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Lost Abilities


Theandrin
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I've been thinking about this the past few weeks now, and no amount of searching has proved to have an answer.

 

We know that Aes Sedai in the AOL were stronger and knew a lot more weaves than the current ones(or so the current Aes Sedai think anyway). My question is, how was it lost?

 

Unfortunately I cannot quote where I read this from, but I believe I read somewhere that when the white tower was founded there were 20 Aes Sedai there to get things started. I would assume that these are Aes Sedai that survived the breaking(again I cannot quote that). So if this is the case, why were they not fully trained?

 

I can understand that as Aes Sedai grew weaker that they were not able to from some weaves, but I was under the impression that Aes Sedai did not begin to get weaker until after the Trolloc Wars. I for one do not believe that Aes Sedai are getting weaker, I think its the tower not looking hard enough for females, but thats not important.

 

Hopefully someone has an answer for this, and I could be off on my dates or just have not found that quote yet that answers this.

 

Thanks

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Well, I cant think of a quotable answer but a couple ideas may be that the stronger Aes Sedai died trying to find cures/stop the male Aes Sedai as they went mad. This would leave after all is said and done only a handful of the not-so-well trained Aes Sedai that weren't sent to fight, it would make sense that the people who taught the talents such as traveling would have gone to help transport and such, perhaps the survivors with the talents were too busy trying to get the White Tower up and done, or perhaps they lacked the foresight and in their pride figured that these talents would not be lost, both of these wouldn't surprise me, it IS Aes Sedai we're talking about. Although I do agree it makes little sense that EVERYTHING involving some of these weaves and abilities were completely lost.

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Well it was mainly the breaking of the world that did it. LTT died and suddenly you had thousands of male channelers going crazy and ripping the world part literally. Cities were destroyed, libraries burned, the making of cuendillar was lost. Men are stronger with certain powers and when you're killing them off you lose the ability to work with them or have them use their abilities. Certain groups of people start to flee all over the world, the seafolk go to the water, the Aiel just take off on their mission. The construction of the White Tower and Tar Valon didn't start till almost 100 years after the breaking, and wasn't completed till 200 years after.

 

Plus you got the fact that 3000 years has gone by. In a passage of time like that you lose a LOT of stuff. We don't know a great deal about the cultures taht existed 3000 years ago. I mean that's 1000 B.C.E. We can make a lot of infrences, and guesses, and we know some things, but we've lost a LOT over that period of time. And the same is true with this world.

 

And then of course some of the new weaves weren't even known in the Second Age. The weave to heal genteling wasn't known. We know that from Mogehiden.

 

And actually, just thought about it, you have the influence of the Black Ajah this entire age. Ishamael was coming in and out this whole age at different points, recruiting members of the Black Ajah. And they, I'm sure, kept things from being passed down. Once the bore was opened in the second age you had this increase or sin, really. So now you've got all sorts of people willing to keep secrets, steal, murder, the envy of other's powers, the greed to know more then others. The seperation of Sisters into groups also increases that since of this group knows this and the others don't. Like the Blue Ajah knows how to get rid of bugs, and they keep that from the other groups. And so through that you lose more.

 

So all in all I figure it's pretty realistic that you'll lose things like traveling.

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oh shoot! I totally forgot until I was reading another thread.

 

Ther's also the institution of the Oath Rod in the 3rd Age, so that means, of course, that the Aes Sedai aren't living as long as they had in the 2nd Age.

 

And as for strength, I think part of that has to do with the breading, and when you're killing most of the men, you're limiting that.

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And lets not forget the crappy job the White Tower did of finding girls who can channel.  They almost seem to do a better job of hunting down the men who were born with the spark.  I am not so sure that there is a decrease in power potential, just lots of channelers not being found/trained.  Look at "current" times in the books, plenty of strong channelers, most of whom would have slipped through the cracks.

 

 

Also remember, many of the Aes Sedai who remained were in fact "batteries" for the stronger researchers and healers etc.  The vast majority of the channelers in the Age of Legends probably wouldn't have known all the weaves either.  If most of the powerful Aes Sedai were killed facing off with the forsaken, all you have left are the poorly trained ones who were just there to be brought into a circle to increase its power.

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Hrm, even so, if one is not strong enough to form a weave for say..traveling, at least Elayne is smart enough to have them link to travel.  And a lot of them, if they had not mistakenly formed the weave prior, can remember the weave upon seeing it just once.  Aviendha had made a gateway, only not remembering how she did it, and struggles to make them now using a different weave.

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Lets not forget that when it comes to the power Need seems to play a roll in what someone can discover. Nyneave discovered Balfire out of need though she didn't realize it for a long time. As to what was lost and why, in many ways it seems good that alot was lost till now. It sets the stage for the new age. Even Rand knows that the world would be a much different place had the knowlage of the AOL been preserved. Though as seen he is trying to bring some of that back with his universitys.

 

 

Darth_Andrea

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We know that Aes Sedai in the AOL were stronger and knew a lot more weaves than the current ones(or so the current Aes Sedai think anyway). My question is, how was it lost?

 

Firstly, as has been stated, there were stronger Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends because in the Age of Legends all channelers were identified and (nominally) trained. There are still channelers today in the same strength ranges as existed in the Age of Legends--Rand is as strong as men can be, Logain and Taim both stand equal with Demandred and Aginor, a step below that strength, and Narishma might well stand with them one day. Sharina and Alivia stand near or at Lanfears strength, Someryn of the Shaido is a bare step below Graendal, Nynaeve is a step above Moghedian (now, anyway), Talaan, Tamela and Viendre are likely on Moghedian's strength--and thats just of the few hundred or so women we have strength ratings on, there are thousands more who we have no sort of comparison at all.

 

That being said interbreeding between male and female channelers would likely influence the number of channelers born with greater strength. I personally doubt that the severing of male channelers or the lack of children amongst Aes Sedai and the kin influences the issue. The majority of women who can channel are not amongst the numbers, and go on breeding like the rest of the non-channeling populace. As for men, aside from the fact that the learners are ostensibly no different to normal men in terms of mating habits, the men who do spark often dont do so until their mid to late twenties, and likely would have children (in such a society) by then anyway.

 

As to why knowledge was lost. Recall that the breaking of the world lasted over three hundred years, during which female channelers where fighting men who could channel--fighting, and likely dying. Certainly we know that with the possible exception of the twelve Aes Sedai that joined the Aiel in Cairhein none of the Aes Sedai born in the Age of Legends survived into the modern era.

 

Furthermore, complete training of women who can channel takes up to and exceeding twenty years. At best it can be done in about six--less if you force them, and that has a high fatality rate. As time passed gaps would begin to form in the knowledge as teachers died before completing the education of the students. Just as much of an issue would have been the hoarding of knowledge out of the fear of it being used against you. Especially things live reversion, inversion and hiding the ability--they simply represent too much of a tactical advantage. Same goes for making angreal or ter'angreal.

 

Then we get to the new age. Of the hundreds of ajah wandering the Westlands at that time only twelve of them were represented in the group that joined to make the Tower. Even of that twelve, two dropped out of the agreement (the groups led by Lideine Rajan and Mailaine Harvole) , one of which later had every member severed from the True Source. Those that never joined with the Tower group were named 'false Aes Sedai', and where hunted down and expunged with all their knowledge.

 

Concidering the ajah were most probably bands of sisters that formed during the breaking, each one of those expunged groups represents a line of training that was expunged, and the more groups the more risk that that knowledge was disapearing for good. A perfect example is in the two Aes Sedai that fled into the Waste--they knew the making of ter'angreal, yet because they were forced to flee by the Tower's militant stand, it was lost.

 

Unfortunately I cannot quote where I read this from, but I believe I read somewhere that when the white tower was founded there were 20 Aes Sedai there to get things started. I would assume that these are Aes Sedai that survived the breaking(again I cannot quote that). So if this is the case, why were they not fully trained?

 

No, no Aes Sedai survived the entire breaking (again, except possibly the twelve with the Aiel--certainly they seem to remember their bond with the Dai'shain).

 

At the forming of the Tower there were twelve major ajah (using the old definition of ajah, a group of Aes Sedai linked by a common goal or purpose, not the modern definition of the seven specific Ajah). The leaders, Elisane Tishar, Mitsora Caal, Karela Fanway, Azille Narof, Saraline Amerano, Dumera Alman, Salindi Casolan, Catlynde Artein, Biranca Hasad, Mailaine Harvole, Nemaira Eldros, Lideine Rajan, were joined by 'several other women' (likely the leaders of groups too small to be significant) at the meeting where the decision to make the city of Tar Valon came from, which may be the source of the comment about the twenty, but altogether accross the ajah over two hundred Aes Sedai were present from that meeting.

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I think we also should realize that just because an Aes Sedai says a Talent is lost does not necessarily mean that it is.

 

Sorilea knew the weave that created gateways, but she was too weak to make it work, which either means that Wise Ones have always known how to Travel and simply did not...or that she herself knew but kept it from everyone.

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I think we also should realize that just because an Aes Sedai says a Talent is lost does not necessarily mean that it is.

 

Sorilea knew the weave that created gateways, but she was too weak to make it work, which either means that Wise Ones have always known how to Travel and simply did not...or that she herself knew but kept it from everyone.

 

That or she saw Egwene, or another wondergirl make the weave, which is how I always took it.

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