King Roedran of Murandy, but she was uncertain if he would come.

Or, presumably the bulk, since Egwene was insistent on everyone bringing all their troops.


Add to all this the fact that Mat of course remembers assaulting Caemlyn back in the day:

Quote:
The Band's camp was a league outside of Caemlyn. Thom and Mat had not ridden in—walkers were less conspicuous, and Mat would not bring horses into the city until he found a stable that he trusted. The price of good horses was getting ridiculous. He had hoped to leave that behind once he left Seanchan lands, but Elayne's armies were buying up every good horse they could find, and most of the not-so-good ones, too. Beyond that, he had heard that horses had a way of disappearing these days. Meat was meat, and people were close to starving, even in Caemlyn. It made Mat's skin crawl, but it was the truth.

He and Thom spent the walk back talking about the gholam
, deciding very little other than to make everyone alert and have Mat start sleeping in a different tent every night.

Mat glanced over his shoulder as the two of them crested a hilltop. Caemlyn was ablaze with the light of torches and lamps. Illumination hung over the city like a fog, grand spires and towers lit by the glow. The old memories inside him remembered this city—remembered assaulting it before Andor was even a nation. Caemlyn had never made for an easy fight. He did not envy the Houses that had tried to seize it from Elayne.
And then there is the Black Tower. And the adjustable dreamspike. Clearly Demandred and Moridin are working together, and have been planning this at least since ACOS or TPOD when they started building the wall - I'm assuming that Moridin is the authority but Demandred is the planner. That wall was always pretty useless and stupid for an army of channelers - Logain said as much - but with the dreamspike, it all makes sense. The mercenary bands look innocent enough, but in the context they're pretty damn fishy. And the only thing standing between the massive army of Shadowspawn in Caemlyn and the massive untrustworthy numbers outside of it is half of the Band.

I expect this dreamspike will be guarded by Moghedien and Lanfear and maybe even Moridin himself, rather than just Slayer. Interesting how the three most talented in the Dream of all the Forsaken are among the five still living, and one of them is Moridin, and the other two are his Mindtrapped slaves.

This could get interesting.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:52 AM
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I agree that the Legion is a mysterious group right now, and could very well be involved with Bashere's "something dark." I also agree that there's a great chance the Legion is being controlled somehow by the Shadow, whether that's through Taim, Demandred, or someone else.

However, how do you know any of the Legion is still at Caemlyn? None of the quotes you gave alluded to that fact, unless I am blind. They just speak of general mercenary bands (or generic run of the mill sellswords), that had cropped up due to the war and were looking for a job. Furthermore, in none of Mat's fairly content-heavy povs concerning the subject, does he even come remotely close to mentioning the Legion. The Legion that he himself co-created, which he should be able to spot on sight. Rather, he names them as essentially a motley collection of cowardly mercenary bands and cowardly countrymen that took their sweet time to arrive, for obvious reasons.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:27 AM
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Of course, if the Legion is parked on the other side of Caemlyn from where the Band is staying, then Mat may never have come within three miles distance from them.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:28 AM
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Of course, if the Legion is parked on the other side of Caemlyn from where the Band is staying, then Mat may never have come within three miles distance from them.
Not only has Mat not seen them, he hasn't heard about them being camped near Caemlyn either, at least on-screen. You would think something like that would be "screen-worthy."

Since the Legion hasn't been mentioned whatsoever, however vaguely, as being camped near Caemlyn, imo its a safe bet they aren't camped there unless they're hiding.

My point wasn't so much that at least part of the Legion COULDN'T be there. I actually would like that idea, especially if they were involved with Caemlyn burning right now. It's that Terez gave no evidence whatsoever that the Legion is at Caemlyn. She kept quoting passages concerning the mercenaries, implying that the Legion was among them. I could count that a decent possibility if all we had to go on were Elayne's povs. But Mat's povs in addition to hers pretty much kill the notion dead. Like no chance in hell.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Toss the dice View Post
Since the Legion hasn't been mentioned whatsoever, however vaguely, as being camped near Caemlyn.
Wat? They've been there forever...and whether or not they were still there was left hanging, quite purposefully, I think.

Quote:
Elayne laid one finger atop a bronze horseman less than a hand tall, standing a few leagues west of the city. “Someone needs to take a look at Davram Bashere’s camp. Find out whether the Saldaeans are leaving, too. And the Legion of the Dragon.” It did not matter if they were, really. They had not interfered in matters, thank the Light, and the time when fear that they might restrained Arymilla was long past. But she disliked things happening in Andor without her knowledge. “Send Guardsmen to the Black Tower tomorrow, as well. Tell them to count how many Asha’man they see.”

Since they are 'training' it's unlikely they were deployed anywhere - there was no mention of them being deployed with the Asha'man in Arad Doman and Illian. The camp was a good distance from the city, not far from where Bashere and the Aiel were camped, just to make it clear they weren't going to get involved with the Succession.

Also, don't have time to look but I think they were both west of the city.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:19 AM
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Since they are 'training' it's unlikely they were deployed anywhere - there was no mention of them being deployed with the Asha'man in Arad Doman and Illian.
IIRC, Ituralde commanded a good portion of rand's forces in Saldea who were NOT local recruits. Rand has military actions ongoing all over Randland and couldn't possibly support all of them with just the Aiel and local recruits.

Since the source of most of the Legion's recruits is likely still BT rejects, there is probably still a basic training camp/collection center near Caemlyn, but holding recruits there for endless training when there is so much opportunity for them to gain real combat experience going on in Randland doesn't make any kind of sense at all.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:57 AM
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IIRC, Ituralde commanded a good portion of rand's forces in Saldea who were NOT local recruits. Rand has military actions ongoing all over Randland and couldn't possibly support all of them with just the Aiel and local recruits.

Since the source of most of the Legion's recruits is likely still BT rejects, there is probably still a basic training camp/collection center near Caemlyn, but holding recruits there for endless training when there is so much opportunity for them to gain real combat experience going on in Randland doesn't make any kind of sense at all.
That makes sense.

I got the impression that the mercenaries we are speaking of are all accounted for, for Elayne and Mat both, in large part due to their density and short distance from Caemlyn. Because of this, I assumed the mercenaries in question, from both Elayne and Mat's povs, did not include the Legion. I'm not sure exactly where their Caemlyn collection center is, but I'm fairly certain they don't have a large standing army just twiddling their thumbs and hanging out with all the other mercenaries. Elayne knows enough to be able to tell them apart, and Mat certainly does. For that matter, I think anyone would, as they ARE the folks with the funny coats, who use crossbows and big ass shields. Not exactly run of the mill.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:58 AM
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Well, they were used in Altara against the Seanchan. I have a feeling Rand didn't order them away because he still had notions about protecting Elayne. They could have been mentioned anywhere in books 11-13 for having been deployed elsewhere, but they weren't.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:55 PM
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Once the Succession struggle was over, it really made no sense for Rand to keep the Legion in Caemlyn, they could only crete problems for Elayne, being essentially a foreign army. And he definitely could've used them somewhere else, like in Illian.

Of course, logical behaviour is not exactly the strong suit of the WoT characters, and Rand had an awful lot of other things on his plate, so the Legion may still be near Caemlyn. In that case not mentioning it at all in ToM would be strange, but still possible.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:05 PM
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Hmm. I have my own theory, or hope, really, how this will turn out.

Mat and the band(along with some Seanchan), teaming up with Logain and his Ashies/AS against Dred and Taim and their Ashies and AS. It would be an epic battle. On Mat's side, we have Seanchan soldiers, Sul'dam and Dammane, Ashies and AS(Lead by Logain), and the band. On Dred's side, we Those Aiel-looking guys, maybe Channelers from the Isle of Madmen, Ashies and AS(Lead by Taim), and Shadowspawn. So see, everyone has something to fight. Then if Dred presents something new, Mat just blows the Horn and counters that or maybe Elayne's Kin and other forces join in, since this will likely take place in Caemlyn, and owns Dred and Taim.

I see Mat meeting up with Tuon after she captures an all but empty WT when he goes there looking for the Horn. They have their little reunion and Mat being Taveren convinces Tuon to give him a few soldiers, or maybe she makes him take some so he remains safe, seeing as she's clearly as besotted with him as he is with her, though neither will admit it. Anyway, he now has some Seanchan soldiers and channelers and heads to Caemlyn to rejoin the band and finds it under seige by shadowspawn.

Actually, I could see the start of this battle as an Elayne PoV(The chapter switching back and forth between her, Matt, Logain, Dred, and Taim PoVs), her kin and forces along with the Band and others outside the city are fighting the shadowspawn. They have the upper hand at first, but then Taim and Dred show up with channelers and take control of the battle, but then when all seems lost, here comes Mat and the Seanchan with the rest of the Band riding in to the rescue, the Horn of Valare sounding in the distance, and then out of the fog comes Mat, Ashendari held high, followed by the Heroes of the Horn(Ala Aragorn), and they defeat Dred and Taim. Then it's off the Shayul Gul for the main battle to face Saur...I mean Shai'tan.

Last edited by Edynol; 04-26-2011 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by David Selig View Post
Once the Succession struggle was over, it really made no sense for Rand to keep the Legion in Caemlyn, they could only crete problems for Elayne, being essentially a foreign army.
She said in the quote she provided that she didn't care if they stayed. She only would have cared if they'd tried to interfere, which they never did.

Quote:
And he definitely could've used them somewhere else, like in Illian.
I think that the Asha'man were the most important soldiers there - I thought it kind of odd in TPOD that he bothered bringing normal troops to fight channelers. Basically they were just there to pay the butcher's bill - he brought his least trusted nobles and their troops. And of course, that's when Lord Brend's leftovers joined the Legion.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:23 AM
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Are you saying that the Mat and the band would be facing off against the legion of the dragon and the other mercenaries around Caemlyn, or just the legion?
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:25 AM
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I figured that more than the Band will be eventually drawn there. It will be Mat vs the Shadowspawn army inside the city, for sure. But I suspect that Murandy will show up, and I also suspect that the mercenaries and the Legion might be under Demandred's thumb.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:01 AM
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I can agree with as far as other forces of the light showing up along with Murandy. Even the Legion being under Demandred's thumb. The only part I have a hard time with is the mercenaries. Actually I have a really hard time seeing Moridin being actively involved, but that's a whole other issue.

The mercenaries have been sitting around Caemlyn for what? Two months now? I guess the problem I have is that we haven't seen anything at all that indicates anyone has tried to get them in their pocket. Elayne's game with them is the only real move we have seen to acquire their services. Which by the looks of it is doomed to fail.

I'm starting to think, Mat's reputation burning through Caemlyn like wild fire wasn't all for show. A reputation for never losing in battle, and being luckier than the dark one himself would be pretty appealing traits for a commander. Would probably make you fairly inclined to fight for/with this commander if you were in a pinch. Not including the whole ta'veren thing. I suspect Mat has been winning the future loyalty of these mercenaries the last couple of months.

As far as Moridin goes, him guarding the dream spike goes against every single thing we know about him. Think about it.

Last edited by Schnucker; 04-27-2011 at 01:29 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:08 AM
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I can agree with as far as other forces of the light showing up along with Murandy. Even the Legion being under Demandred's thumb. The only part I have a hard time with is the mercenaries. Actually I have a really hard time seeing Moridin being actively involved, but that's a whole other issue.
Moridin is probably only actively involved to an extent. Many believe that Moridin is Taim himself, and that really is a whole other issue, but Taim is at the very least taking orders directly from Nae'blis now. His palace is decorated with Moridin's colors, and Moridin has men in black guarding his Blightfortress from nasty things that would give even channelers a hard time. And this dreamspike will need more protection than Slayer - especially now that Perrin has fought Slayer and let him live to tell the tale (quite aside from Mesaana and Egwene, and Nynaeve and Moghedien). So my bets are on Cyndane and Moghedien at least guarding the dreamspike, but Moridin is going to come into it somewhere. All clues point to Rand's death coinciding with the Black Tower showdown, Arthurian legend being the least of them. Egwene dreams of Logain stepping over Rand's dead body to mount a black stone that resembles Taim's stone for addressing the Asha'man, a symbol of his position of power over them. The dark prophecy at the end of TOM suggests that Rand will fall to the Midnight Towers - most likely Moridin himself, since he represents all of them - and Nicola's Foretelling indicates that, as of Rand's death, the Guardians and Servants are on the same team but the land is still divided by the Return. That suggests that the Black Tower issue has been resolved, but the Last Battle isn't won yet because the two must be as one for that to happen. That explains why the three women are hanging over Mr. Dead-Yet-Living in the boat. They still need him (and they probably have to bond him again to save him from his having been ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod). Meanwhile, Mat and Tuon are probably duking it out somewhere, and if I had to guess I'd say that's part of where Moiraine will be important, since she doesn't appear to be around as Rand is being resurrected. But if Rand is going to do the Callandor at Shayol Ghul thing after he comes back to life, then she might possibly be involved there (though I expect Tuon instead).

So, yeah...Moridin pretty much has to be involved at the Battle of Caemlyn, probably at the Black Tower itself, but maybe in Tel'aran'rhiod. Depends on where Rand is, probably. Demandred I expect to mostly play general as far as his net impact, but of course he's going to have a go at Rand somewhere, or he'll try. But I also expect Demandred to be offed in the process. The main showdown, I expect to be between Moridin and Rand, and I expect Moridin to at least appear to win that showdown as Rand dies and he survives. In other words, Min suggests that the link will result in the death of one or the other, and I think it will be Rand.

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The mercenaries have been sitting around Caemlyn for what? Two months now? I guess the problem I have is that we haven't seen anything at all that indicates anyone has tried to get them in their pocket.
Obviously, this battle is huge and major and has been in the planning for some time now - at least since LOC. Verin knew about it. The prisoners in the dungeon knew about it. The arrival of the mercenaries in the first place was probably at least partly directed - they've been hanging around too long for logic, since doubtless they are eating everything in sight. I'm saying that I wouldn't be surprised if they were all paid to hang around Caemlyn, and it could even be a little more complicated than that. Their ranks and even their officers could be heavily infiltrated with Darkfriends.

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As far as Moridin goes, him guarding the dream spike goes against every single thing we know about him. Think about it.
How about you think about it? Consider how important it is to him. Obviously, he'll have Moghedien and Cyndane on it (unless Cyndane has something better to do, which is possible), but if his assistance is required he will step in. Unless it happens to be time for his confrontation with Rand, which is probably the only thing more important to him.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:36 AM
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I have thank you very much

Forget the dream spike, yes it is obviously important to him, but look at all his actions in every book until this point. Look at the way other people view him, particularly the other forsaken. Look at what he has and hasn't done until this point.


He's been portrayed as Rands counter part all through the series. The only person he has directly lifted a hand against is Rand. So short of Rand showing up it goes against what we've seen of him thus far. And Rands current disposition doesn't make it seem like he'll be charging in gun ho after the dream spike anytime soon.

He's been shown to been a plotter, an administrator, the guiding hand of the shadow. Just as how Rand has finally come to the realization that he is the hand not the sword, such is Moridin. You would figure that since Rand believes, since epiphamount, that he needs to avoid direct conflict with the shadow until Shayol Ghul; that the same 'rules' would apply to his dark side counter part. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows, but it's a thought to be considered.

There is also the fact that Moridin hasn't made an attempt on rand in, what? 10 books? They have even made some friendly visits to one another. Then that Moridin has forbid other forsaken from harming Rand due to the link... Look at the scene after the Semirhage incident...

Finally, look at the cleansing. Every single other forsaken was commanded to go, so it was without a doubt extremely important. Mesaana even got a special visit for not going. Did Moridin go? No, even after the others got their butts kicked he decided against going to the party. I think we'll all agree that he can throw down harder than most, probably harder than anyone but Rand at this point. So he certainly would have made a difference had he gone, especially wielding the true power. Things likely would have turned out differently. So why didn't he go? You think he was scared?

For the record, I'm not saying if he'll have a hand in the battle behind the scenes or not. Haven't really thought about it, so I can't say. But I know he won't be guarding the dream spike. Doesn't make sense, he'll have his dogs do that. He's the master not the hound, and he knows it.

I thought Arthurian Legend said that Gawyn was going to kill Rand.... weird.

Last edited by Schnucker; 04-27-2011 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:36 AM
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I feel like you just aren't reading the same books as I am. Moridin has taken a direct hand in a number of things. It depends on what his interests are. He spied on Sammael and Graendal, and Elayne and Aviendha, and he helped Rand in Shadar Logoth for his general amusement. He's given direct orders to Darkfriends, and punished them personally. He's taken a direct hand in the leadership of the Black Ajah. RJ said that the main reason he didn't take a hand in the cleansing was the link between himself and Rand and the possible complications. I already said that he'll have his lackeys guarding the dreamspike and that he would only step in if necessary. Your continued harping on it makes you look dense.

Also, me and Tam are keeping a list of 'Gawyn therefore you are wrong' people so we can laugh at you.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:53 AM
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The last I can remember reading anything about the legion's whereabouts, was (other than several hundred going to Altara) were the 15,000 or so that had Traveled to Illian. They've more or less vanished from Caemlyn.

And let's remember, not all of those recruiting parties are Taim or his lackeys. Plus, and we even have confirmation from Tam al'Thor himself, that those who come recruiting only ask for people that want to fight for the Dragon Reborn.

So could some be DFs? Sure. But don't think it would be the entire Legion. Plus, the Legion would have had to assault the walls, and that alone would have raised quite an alarm.

In short, a few too many holes for me to believe that the Legion had much, if anything, to do with the invasion. Especially when everything has pointed to an almost total trolloc/fade force.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:00 AM
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@RandalFain - You remember incorrectly. It's best to get your facts straight before forming opinions on things.

I updated the Legion section on the Demandred FAQ page.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terez View Post
@RandalFain - You remember incorrectly. It's best to get your facts straight before forming opinions on things.

I updated the Legion section on the Demandred FAQ page.
All I see is a bunch of opinions and answers to those opinions.
The Legion was actually partially Mat's and partially Bashere's idea (said so when the Legion is first introduced), so I'm not sure where you get it that it was Taim's idea in the first place. Do Taim and the rest of the Black Tower provide the troops? Yes. Are some darkfriends? I wouldn't be surprised. Does that mean all of them are? No. All it means, is that it is basically like any other force in Randland.
As for what's his face that led that group of men in Illian and then later joined up, I think it much more likely that it was only he and a couple others at most that would have been DFs. The rest, as said by the messenger when Rand went to go meet them, weren't quite sure what to do with themselves.
 


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