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A New Verinism--Tomas.


Luckers
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So, ok, this may be reaching at straws, but something occurred to me when doing the write up for the DMDB Very Helpful Verin listing--specifically, Verin's behaviour was scoured prior to tGS for actions that were out of the ordinary (aka Verinisms). After tGS, though, we've not really paid attention to new abnormalities--oh people discuss her notes to Mat, but the spotlight on her seems to have faded.

 

Yet she does say some very weird things about her Warder, Tomas.

 

"Tomas. Does he know what you've done?"

 

"He was a Darkfriend himself, child," Verin said. "Wanting a way out. Well, there really isn't a way out, not once the Great Lord has his claws in you. But there was a way to fight, to make up for a little of what you've done. I offered that chance to Tomas, and I believe he was quite grateful to me for it."

 

Egwene hesitated, trying to take all of this in. Verin was a Darkfriend . . . but not one at the same time. "You said he 'was' quite grateful to you?"

 

Verin didn't answer immediately. She simply took another sip of her tea. "The oaths one makes to the Great Lord are quite specific," she finally continued. "And, when they are placed upon one who can channel, they are quite binding. Impossible to break. You can double-cross other Dark-friends, you can turn against the Chosen if you can justify it. Selfishness must be preserved. But you can never betray him. You can never betray the order itself to outsiders. But the oaths are specific. Very specific." She looked up, meeting Egwene's eyes. " 'I swear not to betray the Great Lord, to keep my secrets until the hour of my death.' That was what I promised. Do you see?"

 

Egwene looked down at the steaming cup in Verin's hands. "Poison?"

 

"It takes a very special tea to make asping rot go down sweetly," Verin said, taking another sip. "As I said, please thank Laras for me."

 

Egwene closed her eyes. Nynaeve had mentioned asping rot to her; a drop could kill. It was a quick death, peaceful, and often came . . . within an hour of ingestion.

 

"A curious hole in the oaths," Verin said softly. "To allow one to effect a betrayal in the final hour of one's life. I cannot help wondering if the Great Lord knows of it. Why wouldn't he close that hole?"

 

"Perhaps he doesn't see it as threatening," Egwene said, opening her eyes. "After all, what kind of Darkfriend would kill themselves in order to advance the greater good? It doesn't seem the kind of thing his followers would consider."

 

"You may be right at that," Verin said, setting the cup of tea aside. "It would be wise to make certain that is disposed of with care, child."

 

"So that is it?" Egwene asked, chilled. "What of Tomas?"

 

"We made our farewells. He is spending his last hour with family."

 

[tGS; 39, A Visit From Verin Sedai]

 

My problem with this is why is Tomas spending his last hour doing anything? Why does he have a last hour at all? The last hour prescription is a function of the binding Black Aes Sedai undergo, so why was it applicable to Tomas?

 

Verin says he was looking for a way out, and that there were none but that there was a way to fight back. The assumption here is that that way ended for him with Verin's death, yet it is curious--Verin clearly had plans for beyond her death--she did not actually want to die, and only did so because the removal of the Oath Rod left her no other options. So why did Tomas have to die? He clearly was on her side, and she could have released his bond so he didn't suffer the Death Absortion Effect.

 

Brandon has told us we should still be asking questions about Verin, and prior to her revelation this sort of thing would have rung alarm bells--yet no one questions it. Why go into such detail about Tomas? Why act like he was as bound by the Oath against betraying the Great Lord as she was?

 

I don't really have an answer--maybe he is persuing her goals, the ones she implies to Egwene she has set in motion. Yet why does she conceal him doing so whilst trusting Egwene with everything else? Or if she is to conceal him, why doesn't she just shut up about him?

 

As I said this may be reaching, but most the Verinisms began so, and Brandon has suggested we should continue in this light....

 

 

So yeah. Thoughts?

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"Last hour", does not necessarily mean death.

 

It could mean, for example, his last hour as a "loyal darkfriend" before he goes on a Aes Sedai-death induced warder rampage on every darkfriend he knows about.

 

After all, if we take Verin's words at face value, there is SOMETHING keeping Tomas from turning his back on the darkfriends, and Verin's death might be what he needs to get out of it. If this is the case, then Verin couldn't have released him before her death if he wanted a "way to fight".

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"And, when they are placed upon one who can channel, they are quite binding. Impossible to break.

 

That section being the obvious, glaring elephant in the room.  Perhaps Tomas can channel.

 

Aside from there being no real evidence to support Tomas as a channeler, he's too old to have been taught by Ishamael, he doesn't show any signs of madness (unless he was granted Forsaken-level taint-protection) and unless this was Verin's first time meeting Cadsuane with Tomas, Cadsuane might be a tad suspicious about why her male-channeler presence-detection ter'angreal keeps on going off around Tomas.  That being said, Tomas is only around Cadsuane when Ashaman are present so it's possible that could have been missed. 

 

However, to me the deal-breaker is that Tomas is OLD.  He never slowed.  Unless he only started channeling VERY recently, which just seems a stretch to me, it's not really possible. 

 

And when would Tomas have learned how to channel? Most of the time he's surrounded by other Aes Sedai (e.g., Alanna in Book 4, etc.). 

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Aside from which, the binding nature of the oaths on channalers of which Verin speaks is to do with the Oath Rod. Verin herself shows this, with her desire to use the Oath Rod to remove her Oaths.

 

No, Tomas being a channeler is out, but the Verinism stands, I think.

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What about Tomas taking poison as well?

 

That's the assumption of what he did, based on Verin's comments--but the point of this thread is why would he do so? He had no need to be within in an hour of his death, and the Oaths he swore, whilst ultimately inescable once its realised he's betraying them, don't stop him betraying them. He is not bound by the Power against betraying the Shadow, its just that should he do so he'd be assasinated, which doesn't really stop him from doing short term damage, much as Ingtar managed--or even long term like Fain.

 

Perhaps because once she was dead, and he had been released, another Chosen, or BA could have come along and scooped him up, forcing him to continue the DO's work.

 

Certainly there were risks of him being a traitor--we see from Slayer's tracking of Fain that the Shadow is quite stringent on this--but that is not the end. He could still have gone to ground and achieved much. The Shadow is very far from omnipotent, as Verin herself proves.

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Perhaps because once she was dead, and he had been released, another Chosen, or BA could have come along and scooped him up, forcing him to continue the DO's work.

 

Certainly there were risks of him being a traitor--we see from Slayer's tracking of Fain that the Shadow is quite stringent on this--but that is not the end. He could still have gone to ground and achieved much. The Shadow is very far from omnipotent, as Verin herself proves.

 

But he's an old man, being on the run for the rest of whatever is left of his natural life (no that he doesn't have the benefit of being bonded to an AS) is not necessarily that appealing to him. And she says he has family, as the DF Whitecloak (Carrdin?) shows, the Chosen have no problem killing innocent family members of DF's they feel aren't performing up to snuff. With the Last Battle so close maybe he just decided enough was enough.

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Maybe Verin and Tomas swapped bodies and Verin is really alive as Tomas.

 

 

But in all seriousness, good catch Luckers.

 

ZOMG! TOMAS IS THE DRAGON REBORN.

 

Boy is Moridin's face red right now.  ;D

 

But he's an old man, being on the run for the rest of whatever is left of his natural life (no that he doesn't have the benefit of being bonded to an AS) is not necessarily that appealing to him. And she says he has family, as the DF Whitecloak (Carrdin?) shows, the Chosen have no problem killing innocent family members of DF's they feel aren't performing up to snuff. With the Last Battle so close maybe he just decided enough was enough.

 

I'm not really suggesting he's just running for the sake of staying alive, I'm suggesting he's still working on missions for Verin, which Verin has intentionally concealed from Egwene. He has the skills needed to stay alive, and there is no reason for him to have needed to die as Verin suggests.

 

This is, of course, far from anything solid enough to be a genuine theory--but it is a Verinism.  Something we would have been all over in the old days. And Brandon has suggested we should still be all over Verin.

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"Last hour", does not necessarily mean death.

 

It could mean, for example, his last hour as a "loyal darkfriend" before he goes on a Aes Sedai-death induced warder rampage on every darkfriend he knows about.

 

After all, if we take Verin's words at face value, there is SOMETHING keeping Tomas from turning his back on the darkfriends, and Verin's death might be what he needs to get out of it. If this is the case, then Verin couldn't have released him before her death if he wanted a "way to fight".

 

Last hour probably means death, but note that Verin does not indicate that Tomas's last hour is contemporaneous with hers. 

 

"So that is it?" Egwene asked, chilled. "What of Tomas?"

 

"We made our farewells. He is spending his last hour with family."

 

Verin might very well be telling the truth.  Tomas has every intention of spending his last hour with family, albeit many years in the future.  Most people probably plan on spending their last hour with their family.

 

Keep in mind Verin must have said her "farewells" to Tomas some time ago, certainly not within the hour she spoke to Egwene.  Verin went down and got the tea from Laras, looked for the Oath Road and did who knows what else after saying her  bye to Tomas. So he "is" spending his last hour with family does not mean "right now as I speak with you Egwene".

 

To quote an ex-president, it all depends on what your definition of the word is, is.

 

As Luckers suggested, she might also just be lying.  The reason might simply be so that Egwene provides cover for Tomas so he's not assassinated so the Black Ajah and company think he's out of the picture.

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Maybe what we should be looking at is the Laras part of the equation.  From Laras point of view, why would a normal Aes Sedai come to her and ask her for something that will make poison go down sweetly.  Either that person is planning on killing someone (without them knowing), or killing themself (without the horrific tastes), right?

 

And I feel like we can assume from her statements that she had to ask Laras directly for "something strong enough to blanket the taste of this particular poison?"

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, I suppose Verin could have just asked Laras for "a pound of sugar."

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Maybe what we should be looking at is the Laras part of the equation.  From Laras point of view, why would a normal Aes Sedai come to her and ask her for something that will make poison go down sweetly.  Either that person is planning on killing someone (without them knowing), or killing themself (without the horrific tastes), right?

 

And I feel like we can assume from her statements that she had to ask Laras directly for "something strong enough to blanket the taste of this particular poison?"

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, I suppose Verin could have just asked Laras for "a pound of sugar."

 

I am pretty sure she asked Laras for a particular type of tea, that Verin knew would mask the taste of the poison.  I doubt it was particularly suspicious, it's like going to a bar and asking for a certain beer...because it masks the taste of the peanuts you plan on eating.

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Even if Verin didn't know the specific tea to request, she only had to ask for something to mask a bitter taste.  Think back to Moiraine borrowing Nynaeve's herbs in Book I for her headaches.  An Aes Sedai would likely take all kinds of herbal remedies when she is out in the world without a Healer, so a request like that would be unlikely to draw any attention.  I doubt Verin mentioned poison to Laras at all.

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Looking back on that conversation now I see what you mean, Luckers. I'm of, what seems to be, the growing consensus. Verin's line "when they are placed upon one who can channel" seems to point to Thomas' lack of an 'unbreakable' binding of the Oaths that Verin swore. Indeed, she only claims him as DF with no overt indication that he swore anything. I also believe, like most here, that Verin's line about Thomas 'spending his last hour with family' is not at all bound in any way with Verin's time of death. Meaning that Thomas', so long as he keeps his wits about him, death could be years in the future.

 

I'll add here my guess as to what Verin's "But there was a way to fight, to make up for a little of what you've done. I offered that chance to Tomas, and I believe he was quite grateful to me for it." line means. I don't recall exactly the last time Thomas was seen (I've just finished my first read through) but, I think that Thomas' chance to 'fight, to make up for the little of what' he's done lies with aiding Mat. Could he still be near Mat, waiting for him to open that letter or in some way induce Mat to open it?

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Just to put some water into this: when I read the chapter, it seemed very straightforward to me - Tomas was Verin's warder, and we know that warders don't take the death of "their" Aes Sedai very well. I don't think the warder bond works that much differently for darkfriends, so I simply assumed that instead of going through avoidable agony, he'd poison himself as soon as he felt Verin's death. Wherever he was at that time.

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Just to put some water into this: when I read the chapter, it seemed very straightforward to me - Tomas was Verin's warder, and we know that warders don't take the death of "their" Aes Sedai very well. I don't think the warder bond works that much differently for darkfriends, so I simply assumed that instead of going through avoidable agony, he'd poison himself as soon as he felt Verin's death. Wherever he was at that time.

How does Thomas' killing himself after sensing Verin's death in anyway provide him 'a way to fight, to make up for a little of what' he's done?

 

Of course, as noted before, Verin could simply be lying and this is all mute. But I trust Verin's dying confession to Eg mainly because a good deal of it has already been verified with the rooting out of so many BA sisters.

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You are assuming her "offer" hasn't already been seen through to its end, that he hasn't done his fighting to make up for his "crimes".  I would think that Verin and Tomas aiding the DR through out his travels, and providing their assistance to Matt and Perin would easily qualify as fighting to right some of their wrongs.  Unless she has released him from the bond, I would assume that Tomas' death and Verin's death will be very close together.  Now the possibility that she has released him from the bond exists, and that he has things to see through for Verin.

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Just to put some water into this: when I read the chapter, it seemed very straightforward to me - Tomas was Verin's warder, and we know that warders don't take the death of "their" Aes Sedai very well. I don't think the warder bond works that much differently for darkfriends, so I simply assumed that instead of going through avoidable agony, he'd poison himself as soon as he felt Verin's death. Wherever he was at that time.

How does Thomas' killing himself after sensing Verin's death in anyway provide him 'a way to fight, to make up for a little of what' he's done?

 

Of course, as noted before, Verin could simply be lying and this is all mute. But I trust Verin's dying confession to Eg mainly because a good deal of it has already been verified with the rooting out of so many BA sisters.

 

Verin might have meant having Tomas watch her back all those years while she worked to betray the DO as a way to "make up for a little" for what he's done, understanding that for her work to bear fruition she was going to have to kill herself (and he'd either be released or have to kill himself as well). But if Tomas wanted to strike back, killing himself just because Verin's killing herself strikes me as a bit wasteful. Unless, of course, there's things he set in motion (or she set in motion that involve him) which required his death as well. Or Verin's lying to Egwene regarding what Tomas is up to, to throw off the trail. Or there's a way that the DO binds non-channeling Darkfriends against betrayal (Verin didn't say that only channelers are bound irrevocably and some of the things done to Fain by the DO make me wonder) and since he knows what Verin's about to do, he has to kill himself to allow her to go through with the betrayal. Or he's just done with it all, grateful for the opportunity to watch Verin's back while she's plotted to unleash a total sh**-storm against the Shadow, and now that they've succeeded in this endeavor, he's ready to die. Or something else entirely.

 

The use of the word "is" in Verin's dicsussion with Egwene infers that Tomas is presently spending the last hour with his family as of the time of her discussion with Egwene. She didn't say "was" or "will be," so unless Verin lied to Egwene to protect Tomas, I doubt Tomas' last hour is in the future. Unless RJ first thought up this scene during the infamous "it depends on what the meaning of the word is 'is'" testimony during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal of the late 1990s and decided to make a vague reference to it more than a decade later just for kicks.

 

From the hints we've gotten, Verin's suicide seems to have triggered more than just the outing of the Black Ajah. She's had her hand in the workings of all three ta'veren so far. Only Moiraine has had that kind of familiarity with all three of them. Obviously we're not done with her. Is this Verinism relevant in the future? Only time will tell.

 

As an afterthought: I found Verin's actions surprisingly similar to Ingtar's, the only other DF we know of who willingly affected a betrayal. Ingtar confesses to Rand that he's a DF just before committing himself to certain death -- in fact, after he's made up his mind to die right then. Although aside from admitting his allegiances and what he's done as a DF, I'm not sure how much of a betrayal you'd call that.

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You are assuming her "offer" hasn't already been seen through to its end, that he hasn't done his fighting to make up for his "crimes".  I would think that Verin and Tomas aiding the DR through out his travels, and providing their assistance to Matt and Perin would easily qualify as fighting to right some of their wrongs.  Unless she has released him from the bond, I would assume that Tomas' death and Verin's death will be very close together.  Now the possibility that she has released him from the bond exists, and that he has things to see through for Verin.

 

Agreed on both points.

The prior help to Rand, Mat and Perrin could very well be Verin's offer. And this encompasses Random Man's post. So I can easily see that being the case.

I could also see that unless, as Random Man said, Thomas was somehow 'sworn' in some heretofore unknown way, Verin could have released Thomas from his bound to take her up on the offer.

 

I guess I just like the idea of Thomas popping back up to aid Mat... call me crazy  ;D

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The use of the word "is" in Verin's dicsussion with Egwene infers that Tomas is presently spending the last hour with his family as of the time of her discussion with Egwene.

 

Well unless the quote in the OP is wrong, technically it doesn't have to be his family.  Just 'family'.

 

I also find it funny she refers to Egwene as child considering she's supposedly sacrificing herself to atone for her being black ajah.

 

But I trust Verin's dying confession to Eg mainly because a good deal of it has already been verified with the rooting out of so many BA sisters.

 

THe DO doesn't seem to have any problem sacrificing his followers, even relatively more valuable ones.  There isn't a great deal of respect for power strength of modern AS and specifically black ajah.

 

"A curious hole in the oaths," Verin said softly. "To allow one to effect a betrayal in the final hour of one's life. I cannot help wondering if the Great Lord knows of it. Why wouldn't he close that hole?"

 

Potentially one of the most fascinating questions needing to be answered, the one thing that supposedly allows her to betray the DO, the thing she is ending her life over and she just casually shrugs off finding out?

 

Then again the loophole may just exist so that anyone who tries it just gets set up with another body to be raped by Shadar Haran for an eternity.

 

 

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But I trust Verin's dying confession to Eg mainly because a good deal of it has already been verified with the rooting out of so many BA sisters.

 

THe DO doesn't seem to have any problem sacrificing his followers, even relatively more valuable ones.  There isn't a great deal of respect for power strength of modern AS and specifically black ajah.

 

True. And there where a number of BA that had escaped the purge, somewhere between 60-80. With the majority of those from within the Tower itself, Verin's place of death. hmmm… seems I need to think on this a bit more.

 

But, dang it, I still think it'd be cool to see Thomas help out Mat. ;)

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Actually that reminds me of those letters she was giving people.  They would've had to been written before before she poisoned herself.  If she couldn't yet betray the DO that at least removes the possibility those instructions result in any direct strike against the shadow.

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