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Masuri, Annoura and the Shiny Dragon Man Theory


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Masuri, Annoura and the Shiny Dragon Man

 

Ok, in this thread I'm going to try to offer an answer for two mysteries. Who is the Fake Rand who appears to Masema in tGS, and who are Masuri and Annoura meeting with in Masema's camp throughout KoD. It's somewhat convuluted, so bear with me.

 

Who are Masuri and Annoura Meeting With?

 

In KoD Masuri and Annoura (and Masuri's Warder) are seen within Masema's camp by Havier, one of the Cha Faile. The question is--who were they going to meet, and why?

 

Masema

 

Perrin believes they went to meet Masema himself, which stands to reason given that (to Perrin) he is the only figure in that camp worth an Aes Sedai's attention--the rest all being rag tag zealots. Yet this seems strange--Masema hates Aes Sedai, and they don't seem too fond of him either. Perrin even notices that they seem to be growing to hate each other even more in spite of the ongoing meetings.

 

"...a pity you will not let the Seanchan leash all of them." [Masema's] sidelong glance at Annoura and Masuri said he included them, despite the fact that both had visited him in secret more than once. They regarded him with Aes Sedai calm, though Masuri's slim hands moved as if to smooth her brown skirts. She said she had changed her mind and now believed the man must be killed, so why was she meeting him? Why was Annoura? Why did Masema allow them? He more than hated Aes Sedai.

 

[KoD--The Last Knot--629]

 

So, if we are to trust Perrin's assumptions, there are several curiosities here. Let me state them...

 

1. Both Masuri and Annoura claim Masema must be killed--Masuri having originally believed she could use him has changed her mind--yet even after changing it, both she and Annoura continue to sneak into his camp.

 

2. Masema allows it, despite his hatred of Aes Sedai.

 

Or rather, these are the problems Perrin sees based on the idea of Masuri and Annoura meeting with Masema. Yet in truth neither Aes Sedai was seen with Masema. Selende says 'they have been meeting with Masema' but all that happened was that one of her people saw Masuri and her Warder, and occasionally Annoura with them, sneaking into and out of the camp. Her comments are clear on this--they were seen only in transit.

 

“Masuri Sedai has visited Masema… the Prophet. It is true my Lord; believe me! Havier has seen her more than once. She slips into their camp hooded and leaves the same way, but he has had a good look at her face twice.

 

They are never actually seen with Masema, and given the apparent hatred cited above that seems very hard to swallow. Of course they could be dissembling, hiding their associations--but that seems difficult. Masema does not have the control to pull this off, and Masuri's gestures--the clenching of her hands, her vocally changed opinion in reguards to Masema needing to die--only serve to draw attention to her and Masema.

 

This of course brings us back to the question of who they were going to meet in that rabble of insanity--but first there is one other question to be asked, and that is why Masuri and Annoura? Or, put another way...

 

Why not Seonid?

 

Concider; we have a Green, a Brown and a Grey. The Green and the Brown are both rebels, whilst the Grey is unaffiliated. The Green and Brown are both oathsworn to the Dragon, whilst the Grey serves Berelain. The Green and the Brown are both apprentices to the Wise Ones, the Grey is 'technically' her own woman. Moreover the Grey and the Green both support killing Masema, whilst initially the Brown did not.

 

So why are the Brown and the Grey colluding, yet not including the Green? Havier has observed Masuri and Annoura entering the camp quite a few times, but Seonid is never present. There is no political or personal reasons for this strange grouping.

 

Well, no, thats not right. There is a theoretical reason for such a collusion--Annoura and Masuri are Black Ajah, Seonid is not. It's a guess, true, but it's the only thing that allows for those two to be acting together, yet be excluding the third. On every other thing that might bring Aes Sedai together, yet exclude a third, they differ--Ajah, allegiances, history, temperament. If this is true it provides a stepping stone to the original question--'who would Masuri and Annoura interested in meeting with?' becomes instead...

 

Who Would the Black Ajah be Interested in Meeting With?

 

The Shiny Dragon Man?

 

The obvious answer is that they were meeting the fellow who has been manipulating Masema--in tGS Masema references the Shiny Dragon Man.

 

The Dragon had appeared to him the night before the attack. Appeared in glory! A figure of light, glowing in the air in shimmering robes. Kill Perrin Aybara! the Dragon had commanded. Kill him! And so the Prophet had sent his very best tool, Aybara's own dear friend.

 

[tGS; Prologue, What the Storm Means]

 

Now Brandon has made clear this Dragon was not just a delusion on Masema's part.

 

Someone asked if Sanderson could reveal who was behind the visions that Masema was having. Sanderson basically said that there definitely was someone involved with Masema having visions--he did not provide any further details other than to say that Masema's visions weren't just from Masema being crazy.

 

[tGS Signing Q&A]

 

So, could this not be who Masuri and Annoura were meeting with? Perhaps. This would imply however that rather than simply dropping in to point Masema at Perrin, and maybe a few other tweaks in the past, the person disguising themself as Rand held permenant residence near Masema, and was disguised as a part of Masema's following, and thus there in order to be met by Masuri and Annoura.

 

Now people have been suggesting this one for years. One of the Forsaken (usually Demandred, the go-to guy for unexplained plots) is manipulating Masema's rabid followers in order to spread chaos. At first glance it seems reasonable--they have been instructed to let the Lord of Chaos rule after all. The problem with this suggestion is that manipulating a mad man and his zealous mob would take way too much constant attention and subtle manipulation. It would be a full time job even for one of the Forsaken, and for its effects its just not worth their effort--oh, it creates chaos, but not on a grand enough scale to keep one of the big boys occupied full time.

 

Masema is just not a big enough fish. Yes, to drop in as a shiny figure of doom now and then, but to dedicate oneself to entirely...?

 

If Not The Fake Dragon, Then Who?

 

It's possible, of course, that the Fake Dragon is the extent of the manipulation of Masema, and that he was otherwise untouched by the Shadow--and is, in effect, just your average run of the mill religious fanatic... but that doesn't answer who Masuri and Annoura were meeting with. Also there is Masema's success to take into account.

 

We see in tGS his shock that the Dragon didn't protect his people.

 

"...The Prophet had been so certain. He had assumed that the Dragon would protect his people, lead them to a powerful victory..."

 

"...Around him, men died, just as they had earlier. Why, why hadn't the Dragon protected them? Why?..."

 

[tGS; Prologue, What the Storm Means]

 

There is no consideration of tactics there. Masema knows war, knows how the Aiel fight, and should have known the outcome of his rabble versus Aiel spears, yet he is clearly beyond employing any of his knowledge. Beyond even remembering that knowledge--and we know this is not a new delusion. We see his complete break with reality through Nynaeve in tFoH with his marrying people off by the hundreds, and so forth.

 

He is a genuine fanatic. He believes things will work out well because of the purity of his cause, and thus makes no efforts to ensure they do work out. That's not different from any other religious fanatic, but what is strange is that until Malden they actually did work out--armies fell, kings and queens were dethroned, and no one succeeded in assasinating him or breaking his hold on events.

 

Why? The luck of a madman? Or because someone behind the scenes was manipulating events? Blunting opposition, spreading misinformation--protecting him, in effect, from his own stupidity.

 

So, there is the suggestion that there is a more permenant manipulator hanging around Masema than the Fake Rand. But who might that be?

 

Rianna and Berylla

 

In tFoH Moghedian takes control of Liandrin's group and gives a various number of tasks to them, tasks that she thinks may 'bear sweet fruit'.

 

From where she stood, Liandrin could see their faces even if their mouths moved soundlessly for her. Plainly each woman was receiving orders the others knew nothing of. The faces told little, though. Rianna merely listened, a touch of relief in her eyes, bowed her head in assent and went. Marillin looked surprised, and then eager, but she had been a Brown, and Browns could be enthusiastic over anything that allowed them a chance to unearth some moldy bit of lost knowledge. Jeaine Caide donned a slow mask of horror, shaking her head at first and trying to cover herself and that disgustingly sheer gown, but Moghedien's face hardened, and Jeaine nodded hurriedly and fled, if not as eagerly as Marillin, just as quickly. Berylla Naron, lean almost to scrawniness and as fine a manipulator and plotter as there was, and Falion Bhoda, long-faced and cold despite her obvious fear, showed as little expression as Rianna had. Ispan Shefar, like Liandrin from Tarabon, though dark-haired, actually kissed Moghedien's hem before she rose.

 

[tFoH--18--A Hound of Darkness]

 

Three of those number are unaccounted for. Jeaine is unlikely as a candidate for this, because she reacts to her instructions with horror, but Rianna and Berylla react in almost the same manner. Calm acceptance with perhaps a little excitement.

 

Now consider the situation. Moghedian was perfectly place to note Masema's appearence in the world and seek to exploit it. She was in Amador looking directly at him whilst she was locating Nynaeve and Elayne, and later, figuring out her backstory for Marigan. It's clearly not something she would have bothered with herself, but sending a few half-trained children to exploit the situation...?

 

Additionally, Berylla and Rianna's temprements fit this mission. Berylla is cited by Liandrin as being a deft manipulator and plotter. Rianna, a White, was described as cold with an eye that saw deep into you. Those two would be perfect for this, and Moghedian would be exactly the sort of person who would see it. A deft manipulator and a person who could perceive a persons flaws could tweak a growing mob in exactly the right ways to ensure it grows--they also explain Masema's ongoing survival--a mob should not have held up so well, but with two Aes Sedai, deft at politics, hamstringing the opposition....

 

So, that's who I would suggest Annoura and Masuri went to meet--they either identified themselves without letting Seonid know, or (as I suspect is more likely) Annoura and Masuri were ordered to join with and aid Berylla and Rianna.

 

Back To the Shiny Dragon!

 

This seems to be getting a little elaborate, doesn't it? Are we then to suggest two different groups are working their manipulations on Masema seperately of each other?

 

Well no, that needn't be the case. Firstly, note that after Moghedian gets soultrapped, Moridin takes charge of at least two of the Aes Sedai Moghedian was ordering about--Falion whom he gives to Mili Skane (Lady Shiaine) and Marillin whom he has Moghedian order to help Mili Skane with her work in the Palace. I also wouldn't be surprised if he was the one to order Ispan's assasination--that seemed a little too elaborate for it to be Careane on her own. But who know's.

 

The point is Moridin clearly pressed Moghedian for her plans, and, where he chose, redirected them. Now consider that the Shiny Dragon Man seemingly was acting in accordance with the orders given by Moridin in [KoD; 3, At the Gardens]. Note, too, that Moghedian has been said to be in charge of trying to act on those orders.

 

Moridin was gathering the Great Lord's forces for the Last Battle, and his war preparations left him very little time for the south—though his two minions, Cyndane and Moghedien, occasionally showed their faces there. They spent their time rallying the Darkfriends and occasionally trying to follow Moridin's orders that the two ta'veren—Perrin Aybara and Matrim Cauthon—be killed.

 

[tGS; Prologue, What the Storm Means]

 

There is also evidence that someone redirected Masuri--she was adament that Masema could be used, but then suddenly she wants him dead? Why? To shatter the Dragonsworn with him. In the kind of melee that would follow someone assasinating Masema perhaps there would be an opportunity to slay Perrin--indeed was that not exactly the same method Masema employed, except using the chaos of that attack on Malden instead of the chaos of the Dragonsworn going nuts (and likely attacking Perrin's army)?

 

Conclusions

 

So that is my theory. That Moghedian realised the potential for chaos in Masema and set two of the Black Ajah to milk it for all its worth. That Moridin reigned in these Black Sisters along with others of Moghedian's old agents after he bound her, and set them to continue increasing chaos--directing Annoura and Masuri to assist when they came near. Then, when he decided to kill Perrin, he (or Moghedian) thought to use to volatility surrounding Masema to attempt to achieve that end, dressed himself up in Shiny Dragon Robes, and paid a visit to the worlds number one fanatic.

 

A Few Other Thoughts

 

Aes Sedai Badasses

 

Under this theory it seems possible--albeit unlikely in my opinion--that Masuri, Annoura, Berylla or Rianna could be the Shiny Dragon themselves. This would require either that one of the Forsaken trained them in Mirror of Mists, or that they knew it through a 'trick' (not impossible--Moiraine knew Folded Light which is not dissimilar). Nevertheless they would still be acting on Moridin's orders.

 

Demandred (or insert other Forsaken)

 

Now I'm not trying to say my theory proves the Demandred one wrong--but I did feel I should address it because it's the most popular out there, which means responses to this would likely be to state the Demandred one.

 

I do understand why people think of Demandred when this comes up. He is the go-to guy for any unresolved naughty plots, if only because he is so shy. Beyond that though there is nothing to really point to him. Yes, Sammael's comments about events in the south might apply to this--on the other hand Sammael was in Natrin's Barrow, and so the vast majority of the world was to the south of him. It's said, too, that Demandred likes using proxies--but a proxy is an agent, a person you've authorized to act on your behalf. Does that fit with duping an insane man? By that definition all the Forsaken who have seized control using compulsion were using them as 'proxies', and thus I cannot possibly see how Demandred could be singled out by that methodology.

 

Honestly though, I'd bite and believe him the perp too if there were the slightest indication of him having an agent in the area. Moghedian's presence at that time in the story, the focus of her attention on Samara, and her access to Rianna and Berylla fit too neatly, which is why I lean to her and Moridin. Although, that being said, I'm not sure if this would fit him anyway--He is a general, direct action is his game--manipulating the fear and hatred of a pseudo-religious following, that’s much subtler.

 

But, yes... nothing really to point to him, but then nothing to rule him out either.

 

[rinse and repeat with the other Forsaken, or even Taim. Nothing rules them out, but nothing specifically suggests them. After Moggy and Moridin, Dem has the strongest pull].

 

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I disagree. The better reasons indicate that Masema - and probably many other Dragonsworn bands in basically all of the south & west of the Westlands - were or still are under Demandred's control (he might even pose as the Taraboner military leader Tamrin, who is mentioned in TSR).

 

This would explain what Demandred was doing from the beginning to create chaos (IMO, Demandred rules Murandy via King Roedran now as well). As said, it also makes clear Sammael's comments about Demandred's activities in the south, his "friends" & "proxies". Demandred even says at the meeting in KoD that he has "followers everywhere". It would also explain Graendal's comment at the meeting in WH, that Demandred hoped to blunder into Rand, hoping someone will find Rand for him, if we remember that Masema agreed at this time to join Perrin to go to Rand. We also know that Suroth, a DF under the control of Demandred's ally Semirhage, had apparently friendly contact with Masema. Plus, Moridin gave all the Forsaken the order to have Mat and Perrin killed by their followers at the meeting in KoD. Thus, it would make sense that Demandred ordered Masema in the Dragon Reborn disguise to kill Perrin. Finally, it would certainly suit Demandred to discredit the Dragon Reborn by manipulating his nominal followers to spread chaos.

 

Besides that, we pretty much know what Moghedien was up to between TSR and LoC (especially dealing with the Wondergirls and the BA), and I think the better reasons indicate that Moghedien is involved in the Caemlyn conflict now, maybe even posing as Sylvase.

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I don't personally have much interest in who was yanking Masema's chain, but I do find it odd that your theory makes no mention at all of Suroth.  On the other hand, I heartily approve of any and all efforts to find a suspect other than Demandred for any and all mysteries which are attributed to him. 

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I like the theory on the whole, a lot of it makes sense. But:

Two niggles I'd like to make -

1) Masema wasn't a darkfriend, and he hated aes sedai, and I can't see him taking advice from anyone. I therefore fail to understand how these dark sisters were to have manipulated him - and where they've gone.

2) Suroth. Masema communicating with her implies, in my opinion, Demandred's hand. I made a thread a while ago where I discussed the nature of the "chosen alliance", and there's a quote in Book 6 that I'm more than happy to dig out that proves it was more than an informal "not-moving-against-each-other" thing. Even if you won't accept that, you have to accept that the role of Suroth is yet to be explained. She was a darkfriend, he wasn't.

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They may have claimed to be 'angels' from the 'Blessed Dragon'. In Masema's state of mind he would have accepted that, particularly if they worked a few 'miracles' (with saidar).

 

I absolutely do not buy that - I'm guessing he'd still recognise the Aes Sedai face from just how much he hated them. Furthermore, he'd be suspicious about Saidar etc - he thinks anyone touching the power but Rand is blasphemy

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Nice and well-worked out. Doesn't include a direct explanation for the Suroth link but Liandrin could provide some sort of connection.

 

There is one little detail that may be worth pondering. Balty-Halima-Arangar's POV at the Garden party confirms she has impersonated male Chosen on at least one occasion.

Could she/he have possibly imitated the DR as well?

Halima also has her hooks in the BA so the modus operandi described may be the same.

If it's not Moggy, therefore it may be Halima rather than Demandred, I simply don't see him as being very comfortable pretending to be LTT.

 

The other thing that may be worth considering, despite our normal suspension of disbelief about language, is that Masema knew Rand quite well. He's a religious nut-job and he could easily accept a shining figure of light and a resounding bass-baritone voice. But he might be puzzled if the accent is totally out of whack. The Two rivers/ West Andor accent is unusual enough for Morgause to comment on. It would have been distinctive enough for any Shienarian to note. Now, if the shining Dragon speaks in a Taraboner or Seanchan accent instead of TR---.

   

 

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I like it, but I admit my first thought was Graendal for the impersonation. No particular reason why other than the fact that she knew the human mind rather well and that would make her a good candidate to really mess with Masema's mind and manipulate him. Also, Compulsion was her specialty and IIRC the books made it a point to mention she could use lesser degrees of it than we typically saw from her.

 

But the Moghedien theory fits rather nicely, IMO.

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I don't personally have much interest in who was yanking Masema's chain, but I do find it odd that your theory makes no mention at all of Suroth.

 

I don't necessarily see why it should. The question of the Suroth/Masema alliance is an interesting one, but it may have nothing to do with this. Even if it does, answering these two questions is not dependent on also answering the Suroth one. Perhaps the Fake Rand pushed the alliance, or organised for Suroth to supply it. Perhaps Masema did that entirely on his own--I can see clear reasons why the Seanchan would appeal to his diseased mind with the leashing of channelers.

 

Lacking any hints one way or another I see no way to encorporate that question into this theory, so I left it. It could be related and it could not be--but either way it has no impact on the points I did raise--and I did consider that issue, but the only way I could see it having an impact was that it suggested Semirhage might have been the Fake Rand (and thus the connection to provide the alliance with Suroth). However given her capture occured in the morning of Aine 25, and the Fake Rand appeared in the night of Aine 25, it becomes impossible (though she may still be behind the alliance, she is not the fake Rand)

 

Is it a mystery? Absolutely--but its existence doesn't impinge this answer, or even necessarily relate to the two questions I was attempting to answer.

 

1) Masema wasn't a darkfriend, and he hated aes sedai, and I can't see him taking advice from anyone. I therefore fail to understand how these dark sisters were to have manipulated him - and where they've gone.

 

Well it's entirely possible they had no direct interaction with him. Masema's lunacy seemingly takes care of itself, and they would only need to get near him in order to guide him to decisions, whereas Masema just bumbles about cause chaos. Beyond that their work would mostly be in undercutting opposition and stopping his enemies from hurting him.

 

That being said they could be interacting with him--it's stated a number of times that he has women who act as his leiutenants, women whom the rabble are scared off--they could have infiltrated this higher rank of women. From there compulsion or Mirror of Mists could answer the issue of why he accepts them--and, as I raised, it is possible they had such knowledge, either through training from the Forsaken or through 'tricks' like Liandrin's compulsion or Moiraine's Folded Light.

 

But, I think it would either be one or the other--they have that knowledge and he doesn't know them as Aes Sedai, or he doesn't know them at all. Whatever spiel they might raise he would recognise and Aes Sedai face--and fanatacism is too strong for them to break it by simply telling him they were 'angels' or anything else.

 

 

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They may have claimed to be 'angels' from the 'Blessed Dragon'. In Masema's state of mind he would have accepted that, particularly if they worked a few 'miracles' (with saidar).

 

I absolutely do not buy that - I'm guessing he'd still recognise the Aes Sedai face from just how much he hated them. Furthermore, he'd be suspicious about Saidar etc - he thinks anyone touching the power but Rand is blasphemy

 

Don't forget about the MoM - they could easily hide their faces, or even appeared as shining Angels, with the Dragon's permission to use the Power.

 

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They may have claimed to be 'angels' from the 'Blessed Dragon'. In Masema's state of mind he would have accepted that, particularly if they worked a few 'miracles' (with saidar).

 

I absolutely do not buy that - I'm guessing he'd still recognise the Aes Sedai face from just how much he hated them. Furthermore, he'd be suspicious about Saidar etc - he thinks anyone touching the power but Rand is blasphemy

 

Don't forget about the MoM - they could easily hide their faces, or even appeared as shining Angels, with the Dragon's permission to use the Power.

 

 

While they're both true, the latter at least strains belief - they would have been mentioned, at least in passing.

The former is possible, I suppose. I still find it unlikely, but I guess it stands up

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