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Military Roundup


Luckers
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Armed Forces

 

 

Borderlanders

 

Merillile estimated the army in Andor to have 200,000 and we know they left a significant force behind. Depending on what they term to be ‘enough to stop anything short of the Trolloc Wars come again’ that could range from between 50,000 to 200,000. We must keep in mind that to the Borderlanders a big incursion from the blight is a few thousand. Note Bashere’s surprise at the numbers involved on the attack on Algarin’s manor.

 

In any case Lower = 250,000

Upper = 400,000

Lan will likely gather quite a force in his march also... 50,000 or more I’d guess.

 

Rand's Forces

 

Aiel - Based on Mat's force assessment of the Shaido in tFoH, but including losses to the bleakness and battler, between 400,000 and 500,000.

 

Cairhein - A strong nation, but weakened by civil war, and the Aiel invasion. 125,000 to 150,000.

 

Tear - 150,000 to 175,000. Upper limit set by Andor, which is cited as the strongest nation in the Westlands at 200,000.

 

Illian - Given Sammael's heavy recruitment program as Lord Brand... maybe 200,000.

 

The Legion of the Dragon - it was 30,000 in aCoS (15 trained, 15 not) but given Taims... veracious recruiting campaign i wouldn't be surprised if this hadn't tripled. Nevertheless ill place this at 60,000... and if they get their hands on Mat's crossbow bolts...

 

Total = Between 935,000 and 1,085,000

 

Andor

 

Elayne states that fully marshaled they could barely match the Borderlander army. 200,000.

 

Interulde

 

Following the confrontation with Turan he’s down to 50,000

 

The Aes Sedai

 

Gawyn estimates that the Rebels had 50,000 spread in two camps, and Elaida ordered the guard raised to 50,000 long ago. So following reunification 100,000.

 

The Children of the Light

 

7,000

 

The Band of the Red Hand

 

As of KoD there are 6 banners of horse, and 5 banners of foot plus a banner of masons. Crossbows are a little uncertain--Talmanes brought 4,000 with him into Altara, and said that he'd left the Band 'a little light on crossbows'. That means there are still more with the group that went into Andor, but not a lot. Let's say 5,000 total.

 

The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time tells us that in the Trolloc Wars a Banner of horse consisted of 1,500. This is consistant with Karede's estimation of the part of the band Mat had in Altara, and it makes sense as Mat structured his army based on memories of the Trolloc Wars. A Banner of Foot was 3,000.

 

6 Banners of Horse = 9,000

5 Banners of Foot = 15,000

~of the Crossbows = 5,000

~Banner of Masons = Uncertain. The Guide states that in the Trolloc Wars the Masons were included in what was called a Miners Banner, which could number as large as an entire legion. I doubt that is the case for the Band, however--Miners Banners did many other things as well. Let's say 1,000 though.

 

Band total = ~ 30,000

 

 

Dragonsworn

 

Numerically negligible. Those with Masema got slaughtered, and the rest have been gathered up by either Ituralde or Taim, and are thus accounted for elsewhere.

 

The Seanchan

 

This is difficult to calculate. Turan’s forces were largely decimated, so they lost around 100,000. A new army of 300,000 was dispatched to deal with Ituralde, and by the feel of it that’s far from all their forces. Tylee had 15,000 under her. With another large army of around 30,000 wandering about in Altara. Given the frequency of the mention of Seanchan forces, and how spread out they are, with Altaran, Taraboner and Amadacian conscripts present... i'd place their numbers at at least 800,000, but likely closer to a million. But that is a very loose guess. Remember too they have the only air force in the world, and the only force literally capable of going toe to toe with a Trolloc, and coming out on top... except for maybe the Ogier.

 

Murandy

 

I think Murandy is underestimated. Due to contentions they have a standing army that is quite large due to the fact that each Lord and Lady has their own force... now all of which is united behind Roedan. I reckon they might even have 100,000 or more. However, I also suspect that Roedan is either Demandred, or under his control... so...

 

Ogier

 

Who knows... i doubt they'd be able to muster a large force... but they could be effective. Lets say maybe 10,000

 

Channeling Forces

 

Black Tower - Around 1000 now, though that may have climbed. 100 Darkfriends and 900 Light.

 

White Tower – 1,950. Including all Aes Sedai, and novices and subtracting losses to the Seanchan and the BA purge. Aprox. 700 Aes Sedai, 50 Accepted and 1,200 novices.

 

Black Ajah – There were 203 names on Verin’s list, plus six more found in the purge, and three missing sisters who very likely are black, bringing us to 212. 50 sisters were executed amongst the Rebels dropping it to 162. In the Tower the ‘majority’ of Black Sisters escaped, which I’d say means at least 10 to 15 were caught.  Verin likely missed a few who were no where near the Tower during the purge, so the remaining Black likely number somewhere between 150 and 160.

 

Wise Ones - Based on the Shaido, 5500. Lets be extremely kind and give a third to the Shadow. 1875 Dark and 3625 light

 

Seanchan - Hard to say. They get every sparker, and the Seanchan have a much, much larger population by all accounts. Plus they've taken loads of new damane since arriving (randoms, the shaido, the windfinders, the kin... loads). I'll give them 6,000 and think that’s conservative. It might only be 4,000, or may be as high as 8,000. Not many darkfriends amongst the sul'dam, so i won’t give any to the Shadow.

 

The Kin - Given likely losses to the Seanchan I’ll put them at 1,300. No darkfriends.

 

The Windfinders - Given ship distribution, presence of apprentices and so forth, I’d guess around 3,000. Being kind ill give a third to the shadow. 1,000 dark and 2,000 light.

 

Conclusion

 

Armed Forces of the Light - Between 2,105,000 and 2,505,000

 

Channeling Forces of the Light - 15,775

 

Channeling Forces of the Dark - 3,135

 

Other Considerations

 

Given the disparate amount of Dark Channelers, and RJ's insistence that the Light is in a bad way, there are some other possible considerations.

 

1. Aiel Male Channelers. Have been going north for a very long time. Possibly been turned to the Shadow. I'd suggest around 1000... remember, 1/4 would have died.

 

2. Taim. I believe that Taim was trained a while back by Ishamael (when Ishy first suspect Rand's birth), and sent out to start training men who can channel for the Shadow. Since this must have been done by Ishy for the Trolloc Wars (since we know men fought in those wars, and someone must have gathered and trained them) i think this is very likely. Moreover, i suspect there might be women out there doing the same thing. The Aes Sedai ignored wilders and those channelers that never bothered to come to the Tower, and the Kin never recruited... they only accepted Tower dropouts which leaves a fairly massive (even with recent recruitments) untapped force. This scenario matches Taims comments of his past--he admits to trying to train people, but claims they went insane... if Taim is a darkfriend, as seems likely, then those men would have had the option of joining the dark.

 

Still, a furtive operation at best... even with a whole bunch of people doing it... My guess would put it at around 2,000... but ill be kind and say 4,000, just because.

 

3. The Sharans. They are a massive untapped force... but there are some problems. They are ruled by the channelers from the background, which means a monolithic organization with diffused circles of power. They use compulsion all the time in their ruling, which would make it hard to control them in this manner. Additionally from purely plot perspective it would be hard to swallow... the Aiel Instant Army was hard to swallow, and he spent the better part of two books doing that.

 

4. The Land of the Madmen... i believe this is where the shadow has been gathering channelers... the stories about the place strike me as a massive smokescreen... but meh. Alternatively it might be a ripe recruitment area for the Shadow. ill given them 4,000 channelers too... male and female.

 

If these are true, it boosts the number of Dark Channelers to 12,135. A much more even number.

 

*sigh*. Thats, near as i can tell, the current distribution of forces. I haven’t speculated on the number of shadowspawn... but it will more them probably be greater than the forces of the Light... maybe 3 million or more. Likely more. Nor have I speculated on the number of Darkfriend soldiers there might be out there, but given the Trolloc Wars, it will likely be in the tens of thousands

 

 

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I'm rather curious about the strength of the Borderlands.  I think you may be underrated their strength by a significant margin.  I don't want to get into serious discussions about the logistic involved, since there's a very long thread about that already, but it seems they should be stronger.

 

If, as you say, the upper limit for Borderland armies is ~=~ 400,000, that comes to an average of 125,000 per nation.  Since these nations are more militaristic by far than the Southlands, I'd expect to find a bit more forces in arms.  For example, at Fal Dara, EVERY man seems to be a soldier in some capacity.  You'd expect each of the Borderland nations to at least be comparable to the strong nations in the South, like Tear or Andor.  Clearly they're not as big, but the greater emphasis on soldiering should produce more soldiers per capita as they'd have fewer gleemen, musicians, scholars (I'm guessing) and various other pursuits.

 

I'd like to know just how large the army at Tarwin's Gap was during EotW.  Given some of the descriptions, it seems like it can't be more than about 20,000.  Agelmar suggests that a thousand men would follow Lan to Tarwin's Gap if he flew the Golden Crane.  Agelman wouldn't care about a mere thousand if he had more than about 20 times that already.  And when Lan offers a rhetorical assessment about entering the blight, he says that 100 men would be too many, and 1,000 too few, as if 1,000 is a ridiculous upper limit for how many Agelmar might deem to spare for the cause.

 

Personally, I think that the Borderlands left more strength at home than they brought.  Brandon certainly disagrees, from what we've seen in tGS, where it's suggested that they're shirking their responsibilities to the Blight by stripping too many defenses away from the border.  I'm just not sure if that's accurate.  Is there anywhere else we can get a good assessment of the Borderlanders' overall strength?

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Bronnt you may be correct, but consider. Andor is stated to be the strongest nation in the Westlands--not one of the strongest, the strongest, which means the Borderland nations can't equal 200,000. From there, yes, they are more militaristic, but then they also have constant warfare with the Blight and the Shadow, which will have winnowed down their numbers as much as the civil war did in Cairhein--and likely more. It's not as wild, but its more consistant, and more organised.

 

I suspect what is more likely that the training every borderland man has in fighting as a result of Trolloc raids will mean that rather then the standing Borderlander armies being huge, the army that Lan will gather from the commoners will be.

 

I've granted him 50,000, equivelent to what Bryne raised in a similar march, but given the tGS prologue and the fact that the Borderlanders are reacting to the impending doom, it could be MUCH higher.

 

Luckers, what is the theory behind no DFs in the Kin?  Was that stated somewhere that I missed, or is that an assumption based on their operating model of generally helping people and being pillars of the community etc?

 

Ispan was the first to highlight the point. With three of the Forsaken hunting the ter'angreal cache in Ebou Dar surely one should have looked to darkfriends in the Kin for answers. This suggests no Darkfriends in the Kin, and certainly the Black Ajah couldn't find any.

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also remeber in the borderland any male over the age of 16 can, and possibly will be called to go to war at any time, yes each boderland nation might only have a standing army of ~150,000- 200,000 people but when the horns of war call dont be to suprised if each nation has 1 mil + marching behind the banner. so we could probly see the army of the light totaling upwards of a 150 mil or more (especialy if tuon gets of her high horse and gates the rest of the seanchan army/airforce to randland, and any person 16 years old and up to hold a wepon.)

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I suspect what is more likely that the training every borderland man has in fighting as a result of Trolloc raids will mean that rather then the standing Borderlander armies being huge, the army that Lan will gather from the commoners will be.

 

I've granted him 50,000, equivelent to what Bryne raised in a similar march, but given the tGS prologue and the fact that the Borderlanders are reacting to the impending doom, it could be MUCH higher.

 

It has become even more apparent in the time since Nynaeve dropped Lan off at World's End that Tarmon Gaidon is imminent.  People will be more willing to gather and fight, and the prologue of tGS indicates this very clearly.  Even the farmers are feeling compelled to pick up any tool at hand to use as a weapon and march toward the blight.

 

In Lan's case, he will not just be attracting farmers and common workmen.  He will likely be drawing in most every individual in the Borderlands with a drop of Malkieri blood in their veins.  I have a feeling that the greater part of what is left of the Malkieri nation will be following Lan to Tarwin's Gap.

 

Taking all that in to account, I think 50,000 could be a very conservative number.  I think we will be surprised at the size of the force that has gathered around Lan. (If Perrin can find himself responsible for 100,000 ex-Gai'shain, then why couldn't we imagine similar numbers in the case of Lan.  Lan is pulling from a much larger area.) 

 

IMO Lan's ability to gather willing men (and women) in the Borderlands to follow him and fight would far surpase even Bryne's ability to attract men from Altara and Murandy to follow the Aes Sedai.  Most Borderlanders would probably consider it an honor and a responsibility to follow Lan.

 

With all their Kings, Queens, and great captains away from their nations, there is literally no single person better to lead every able-bodied Borderlander in to a last, desperate offensive against the Shadow.  If he leads it, they will come. ;)

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In The Gathering Storm, who were the characters that gave us any clues to hint at the possible quantative amount of people who is in Lan's Borderlanders Army?

the prologue, when the farmer talks to the blacksmith who tells him how to turn a scythe into a pole arm or spear or somethign like that

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In The Gathering Storm, who were the characters that gave us any clues to hint at the possible quantative amount of people who is in Lan's Borderlanders Army?

the prologue, when the farmer talks to the blacksmith who tells him how to turn a scythe into a pole arm or spear or somethign like that

 

Is that it? I mean, are there any other references in The Gathering Storm that might indicate how large of an army shall be following Lan Mandraggoran on his march to Tarmon Gaidon?

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These numbers just show that either the shadow has crazy number of trollocs to come (which was shown to be very difficult to substantiate) there going to be a LOT of dark friends coming out of the closet, so to say. :) Sharra anyone...?

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RJ stated in some interview that the DO had access to a rediculous amount of trollocs, and that the female ones stay in the blight all the time to be used for breeding.

 

Also, it's been mentioned that there are creatures in the blight that can't be controlled by any save the DO, and in TG the DO is going to throw everything he's got into it

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Bronnt you may be correct, but consider. Andor is stated to be the strongest nation in the Westlands--not one of the strongest, the strongest, which means the Borderland nations can't equal 200,000.

The borderlands comprise of four nations. The army they took with them to find Rand had 200,000. They left behind probably 1/3 to 1/2 their forces based on what Bashere stated when he met Rand. That means each individual nation can field 75,000 to 100,000 each. I feel Lan with end up with 1/3 of the men remaining up there and end up with north of 100,000 in his force.

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RJ stated in some interview that the DO had access to a rediculous amount of trollocs, and that the female ones stay in the blight all the time to be used for breeding.

 

Also, it's been mentioned that there are creatures in the blight that can't be controlled by any save the DO, and in TG the DO is going to throw everything he's got into it

 

IIRC, the quote was "an order of magnitude" more Trollocs than could be supported by the Blight.

 

I hope we'll see some Worm action in addition to whatever scares Worms. Maybe it's the Woodland Critters.

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RJ stated in some interview that the DO had access to a rediculous amount of trollocs, and that the female ones stay in the blight all the time to be used for breeding.

 

Also, it's been mentioned that there are creatures in the blight that can't be controlled by any save the DO, and in TG the DO is going to throw everything he's got into it

 

IIRC, the quote was "an order of magnitude" more Trollocs than could be supported by the Blight.

 

I hope we'll see some Worm action in addition to whatever scares Worms. Maybe it's the Woodland Critters.

robins scare worms

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I would speculate that large numbers of darkfriend soldiers will come from Murandy.  I get the feeling that the place is just littered with them.

 

Nothing to substantiate my claim really, other than we haven't heard much about it and the few that we know of that came from there are DFs (Fain and the Asha'man from there - Torval or Gedwyn?).

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I would speculate that large numbers of darkfriend soldiers will come from Murandy.  I get the feeling that the place is just littered with them.

 

Nothing to substantiate my claim really, other than we haven't heard much about it and the few that we know of that came from there are DFs (Fain and the Asha'man from there - Torval or Gedwyn?).

plus in areas with lots of war strife, and competition you would naturally get more people swearing to the dark one to try and gain an edge on the enemy

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Armed Forces

 

Wise Ones - Based on the Shaido, 5500. Lets be extremely kind and give a third to the Shadow. 1875 Dark and 3625 light

 

 

Too kind. Come on....

 

AS had like 1/7

 

I say WO are 1/55 100 total. Not all can channel

 

He's assessing a worst case scenario for the Light since it seems like the Dark are so short on channeling forces.  At least, to our knowledge.

 

I don't see any reason why you'd think it so drastic a difference of percentage of Wise Ones are Dark Friends compared to Aes Sedai.  I mean, at least, they'd be fairly comparable, like 1 in 10, or maybe 1 in 15, but 1 in 55?  There's no basis for thinking so many of the Aiel are all Light Followers, compared to the percentages we see in Aes Sedai.

 

One more thing, Luckers, I think there's actually a higher percentage in the Black Tower that are Dark than in the White, based on what we know.  The 100 Black that we know of are all full Asha'Man, and surely there's a ton more that haven't been trained as Taim's stooges yet, and even more that haven't been discovered since they're a new organization. I wouldn't be surprised if the Black Tower is a total cesspool, where 40-50% are Dark.  Given that before Rand cleansed Saidin, the DO had a major recruiting advantage in that he could offer protection, it doesn't seem that unlikely.  Taim was the man who pushed aggressive from the very beginning, so for him to bring an army that's 90% Light seems like a huge failure on his part.

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He's assessing a worst case scenario for the Light since it seems like the Dark are so short on channeling forces.  At least, to our knowledge.

 

I don't see any reason why you'd think it so drastic a difference of percentage of Wise Ones are Dark Friends compared to Aes Sedai.  I mean, at least, they'd be fairly comparable, like 1 in 10, or maybe 1 in 15, but 1 in 55?  There's no basis for thinking so many of the Aiel are all Light Followers, compared to the percentages we see in Aes Sedai.

 

 

Culture....

 

Aiel

Ruled by Honor

Anyone can be whatever they want to be

Has no criminal element

Guided by family, Wise Ones, clan, sept, society

Willing to die for honor (I don't believe fear would work to recruit Aiel)

 

Rest of Randland

Ruled by Everything except honor

Easy to recruit from criminal element

Guided by only family..

Willing to do anything to live. (Even Verin said her main reason of joining was to live.)

 

Darkfriends

Ruled by Fear

Run on selfishness

 

 

If you were a darkfriend where would you rather recruit. In Aiel lands you'd have to thread very carefully.

 

Plus AS mainly join for power.

WOs don't really use power to achieve their goals. Without rank or positions. WOs have to use cooperation.

 

What's the point of being evil if you still have to cooperate!?!?

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This discussion reminds me of two old threads, my the DO is NOT winning and The Military Discussion Thread. (Full Spoilers).

 

@Luckers,

 

1. I agree with you on the numbers of Light forces. Rand has around 1mn under his direct control, another 1-1.5mn are under the Light in the Westlands.

 

2. Disagree on numbers of Dark channelers. Giving 1/3 of them from Aiel and Sea Folk is ridiculously generous. They are far more (internally) cohesive societies than in the Westlands, and the Shadow cannot have spent nearly as much effort infiltrating them as it has with the conventional Westland nations. And why should they? The Sea Folk are utterly peripheral to the Shadow's interests. The Aiel shouldn't have been a problem either, except for the fact that the Dragon led them over the Dragonwall. No, the Light has an absolutely dominant advantage here, I'm pretty certain.

 

3. I think by far the most important "known unknowns" are A) the number of Trollocs and other Shadowspawn, and B) what nasty tricks does the DO have up his sleeve?

 

A) According to my calculations in the threads I cited, the carrying capacity of the Blight is low and it cannot maintain more than a couple million of fighting Trollocs at the very, very most. (At least not if the Blight was in the real world ;) ). While a few million Trollocs aren't something to laugh about, they are defeatable - Rand's channelers kill 100,000 in a few minutes. So there are two possibilities:

 

a) The real number of Trollocs is actually far higher, because of some unknown mechanism. In one of my theories I mentioned the possibility that time runs slower for Shadowspawn in the Blight, so that if a Trolloc feeds once, - e.g., after a raid on the Borderlands - it doesn't have to feed for several weeks or months. This would of course allow a much higher carrying capacity for the Blight's Shadowspawn. Alternatively, the DO or his minions may have some kind of ability to bring over Trollocs from the Parallel Worlds to fight the Last Battle.

 

This is backed by Branderson's recent quote that the number of Trollocs available to the Shadow is an order of magnitude above what the Blight can support. That would be a very important detail, of course. 2-3 million Trollocs can be dealt with by the Light, even if the Shadow has a few hundred Dreadlords. 20-30mn? Things get a lot bleaker.

 

b) / B) - nasty tricks the DO has. As the DO strengthens his power, all reality begins to crumble (as is already happening). The one power is part of reality. We have already seen cases of saidar failing. And we know that in the Blight, the One Power becomes corrupted when channeled. One possibility = if the DO were to somehow disable channeling or make it too unreliable to be used for military purposes, then the Light is really screwed, because its channelers (who also happen to have almost all the angreal) are its biggest advantages. Sure, the DO will have also made his Dreadlords and Forsaken ineffective, but that isn't exactly a problem, because the Aes Sedai, Asha'man, damane, etc, have also all been removed from the board. 25mn Trollocs & other Shadowspawn vs 2.5mn Light soldiers = Light is doomed.

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Basically, the Shadow has a VAST advantage in everything except channelers.  With at least an order of magnitude more trollocs than the Blight could sustain (and the guy who reported the quote couldn't remember if it was an order or orders plural, which means we could be talking 100-1,000 times as many trollocs as expected), monsters that we don't even know about (what exactly do Worms turn into, and what scared them off?  What are Bloodwrasps?  What ELSE is there?) and the Dark One's touch, there is virtually no chance for the Light toe-to-toe, sword-to-misshapen fang.  Channelers are a big question though.  RJ definitely intended for the Light to be the underdog; it's confirmed by his interviews and makes a much better story anyway.  So, is Shai'tan pulling a bunch of Dreadlords out of his Shadowy ear (Black Asha'man maybe?), or are the "conventional" Dark forces going to be enough trouble on their own?

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