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Could the Breaking have been averted?


Seriodor
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When the DO tainted Saidin, I'm sure that it took a while for the Madness to truly manifest. When the Male Aes'sedai saw themselves turning mad, surely they knew what kind of damage Aes'sedai could do. Why didn't they...you know, kill each other, or kill themselves?

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I asked the same question myself recently: But my argument was using the Oath Rod to bind them so they couldn't channel.

Addressing your last part 1st, alot of the male channelers had hope that the taint would only be temporary. Also others thought it could be cleansed, even if they didn't know how. I suppose they were living in hope really. Also if they all topped themselves, who would be left to research a solution?

 

As to whether or not the breaking could have been avoided, I recently read A Strike at Shayol Ghul. It says:

 

"Instead, there was the counter stroke from the Dark One at the moment of sealing, and saidin itself was tainted. Lews Therin and the sixty-eight survivors of the Hundred Companions went insane on the instant. Within days they were leaving trails of death and destruction in their paths. By the time the taint on saidin was discovered, hundreds more male Aes Sedai had been driven mad, and what remained of civilization after the war itself had fallen into chaos. Even informing all the remaining sane male Aes Sedai of the danger was now impossible. That fateful day at Shayol Ghul ended the war, and began the Breaking of the World."

 

That covered most of my doubts and arguments (I figured it could have been avoided too.)

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Could the Breaking have been averted?

 

Yes!

 

All you would have needed to do would be to find and balefire Latra Posae Decume with the strongest (sa)'angreal you could find. No more Fateful Concord -> a joint Male/Female attack on SG which would(should) have been more effective than a Male only attack (how did they manage to work together, or did LTT / LTT + 6 others do the sealing while everyone else stood around and put the proverbial boot in while the forsaken were out for the count?... I mean you need to be linked for more than 1 channeler to work together on a single task, and LTT had no women willing to help him out, but thats a whole different thing).

 

That's just my oppinion of course.

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LTT + 6 others do the sealing while everyone else stood around and put the proverbial boot in while the forsaken were out for the count?... I mean you need to be linked for more than 1 channeler to work together on a single task, and LTT had no women willing to help him out, but thats a whole different thing)

 

Dont forget that the Forsaken that we know of are only the few that were trapped when the bore was sealed.

 

In the AoL Forsaken was more of a general term for a channeler that went over to the Dark One. They were probably a lot more channelers that were on the dark ones side at Shayol Ghul(id imagine that was the main meeting place for all the high standing people on his side), plus with gateways, more could of probably been summoned to defence.

 

If you take all that into acount im sure that if LTT and 6 others were making the seals, then there still would of been plenty for the rest of the companions to do. Not to mention the host of shadowspawn that would of been fighing the army that they the companions brought along.

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I think it's safe to say that the Forsaken weren't the only 'evil' channelers there at the time, there surely were a number of Dreadlords on the scene too. 32 of the 100 companions died during The Strike at Shayol Ghul. Given the number of of The Companions that were there I find it hard to believe that solely Shadowspawn could have killed 32 of them. Just look at Dumai Wells and you can imagine the damage 100 truely powerful Aes Seadi can do. No Shadowspawn should have been able to get near them. I'd assume that Dreadlords were there too.

 

Dont forget that the Forsaken that we know of are only the few that were trapped when the bore was sealed.

In the AoL Forsaken was more of a general term for a channeler that went over to the Dark One.

There were only 13 Forsaken by the time of the attack (the rest probably killed each other in the 'competition' that The DO encouraged, assuming there were others)

The other channelers that were Black Ajah equivalents were known as Dreadlords, the Forsaken were the people who had risen to be leaders during the War of Shadow.

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There were only 13 Forsaken by the time of the attack (the rest probably killed each other in the 'competition' that The DO encouraged, assuming there were others

 

I'm fairly certain that's not accurate. IIRC, RJ the the BWB has stated that only the 13 most powerful were captured, and that others survived and were hunted down later or faded back into society. Most were killed, but not prior to the sealing.

 

Again, RAW or Luckers may be able to provide a better source.

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Well, I haven't the BWB at hand (I'm at work), so I don't know what that says but I do have The Strike @ Shayol Ghul, which says:

 

"By chance, all thirteen of the Forsaken were at Shayol Ghul (perhaps summonded for a conference with the Dark One?), and they were trapped in the sealing, thus decapitating at one stroke the Shadow's leadership."

 

Granted there were other channelers in the service of The DO, but they were known as Dreadlords, not The Forsaken, the Forsaken were the leaders of the DO's attack. There were only 13 at the time of LTT strike on Shayol Ghul, there may have been others during the war of shadow, but they were most likely defeated and killed by leaders of The Light or taken out by rival Forsaken.

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"Dreadlord" was a term from the trolloc wars, not the war of power.

 

AFAIK the most powerful darkfriend channelers were called "Chosen" and there were more than 13 of them, not sure if there was a term for DF channelers (during the war of power) who wern't Chosen.

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Well, I haven't the BWB at hand (I'm at work), so I don't know what that says but I do have The Strike @ Shayol Ghul, which says:

 

"By chance, all thirteen of the Forsaken were at Shayol Ghul (perhaps summonded for a conference with the Dark One?), and they were trapped in the sealing, thus decapitating at one stroke the Shadow's leadership."

 

Granted there were other channelers in the service of The DO, but they were known as Dreadlords, not The Forsaken, the Forsaken were the leaders of the DO's attack. There were only 13 at the time of LTT strike on Shayol Ghul, there may have been others during the war of shadow, but they were most likely defeated and killed by leaders of The Light or taken out by rival Forsaken.

 

I agree that it says that - but Strike is a excerpt from the BWB, so it falls under the category of "slightly inaccurate", just like the rest of the BWB. We know from later books, comments by RJ and some other sources that there were more Forsaken during the war of the power. As Tyrell stated, the term Dreadlord was coined later during the Trolloc wars. Also we know, per the same sources, that the 13 were the most powerful of the Forsaken and essentially the head of the DO's human forces. They were in sort of a "leadership conference" with the DO at the time of the Strike.

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I recall from earlier posts that there were 49 Forsaken but I have no idea what the other evil channelers were called.  12 of them were killed on Shai'tan's orders and more had access to the TP then; so that in itself made them more lethal.  Obviously, this protection was withdrawn or cut off for all but Ishamael, as for how it remained for Ishamael, Luckers or RAW will have to answer that one.  I think only those thirteen were the Chosen, as for how some of them got to be Chosen, I have no idea.  As said Dreadlord was a trolloc wars term, incidentally Ishamael was running around then too but no one knew that Baalzamon was he.

As for the original topic, without women and/or the Choedan Kal, one or both, I do not believe the Breaking was preventable

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I would assume that there were many channelers in the service of the DO, but that only the particularly powerful, and feared were called Forsaken, the ones that they renamed. Dreadlords were channelers that came into the service of the DO during the Trolloc wars.

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Ok, the order goes.

 

Forsaken - A generic term for any channelers who fought on the side of the Shadow during the War of the Shadow. There were likely tens of thousands of them during the course of the war.

 

Chosen - Short for 'Those Chosen to Rule the World Forever' (who were also called 'Asshats'). This was the name of the Forsaken in the highest circles of power. During the course of the Breaking we know that there were at least twenty-nine of them (Moghedian says that there were 29 people given access to the True Power, and we know that that was restricted to the Chosen).

 

Some of the Chosen met their deaths at the hands of the Light, some at their compatriots hands, and many fell victim to the Dark One's paranoia. There are conflicting statements about whether at the time of the Sealing only our thirteen remained. In the BWB it states that 'all Thirteen Forsaken' were there by chance, except we know that they weren't the only Forsaken (and when the BWB conflicts with other source standard practice is to accept the other source). Furthermore in a signing RJ commented on the fate of the 'other' Chosen, saying that the men went mad, and the women faced the same issues anyone else faced in that time. Elsewhere he made the same comment about the Forsaken in general, but that time he specified the Chosen.

 

So, yes it seems relatively unlikely that the thirteen at Shayol Goul were the only Chosen active at that time.

 

Dreadlord - Any channelers fighting on the side of the Shadow during the Trolloc Wars. This also seems to be around the time that the word Forsaken came to be used to refer to the Chosen as opposed to the Shadow's channelers as a whole.

 

Hope that helps.

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Enough! Cease your arguing! Here is something that trumps all your petty opinions and theories:

Week 12 Question: In Winters Heart, you mention that back in the Age of Legends, there were several other Forsaken that the Dark One had killed because he suspected they would betray him. What's their story? Were those people ever as high ranking as the 13 survivors, or where they more like high-ranking Dreadlords then actual Forsaken?

 

Robert Jordan Answers: First off, Dreadlords was the name given to men and women who could channel and sided with the Shadow in the Trolloc Wars. Yes, the women were called Dreadlords, too. They might have liked to call themselves "the Chosen," like the Forsaken, but feared to. The real Forsaken might not have appreciated it when they returned, as prophecies of the Shadow foretold would happen. Some of the Dreadlords had authority and responsibility equivalent to that of the Forsaken in the War of the Shadow, however. They ran the Shadow's side of the Trolloc Wars, though without the inherent ability to command the Myrddraal that the Forsaken possess, meaning they had to negotiate with them. Overall command at the beginning was in another's hands.

 

Forsaken was the name given to Aes Sedai who went over to the Shadow in the War of the Shadow at the end of the Age of Legends, though of course, they called themselves the Chosen, and despite the tales of the "current"Age, there were many more than a few of them. Since they occupied all sorts of levels, you might say that many were equivalent to some of the lesser Dreadlords, but it would be incorrect to call them so. At the time, they were all Forsaken—or Chosen—from the greatest to the least.

 

Some of those Forsaken the Dark One killed were every bit as high-ranking as the thirteen who were remembered, and who you might say constituted a large part of the Dark One's General Staff at the time of the sealing. With the Forsaken, where treachery and backstabbing were an acceptable way of getting ahead, the turnover in the upper ranks was fairly high, though Ishamael, Demandred, Lanfear, Graendal, Semirhage, and later Sammael, were always at the top end of the pyramid. They were very skilled at personal survival, politically and physically.

 

In large part the thirteen were remembered because they were trapped at Shayol Ghul, and so their names became part of that story, though it turned out that details of them, stories of them, survived wide-spread knowledge of the tale of the actual sealing itself. Just that they had been sealed away. Other Forsaken were left behind, so to speak, free but in a world that was rapidly sliding down the tube. The men eventually went mad and died from the same taint that killed off the other male Aes Sedai. They had no access to the Dark One's protective filters. The women died, too, though from age or in battle or from natural disasters created by insane male AesSedai or from diseases that could no longer be controlled because civilization itself had been destroyed and access to those who were skilled in Healing was all but gone. And soon after their deaths, their names were forgotten, except for what might possibly be discovered in some ancient manuscript fragment that survived the Breaking. A bleak story of people who deserved no better, and not worth telling in any detail.

http://www.wotmania.com/faqtopic.asp?ID=152 I hope that helps.
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It's curious that in that quote RJ calls all the Forsaken Chosen, when several times he has commented about the nature of the Chosen Mark, and the specific nature of the upper hierarchy. In the one he seems to be forbidding the other. Perhaps this will become more clear when Harriet releases the encyclopaedia of his notes.

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