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A Memo for Moridin


RobertAlexWillis
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As a result of some long held opinions, brought to the forefront of my mind by recent discussions, I have decided on a recommendation that I think Shai'tan should have given to Moridin, as part of his "Welcome Back, Transmigration 999" package.  It is a memo, consisting of two words.

 

Kill people.

 

Moridin has the resources to create utter mayhem within the forces of the Light.  He has Cyndane and Moghedien under his pretty much complete control.  Through Shaidar Haran (who obviously would be cooperative if the Great Lord was on board), he has a considerable measure of dominance over the others as well, especially (for the purposes of this idea) Aran'gar, the saidin channeling woman.

 

Mesaana has been entrenched in the Tower for some time.  It would completely baffle me (indeed, it does completely baffle me) that some judicious raiding of the angreal stores has not gone on.  Give Cyndane and Moghedien each a decent angreal (as they are the most solidly leashed).  Then get them into inverted disguises, with their ability to channel concealed.  And then send them to kill people.  Ditto Aran'gar, except for the angreal of course, unless a male one can be found.

 

Kill Egwene.  For good measure, kill Elaida.  And kill each of their successors.  And their successors.  Knock off the influential members of both Halls.  And throw in some random sisters for spice.  If three Amyrlins, and several Ajah heads, and a couple of other key Aes Sedai all are "mysteriously" murdered, obviously with the Power, in a space of months (also, not incidentally, taking out the best leadership minds in the group) the Aes Sedai would completely fall apart.  Both factions.  The Tower would cease to exist.

 

Kill Elayne.  And if, as some have proposed, Dyelin is acclaimed queen in the streets in a parade of felicity and light, raised on the backs of the people with support flooding in from every corner of the Kingdom ... kill her too.  And whoever follows her.  Eventually, Andor is going to slide into chaos.

 

Kill Dobraine.  And Bashere.  And Darlin.  And Gregorin den Lushenos.  And Rhuarc.  And Bael.  And Han.  And Bruan.  And Timolan.  (You get the point ... non-channeling Aiel leaders.)

 

Kill Tuon.  And Galgan.  And any general who proves competent.

 

Kill Ituralde.  Kill Agelmar.  Kill Gareth Bryne.

 

Kill Easar.  Kill Tenobia.  Kill Ethenielle.  Kill Paitar.  And kill their successors.  And their successors.

 

Off the Sailmistresses, after their Windfinders.

 

Pick off some Wise Ones.

 

Anyone you don't truly control (meaning anyone who isn't a Darkfriend, like Suroth) and is in a position of leadership, kill them.

 

Work your bloody minions to the bones as assassins of anyone and everyone in power.  And laugh as everything falls to crap.

 

Avoid Rand like the plague.  Avoid the people with him like the plague.  But the moment he's not on the scene, kill whoever he left in charge, especially anyone who can't channel.

 

Try to kill Mat and Perrin, but don't risk your Aces against them, as ta'veren can do wierd things.

 

But any and everyone else?  Kill 'em.

 

Throw in the gholam for spice.

 

The Forsaken have been described as having these powers.  And they don't bloody use them!

 

If Rand and Mat and Perrin get to Tarmon Gai'don basically alone, they don't stand a chance.  Nations and groups have leaders for a reason, and if you start killing them off, and their successors, and their successors' successors, you're eventually going to get complete chaos.

 

Anyway, that's what has been underlying my thinking in recent arguments.  Have fun with it.

 

A few of additional points, in the way of trying to head of some potential objections.

 

Obviously, Cyndane, Moghedien, and Aran'gar wouldn't enjoy being used this way.  Who cares.  Have Shaidar Haran offer to rape anyone who doesn't comply.

 

This scenario also assumes that the Dark One isn't really interested in preserving anything from before his arrival.  If RJ comes up with some amazing reason that Moridin needs to keep all these people alive, and just manipulate them, (and by needs I mean that if they die, the Dark One automatically loses), then obviously, my idea is crap.  But I just can't see that scenario.

 

Yes, Moghedien probably wan't available under leash immediately upon Moridin's return.  Cyndane probably followed him pretty closely though, and Aran'gar preceded him.  The plan could have been started with Aran'gar, and Cyndane and Moghedien added as they became available.  And other Forsaken could be given intermittent assignments via Shaidar Haran as well.

 

I am fully aware that if this happened, we wouldn't get a good story.  Obviously, RJ was not going to let the bad guys win.  What I am proposing is what I think hypothetically could have been done, with the abilities that the Forsaken have been described as having.

 

I am also aware that some of them could eventually get caught ... although only if they were sloppy.  So?  Moridin isn't exactly attached to them emotionally.  If you can't replace them, stuff them into a new body.  Very few of the targets described are capable of producing balefire, fewer know it, and fewer still are willing and ready to use it on a moment's notice.

 

Some of the people giving them problems, the Shadow has no way of knowing about, or finding.  Or they are in close proximity to Rand, or they are dangerous targets in their own right.  Thats why names like Verin, Cadsuane, and Logain did not appear on the lists above.  I tried to limit the list to people the Shadow should be aware of, be able to locate, and be able to kill.

 

Our heroes are their enemies.  Just bloody kill your flaming enemy!  Its a pretty basic rule of warfare.

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I got to thinking during KoD that something had been passed down like that, just maybe not to such an extent. They seem to be trying to finally pick of the ta'veren, as evidenced by Mat's encounter at the 'hell.' As such though, they have much more powerful weapons at hand than have been brought to bear. In the war of Power, they ruled with iron fists, scaring and torturing people into submission. They may not have the numbers they had then, but surely they could get something going in that direction.

 

Anyways, I've had the same thought for a while. For bad guys, they have a serious perservation issue. They'll kill individuals remorselessly, but seem to be trying to save the groups.

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Mostly agree, but the order is out to kill Mat and Perrin. They haven't been very successful to date.

The Forsaken might have those powers, but their networks aren't very large, and the darkfriend talent pool seems to be rather shallow. The Forsaken haven't been free long enough to learn and master the networks of darkfriends available to them, either. I would say that the forces of the DO have as much trouble communicating as the forces of Light.

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They'll kill individuals remorselessly, but seem to be trying to save the groups.

 

Thats the things that really gets under my skin.  They don't even seem to go after that many individuals!  Herid Fel.  Barthanes Damodred.  A couple of pathetic attempts on Bashere's wife and Dobraine, which could have been incidental to finding the seals or just plain misdirection ...

 

Ishamael apparently knew, to a certain extent, the importance of Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve as early as The Great Hunt.  Did he kill them?  No.  He hatches an elaborate scheme to get them taken to Seanchan.

 

The one time he DID finally decide to kill Rand, the moron waited until he had Callandor all but in hand.

 

Some of the others have had similar issues.  How many times did Lanfear come across Egwene, either in Tel'aran'rhiod or in the Tower, and do nothing (except set up unnecessarily elaborate plots).

 

Mostly agree, but the order is out to kill Mat and Perrin. They haven't been very successful to date.

 

A case of too little, too late.  Besides, as I hope I made clear, the main thrust of the idea is leave the big three alone, and simply remove all their support.

 

The Forsaken might have those powers, but their networks aren't very large, and the darkfriend talent pool seems to be rather shallow. The Forsaken haven't been free long enough to learn and master the networks of darkfriends available to them, either. I would say that the forces of the DO have as much trouble communicating as the forces of Light.

 

Actually, the one thing the Forsaken seem to be good at is getting information.  They've demonstrated an awareness of the location of most of these people (many of whom are quite public figures).

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I fully agree here. For people who can hide their appearance and pass off as someone else, people who can hide their ability to channel, people who can Travel, the Forsaken should be able to throw the world into chaos. They can walk up to virtually anyone, (Egwene, Elayne...) and kill them, and walk away unnoticed.

 

Lanfear used to stroll around the Tower, and nobody noticed. Moghedien travelled with Nynaeve and Elayne, and they never had a clue. Asmodean travelled with Rand, and though he had suspicions, he had not considered Asmodean specifically, rather, Kadere.

 

Avoid Rand, Mat and Perrin, but kick their legs from under them, and they will eventually fall, and the world with them. What better way to assure the Dark One's victory? 

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You know I disagree with a lot of your position, so i wont rehash that.

 

That being said there is one singular long running issue with your suggestion. Specifically if the shadow did such a think, it stands as much chance of uniting the Light as shattering it. You kill every great leader in the world, and people will stop to think "Hmm... maybe we shouldn't squable amongst ourselves. Maybe we should deal with the big bad that is all our enemies."

 

However stupid humanity may be, when confronted by a serious total enemy, we tend to act. And no matter if you kill every single great leader, there will be someone to step up if the situation demands it.

 

Beyond which you seem to assume the shadow capable of such a campeign. Once leaders start dropping like flies, people would act. Especially people with access to channelers. If you think the shadow simply capable of walking into a perpared channeling defence system and wining out of hand, your wrong--as proved by the Cleansing.

 

Sure, i dont doubt they would off a fair few before people learnt the lesson, closed ranks and placed a strong guard around their leader. Yet it would happen, and then the Shadow would be in a bad way, because every lightboung mind would be aware of their danger.

 

Frankly, I guess what i am saying is that i can think of nothing more detrimental for the Shadow than what you suggest.

 

That being said, if i were in charge of the shadow I WOULD seek currently to kill as many leaders as possible, yet i would coincide it with invasion. But then, its not so simple as that Rand is beyond their reach, and Mat and Perrin seemingly have no traitors directly close to them. Elayne is surrounded by channelers. The Wise Ones make the Aiel positions strong, and elsewhere power is either too diluted, or else protected by channelers.

 

So yeah... kinda implausible as a suggestion.

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The object of war is to kill your enemy.  There is no "sanitized" or "political" way of fighting a war. 

 

Stalin, brutal as he was, summed the concept up very nicely: “Death solves all problems - no man, no problem.”

 

Of course, that goes for reality, and even now people try to fight a political war, not unleashing every means at their disposal to achieve victory.  Fiction requires a certain idiocy in terms of the "bad guys'" decisions.  Like when the main villian leaves right before the hero gets chopped by a laser or something, giving the hero the needed 3 seconds to escape, or when they shoot Batman in the chest, where he has tons of body armor, instead of in the face, etc. etc. 

 

If the villians did what they should, the "good guys" would get whiped out every time. 

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Beyond which you seem to assume the shadow capable of such a campeign. Once leaders start dropping like flies, people would act. Especially people with access to channelers. If you think the shadow simply capable of walking into a perpared channeling defence system and wining out of hand, your wrong--as proved by the Cleansing.

 

At the cleansing they were prepared, not to mention that there were more of the others than the Forsaken. The key here is to take them by surprise. The Aiel guard Rand tightly, but I do remember Lanfear somehow managing to get past them and shielding Rand. Had she wanted to kill him, he would have been dead meet.

 

Elayne has a Darkfriend in her surroundings. Imagine if he was capable of channeling?

 

Halima anyone?

 

Sure, i dont doubt they would off a fair few before people learnt the lesson, closed ranks and placed a strong guard around their leader. Yet it would happen, and then the Shadow would be in a bad way, because every lightboung mind would be aware of their danger.

 

I somehow don't see how a strong guard--however strong it is--could maintain a 24/7/365 vigilance. Unless they slept in the same rooms as those leaders. I remember a few instances of people travelling right within the room where the person they want is. Scary.

 

Of course, that goes for reality, and even now people try to fight a political war, not unleashing every means at their disposal to achieve victory.  Fiction requires a certain idiocy in terms of the "bad guys'" decisions.  Like when the main villian leaves right before the hero gets chopped by a laser or something, giving the hero the needed 3 seconds to escape, or when they shoot Batman in the chest, where he has tons of body armor, instead of in the face, etc. etc.

 

That always gets me ;D If I were to shoot, I would aim for the head, rather than the chest, and I would not make mindless and stupid speeches before I terminated them, but just that me. As you say, vilains in fiction have some degree of stupidity (that the good guys don't have, of course).

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At the cleansing they were prepared, not to mention that there were more of the others than the Forsaken. The key here is to take them by surprise. The Aiel guard Rand tightly, but I do remember Lanfear somehow managing to get past them and shielding Rand. Had she wanted to kill him, he would have been dead meet.

 

The Aiel did not guard Rand anywhere near as tightly as he is with his current coterie. Besides, the point was that the Forsaken do not have free reign. People will not simple fall over dead because they wish it, and their resources do not enable them to assasinate anyone they want.

 

Such a campeign as is described is simply beyond their means.

 

I somehow don't see how a strong guard--however strong it is--could maintain a 24/7/365 vigilance. Unless they slept in the same rooms as those leaders. I remember a few instances of people travelling right within the room where the person they want is. Scary.

 

The fact that you can't see it is irrelevant. Structured shifts of channelers could sustain a defence more than capable of repulsing the Forsaken and their minions, and the practice of having bodyguards standing at the foot of a leaders bed is more than common throughout history.

 

As I said, a few modern leaders would fall, and then some individual with some degree of practicality would step forward and organise things, and others would follow suite. Once that occurs the Forsaken do not have the ability to casually kill those leaders, and the light is left preternaturally aware of the threat of the shadow. End game; such an act is detrimental to the Shadows purpose.

 

 

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Mesaana has been entrenched in the Tower for some time.  It would completely baffle me (indeed, it does completely baffle me) that some judicious raiding of the angreal stores has not gone on.

 

Mesaana explained that the first time she showed up; the Tower storeroom is warded and double-warded and triple-warded, with guards sitting on top of it to boot. So is the Great Hold in the Stone.

 

Luckers kind of has the right idea here. The Shadow is so outnumbered it isn't funny. Practically every large-scale usage of Trollocs in the books has seen them obliterated in the thousands. The last thing they need to be doing is calling attention to themselves before they're ready, giving the world a common enemy. Nobody is giving any thought to the Shadow, and that's good for them. It's easier to take down a bunch of fractured, squabbling countries than it is to take down a world, and assasinations get harder and harder with each attempt. Or at least, they do if the people being assassinated have any sort of sense. Yes, in the fate-based scheme of things it would have been a very good idea to nuke the key players early, but keep in mind that Rand, Egwene, and Perrin, at least, have made a pretty thick mess of the world on their own, more tempestuous than it had been before they got involved.

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I agree that had they could have killed a bunch of people. The thing I think about is that the Forsaken aren't going to go do the dirty work themselves. They'll send Gray Men, Drakghar, Myddraal, and darkfriends. Now you mention later on with Moridin trusting Cyndane and Mogheiden, and Shadar Haran getting the others into gear, it's possible that they could kill a bunch of people, but basically any of the main cast(outside of Rand, Mat, and Perrin) would be impossible to get to or kill, for various reasons. Mainly, they've just waited to long, it's not so easy anymore.

 

That's the impression I get anyway.

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It would seem that the DO is the inept leader here.  Moridin might be at the top of the totem pole as far as forsaken go, but he can't even command shaidar.  I think you're absolutely right the shadow has been wasting time, while Rand's armies grow ever more powerful.  The DO is the worst angry bad evil demi-god/god vilian ever... and this is why Rand is going to kick his *beep beep*

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the same people who destroyed the eutopian society flinch at killing a few generals or even rand who they know is an eminant threat to thier wellbeing? it seems that all that time spent that ish was trying to convert the dragon, when he could have been, at the very least, cutting his whole support system out from under him. he should have started with moiraine and lan. rand would have likely have drifted into channeling alone and unaided, the reds would have found and gentled him.taim would end up being the dragon by process of elimination.

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That being said there is one singular long running issue with your suggestion. Specifically if the shadow did such a think, it stands as much chance of uniting the Light as shattering it. You kill every great leader in the world, and people will stop to think "Hmm... maybe we shouldn't squable amongst ourselves. Maybe we should deal with the big bad that is all our enemies."

 

I'm sorry ... if every person they start to unite under gets killed, who is going to lead them?  Are they all going to stay in Rand's immediate presence, all the time?

 

Also, if the killings are happening the way I describe, they're going to be looking at each other to see who is responsible as much as anyone else.

 

Your idea that they would all decide to suddenly behave in a rational manner is almost ludicrously optimistic to me.

 

However stupid humanity may be, when confronted by a serious total enemy, we tend to act. And no matter if you kill every single great leader, there will be someone to step up if the situation demands it.

 

Not if you kill that person, every time a new one steps up.

 

Beyond which you seem to assume the shadow capable of such a campeign. Once leaders start dropping like flies, people would act. Especially people with access to channelers. If you think the shadow simply capable of walking into a perpared channeling defence system and wining out of hand, your wrong--as proved by the Cleansing.

 

There is absolutely no way that the forces of Light can maintain a defence as strong as the one at the Cleansing, over every leader it would need to protect, at all times.  There's no way the forces of Light could maintain that strong a defence over one person, at all times.  Besides, most of the people at the Cleasing were specifically cited on my avoid list.  The Shadow doesn't need to kill the heavily defended targets.  Just kill alot of the vulnerable ones.  There is no way that Rand can possibly defend all the people he needs, all the time.  And anytime he does expose himself to protect someone else, take a potshot at him.  From a distance.

 

Besides which, the Tower is supposedly the most effectively warded permanent structure, and the Forsaken have been playing there from the beginning.  And most of the targets on the list I made do not live in places like that.

 

And none of the Forsaken have used the tactics I suggested, or gone after 95 percent of the people I named.  All of the public figures could be killed from hundreds of yards away, with ZERO evidence of what caused it.  That includes Aiel clan chiefs, unless they become recluses.  Even people like Elayne could be done away with easily.  To demonstrate how easy it would be, let me propose a scenario.

 

Cyndane, wearing an angreal, her ability to channel concealed, finds Reene Harfor (or, for kicks, Halwin Norry) in a moment when she's (or he's) alone.  Kills her with a reversed weave, and disposes of the body with another.  Assumes her guise with another reversed weave, and then finds Elayne and requests an urgent, private audience.  When they are alone, she kills Elayne with another reversed weave, disposes of the body, and leaves the room by gateway.

 

Elayne would not be expecting an attack of any kind, much less one using the Power from a woman she knows cannot channel and from whom she can feel nothing.

 

All anyone would know is, Reene Harfor and Elayne Trakand have both dissapeared without a trace.  Unless Aviendha was immediately on hand to read residues, they wouldn't even know that channeling or the Shadow was involved.  They could guess, but there would be uncertainty.

 

People could be beheaded from a distance by no discernable force.  Or their hearts could simply stop.  Trusted servants could be Compelled to stab them in their sleep (and then suicide, so the Compelling is not traceable, assuming a channeler who knows how is remotely close to the scene), representatives of rival nations or organizations be given access to do the same.  Under the right circumstances, balefire would be judiciously employed.  Slayer's skills and talents would be put to much better use.  As would the gholam's, if channeling defenders are near.  Rivals could be framed, witnesses carefully coached, or no evidence left at all.  The variety of killings would add to the chaos as much as the number of killings.  Who is responsible?  Is it all the Shadow?  People would be watching their neighbors as hard as anyone else.

 

And how effective would Rand be if everyone he trusted to serve him at all was killed as soon as they were out of his sight?  If Elayne was killed?  Aviendha?  He basically went insane when Aviendha was killed, but he could focus his insanity because he knew exactly who did it, and exactly where that person was.  What if he didn't know who or where or how?

 

They would have Rand running around like a madman (haha) trying to patch things back together, to secure the loyalty of new leaders (who would be dead as soon as he moved on).  In all that, his own security would be compromised as well.  All assuming he didn't go truly mad, and become as dangerous to his own people as the Shadow.

 

The world wouldn't even know it was the Shadow most of the time.  And by the time they did, the Trollocs could be rampaging south.  I have no problem with an invasion as the finishing touch.  But the preparation could be so, so much more extensive.  There would be no way that "The north and the east" could "be as one".  Much less the "south and the west", or the two together.

 

It would not cause everyone to just "band together".  You claim that such a campaign would cause every "every lightboun[d] mind would [to] be aware of their danger."  The idea that they would all band together does not necessarily follow.  There are plenty of factions right now who are all very aware of their danger, and even its source.  Yet even close childhood friends can't always agree on how to handle it.  People are perfectly capable of maintaining absurdity until they're dead.  And people's opinions are more often hardened by crisis.

 

Possibly ... possibly they would band together eventually.  But there's no reason the Shadow has to give them even close to enough time.  And it would still take lots of time.  Heck, with communication delays, it wouldn't even be known that come of the people were dead, in some areas, for months.  Much less that their successor, and their successors' successor, had bitten it too.

 

You say that "However stupid humanity may be, when confronted by a serious total enemy, we tend to act."  Would you care to give an example?  When has humanity ever faced an enemy remotely like the Dark One, or the Forsaken, who could carry out massive leadership assassinations on the scale I've proposed?

 

RJ himself has said that it was only their mutual mistrust and unwillingness to work together that caused the Forsaken to fail at the Cleansing, when Rand had pretty much the best protection the world has to offer.

 

There has never been, in the history of the real world, a small group of people with as much personal, concentrated power and skill as the Forsaken could represent, together.  The Light is bloody lucky they don't have their act together.

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I couldn't agree more with RAW. Look how easily Sammael, Rahvin and Be'lal were able to move within the highest circles of power in their target countries. They could have bumped off anyone they chose. Even without the Forsaken, judicious use of Gray Men could wipe out most national leaders, and imagine if the gholam was let loose inside the Tower..? Even if the AS eventually found a way to neutralise it, think how much damage it could achieve. For that matter, Shaidar Haran alone could prove a pretty effective assassin - if Mesaana couldn't stand up to him, what chance anyone else?

 

As for the Forsaken leaving it too late to start acting - in one sense, it's actually easier, now that the good guys have discovered travelling. In RAW's earlier example, where Elayne mysteriously vanishes - people would think she'd just Travelled somewhere, rather than immediately looking for murder suspects. (Galina benefited from just that supposition, in fact.)

 

It would be nice once, just once, to see a couple of the Forsaken working sensibly together, or indeed, just sensibly. Ah well. At least Taim, of the bad guys, doesn't seem to have put a foot wrong (yet...)

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As another example,

 

 

*spoiler*

 

 

Semirhage massacred the entire Seanchan royal family (except Tuon, of course), and threw the whole empire into chaos. It stands to reason--in my view--that the Empress had damane and members of the Deathguards (I believe that's what they are called) protecting her, yet somehow Semirhage got past them to do the deed. This is but an indication of what the Forsaken could accomplish if they put their mind to it.

 

I don't want to derail the thread, but could someone refer me to a thread/explanation that makes it clear that Shaidar Haran commands Moridin?

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I'm sorry ... if every person they start to unite under gets killed, who is going to lead them?  Are they all going to stay in Rand's immediate presence, all the time?

 

Also, if the killings are happening the way I describe, they're going to be looking at each other to see who is responsible as much as anyone else.

 

Your idea that they would all decide to suddenly behave in a rational manner is almost ludicrously optimistic to me.

 

The issue is that the killing could not happen the way you describe, and therefore everyone they united under would not die. The modern channeling organisations are mostly arrogant, but you kill their leaders through channeling and they step forward. Suddenly the Amyrlin has Aes Sedai guarding her, much as Rand has gained such, and so forth.

 

And it is not optimistic. Do you really think that if everyones leaders started falling dead they would not start placing more powerful guards around their new leaders, that they would not start looking for how was killing them, and that in percieving the Shadow is such personal terms would not abet them banding together. Please.

 

Not if you kill that person, every time a new one steps up.

 

Yes, because the Shadow has a magic 'death' button, that kills whomever they want.

 

The ability to man such a campeign is beyond the Shadow's resources. As things stand pretty much every leader besides Rand is open to channeling attack because they arn't concidering it as a possibility. The instant it starts happening is the instant they start guarding against it, and the Shadow does not have the strength to barge through such defences. Sorry.

 

There is absolutely no way that the forces of Light can maintain a defence as strong as the one at the Cleansing, over every leader it would need to protect, at all times.  There's no way the forces of Light could maintain that strong a defence over one person, at all times.  Besides, most of the people at the Cleasing were specifically cited on my avoid list.  The Shadow doesn't need to kill the heavily defended targets.  Just kill alot of the vulnerable ones.  There is no way that Rand can possibly defend all the people he needs, all the time.  And anytime he does expose himself to protect someone else, take a potshot at him.  From a distance.

 

As things stand. If it starts happening you watch them fall in line. The new Amyrlin, the Aiel leaders, the commanders under Rand, Rand himself... they all have more than enough channelers to man a defence against what you suggest.

 

Beyond that, though, what on earth makes you think maintaining a deference like that at the Cleansing would occur? You might as well say "Well, every leader doesn have the entire strength of the light behind them, therefore obviously they could never have bodyguards prepared to deal with channeling assaults".

 

Besides which, the Tower is supposedly the most effectively warded permanent structure, and the Forsaken have been playing there from the beginning.  And most of the targets on the list I made do not live in places like that.

 

Please. The Tower is pathetically weak. Moreover, i dont believe it was ever suggested to be warded against channeling attack. It's warded against ravens and rats. Does that mean it can't be made strong? The instant open attacks occur the Aes Sedai would percieve the threats that in their arrogance they have been ignoring.

 

And none of the Forsaken have used the tactics I suggested, or gone after 95 percent of the people I named.  All of the public figures could be killed from hundreds of yards away, with ZERO evidence of what caused it.  That includes Aiel clan chiefs, unless they become recluses.  Even people like Elayne could be done away with easily.  To demonstrate how easy it would be, let me propose a scenario.

 

Yes, as i said, a couple would die. Then people would go 'oh, I never concidered that threat. I'd best guard against it. Hell, maybe i should become a recluse.'

 

Don't you see how you admitted the redundancy of your argument in that comment? The first attacks will work because no one is guarding against them, but once they happen people WILL be more wary, and in societies like the Aiel, the Aes Sedai and so forth, new leaders will step forward.

 

People could be beheaded from a distance by no discernable force.  Or their hearts could simply stop.  Trusted servants could be Compelled to stab them in their sleep (and then suicide, so the Compelling is not traceable, assuming a channeler who knows how is remotely close to the scene), representatives of rival nations or organizations be given access to do the same.  Under the right circumstances, balefire would be judiciously employed.  Slayer's skills and talents would be put to much better use.  As would the gholam's, if channeling defenders are near.  Rivals could be framed, witnesses carefully coached, or no evidence left at all.  The variety of killings would add to the chaos as much as the number of killings.  Who is responsible?  Is it all the Shadow?  People would be watching their neighbors as hard as anyone else.

 

Yes. And people would die. And new leaders would rise. And they would be absolutely aware of the threat of the shadow. And thus the shadow loses ground.

 

What is your point?

 

You say that "However stupid humanity may be, when confronted by a serious total enemy, we tend to act."  Would you care to give an example?  When has humanity ever faced an enemy remotely like the Dark One, or the Forsaken, who could carry out massive leadership assassinations on the scale I've proposed?

 

I never said that hummanity has faced the Dark One or the Forsaken (though as a christian i would think that you would think that we had). I said that in the face of a serious enemy, we tend to act, that when faced with a mutual foe, we ignore our differences and band together.

 

Now do you really want me to list all the defensive alliances? Better yet, why don't you do it. You know history better than i do.

 

I'm sorry, but a) the forsaken do not have the capabilities to carry out the campeign you describe, and b) such a campeign has the serious risk of arousing the Light unilaterally against the Shadow.

 

Much safer to intentionally seed dissent.

 

Semirhage massacred the entire Seanchan royal family (except Tuon, of course), and threw the whole empire into chaos. It stands to reason--in my view--that the Empress had damane and members of the Deathguards (I believe that's what they are called) protecting her, yet somehow Semirhage got past them to do the deed. This is but an indication of what the Forsaken could accomplish if they put their mind to it.

 

Aye. And I doubt Tuon will be an easy target because of it. Moreover, because of it she will directly recognise and focus herself on the threat of the Shadow (after she learns it was Semirhage, naturally).

 

That, right there, is my point. Thank you for stating it.

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The issue is that the killing could not happen the way you describe, and therefore everyone they united under would not die.

 

Why?  What defenses do the targets I named have against the tactics I proposed.  Be specific, please.

 

"Well, every leader doesn have the entire strength of the light behind them, therefore obviously they could never have bodyguards prepared to deal with channeling assaults".

 

Exactly what preparations do they have against the tactics I described?

 

Please. The Tower is pathetically weak.

 

I agree.  Name a place that is stronger, against attacks of the Power?

 

Yes. And people would die. And new leaders would rise. And they would be absolutely aware of the threat of the shadow. And thus the shadow loses ground.

 

What is your point?

 

My point is that the process of "new leaders would rise" takes time, and creates chaos.  Much more time than it takes to kill those leaders.  Effective leadership is not an infinite resource.

 

Yes, as i said, a couple would die. Then people would go 'oh, I never concidered that threat. I'd best guard against it. Hell, maybe i should become a recluse.'

 

How, exactly, would they guard against the tactics I described?  How would they even know that becoming a recluse would be a moderately effective defense?

 

Incidentally, becoming a recluse would also seriously hamper their leadership capacity.

 

Aye. And I doubt Tuon will be an easy target because of it. Moreover, because of it she will directly recognise and focus herself on the threat of the Shadow (after she learns it was Semirhage, naturally).

 

That, right there, is my point. Thank you for stating it.

 

And if the Shadow was following my tactics, Semirhage would have killed her Tuon before news arrived of the massacre, and Tuon even knew there was a threat.  And her successor would have been Suroth, especially if Galgan were killed as well.

 

What steps, exactly, would Tuon, Tuon's damane, or the Deathguard Watch take against the tactics I've described?  I've been very specific in my choice of tactics (the first half of which Semirhage employed with full effectiveness as Anath Dorje for quite some time).  Prescribe an effective defense, please.

 

Currently, exactly three people have an effective defense.  Matrim Cauthon, Nynaeve al'Meara, and Cadsuane Melaidhrin.  None of them knows how to replicate it, and all are specifically on my avoid list.  And the person most likely to find a way to replicate their defense is one of the first I propose killing.

 

Reversed weaves are supposedly undetectable.  Those weaves would be undetectably coming from persons who can appear to be anyone, and who do not appear to be able to channel.

 

Also, are you genuinely saying that Rand can win without Egwene, Elayne, etc, who would be gone in the first round?  Ishamael and the Pattern sure don't seem to think so (see Falme).

 

Min's assessment of losing just Dobraine, Bashere, Logain is that could set Rand back a year.  Losing a half a dozen rulers?  Or all of his Stewards?  Even two rounds of killings (the initial list, and one set of successors) would destroy Rand's chances completely.  Even just the first round probably would.

 

And every time a ruler dies, the Shadow has a chance to set one of its own up as a replacement.  Or simply take control of a replacement.

 

Killing leadership in hierarchical systems creates chaos.  And nothing I've proposed is outside the realm of what we've seen the Forsaken do.

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I couldn't agree more with RAW and have been thinking the same thing for a long time in the books.  The schemes that the forsaken go through to spread chaos are feeble and useless compared to the ease with which they could decimate the light.  simple, quiet, effective assassinations and/or replacements with compelled rulers in their place would destroy the light's ability to function.

 

For example, Tuon is somewhat forewarned that someone is after her.  She has an army, personal bodyguards, damane coming out of her ears and is still so very vunerable.  Would it be so hard to meet with the head of her bodyguard (or her maid) and compel them to kill her?  Or, have one of the men kill and impersonate a person of the minor blood and then, during an audience, just stop her heart with Saidin.  Then, compel the 2nd in command (I forget the general's name) to take over and the shadow now runs the seanchan through a proxy (no need to even stick your neck out as the ruler like Rahvin, Bel'al).

 

The combinations of Compulsion to turn bodyguards into assassins, inverted disguises to impersonate people, and just overwhelming power against non-channelers (think lanfear against an entire dock full of maidens in cairhein) are incredibly powerful weapons.  There is no effective defense against this that the light could muster.

 

Frankly, to cause chaos would not take all that much and you can hide it so it does not even look like the shadow except to the Aes sedai or someone who already believes in the shadow.  By doing it with compulsion or doing away with the bodies so that people just disappear, people will assume it is all just bad coincidences and part of the chaos or that they person is hiding (a la rand/tuon's disappearances).  How do you rally around Dobraine being poisoned by his food taster, the guy in tear having a heart attack, Rhuarc getting killed in a training accident by another spear, Elayne disappearing but leaving a note that she was on a mission for Andor with Dyelin, all the borderland rulers just getting wiped out in the camps with no one left to tell the tale, and tuon choking on a pretzel, and for fun, someone described as Rand goes into a meeting of all the other Aiel clan chiefs and uses the power to cut their heads off and float them into the air because he thought it would be fun.

 

Even when the 2nd or 3rd rounds of killings took place (and that would take a LOT of time to figure out the next ruler in each case - just look how many pages I had to read about the Elayne succession), it would be hard to say "it's the shadow" without being a conspiracy theorist.  By that time, you can have your proxies under compulsion running things nicely in each place.

 

There is no defense if the forsaken were not idiots.

 

 

 

 

 

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RAW

 

I am not saying that you are exactly correct, but I have often pondered along similar lines.    For the longest time the only consolidation that I could find was that BOTH the forces for the Light and the forces for the Dark both seemed to be equally inept.

 

 

Lately though, I have thought of something else.   It might not really matter.   The system is rigged.    The DO can't ever really get out.    No matter what happens, the Pattern will compensate to prevent it.

 

 

If the dark kills too many people now, it is just stacking the deck against itself.   Creating more bodies that can be called on by the "Horn".   Look how much more powerful individuals are when they are called on by the "Horn".     First off, they are all more knowledgeable - the knowledge of ALL their past lives.     Second, they are all fighting coherently in the same direction - Same Uniform Goal against the Dark.   Third, they are superhuman.   Look at Briggett at Falme, with her bow she was able to shoot for approximately 2 miles and sank ships with a single arrow.

 

Even relatively ordinary "Heroes" brought back with all their previous knowledge and skills would be super human.

 

Then add in the fact that the Pattern can generate "tavern" in whatever quantity it takes to "get the job done".

 

 

Not really disagreeing, just providing some points to ponder.

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Why?  What defenses do the targets I named have against the tactics I proposed.  Be specific, please.

 

What defenses do they HAVE? None.

 

You know what is helpful? Reading. Reading is helpful.

 

Exactly what preparations do they have against the tactics I described?

 

What preperations do they have? None.

 

Reading. It's helpful.

 

I agree.  Name a place that is stronger, against attacks of the Power?

 

Wherever Rand is, for one. But again, i dont see and significance to this point. None of the modern channeling organisations have dealt with real channeling threats, so yeah... bit confused.

 

My point is that the process of "new leaders would rise" takes time, and creates chaos.  Much more time than it takes to kill those leaders.  Effective leadership is not an infinite resource.

 

Yeah, mate, it is. Thousands of people bare the relative intelligence required to lead successfully, the issue is whether they are put in a position when they must. More specifically, it doesnt take any time under such threat. It starts with individuals doing whats nessasary, and moves from there... oh, they wont be organised in the groups previously realised, but even in the sack of Rome it occured.

 

How, exactly, would they guard against the tactics I described?  How would they even know that becoming a recluse would be a moderately effective defense?

 

Incidentally, becoming a recluse would also seriously hamper their leadership capacity.

 

How would they currently guard against it... Readi... *sigh*

 

The wouldn't. Upon encountering it, they would. Doesn't take much to set up a channeling guard. Doesn't take much initiative to create shields whenever the leader is in public. Doesn't take much to moniter servants,

 

Moreover, being a recluse has served countless leaders when dealing with a better provisioned foe. In fact, its served as the most pointed weapon in the arsenal of a resistance fighter.

 

And if the Shadow was following my tactics, Semirhage would have killed her Tuon before news arrived of the massacre, and Tuon even knew there was a threat.  And her successor would have been Suroth, especially if Galgan were killed as well.

 

Semirhage didn't know where Tuon was. How, precisely, could she kill her?

 

What steps, exactly, would Tuon, Tuon's damane, or the Deathguard Watch take against the tactics I've described?  I've been very specific in my choice of tactics (the first half of which Semirhage employed with full effectiveness as Anath Dorje for quite some time).  Prescribe an effective defense, please.

 

Hmm. Shielding all who came into her presence, leashing all women around her. Seems damned effective to me.

 

Moreover despite having done such, i dont have to prescribe an effective defense because the Shadow cannot pull of the majority of what you describe.

 

Currently, exactly three people have an effective defense.  Matrim Cauthon, Nynaeve al'Meara, and Cadsuane Melaidhrin.  None of them knows how to replicate it, and all are specifically on my avoid list.  And the person most likely to find a way to replicate their defense is one of the first I propose killing.

 

Because of their ter'angreal? Mate, lol. Thousands of people did just fine without those toys, and just as adequately continue to do so. Sorry.

 

Reversed weaves are supposedly undetectable.  Those weaves would be undetectably coming from persons who can appear to be anyone, and who do not appear to be able to channel.

 

Reversed weaves are not undectectable, they come with the sensation of channeling. Sorry mate.

 

Also, are you genuinely saying that Rand can win without Egwene, Elayne, etc, who would be gone in the first round?  Ishamael and the Pattern sure don't seem to think so (see Falme).

 

Yes, i am. It would be a much longer, nastier fight. But yes, i am. And mate, you have no basis for your claim. ishamael at best concidered them prespective threats, not indisposable, and the pattern didn't even dilever that.

 

Min's assessment of losing just Dobraine, Bashere, Logain is that could set Rand back a year.  Losing a half a dozen rulers?  Or all of his Stewards?  Even two rounds of killings (the initial list, and one set of successors) would destroy Rand's chances completely.  Even just the first round probably would

 

Min states the loss of individuals would be detrimental to the cause... so what? In what way is that a position against my argument?

 

As for the rest of that. I disagree. There are thousands of capable people who would step forward to replace the lost, and ho would step forward with adequate protection.

 

Killing leadership in hierarchical systems creates chaos.  And nothing I've proposed is outside the realm of what we've seen the Forsaken do.

 

No, you just ignore what their enemies do in reaction.

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The wouldn't. Upon encountering it, they would. Doesn't take much to set up a channeling guard. Doesn't take much initiative to create shields whenever the leader is in public. Doesn't take much to moniter servants,

 

I think you are ignoring or overly discounting the chaos that compulsion can cause.  Simply compel the bodyguards, the cooks, the food tasters, the pretty little slaves, the suldam, etc (unless they too get a channeling guard).  Heck, rahvin had an aes sedai compelled, so go ahead and compel them too.  Historical analogies don't work well because in our world you can't convince die hard loyalists for the other side to suddenly be willing to die for your side.  with that power, you can assassinate too effectively even against a hardened target.

 

Finally, even Tuon has not done what you suggest.  She knows her family was slaughtered and has to figure out it was the shadow that did it (she is fairly intelligent), but could have been easily killed during that last scene with suroth by a male channeler in the room (and had it look like an accident too) or by a compelled head of her bodyguard whom she trusts completely.

 

And, properly done as I said above, the channelling guards would not go up for a long time because it would all be accidents or missing people or seemingly the work of another faction.

 

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You have to get up pretty early in the morning to do more arm-chair quarterbacking than me ;)

 

In this instance I think there's a money quote from Demandred: LoC when he's spying on the girls in TaR, he thinks to himself about how he wished it were different and he'd be free to whack people (starting with Rand). Obviously put a bit more poetically than my paraphrasing. Also Mesaana on the plan Dem describes, it's risky but can give them everything.

 

To put another way, the shadow isn't a Tywin Lannister or Randyll Tarly (Tarly would have had things wrapped up for a Shadow victory by the first half of EotW lol). The shadow has to worry about the Wheel and tavaran popping up for example.

 

Anyway, it's an explanation I hope we get in AMoL, and that it's not a lame explanation. Like I've said before, we're on pretty shaky ground trying to figure out a lot of the specific whys about what the Shadow does (outside of the things that often make their plans go awry like hubris).

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Even when the 2nd or 3rd rounds of killings took place (and that would take a LOT of time to figure out the next ruler in each case - just look how many pages I had to read about the Elayne succession), it would be hard to say "it's the shadow" without being a conspiracy theorist.  By that time, you can have your proxies under compulsion running things nicely in each place.

 

First of all, most likely Rand would place someone to rule as a steward. That'll take about an hour.

 

Second, everyone will think it's the shadow, the people of Randland are seriously paranoid. Any Cities but Illian and Tear would probably clue in and start agreeing that it is the Dark One's work. Cairheinens wouldn't even go after leaders like you're suggesting.

 

I think you are ignoring or overly discounting the chaos that compulsion can cause.  Simply compel the bodyguards, the cooks, the food tasters, the pretty little slaves, the suldam, etc (unless they too get a channeling guard).  Heck, rahvin had an aes sedai compelled, so go ahead and compel them too.  Historical analogies don't work well because in our world you can't convince die hard loyalists for the other side to suddenly be willing to die for your side.  with that power, you can assassinate too effectively even against a hardened target.

 

It's always easier to look at things from an outside perspective. I'd love to see see Greandal and Moggy just going around to every city everyday and just compelling all the cooks and servants. You honestly think they would do that?(Maybe Moggy now just because she would have too). As far as I know they were are the two best Forsaken at Compulsion, Rahvin is dead. Some people are better at some weaves than others, that's how it works, right? Why would you send Forsaken that have no skill in it to try and Compell people? Just wouldn't work. They might be able to pull off something like Liandrin did, of course I'm just guessing because we haven't seen any of the other Forsaken really use Compulsion. Which brings me to my next point.

 

They all have their different strengths and strategies, how they like to execute a plan of action, what they are best at. Like I said above, there are probably only two Forsaken who could pull off just sitting around Compelling entire palaces, and neither would want to be sent to do such a menial task.

 

 

Min's assessment of losing just Dobraine, Bashere, Logain is that could set Rand back a year.  Losing a half a dozen rulers?  Or all of his Stewards?  Even two rounds of killings (the initial list, and one set of successors) would destroy Rand's chances completely.  Even just the first round probably would.

 

I don't think losing rulers would really hurt Rand's chances. Dobraine is probably the exception. I feel this way because I beleive that if single rulers were to die, it would make sense to me that Rand would step in and become the official ruler(no Steward, King, Queen) and address large bodies of nobles for what he needs done. Then there would be no single target to kill, other than Rand. I do however agree that if the shadow was to kill the Light's generals, they would be in trouble. Although it seems, of the top of my head, that most of the best generals are in the company of channelers, so it would be harder to pull off.

 

If anyone really thinks it is possible to continue killing Amyrlins, they must be crazy. If even one were found dead, sisters would be forced to stick together, walking around in large circles, probably holding the power, not to mention a constant guard on the Amyrlin herself. And don't even mention Compulsion.

 

I think I need to say again that the Forsaken are the upper echelon of the Shadow's power. They will not carry out these tasks themselves. You don't see Rand going to make sure the grain from Tear is properly distributed in Cairheinen. He gets other people to do it for him. Elayne doesn't go around checking on every servant in the Palace to make sure they are doing their jobs properly, che gets someone to do it for them. It's basically the same idea. The Forsaken will get people below them to try to take care of business. I agree that they would have much more success if they did it themselves, but that's just not how they think, plain and simple.

 

Even if the Forsaken did start trying to off people themselves, it's too late. The forces of the Light are much stronger and much more prepared. They have come a long way. Anyone really important would be much too difficult to get too. Eventually Forsaken would start getting caught(see Semirhage, Mogheiden for a while).

 

The Shadow had their chance. I guess they took the people of this Age too lightly, but they are flawed just as much as anyone else.

 

YK.

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Second, everyone will think it's the shadow, the people of Randland are seriously paranoid. Any Cities but Illian and Tear would probably clue in and start agreeing that it is the Dark One's work. Cairheinens wouldn't even go after leaders like you're suggesting.

 

I seriously disagree.  One of the big issues that Rand has in the series is that people know he is the Dragon Reborn and what that means, but still would love to kill him and forget him.  You think that if Darlin was killed by some random paid assassin near the same time that other leaders were dying or disappearing that everyone would scream it's the shadow and band together?  If the dragon reborn taking over your city does not force you to band together and put aside politics, nothing will.  And, to add some spice to things, they can impersonate rand for some high profile slaughters so that his own people will turn against him.

 

 

It's always easier to look at things from an outside perspective. I'd love to see see Greandal and Moggy just going around to every city everyday and just compelling all the cooks and servants. You honestly think they would do that?(Maybe Moggy now just because she would have too).

 

I did not say every cook and servant.  The first wave will be totally unprotected and you can just travel in, stop their heart and travel to the next person where you compel the cook to put rat poison in the soup, then on to the next place where you kill and immolate the body, etc.  A quick afternoon's work for the undefended targets.  When things get more difficult, they can use Compulsion more to have bodyguards, etc turn on the rulers.  Being able to immediately turn an adversary's closest compatriots against them  and use those pawns to do all your work is incredibly powerful.  Even with only 2 people who are good at it, you still have a great weapon.  Basically, looking at it from their point of view, it is as easy as shooting ducks in a barrel.  I just hope there is SOME deep strategy that the dark is following that will make it clear why they are not picking off every one of the light's top leaders.

 

 

 

If anyone really thinks it is possible to continue killing Amyrlins, they must be crazy. If even one were found dead, sisters would be forced to stick together, walking around in large circles, probably holding the power, not to mention a constant guard on the Amyrlin herself. And don't even mention Compulsion.

 

Did you read the last few books where sisters knew that other sisters were being killed using the power and you had the culprit giving the Amyrlin MASSAGES!?!  To be fair, that would be hard to replicate since it took so long and exposed one of their top assets, but I think people are overestimating the defensive tactics that the light would take to all the chaos.

 

 

Even if the Forsaken did start trying to off people themselves, it's too late. The forces of the Light are much stronger and much more prepared. They have come a long way. Anyone really important would be much too difficult to get too. Eventually Forsaken would start getting caught(see Semirhage, Mogheiden for a while).

 

Again, I totally disagree.  You could very easily still take out Elayne, Dyelin, Dobraine, Bashere, Darlin, all the borderland rulers, Tuon, Egwene (a little tougher, but very doable by just spiking the forkroot), whoever is in illian, and Elaida.  Dobraine and Bashere were almost killed by simple knife wielders after all, so their protection is not all that strong.

 

If all those rulers were gone, you have war in andor, chaos in the borderlands, both towers in political fights, rand spending time setting up new structures in carhein, tear and illian, and the seanchan lands in chaos (or, if they were smart, under the new shadow controlled general).

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