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The Ways post-detainting

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I'm wondering, did Robert Jordan ever give any indication of the effect the cleansing saidin of the Taint would have on the Ways? If their darkening was a result of the Taint on the "algorithms" used to create it, surely cleansing saidin of the Taint would alter the Ways substantially?

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  • 4 weeks later...

It took years for the Ways to disintigrate. I would imagine the would take years to regrow and beome whole again as well.

Edited by Aisling~
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There's a cut chapter eventually published in an Unfettered anthology involving Perrin going into the Ways to try to limit or remove the Shadow's use of them, particularly regarding Caemlyn.  We know that the Ways were still in use post-Cleansing by the Shadow, that's how they invaded Caemlyn, after all.  And at least in the short excerpt of that cut chapter that I've seen (I have unfortunately not had the pleasure of reading the whole thing yet), the Ways seems unaffected by the Cleansing.


Personally, I'm not entirely convinced that it was the Taint on saidin that was responsible for the darkening of the Ways and the creation of Machin Shin.  The first of the Ways were grown during the Breaking, but the darkening wasn't even noticed until almost 2000 years later, after Hawkwing's death.  Indeed, the preceding events leading to its decay seems to be the fall of Steddings established along the Blight, as the Blight overtook them and their Waygates.  And the corruption in the Ways extends even to weaves of saidar, which is more extensive than a taint on saidin should produce.  I can accept that tainted saidin could be responsible for the decaying bridges and pervasive darkness, but to be able to intervene in the metaphysical connection with the True Source of saidar users is, well, a bridge too far.  And if it were the Taint that was responsible, one would think that saidar users would still have noticed that corrupting influence on their weaves long before the Ways darkened at all.


Instead, I think that what's happening is that the Ways have become Blighted, after those Steddings and their Waygates fell to the Blight.  Tainted saidin may have left them particularly vulnerable to being Blighted, and may have contributed to the particular way the Ways reacted to being Blighted, but to persist for 2000 years in the light with growing grass and trees suggests that those ancient male Aes Sedai who created them knew how to shield their creation from the effects of the Taint.  Or at the very least, greatly mitigate it.  And the coincidence of the Steddings and their Waygates falling to the Blight almost immediately preceding the noticable darkening of the Ways, which then became fully dark and effectively unusable within a single lifetime, is too great to be a mere coincidence.


What would be interesting would be to see the effects of Shai'tan being fully resealed back in his prison, post MoL.  As the Blight begins failing and starts blooming again, the Ways should begin to be similarly cleansed, if it was indeed the Blight that was responsible for their condition.  If it was tainted saidin that was responsible, I don't expect any recovery at all, as the corruption would be involved in their very creation.  If you build a house out of rotting wood, you may be able to stop further rot from happening, but you'll still have to deal with all the wood that's already rotten.  There may be no way to save or cleanse the Ways, any more than you can Heal back the hand that's been rotted off by the Taint.

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Traveling the ways may have been used for hundreds of years with the caveat that channeling while inside the ways was a bad idea.

While not impossible, but since channeling in the blight has no impact on channeling, that seems to imply that the blight impact wouldn’t be enough to damage the ways to taint saidar.

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Perhaps the "world" that the Ways exists in, has always existed as it's own "world", similar/but/different from that of the world's that the Finn inhabit. Perhaps the Male Aes Sedia made Ter'Angrael waygates to that specific plane of existence across Randland.

Perhaps after the Dark One's release and subsequent "re-sealing", which we know affected all worlds, not just the prime material world aka randland, the DO's taint upon existence slowly warped an already existing entity within the Ways into an "evil" entity surely based upon a carrion entity that fed upon the dead that got lost or fell within the Ways, as we know it was dangerous even prior to Black Wind's existence. In example of this is that "Void" area during "Skimming". It's entirely plausible an "entity" similar to the black wind could exist within the skimming voids,it could mostly be harmless/non-interactive except to the "dead" floating around... and the DO has "domain" over carrion animals.

Something we should consider is the possibility that the Ael/Eelfinn Ter'Angrael portals, weren't made during the Age of Legends, but during the Breaking/Trolloc wars, by desperate channelers seeking answers and wishes. (Afterall, a running theme in the series is Hubris. Just look at what happened to Shadar Logoth.)


The only proof wmay have is that the Forsaken don't seem to really know or care enough about those portals to just outright steal/destroy them so the forces of light can't use them.

If they were made during the AoL, It would seem of upmost importance by the forsaken to capture & destroy them since they, themselves can't use the things... we think. (It's also probable that the Aelfinn/Eelfinn hate Darkfriends because of the DO's own taint on their worlds that's possibly caused them to be stuck within their version of the tower... Or that their "memories" just taste plain foul.)


We Know that Aes Sedia in the AoL, were travelling to other worlds. Some thought this might have been other Planets within the galaxy, but the worlds they traveled to, may have been the various portal stone worlds, which are other planes of existence. They may have brought alien and strange life from other planes of existence that are layered above and below the prime reality from the protagonists perspective.

Hell, for all we know the Waygates exist within the Ogier homeworld.

Edited by SinisterDeath
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It's possible that the Ways dimension pre-exsited the Gateways and the bridges and islands.  But it seems likely to me that they are more akin to vacuoles, which we know Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends were relatively proficient at creating.  Merely accessing an already existing parallel world seems excessively risky when they can already create artificial parallel world's, considering one doesn't know what else might be in those pre-existing worlds.  So I can accept the possibility that the Taint on saidin could extend to the corruption of even weaves of saidar.  I just don't consider it very likely, for a few reasons. 


First is that we have no evidence whatsoever of channelling saidar within the Ways being dangerous until after the Ways began darkening.  If channelling was always dangerous and liable to be corrupted, then Moiraine should have known about that, as knowledge of that danger would have long pre-exsited the darkening of the Ways.  In the Unfettered excerpt, Perrin has to stress the danger of channelling within them to Seonid as well, indicating that such danger is not well-known. 


Next is how that corruption occurs.  If it's tainted saidin that's being used to sustain the modified vacuole that is the Ways, and saidar becomes corrupted by having to pass through that taint in order to be embraced by a channeler and then woven, then saidar users themselves should become tainted, merely from embracing and holding that Power.  But it seems as though it's merely the weaves that are corrupted, not saidar itself within the Ways, nor the users of it.


Finally, the coincidence of the darkening of the Ways noticably beginning just after Waygates fell to the Blight is simply too great to discount.  And then there's the way the Ways are corrupted, not merely crumbling, but pock-marked, as if the stone of the bridges and islands were diseased, or blighted.

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The Portal Stones predated the Age of Legends. The Portal Stones can connect you to the same stone in the Worlds of If (parallel universes) or to another planet in your own universe, the only limit is the power you have to make that connection.

The Ways were created by men who have studied parallel universes and made from that a new parallel within our own universe which allows you to travel quicker. It was a gift for the Ogier, and the Ogier have the Talisman of Growing to connect their Stedding to the cities of men where they worked.

Skimming is different than The Ways, the Ways contain space, time and other natures of a real universe, Skimming is technically outside the Standard Universe, space doesn’t really exist in the same way. Skimming being outside out universe shares a certain similarity to Ender’s exit of the Standard where the person who creates the Skim controls the world in a very real and complete way, he/she must enter first, exit last, creates a floor based on what they think they can control with their mind and can only take with them what they think they can carry with their mind. 

The World of the Elves maybe in a universe perpendicular to our universe and also perpendicular to all the Worlds of If. The Worlds of If are parallel to our own.

Taint on Saidar in The Ways, I think Moraine only knew of it because she studied it. She probably got that information from a Brown, either someone who traveled the ways herself or knew of a manuscript describing such. Seonid only didn’t know about it because she never tried to learn about the ways. No one did. It was always too dangerous to take a chance, but not for Moraine, not to save the Dragon Reborn, not to defeat the Dark One. 

Edited by Jsbrads2
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well you seen with the Asha'man, the cleansing stopped further insanity but didn't fix the damage already done to them.  So is possible the cleansing stopped further damage but might not fix what has already happened.  Since no one knows exactly why the ways started to darken, was it the corrupted Saidar used to make them, was it DO influence like you saw happen to the blight etc.  If it was the DO then they should clean up like the blight did after the DO was sealed away.

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So DO wasn’t sealed like last time. The pattern of the universe was rewoven so that the prison was sealed. The Blight was a part of DO’s expression in this  world so the disappearance of the Blight makes a certain sense. It seems the madness of male channelers stayed behind. Past history wasn’t destroyed, so things created by people or part of people should still be imperfect. 

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