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WH Ch.13 Pg 311 (In my 1st edition hardback)

 

"She had begun gathering sisters she trusted, those here with her and others, the day she first heard of strange events in Shienar..."

 

Okay we have some idea what Cads has been up to for the scope of the books. At the beggining of EotW she was helping to capture Logain, we also know that she once she helped with that, she rushed right off to Saldea to help capture Taim. She first shoes up in Carhien, with a few sisters in tow, and she makes the above cited comment, while still in Carhien. This sparks a few questions for me.

 

1. Why is she gathering sisters?

 

2. How many sisters has she gathered?

 

3. To what extent does she direct this group of sisters.

 

4. Does this group of sisters substantially overlap with the group that is standing apart from the tower split? Do they make up the mystery sisters at the Silver Swan in Camelyn? Are they a Cadsuane taskforce to try and retake Taim? Are they the sisters that "found" the borderlanders enroute to Braem wood? Is she the puppeteer pulling strings on the ajah heads?

 

*Disclaimer: I am not advocating any specific theory or viewpoint. I am interested in a discussion based on relevant citations and well reasoned arguments. It is my habit to play Devil's advocate, and as this is a substantial hobby of mine, I am likely to do so with some enthusiasm. *

 

Fire when ready.

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Guest LurkingFadeFetcher

from what we know of Cadsuane and from her status as a living legend, it is very believable that she is some sort of master puppeteer steering the whole world. But really we have no idea. she just keeps to herself too much.

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Just speculation, but do we know for certain that the 'events in Sheinar' were Moiraine et al saving the day and Rand's appearance at Tarwin's Gap?

 

If we do, then that gives Cadsuane approximately two years to have been gathering sisters, and given the fact that as of her fist appearance in aCoS half the sisters seem surprised that she's not dead she cannot have been doing so publicly.

 

Would this give her sufficent time/ability to mastermind an entire third of the Tower (approx. 300 Aes Sedai), especially as far flung as most of these sisters seem to be?

 

Given her legendary status, and incredibly forceful personality, it is not too far fetched to think that she does indeed have something up her sleeve. Perhaps the 13 sisters with the Borderlanders, perhaps certain members of the respective Rebel and traditional Halls (though that seems unlikely given her anger at the whole division). What would be most likely in my opinion is a loose network of sisters scattered around the different thrones each working towards Cadsuane's ends without knowing of too many others. (Although this possibility might include the Borderlander Aes Sedai.) Gathering 300 Aes Sedai in less than two years without letting any of the others even know she is alive seems a bit much even for Cadsuane.

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This is definitely in the realm of speculative theory, but my guess is that the unaligned sisters are indeed Cadsuane's.

 

Cadsuane's name is reported as overheard in the Silver Swan, and considering that Rand spent so much time in Caemlyn before Cadsuane showed up, combined with Caemlyn's central location, I wouldn't be surprised if Caemlyn is the "nerve center" for Cadsuane's operation.

 

As to what Cadsuane's goal is: Cadsuane, as expressed most bluntly by Merise to the rebels, remembers the purpose of the White Tower and the Aes Sedai, and consequently avoided the Shadow's trap with the rebellion. They exist to oppose the Shadow- they should aid the Dragon, not oppose him. Worry about opposing him after he's finished his task.

 

Cadsuane strikes me as intended as one of those hidden Pattern cards slipped by the Shadow- Moridin considers the Aes Sedai focused on their internal struggles, when one of the great Aes Sedai heroes, who has vast clout with other sisters, has gathered to herself those sisters most capable in their various fields and is directing them to aid the Dragon and against the Shadow- simply without being overtly organized.

 

I also think that's where Amylin (I think, Amy-something, the tool with the Sea Folk when Logain appears) came from- she was one of the sisters ordered by Cadsuane to find out about the Bargain- Cadsuane does wonder what the Seafolk want with Rand, and leaving directions to that effect makes sense.

 

Cadsuane now knows, but she hasn't called off the order.

 

I also think the sisters with the Borderlanders are Cadsuane's, and joined them on her orders/to keep her informed.

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Umm... ok, though that seems counter-productive given how powerful she is as his ally.

 

I do not think the Borderlander sisters are hers, i believe them to be Black Ajah--specifically that they were the thirteen sent to Saldaea to free Taim, and that after achieving that they, like many other sisters outside the tower, learnt of the Rebellion, and decided to wait and see. When the borderlanders began gathering they attached themselves to that group because it put them in a position to manipulate events, which is what Aes Sedai do.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the Aes Sedai at the silver swans are Cadsuane's. That being said, i highly doubt that Cadsuane has control of all the unaligned sisters (there are nearly 300 of them). My guess is she has somewhere between 20 and 40 followers.

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Is there a particular reason that you doubt that she's not in control of the unaligned sisters, or is it just a hunch? I ask because, I don't think it is all that implausible.

 

Firstly, she is very well connected. I believe that it is right after the passsage I mentioned above, that she thinks about how many contacts that she has. If we think of Cadsuane as kind of an uber-aes sedai, I could envision her eyes and ears as being actual sisters. We know that Cadsuane gathers specific sisters to her, not because of their OP strength, but because of her skills. I think that it would be in line for her to try and gather well-connected sisters and use their connections as her own.

 

Second, she is arguably the single most influential sister anywhere. She is stronger than any Aes Sedai, until the wonder girls showed up, and should therefore be able to boss around pretty much any sister except for sitters, ajah heads, Amrylins, and the like. Considering that it is rumoured that she had twice turned down/ran away from the job of Amrylin, I would say that she would be of the same caliber of influence, as an eighteen year old amrylin, or a bitchy drunk Amrylin that was raised by the slimmest of margins. If sisters will follow a teenager, or a drunk who managed to get nearly 100 sisters captured or killed, It seems plausible that sisters would be willing to follow a living legend even if she wasn't Amrylin.

 

Third, she's old. Its probably fair to say that she knew or knew of every single current sister during the time that they were novices. Every sitter, every ajah head, every keeper of eyes and ears, was a pot scrubbing novice within the scope of her experience. Legends of Cadsuane have been around for a long time. If she awed them as novices, she probably still awes them to some extent. Its that whole first impression thing that RJ likes to have Elayne spew out every few chapters.

 

Lastly, she has a reason to gather these fencesitting sisters. Cads is on record about being pissed about the tower split. She wants the tower reunited. What better way to break a tie, than with a tiebreaking vote. If this last 3rd of the sisters were to suddenly go to one side or the other, it would probably decide the issue fairly quickly and decisively. I think that Cadsuane is the tie breaking vote, and she's getting ready to cast her 300 votes, as soon as she figures out which amrylin is going to be more to her liking. (incidently I really loved Egwene's part in KoD's and would love to see the new Egwene stand toe to toe with Cads.)

 

On a related note, I think that given the range of sisters working for Cadsuane, and her indomintable will, and her legend status, Cadsuane is the only character in line to be able to control/manipulate all of the ajah heads. As a green, she would only know the head of her own ajah, as these people's identity are held within the ajah. Cadsuane is the only one I can see bullying or overawing ajah information out of sisters from other ajahs. The fact that the ajah heads are taling to one another, when they should by all rights not even know each other, suggests to me, that someone who knows who they all are, is manipulating them into working together on something. That leaves the BA or some very crafty Aes Sedai. Since ajah heads meeting with each other seems to be flying in the face of the ajahism that the BA has been working to instill, my vote is that the Ajah heads are working towards some good, and I feel that the most likely good that they are working towards is the re-unification of the tower. Since Cadsuane seems interested in the reunification of the tower as well, it would give her a motive.

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Is there a particular reason that you doubt that she's not in control of the unaligned sisters, or is it just a hunch? I ask because, I don't think it is all that implausible.

 

It's pretty much just a hunch. The way she refers to 'reliable sisters', the way she appreciates actual skill, and responds to it, the way she disdains Merana and the others for not thinking things through. Even her disdain of Moiraine. Altogether it makes me believe that she was rather picky in her selection criteria for who she allowed to follow her.

 

And frankly, i dont see her percieving a use for controlling that many sisters. She gathered ones who could potentially be useful to her, not because she needed a power-base. The only ones she has allowed to follow her are ones with specific skills. she wouldnt gather in a sister just for the sake of having her support.

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This isn't on any of the posts mentioned above, but its something that struck me when I was reading through for the first time as a possibility: What if Cadsuane isn't bound by the three oaths anymore? It could account for her long life, as we learned that the three oaths seem to have a detrimental effect on an Aes Sedai's life-span (Knitting Circle). This might also explain why so many other Aes Sedai are surprised that she is still alive and kicking. What do you guys think?

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Guest LurkingFadeFetcher

We know Cadsuane is still bound by the three oaths because she still has the ageless face. I think that her longevity has more to do with the fact that she has stayed active. For a four hundred or so year old woman, she's in pretty good shape! :P

I think others are surprised because she tends to disappear;people thought she had died, then comes the Aiel War, then she disappears again for twenty years before she suddenly appears in Cairhien. I don't think Elaida has heard more than rumors at most. And Egwene we know has heard she is back, but Egwene does not really know what she is doing. In fact, Suian has told Egwene that there is reason to suspect Cadsuane of being Black Ajah. But i do not think her reappearance is common knowledge among the Aes Sedai.

Also, some people just live longer than others. Whether from genetics or they tend to better health, some people just have an unusual amount of longevity, and I see that as being the case with Cadsuane.

 

I would have to side with Luckers in that she probably only has around 40 actual followers who do her bidding and know that it is her that they take their orders from. But I think it is likely she has some sort of ties to many of the sisters who are "sitting out". It is very plausible to me that quite a few act as her personal eyes and ears, but in an indirect way. I think she somehow gets to see many of the Green Ajah's intelligence reports.

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I'm not saying that she's in direct control of 300 sisters, I'm just asking why she couldn't be? For instance, Romanda is in control of a number of sisters among the rebels, If Cadsuane were directing Romanda, wouldn't she be directing those siters under her as well? Hmm, just had another thought, prepare to be launched on a tangent.

 

Is Cadsuane directing Romanda? We know from the too young sitters discussion that Romanda is the only rebel sitter that doesn't fit the pattern. She's also been a long sitting sitter and the former head of her ajah. If Cadsuane is directing anyone from within the rebel camp, my money would be on Romanda. Oh, did I mention that they are both from Far Madding?

 

Of course if I am speculating that Cads is directing a rebel in power, why wouldn't she be trying to do the same with a tower sister? Why not Tsutama? We know that Cadsuane knows all about the "disgusting events" after the aiel war. Do you think that she thought that exile was enough for the three disgraced sitters for the red? Consider Tsutama's complete turnaround from the on the spot gentler she was to the black tower ally that she has become? Consider her quick rise from relative obscurity. I would have no trouble seeing cadsuane pulling some strings on this little puppet either.

 

If I'm right, then she's already got the whole red and yellow ajahs under her thumb, and that's quite a few more than 40. Of course, there's not much proof that I'm right.

 

To string this conjecture along a little further, what is the role of the three exiled reds? We know that in aMoL that Moraine's gonna turn them in to Thom. We also know that Tsutama's the red head that's about to ally with the black tower, Toviene is the former sitter that's been forcibly allied with the black tower, and the other exiled red, Lirene, has openly discussed Elaida's mistakes with Egwene. All three of these reds are posed to help ally the red with the black tower, and to possibly place the red behind Egwene. Could Cadsuane have a role in this, could this have something to do with the lesson that she has to teach Rand and all of the ashamen?

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It just doesn't fit Cadsuane's MO. She doesn't gain power simply to have it, she does what she needs to to achieve her ends. No, i rather doubt that she has any tendrils in the power groups of either the Tower or the Rebels. She makes it clear her opinion of the rebellion matches Merise's.

 

And I really doubt that she is controlling Romanda--Romanda stands next highest in the Aes Sedai ranking after her, is as old as she is, and has a real taste for her own power. Besides, look at the way she reacts to Merise.

 

'This offer comes from the Dragon Reborn?' And Cadsuane. But learning what that woman was doing in company with the Dragon Reborn was secondary. [KoD - Call to a Sitting - 494]

 

The way she emphasizes 'that woman' makes her position on Cadsuane clear.

 

And Tsutama? The idea that any Head of the Red would be taking orders, or even just be in cahoots with a Green is a little extreme, but Tsutama? This is a woman exiled for imploying a search and destroy mission that Cadsuane refers to as a vileness. Even Pevara worries that she might well be insane, and then there is the fact that it seems highly likely that she killed Sierin Vayu.

 

No, i dont see Cadsuane having any contact with either Tower. It serves none of her purposes.

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Give me some credit Luckers, I'm not suggesting anything as obvious as Cadsuane sending orders to either woman and expecting them to be obeyed, I'm suggesting that Cadsuane is pulling strings to make things happen. I agree that Cadsuane disagrees with both sides in the tower split, however it is also fair to say that healing the split is something that Cadsuane is very interested in.

 

It just doesn't fit Cadsuane's MO. She doesn't gain power simply to have it, she does what she needs to to achieve her ends. No, i rather doubt that she has any tendrils in the power groups of either the Tower or the Rebels. She makes it clear her opinion of the rebellion matches Merise's.

 

And I really doubt that she is controlling Romanda--Romanda stands next highest in the Aes Sedai ranking after her, is as old as she is, and has a real taste for her own power. Besides, look at the way she reacts to Merise.

 

Quote:

'This offer comes from the Dragon Reborn?' And Cadsuane. But learning what that woman was doing in company with the Dragon Reborn was secondary. [KoD - Call to a Sitting - 494]

 

First off, thanks for the citation,and I agree that it makes it less likely that they are actively working together. Two points to mention thought. First, Romanda has a clear desire for power, something that as you point out, cadsuane does not. I think that it is Romanda's ambition that makes her a likely candidate for manipulation. Secondly, every other Aes Sedai mentioned seems to be in awe of Cadsuane. Your passage seems to imply an opposite emotion from Romanda. It could just be that Romanda is jealous, but I think it is indicative of something deeper. I think that these two have probably butted heads in the past, when was the last time we saw Cadsuane let anyone get away with defying her? If they have butted heads, then I can see Cadsuane having a dase of topdog syndrome, and trying to find a way to manipulate Romanda. Of course this is all conjecture.

 

 

And Tsutama? The idea that any Head of the Red would be taking orders, or even just be in cahoots with a Green is a little extreme, but Tsutama? This is a woman exiled for imploying a search and destroy mission that Cadsuane refers to as a vileness. Even Pevara worries that she might well be insane, and then there is the fact that it seems highly likely that she killed Sierin Vayu.

 

Obviously Cadsuane took an interest in these three sisters, if she knows enough about events to describe their actions as vileness. Do you think that a little thing like their exile would stop cadsuane from looking into them further? Do you think Cadsuane ever lets anyone go, once she's taken an interest in them? Of course, its just a hunch, its not something I feel is easily defensible.

 

No, i dont see Cadsuane having any contact with either Tower. It serves none of her purposes.

 

 

Healing the tower before TG doesn't serve her purposes? Remember this is the woman who figured out that the dragon had been reborn around the same time that Suian and Moraine did. Surely something as prominent in prophecy as, "the unstained tower will break and bend knee..." would have caught her attention. My guess is that she's known that the tower was going to split for sometime, and that she was trying to position herself to help heal it once it happened.

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Cadsuane is Demandred!!!11111!! :shock:

 

Seriously though, i have a sneaking suspicion that she will die and it'll be Rand doing the killing. I've always thought her roots may lie in the dark side of things, maybe not. She'll do something HUGE though, i think. Im just not sure what.

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Cadsuane is only 300' date=' not 400. She was born around 705 NE in Far Madding.[/quote']

 

Incorrect: She was born in 705 NE in Ghealdan, NOT Far Madding...go look it up.

 

And I am fairly sure there was mention in Crown of Swords of her being at least 400...but maybe it was just speculation...the 300 is closer probably.

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Actually no, sorry, but it is correct. Cadsuane was born in Far Madding. The entry in the aCoS glossary is wrong, though RJ maintains it was an intentional deciet since it states that she was 'believed to be from Ghealdin', and that her past is wrapped in mystery which led to her fellow Aes Sedai being misinformed about much of her past.

 

Whatever the case, Cadsuane Melaidhrin was born, and grew up, in Far Madding.

 

And no, she is 300. You yourself gave her year of birth, 705. Unless she somehow stepped outside of time for a hundred years, she is around 294 years of age.

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Okay, I've gone out on some speculative limbs here, lets bring it back to the facts, and see if there some firmer path to tread.

 

We know that Cadsuane has been gathering sisters since events in Shienar. We know that she is interested in recapturing Taim. We know that she's pissed about the tower split. We know that she's not interested in who rules what country, unless it gets in the way of her plans for Rand. We know that the sisters in Camelyn have been rumored to have said something about Cadsuane. We know that she has to teach Rand and the ashaman a lesson that they won't like.

 

Given her dislike for failure, and her claim to have not failed at anything in over 270 years it seems unlikely that she had given up on recapturing Taim or Logain. However, since she was present at the cleansing of the taint, it seems likely that her aims for these two may have shifted in its aftermath. Further, the mysterious presence of a number of sisters at the silver swan, who may have some connection to Cadsuane, seems to be a clue as well.

 

 

Also, the fact that Logain has expressed his concerns about Taim in front of Cadsuane, might play into this . We know that Cads doesn't care who's in power so long as it doesn't interfere with Rand, yet it seems from Logain's account that Taim is about to interfere with Rand in a big way. If, as has been speculated, Cadsuane has 40 sisters to add to Logain's 51, which could in turn be added to the ashaman who are in Logain's faction, then it would nicely fulfill Elaida's prophecy of the black tower being rent in fire and blood and for sisters to be walking the grounds.

 

If the question is, why is Cadsuane gathering sisters, one likely answer is to deal with the black tower.

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Actually no' date=' sorry, but it is correct. Cadsuane was born in Far Madding. The entry in the aCoS glossary is wrong, though RJ maintains it was an intentional deciet since it states that she was 'believed to be from Ghealdin', and that her past is wrapped in mystery which led to her fellow Aes Sedai being misinformed about much of her past.

 

Whatever the case, Cadsuane Melaidhrin was born, and grew up, in Far Madding.

 

And no, she is 300. You yourself gave her year of birth, 705. Unless she somehow stepped outside of time for a hundred years, she is around 294 years of age.[/quote']

 

Indeed I was wrong. I have been re-reading the series..and am now on Winter's Heart...and wouldn't you know..there was all the info with them all being in Far Madding. I stand corrected on both counts!

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Ok well first off the easiest of these. Her goal was to keep dangerous men out of the world not exactly to capture channelers. It just happened that channelers were dangerous and thats why she had them caught and gentled instead of just killing them. So with the taint cleansed she may very well not have to capture logain or taim because they are no longer really dangerous. Not in the going mad and killing ppl sense at least. 2nd off why do so many sisters just follow her. Is it because of her strength and wisdom or with living so long has she figured out old techniques such as compulsion?

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I never said she was using compulsion i said she could have learned old things such as compulsion. however just to throw something into your thought. Aes Sedai play Daes Da Mar *sorry cant spell well from memory* on a world basis instead of the city basis like the nobles. So the way she acts could be a front to hide the fact that she can do things like that, and if you are going to say someone would have noticed weaves like that then remember she could've found ways to hide those also. Many things that were lost are being found now.

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Whilst i doubt that she discovered either inverting or reversion on her, neither stop the channeling from being sensed--and i do rather assume that Aes Sedai would notice if they sensed their sister channeling, yet saw no weaves.

 

More specifically though, its at odds with her character. Cadsuane is bluntly moral in her own way. Even breaking Aleis in the way she did caused her sorrow--she did it, because it was nessasary, but it caused her sorrow.

 

No, i dont see her using compulsion or any other of the nastier weaves.

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Lol i never said it was happening though i just like to prove that things could happen no matter how small the chance seems to be there is no way to 100% disprove what i said yet and that is my only point ppl overlook the basic concept of this world that jordan has unfolded in front of us.

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