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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Ogier Life and Society Before the Corruption of the Ways?


Vrron
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The Ways provided safe and rapid travel and communication between Stedding until they began to change and Machin Shin, the Black Wind, made them too dangerous to consider using under any circumstance short of an emergency. However, before this change I would think they would be utilized heavily by anyone who could read the Ogier script covering the Guidings. There would be a much greater incentive for one to learn to read Ogier script and therefore many more would do so, leading to even greater use. In my mind, Ogier society (and to a lesser extent any other society with easy access to Waygates) would become much closer to a single, massive community which happens to span a much larger physical area than a collection of small, secluded communities. This ease of sharing resources and ideas would lead to accelerated cultural and technological development near the scale that we see in the cities of our modern world.

 

This is intriguing to me as there doesn't seem to be any evidence of such a society ever existing in the books. Is there something I'm missing? What are some reasons you think this wouldn't happen? What do you think it would be like if it did?

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When the ways were created most of the land was simply trying to survive, kill the remaining shadowspawn, and then rebuild.  When civilization did start to rebuild Ishy was spun out to trash the land again.  It also doesn't seem like the Ogier were advertising the ways much.  The BWB does say only Ogier and Ogier guided humans used the ways, so it doesn't seem like the Ogier trusted humans using it alone.    Plus the BWB also says the Ogier only grew a path to groves.  So there was never a desire by them to make paths to major cities etc if there was no grove near.  My guess is they simply didn't trust humans not to misuse the ways.

Edited by Sabio
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I was thinking more along the lines of the Ogier using the Ways in this way. There were more than one thousand years between the end of the Breaking and the Ways becoming corrupted in which the Ways would be the best way to move between Steddings. Rather than forming a city or going to a city, I was wondering about all Ogier with access to a Waygate becoming like a single community who regularly traveled between the Steddings by using them due to the ease and safety of doing so. Even if an individual Stedding was nowhere near the size of a city, they would be so closely connected that their society would resemble that of a city.

Edited by Vrron
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I'm not sure I agree with this.

 

Although the Ways make travel faster they are not instantaneous by any means, you could have a number of cities who are as close to reach conventionally as you via ways and yet you don't see these sorts of effects. I'm also not clear that people enjoyed totally free access to them - and the Ogier don't seem that interested in technology.

 

On the other hand, you do see the continent developing a common language which could be attributed to the influence of these closer connections. 

 

Also, I think it was more like 2,000 years of use, I think the Ways did not become essentially unusable until the War of the Hundred Years (maybe a little after) although I think different versions of the Eye of the World may have said different things.

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Theradnecro is right, the BWB just says sometime during the War of a Hundred Years a change was noticed and almost 2000 years of use.  Only humans with ogier guides were allowed use of the ways.  Ogier simply didn't trust humans enough to allow them free access.  As you see ogier try staying away from human problems, the last thing you want to do is allow these chaotic humans free passage to the ways that lead right to steddings.

 

Each stedding is like a small village, you use the ways to visit other villages, they had no desire to become one large ogier community.  They simply wanted to stay in contact with steddings, the ogier don't seem big into technology and advancements.

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On 2/3/2018 at 8:22 PM, Vrron said:

I was thinking more along the lines of the Ogier using the Ways in this way. There were more than one thousand years between the end of the Breaking and the Ways becoming corrupted in which the Ways would be the best way to move between Steddings. Rather than forming a city or going to a city, I was wondering about all Ogier with access to a Waygate becoming like a single community who regularly traveled between the Steddings by using them due to the ease and safety of doing so. Even if an individual Stedding was nowhere near the size of a city, they would be so closely connected that their society would resemble that of a city.

 

Not quite.

 

The Ways were created as a gift for the Ogier so that they could travel between their steddings without experiencing the turmoil of the rest of the world. While they speed up travel considerably, they are by no means instantaneous. For example, traveling from the Waygate near Tear to the one in the Two Rivers required Perrin and co to camp overnight. Traveling from the Caemlyn to Fal Dara required, IIRC, more than a day.

 

The Waygates linked the steddings so that they were like nearby villages rather than distant places. The Ogier certainly do seem to be a close-knit community.

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