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The Black Ajah (spoilers for the entire book)


JenniferL
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I've been in the Laras = Messana camp for a long time but with Verin knowing Messana is in the tower and looking for her and with her comment to Ewgene about Laras I am convinced she is not Messana. 

 

I also don't think she is purposefully a Red Herring.  There is a reason for her actions.  I hope we get a chance to find out what they are. 

 

My guess is she is a spy for some faction.  Maybe even Verins personnel agent.  For someone who is out of the tower as much as she appears to be having someone inside it to let you know what is going on makes sense. 

 

To me Messana is likely the Sitter that fled that Verrin hadn't flagged (except I am not sure we ever saw her and Jordan said we had seen Messana in disguise- Has someone checked this).  That leaves in my mind Tutsanna (the red ajah head we are told has changed a lot while in exile but I really don't like her or see her that way or everones favorite Danielle but it seems like Verrin would know her well enough (since she is in her Ajah) to know she is not herself. 

 

So yeah clear as mud to me.

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1st time poster

 

I have a couple of issues with the Black Ajah Purge.

 

First, how did Verin come up with so many names? We know from past BA POVs that a black sister only knows the names of two others and that their meetings are hooded. I also think it's stated that only Alvarin knows all the names. I haven't started my second read of TGS but was this mentioned in Verin's chapter? I don't think so. Seems to me the BA has gone to great lengths to keep membership a secret, even from eachother, so Verin just coming up with a who's who in the BA is a little thin and contradicts alot of what RJ has written in the past. Obviously Verin's prequel nees to be 1st on the list once BS finishes the series.

 

Second, what's with the BA purge happening off camera? Some of the best POVs in the series are darkfriends dealing with the ramifications of there various deeds. Lliandrin, Bors, Galina all endure deservedly horrible mental and physical tortures but RJ really had a talent of making you sympathize with these terrible people during there downfall. 50+ women, all used to wielding power, all who thought they had everybody fooled and that they were going to live forever, collectively having the rug pulled out from under them and there heads come off, that would have made for some good reading describing their terror and incredulity.

 

Thirdly, what's up with the Warders? You don't kill 50 sisters and just round up their warders and put them under guard. Especially when the Warders find out that the majority of the group are most likely darkfriends. Since we don't have an exact count of how many warders the BA sisters had, some probably didn't have any, some probably has several (given the amount of Greens that were actually black) so lets just assume for the sake of argument that we are talking about 50 warders. 50 pissed off warders who've just felt there sisters die, most of whom are darkfriends, that's a group of men capable of doing violence on a truly epic scale.

 

I know we're in a rush to get to the Last Battle, and we need to wrap up as many plotlines as we can, and this one was definately critical in moving Egwene's story forward, but still this felt like just a footnote when it was actually the most important thing that's happened in the Tower since the Breaking (guarantee nothing like this was in Siuan's secret histories!).

 

But TGS was a great book, truly a master work of fiction. I am looking forward to the reread.

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First, how did Verin come up with so many names? We know from past BA POVs that a black sister only knows the names of two others and that their meetings are hooded. I also think it's stated that only Alvarin knows all the names. I haven't started my second read of TGS but was this mentioned in Verin's chapter? I don't think so. Seems to me the BA has gone to great lengths to keep membership a secret, even from eachother, so Verin just coming up with a who's who in the BA is a little thin and contradicts alot of what RJ has written in the past. Obviously Verin's prequel nees to be 1st on the list once BS finishes the series.

 

Maybe she did what the black ajah hunters in tower had been doing. Collecting evidence. Seeing who says something that Verin can prove isn't true. And so on.

 

BA goes to great lengths yes but they aren't infallible and can do mistakes. It's not like Verin did this quickly...

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Wasn't it also shown in one book that Verin was using her own version of Compulsion on some Sisters to "get answers" from them?  Maybe she has been doing that to various Sisters (after close investigation of said Sister) over the course of 70 years until she had enough evidence to sacrifice herself and make it known to the world.

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Posted a version of this before in this thread.

Thoughts on Messy.

She would NOT pose as novice or accepted - they are rarely allowed privacy, their freedom of movement is restricted and they are continually under testing and observation.

Ditto for freedom of movement, lack thereof, hence NOT a servant

 

Hence, she poses as AS as Graendal, Alvi and Verin all suspect.

She would NOT pose as BA - heart members will know her very well and be difficult to fool.

Would therefore NOT feature on Verin's List (assuming no False Positives in Verin's deduction algorithms) since Verin would have eliminated the real (non BA) sister before Messy was freed from the Bore.

 

Messy MAY have been captured by the Seanchan

She MAY be able to slip by the Oath Rod test as she is not a (mere) Darkfriend and can say this with conviction

She would NOT want to be held by a binder since she knows all the nasty side effects

Even if she was confident that she could forswear the oaths, it's painful

She MAY have been wandering outside TV and Travelling into TV only when she wanted to give instructions or was summoned by the call box she gave Alviarin

Or She MAY be a non-BA sisters who fled the tower or was sent out recently on mission

Unlikely to be among those bonded by the Ashaman since she's done things since.

 

She is also perhaps, NOT a sitter, despite the liberal hints that she may be the Dreamy Brown sitter Danelle because Sitters are, by and large, well-known in their Ajah and any behaviour lapses would likely be noticed.

 

Verin knows she's there and V would almost certainly nail a false Brown who was behaving oddly or either betraying unusual knowledge or lack of it. Browns are scholars and specialists. A scholar may not notice what another scholar looks like but would definitely notice changes in skill, scholarship and body of work. Apart from other Browns noticing, if Verin found a Brown who made breakthroughs in her "Chosen" field or betrayed some form of ignorance, she would add 2+2. Hence, Messy may not (note lack of uppercase) be Brown at all.  

 

Messy could be Gray (they travel on mysterious political stuff and therefore lead solitary existences and this would help in disguise) or Yellow, (also into arcana, but not as broadly scholarly as Browns, and Messy may know enough healing to pass). Maybe a White - pure logic and philosophy is something she can surely handle. Unlikely to be Red or Green - too violent a clash of temperaments.

 

We still don't have enough information to nail her.

 

About Verin's info about the BA roll-call, she surely stands high in the BA Council if Sheriam's reaction is anything to go by, and she's been ferreting for 70 years. She's also very, very high IQ in general, especially good with ciphers, which the BA use by rote - Light! She may have invented that set of ciphers-, and v.v.good at putting together disparate bits of info. So, it's not that tough to believe.

 

 

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I've been a long time lurker but I've decided to create a name and make this my first post, so here goes:

 

Messana could be a novice or accepted.

Think about it... she could just as easily be a servant or employee of some sort for the tower, however, she could also be a tower initiate for a few reasons (listed below).  Now, the only shortcoming to this theory is that we know channeling can be 100% masked but can it be "dimmed" in such a way that a person could not calculate Mesaana's true strength?  

 

Arguments in favor of Mesaana as an initiate:

 

1) It is widely known that novices and accepted move about the tower and ajah quarters more frequently than Aes Sedai and this is true even before the ajah tension.  Novices pass messages, fetch visitors and perform other activities which require communication or contact. This would make it very easy to communicate with the BA without rousing suspicion.

 

2)Mesaana has not been present as some major Forsaken gatherings, further enforcing the idea that she is a tower initiate because as such, it would be harder for her to find the time to make it to the FS events given that it would be quickly discovered that she is missing from her tower duties.  

Servants and other employees aren't noticed as easily as tower initiates -- first of all, they aren't channelers and secondly, how many times have WoT characters disguised themselves as a servant of some sort? It's based on the idea that they won't be noticed among so many other uniformed employees... which means if Mesaana was a an employee, she could have made it to Forsaken meetings with ease... no excuses for absence.

 

3)  She could pass the "I am not nor have I ever been of the Black Ajah" statement.  Verin even mentioned to Egwene that the BA ignores tower initiates; Aes Sedai are the only ones of real use since they have the freedom to do so. Aes Sedai are the only channelers in the tower bound to the oath rod, unable to lie. And... only Aes Sedai were subjected to the oath release/re-bind so Mesaana would have never had to be forced to tell the truth.

 

Whatcha think??

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It has merit, but if mesaana was just an initiate, then she would have to do chores and aes sedai would be watching her progress, using compulsion to often to get out of these situations would be very suspicious.

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Exactly... hence the reason she would be unable to attend the forsaken meetings. As an Accepted, she wouldn't be doing so many hard chores and she has some freedom to do what she wants.  Mesaana could easily be an Accepted or less ideally, a Novice, but perhaps one who doesn't have much potential or success therefore less of a direct interest in the Aes Sedai.

 

Also, as an Aes Sedai, Mesaana would have been MUCH stronger than the other Aes Sedai... she couldn't mask the bond completely for obvious reasons but if she CAN "weaken" or "dim" her strength, then this is a good argument for her being Accepted or Novice.

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Exactly... hence the reason she would be unable to attend the forsaken meetings. As an Accepted, she wouldn't be doing so many hard chores and she has some freedom to do what she wants.  Mesaana could easily be an Accepted or less ideally, a Novice, but perhaps one who doesn't have much potential or success therefore less of a direct interest in the Aes Sedai.

 

Also, as an Aes Sedai, Mesaana would have been MUCH stronger than the other Aes Sedai... she couldn't mask the bond completely for obvious reasons but if she CAN "weaken" or "dim" her strength, then this is a good argument for her being Accepted or Novice.

Been brought up many time before - RJ confirmed that you can partially mask strength in the OP, years ago. One oft-cited example is Else Grinwell -Lanfear in TDR. Another possible example is Corlan Dashiva learning to channel at the BT.

Messy wears silk dresses - with colours on a couple of occasions - so is likely not posing as an initiate but a full sister. Also she's very likely using Mask of Mirrors to add the botox agelessness sheen to her looks. See Alvi's almost-recognition of Messy in the CoT when Shaidar Haran strips and punishes her. It is very similar to the way in which As respond to Leane Sharif and Siuan after they lose their ageless look.

 

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men can't feel other men's channeling power like women can, and its only when they actually channel that they can feel it, where as women can feel it simply by being in another female, channelers presence. So Corlan Dashiva could have used only a small fraction of his ability, and then jump up in stages typical of a learning channeler.

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men can't feel other men's channeling power like women can, and its only when they actually channel that they can feel it, where as women can feel it simply by being in another female, channelers presence. So Corlan Dashiva could have used only a small fraction of his ability, and then jump up in stages typical of a learning channeler.

Yes this has been said - also that men can feel a sense of strain when another man is holding Saidin to the limit of his ability. Long argument on the subject in one of the non-TGS threads. Read it.

 

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i agre with post above that Tsutama is Mesaana.There are some evidences.Especialy that she was absent from Tower several year.And when she came back she imideatly became head of the Red ajah.This seems to me like compulsion is used

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If Tsue was the one exiled to the farm, there's a PoV that suggests that she is just Tsutsama not Messy, though she's certainly not a nice gal. Unless of course, that's Toveine I'm thinking of (the one bonded to Logain), in which case Tsutsama is the coolly foul-mouthed one who seems to have undergone personality change when she returned as head of the Red?

Yes, there's nothing in the way of a PoV ruling Tsue out but she doesn't seem wet enough to be Mesaana. Also has Messy been in the tower since before Tsue was recalled ? Again, can't be sure because Alvi's time-line and continuity is quite difficult to unscramble in CoT and Kod.

 

 

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What we need is an exact list of every last Black sister named and all those in all the books. It would show so much more light on the whole of the Black Ajah.

 

As it is, only a few will play any further part. Those who escaped, probably fleeing to the Blight or elsewhere to take their place as Dreadlords.

 

I think we'll see a few final Black Ajah faces that escaped the purge fighting on the side of the Shadow.

 

Of course, now that the White Tower has been clensed...

 

...time for the BLACK Tower.

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I love seeing the same argument in its almost exact form pop up like, oh, five times each thread and fifty times each forum lol

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Just because Tsutama became head of the red ajah as soon as she comes back is not proof that she is messana.  Especially considering that she was high up in the red's organization before being exiled, and since coming back would have been the natural heir to Galina.

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how many times have WoT characters disguised themselves as a servant of some sort?

 

Moghedien did, in The Shadow Rising, to spy on Liandrin and co., and Moghedien was punished often for her pains.

 

LOL @ Moghedien.

 

She wasn't really punished, though. There's no way a Forsaken would submit themselves to that.

 

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concerning Mesaana:

 

I do believe she is an Aes Sedai and simply passed the test or something (she probably had to swear the oaths too and she might be in for a surprise when she won't be able to access the rod :P).

 

If she poses as a non-AS, what about the 'apple cheeked accepted' we saw a few times in the earlier books? I don't remember where (or if she was identified later), it just came to my mind.

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Well, we know /one/ person Mesaana was disguised as. And that was Elsa Grinwell.

 

Of course she's not her anymore, but Mesaana has no problem disguising herself as a novice. No problem at all.

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Well, we know /one/ person Mesaana was disguised as. And that was Elsa Grinwell.

 

Of course she's not her anymore, but Mesaana has no problem disguising herself as a novice. No problem at all.

That was Lanfear, not Mesaana
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After the read, I still think Shevan is Mesaana. It was after Elaida's rage that Mesaana appeared to Sheriam, saying Egwene was too strong, and as I recall none of Sitters present were Black. She still had to be among the Brown Sitters who stood for Egwene. Of course Mesaana is not a Darkfriend, as she'd see it.

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