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Mechascoots

Issue with the borderlands

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I can't be the only one who takes issue with how suicidal the borderlands are. As far as I'm concerned, Ingtar was the only one who had a clear grasp of the situation, even if his method of dealing with it was flawed. In a sane world, the borderlands would be telling every southland nation 'Hey, we're dying by the hundreds every year to keep you safe. You need to give us tribute in materials, money or men, or some will slip through into YOUR lands. You don't want that, right?' And they would tell the white tower 'You know how important our duty is. Why are you not stationing Aes Sedai in every city and town we have to bolster our defense? You prattle on about our duty. Is it our duty to suffer exponentially  more casualties than we have to so you spoiled bittys can sit comfortably, scheming over things that don't actually matter if we slip?'

 

And most of the white tower knows this stuff. Why is the green ajah not constantly up near the blight, blasting it back? Sounds pretty lazy for 'the battle ajah' to not even get real practice.

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The green ajah didn't simply live for war, they hold themselves ready to fight in the LB.  But it comes down to numbers, the border with the blight is large and there may be at most 1000 Aes Sedai.  The companion states at time of LB the Red Ajah was the largest and had only 200 people, the green was the second largest with about 180, the blue was the sixth largest and only had about 100, and the white only had around 80.  There simply weren't enough Aes Sedai.  

 

Problem is except for large invasions most of the attacks from Trollocs were small or large raids to gather captives and such and not trying to get to the southern nations  So letting trolloc pass would just mean they would hurt the borderlands and not those in the south.

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It's fair that there aren't a lot, but surely there are enough to do some work, and its one thing to say 'I'm ready for the battle' and another to spend your life ACTUALLY practicing. No blademaster becomes a blademaster by just observing the forms, and not without practicing against someone. Given how empty much of the land seems to be, there should still be plenty green sisters to tend the border, not just enough to tell the rulers what to do. And surely it would make even more sense, that an aes sedai presence would help with recruitment of more. Even if they didn't wave signs offering training, seeing aes sedai all the time would really get it stuck in the heads of young girls that it's a thing they could maybe do.

 

But it's well established the White Tower has absolutely no idea how to recruit people, and really should be stripped of their name. It's hard to name a single time the 'servants of all' actually served someone for a reason that wasn't their own self interest. I find it rather appalling that nations just give them money. For what reason? They meddle in your affairs, demand more money for any service if they even decide to grant it, I just feel most people would tell them to do SOMETHING to earn such huge sums of money. Let's not forget that Moiraine could give away 6000 gold crowns and not feel the pinch. I think Elayne is probably the only ruler with any sense. She offers The Kin a home, in exchange for them offering travelling as needed, and free healing to any in the city. If the aes sedai weren't as full of arrogance as any forsaken, they'd be doing something similar. But it seems no one has any sense at all.

 

I suppose it is true that the borderlands would be the only ones hurt if they didn't stop every raid, but the southlands don't have to know that.

 

I don't mean this as a criticism of the books, merely that this society is fundamentally flawed and would have failed eventually, even if the DO did nothing actively.

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In which way are the borderlands society flawed ? It's not their fault that most of the people in Randland dosen't believe that Trollocs even exist. 

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4 minutes ago, Bard29 said:

In which way are the borderlands society flawed ? It's not their fault that most of the people in Randland dosen't believe that Trollocs even exist. 

They could certainly do more to promote it if they had to. Parade the bodies about in major cities. Gruesome and a bit extreme? Yes. But it's hard to deny what's thrown into your lap.

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There are only 180 Green sisters, if all of them went to the border the chances of them being in the right place for an attack are slim.  They would be spread out so maybe 1 or 2 sisters might be present for a raid, if it's a large raid even so few would make no difference.  

 

Ummm remember travel in Randland is slow so imagine the shape a trolloc body would be in by the time they got it to Tear or Illian.  No one is going to be happy if a week old decayed trolloc is dragged about their city,  I imagine you would get tossed out pretty quickly.

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3 hours ago, Sabio said:

There are only 180 Green sisters, if all of them went to the border the chances of them being in the right place for an attack are slim.  They would be spread out so maybe 1 or 2 sisters might be present for a raid, if it's a large raid even so few would make no difference.  

 

Ummm remember travel in Randland is slow so imagine the shape a trolloc body would be in by the time they got it to Tear or Illian.  No one is going to be happy if a week old decayed trolloc is dragged about their city,  I imagine you would get tossed out pretty quickly.

I do agree the body would be in a poor state, unless kept in ice, or pickled which could be done.

 

As for the sisters, don't forget Lord Agelmar talking to Moiraine, that she at the gap would be worth 'a thousand lances'. While she is high in power for a woman, that still gives some idea how much impact a channeler can have on the battlefield.

 

And let's not forget the lazy yellow ajah, who seems unable or unwilling to do ANYTHING about healing the sick anywhere unless they can limp to Tar Valon and beg for it. They could also give aid, after battles, since many shadowspawn weapons need aes sedai healing to not be fatal.

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I agree the the AES Sedai didn’t do much to prepare for the last battle. At the very least they should have been up there preparing for the real thing on occasion

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Greens wouldn't be much good if a lot of them die in meaningless fights with Trollocs.  Don't forget about the BA, I'm sure they would quickly betray WT plans to send Aes Sdai to places.  But they had no traveling, so once again your biggest issue is they would need to be in the exact place of an attack.  With the border to the blight being so large, it would be mostly luck to be the right place that was attacked.

 

I will admit it was odd the WT didn't send anyone to help with TArwins Gap if the attack was so large.  I assume there was time to get there since it seemed like Shinear had asked the borderland nations to send help.  But as Agelmar never mentioned the WT, I got the feeling they never asked the WT.

Edited by Sabio

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A tour of duty at the border forts for several months would have to show them shadow Spawn at some point. Textbook theory would only take you so far at the white tower.

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Well the weaves for battle are pretty simple, and doesn't vary a lot on who you fight.  Fire, lightning from the sky, make ground explode etc.   So making a fireball to shoot at Trollocs doesn't take a lot of training.    Aes Sedai aren't going to learn a lot of strategy and battle planning like a soldier would.  It's more like Moriane in the Two Rivers, see a trolloc and shoot fire at it, or like Verin and Alanna, put weave on rocks to make them explode.  Seems all Aes Sedai know how to make weapons from the one power so you don't need a lot of special training on how to roast a trolloc.

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Just as a soldier can learn to fire a rifle accurately with a little training, but to work as part of the unit from squad size to army size takes practice. That is not easily done from books. It takes drilling and practice in the real world. In this case, where the monsters are.

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Also I'm sure the BA was manipulating events for 2000 years so the Tower got smaller and smaller and don't forget Ishamael was free every 40 years so I'm sure he did his bit. Look at what Nyneave does healingwise which someone else could've figure out much earlier and before Egwene rediscovered travelling, it was all slow. One of the themes of the series is failure to communicate.

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But you notice it was the new people who discovered stuff.  One of the things Aes Sedai were taught is it's dangerous to experiment with weaves.  So is it worth trying to find a new weave at the risk of burning yourself out?  So few Aes Sedai risked it.  The Companion also states the Yellow Ajah didn't really believe there were better ways  to heal so they  had the mentality that what they knew was the best you can get.  And no one was going to examine a man or woman to see if stilling could be reversed.

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I agree with the OP. The WT could of done "something" more than they did. They all knew the condition of the Borderlands and the ever increasing Blight. Just having channelers as a presence could of made a difference. If even 1 out of a 1000 girls showed the ability to channel, the WT could of swelled their ranks over the years and those women would be aware of the condition of their homelands.

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Look at this way Tetsuian betrayed thousands or more soldiers to the trollocs for jealousy, I don't know if Ishamael manipulated her or not. When you combine incompetence, selfishness with background manipulation, you won't get good outcomes. Ishamael was free every 40 years, he was obviously doing something over 3000 years.

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If an Aes Sedai was considered to be worth more than 1000 cavalry at Tarwin's gap, then of course more should have been done to shore up the hot spots in the Border Lands however small The Aes Sedai numbers.

 

It's not like they would have needed to reinforce everywhere equally, certain places are known trouble spots. In TEotW it is beaten into readers brains that just about every land has sent men to the Gap more than once.

 

That certainly sounds like a spot which would have merited some extra attention.

 

Too consider this, for centuries Christendom and the Muslim World rallied vast forces to war with one another not for sake of wiping out evil, but just over who more properly practiced religion.

 

And yet in the WoT we have a world where true evil exists in a physical base and spreads its influence ever further every year as a festering malignancy on the face of the world itself.

 

Once the Trolloc Wars were won how could it possibly not have been constant Crusades forever to scour the Blight clean of life and do what can be done to cleanse the land afflicted with Blight? Even get the Ogier invoved, why not? Loial's singing to Someshta's baby Groot seemed to have some effect towards keeping the ookiness away. Surely a host of Ogier singing, in addition to whatever Aes Sedai could do, could have helped at least a little to beat the darkness back. And if the Ogier were really smart they might have suggested getting the Aiel to harmonize with them.

 

Must have been a lot of DF's holding positions of influence that such a thing never occured.

Edited by Zorlon

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Along the lines of what Sabio said about experimenting with weaves, the AS were also super timid about studying ter'angreal.  So many were "last studied by Corianin Nedeal" or whoever that you get the impression that she was the only one who even tried.   We did not get much payoff in AMoL for all the talk in many earlier books of Elayne copying objects of the One Power and Aviendha identifying uses of such objects. The little dagger that made Rand invisible to the Dark One was useful, I guess, but I don't remember too much else.  At least Eg put Vora's sa'angreal to good use.

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To put it simply, the Borderlands exist because everything north of them has already been consumed. Case in point, see Shienar.

 

The Borderland nations have no leverage over the southern nations. They cannot just "let some Trollocs through", because those Trollocs will just raid and pillage borderland villages.

 

We have some examples of such dynamics in real world history. During the Warring States era of China, more than 2000 years ago, the Kingdom of Zhao held the northern barbarians at bay. That did not prevent the other six Kingdoms from fighting each other or fighting with Zhao.

 

The fact is, from the end of the Trolloc Wars until the beginning of The Eye of the World, a period of some 2000 years, Trollocs were a relatively minor threat. Artur Hawkwing fought an army of Trollocs and crushed them, even as he proceeded to conquer the borderlands along with every other known nation.

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12 minutes ago, solarz said:

The fact is, from the end of the Trolloc Wars until the beginning of The Eye of the World, a period of some 2000 years, Trollocs were a relatively minor threat. Artur Hawkwing fought an army of Trollocs and crushed them, even as he proceeded to conquer the borderlands along with every other known nation.

Just had a thought..

 

Given what we know about certain Forsaken actions... I wonder how much of Artur's success against Trollocs was engineered?

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8 hours ago, SinisterDeath said:

Just had a thought..

 

Given what we know about certain Forsaken actions... I wonder how much of Artur's success against Trollocs was engineered?

 

Doubtful. Ishamael only went to Hawkwing once he finished his conquests.

 

Throughout the 3000 years, Ishamael's actions were designed to slow down or even regress mankind's progress. If his trollocs could have defeated Hawkwing, he could have started a second trolloc war.

 

 

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8 hours ago, solarz said:

 

Doubtful. Ishamael only went to Hawkwing once he finished his conquests.

 

Throughout the 3000 years, Ishamael's actions were designed to slow down or even regress mankind's progress. If his trollocs could have defeated Hawkwing, he could have started a second trolloc war.

 

 

Well, what I was getting at, was the possibility of Ishamael engineering his success against the Trollocs, to Further Hawkwings renown/fame, so that he could further manipulate the guy eventually leading to the creation of the Seanchan.

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3 hours ago, SinisterDeath said:

Well, what I was getting at, was the possibility of Ishamael engineering his success against the Trollocs, to Further Hawkwings renown/fame, so that he could further manipulate the guy eventually leading to the creation of the Seanchan.

 

I would say that's more his plan B. If he could overrun humanity with trollocs, he absolutely would.

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Ishy job was to keep humanity fractured. They are right it would of done ishy more good to have the Trollocs destroy Hawkwing then to have Hawkwing win.  

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Mechascoots, you do a fine job highlighting why there were only 1000 Aes Sedai left in the White Tower.  Over the centuries they became introverted and known as untrustworthy.  "An Aes Sedai never lies, but the truth she speaks, may not be the truth you think you hear." Most people would rather deal with the problem themselves than have an Aes Sedai help.  They became elitist snobs with way too much self interest.  Without our trusty Emonds Fielders, the White Tower probably only had another dozen or so generations before they extincted themselves.  

 

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