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Who Killed Sierin Vayu?


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Who Killed Sierin Vayu


If you believe Chesmal Emry, it was the Red Ajah, acting under her manipulations.


Chesmal would soon start regaling her with tales of her own importance. In the months since Moghedien vanished, she had heard Chesmal's part in putting Tamra Ospenya to the question at least twenty times, and how Chesmal had induced the Reds to murder Sierin Vayu before Sierin could order her arrest perhaps fifty! To hear Chesmal tell it, she had saved the Black Ajah single-handed, and she would tell it, given half a chance. That sort of talk was not only boring, it was dangerous. Even deadly, if the Supreme Council learned of it.


[WH; 10, A Plan Succeeds]


This does fit fairly neatly with the other information we have. For instance we know that after Meilyn’s death Siuan slid a note under Sierin’s door informing her of Siuan’s suspicions that the Black Ajah had murdered her [NS; 18, A Narrow Passage]. If Sierin were to act on this note then her eye would have naturally turned to Chesmal Emry who was the Yellow who delved Meilyn, and announced her death. Presumably Sierin found some proof, or perhaps Chesmal freaked that she was even being considered.


Of course this leaves us with a few questions.


1. Why use the Red Ajah? If Sierin was a threat to the Black, why didn’t the Black act for itself?

2. How did Chesmal learn that Sierin was a threat?

3. How, precisely, did Chesmal incite the Red Ajah into treason (and against an Amyrlin sympathetic to their point of view).

4. Who amongst the Red Ajah did the killing?

5. Why you bringing this up now Luckers, you oddball?


Why Use the Red Ajah?


I would say it was two things, the actual degree of the threat Sierin posed, and fear of Ishamael.


Degree of Threat


Asne shows a fair amount of disdain for Chesmal. She shows that the woman is a braggart, and likely an exaggerator. It’s possible that she became aware of Siuan’s note, or suggestions, and panicked, but lacked any proof that she was in true danger—after all it had been five years since Siuan had left the note, and there was no indication Sierin was ever intending to act on it—or for that matter that she had singled Chesmal out, after all the note also mentioned Tamra, and Ryma who reported her death was no darkfriend (which we know from [tSR; 1, Seeds of Shadow]).


Lacking proof she may have feared that it would be her who was ‘disappeared’ to protect the Black Ajah. Indeed we do know that she never went to the Supreme Council with her fears. Alviarin disavows all knowledge of how Sierin died.


She often wondered whether Elaida had had any hand in the death of that one, Sierin Vayu; certainly the Black Ajah had not.


[tPoD; Prologue, Deceptive Appearences]


I genuinely do think that the Black would have moved on Sierin if she were as great a threat as Chesmal makes out. So I’m guessing she actually wasn’t. Yet another case of Chesmal exaggerating—and lacking true proof Chesmal couldn’t approach the Supreme Council—after all the Black would be wary about killing another Amyrlin. Consider;-


Killing Another Amyrlin, the Jarna Milari Lesson


Jarna Milari was the then head of the Black Ajah, and had Tamra Ospenya put to the Question and killed before initiating the Hunt and Destroy mission detailed in New Spring. When Ishamael learnt of this he went postal and killed her.


Jarna had had Tamra Ospenya, the Amyrlin before Sierin, squeezed like a bunch of grapes—obtaining little juice, as it turned out—and made her appear to have died in her sleep, but Alviarin and the other twelve sisters of the Great Council had paid in pain before they could convince Ishamael they had no responsibility for it.



Jarna's fate flashed into her mind. Publicly Gray, Jarna had never shown any interest in the ter'angreal no one knew a use for—until the day she became snared in one untried for centuries. How to activate it remained a mystery still. For ten days no one could reach her, only listen to her throat-wrenching shrieks. Most of the Tower thought Jarna a model of virtue; when what could be recovered was buried, every sister in Tar Valon and everyone who could reach the city in time attended the funeral.


[tPoD; Prologue, Deceptive Appearences]


So yes, a combination. Sierin wasn’t as dangerous as Chesmal made out, and lacking that the Black’s would not risk Ishamael’s wrath by killing another Amyrlin. Yet Chesmal was afraid—guilty minds have the most to fear, and all that. Lacking the proof, Chesmal was forced to resort to other means—specifically, the Red.


How Did Chesmal Learn Sierin Was a Threat.


Since tGS this is no longer as complicated a question—the answer is, I believe, Sierin’s Keeper, Duhara—whom as of tGS we now know for a Black Sister. I’m guessing she either found the note, or was told of it by Sierin. But why is this almost certain? Again, if Chesmal had too strong a proof of a move against the Black she would have approached the Black. Duhara, with her close confidence with Sierin, provides an outlet for a casual inference of suspicion against Chesmal. Enough to freak Chesmal out, but not enough to serve as proof of Sierin’s dangerousness.


How Did Chesmal Incite the Red Ajah into Treason?


The obvious answer lies in the fact that the Reds were illegally gentling men who could channel. If it were suggested that Sierin had uncovered that, and was planning to move on the Red Ajah—which is not an unreasonable suggestion given that Sierin was stated to be incredibly strict in her adherence to the law—then it could easily look dire to the Red. Indeed part of the reason Toveine, Tsutama and Lirene were singled out was that to punish the Red properly would have gutted it. Too many Reds were involved. It might even have destroyed the Ajah. Had this been pointed out to the Red in the right way then it is more than enough to scare the Red into killing Sierin. Kill an Amyrlin to save the Ajah.


So Which Red Did the Deed?


It could very well ve some random Red, but for fun lets have a look at the most viable candidates.




Alviarin considers her, but I honestly don’t think so. She was too newly Aes Sedai to have that sort of influence, and that has to be something Chesmal considered. She’d approach someone she knew could get the job done, and Elaida hadn’t really proved herself yet. Additionally Chesmal is a braggart—I don’t see her failing to add this to her recited list of accomplishments. Inciting the current Amyrlin to do murder and commit treason…? That’d look real nice of an Evil Resume.


Still, it's possible.


One of the Red Leaders


The most likely candidate is one of those who organized the Vileness to begin with. They’d already proven themselves willing to break the law to get this done, which is precisely what Chesmal would be looking for. Galina is probably out of the running. Aside from being a Black, and one of those Ishamael made weep over the death of Tamra, and thus subject to the same fears of being caught Alviarin references, its also unlikely Chesmal knew Galina was head of the Red Ajah, and thus someone to approach in the first place.


This leaves the Sitters, Tsutama, Lirene and Toveine. We see Toveine think of the Vileness several times, and makes no reference to this, so I think her less likely. Lirene seems way too weak to pull this off, though I suppose that could be because she broke during her exile… but Tsutama... If her current nature is anything to go by she far from stable. Merciless, dangerous and very capable, but not in any way close to being stable. She would make the perfect killer. Yup, she’s my pick.


So Why Am I Bringing This Up Now?


Well, Verin’s confirmation that Duhara is indeed Black puts a little more information into the swimming pool, but beyond that it was just to make a few points for consideration in the anticipation of  Tower’s of Midnight. Firstly, note that Duhara is now in Caemlyn where Chesmal is being held captive by Elayne. Secondly, recall Pevara’s worries about Tsutama’s sanity from KoD, and ask the question—what will her position on Egwene be... and if the above is any indication, what might she be capable of doing about it?


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