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The Band of the Red Hand in Towers of Midnight


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A sequel to my question on the subject for TGS.

 

http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,41856.0.html

 

How do you guys see things going with The Band of the Red Hand?

 

We now know that The Band will be reunited and in the vicinity of Caemlyn. Will they set up camp at the old Legion of the Dragon site south of the city? It's the most logical place to set up, but wouldn't that just make them sitting ducks when the Black Tower conflict occurs? The camp is right next to the BT complex. Maybe they'll camp in one of the old siege camps instead.

 

Are the House armies still concentrated around Caemlyn? I would assume so, so there's likely to be tension between The Band and them.  Will political opponents of Elayne try to exploit this? How will she deal with The Band?

 

Aludra's Dragons and the new crossbows will go into production and start trickling down to the Andoran formations, starting with the Queen's Guard. I wonder if they'll do any training with The Band, Elayne has lots of new recruits to train up fast and The Band is good at that.

 

EDIT: Damn, but the mods are fast. I noticed I posted this in the wrong forum within literally one or two minutes, and by the time I deleted the content and change the title to "Delete please" the thread had already been moved.

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Will they set up camp at the old Legion of the Dragon site south of the city? It's the most logical place to set up, but wouldn't that just make them sitting ducks when the Black Tower conflict occurs? The camp is right next to the BT complex. Maybe they'll camp in one of the old siege camps instead.

 

 

 

So the Black Tower is a day's ride out of Caemlyn to the South?  I've been trying to deduce its location ever since the attempted kidnapping of Elayne, because I was convinced that was where she was being taken.

 

I think that the Band will be given over to Elayne while Mat is away doing other things.

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Demandred gathers an army of Trollocs and Myrddraal, only to be torn apart by Mats repeating crossbows and Aludras Dragon Eggs.

 

Id love it if Mat killed Demandred. That would probably be the only Forsaken death scenario where I'd be happy if the killer didnt know who it was until afterwards.

 

RAND: Well done Mat, we just defeated Demandred! Oh look, someone killed him.

MAT: What?!?! That was Demandred?

RAND: Yeeeeaaaa boyyyy! Was it you?

MAT: Well yeah, but... he didnt even carry a sword. I killed Demandred? I expected him to have lightning coming from his arse

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Demandred gathers an army of Trollocs and Myrddraal, only to be torn apart by Mats repeating crossbows and Aludras Dragon Eggs.

 

Id love it if Mat killed Demandred. That would probably be the only Forsaken death scenario where I'd be happy if the killer didnt know who it was until afterwards.

 

RAND: Well done Mat, we just defeated Demandred! Oh look, someone killed him.

MAT: What?!?! That was Demandred?

RAND: Yeeeeaaaa boyyyy! Was it you?

MAT: Well yeah, but... he didnt even carry a sword. I killed Demandred? I expected him to have lightning coming from his arse

 

Yes, I'd love to see that scenario unfold! I think it makes sense, where both Demandred and Mat are generals of their respective armies.  If that were to be the case, I doubt we'd see that in ToM since Mat has so many other things already on his plate for that book.

 

And yes, I expect to see Demandred farting lightning bolts with each step ;)

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Demandred gathers an army of Trollocs and Myrddraal, only to be torn apart by Mats repeating crossbows and Aludras Dragon Eggs.

 

Id love it if Mat killed Demandred. That would probably be the only Forsaken death scenario where I'd be happy if the killer didnt know who it was until afterwards.

 

RAND: Well done Mat, we just defeated Demandred! Oh look, someone killed him.

MAT: What?!?! That was Demandred?

RAND: Yeeeeaaaa boyyyy! Was it you?

MAT: Well yeah, but... he didnt even carry a sword. I killed Demandred? I expected him to have lightning coming from his arse

 

Yes, I'd love to see that scenario unfold! I think it makes sense, where both Demandred and Mat are generals of their respective armies.  If that were to be the case, I doubt we'd see that in ToM since Mat has so many other things already on his plate for that book.

 

And yes, I expect to see Demandred farting lightning bolts with each step ;)

Brandon's reports so far indicate that the final draft of ToM is going to be a big manuscript. IIRC he had 400k words done before he started the major revising needed to prepare each chunk to send off to Team Jordan (and he wasn't done with all the writing). That leaves plenty of room for lots of stuff to happen and it's going to all be centered on Mat and Perrin.

 

Could the Band, equipped with Dragons and possibly a new crank for their crossbows that allowed them to be loaded standing up, take down the Black Tower -- or at least the portion of the Black Tower aligned with Taim? Mat's mused that the design for the Dragons allow for him to hit enemies too far away to be seen, which would mean that the Dragons potentially out-range Asha'man. The crossbowmen could provide a defensive perimeter around the Dragons preventing any Asha'man from getting close enough to channel -- as soon as a gateway opens they could smother it with suppressive fire to prevent the Asha'man from getting through. They would need at least a handful of channelers to prevent Asha'man from closing the distance while shielded in flows of Air or whatnot, but then again, Elayne does have a small "force" of channelers with her. With the Band's new toys, they could still conceivably carry the day against the Black Tower even if the numbers of channelers don't sit in their favor.

 

An assault including Taim's Asha'man could very well happen on Caemlyn in connection with the Mass Hordes of Shadowspawn. IIRC that was a principal MO for the Shadow's forces during the War of Power and Trolloc Wars -- hordes of Shadowspawn and Darkfriends fighting in concert with a bunch of Dreadlords. But the Shadow's unlikely to anticipate Mat's weaponry developments, and as such, the Forsaken are unlikely to much at hand to counter them before they do serious damage. I could see Moridin and Demandred drinking some wine in a field tent among their camp, musing about how screwed Caemlyn is. Then the shelling starts. Then we get the compulsory Forsaken POV where, of course, he/she just can't believe how the savages were able to come up with something surprising all on their own. Then the shelling continues, and we get to see some Forsaken learning how to duck n' cover in a very undignified manner.

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Nah, i think Logain will be the one to take on Taim and his followers.

 

I imagine the Band will mainly be involved with the production of Dragons and Crossbows ect. aswell as training soldiers/ recruits.

 

They may be needed for some new conflict that will arise in ToM, not a major one but....

 

 

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The black tower could just form gateways and retreat to take up a better position and wait them out.  The band can't secure 360 degrees all around them forever.  Also there must be at least one counterattack using the one power that does not require them to be in sight.  Opening huge amounts of short duration gateways in the middle of them and chop them all up.

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Will they set up camp at the old Legion of the Dragon site south of the city? It's the most logical place to set up, but wouldn't that just make them sitting ducks when the Black Tower conflict occurs? The camp is right next to the BT complex. Maybe they'll camp in one of the old siege camps instead.

 

 

 

So the Black Tower is a day's ride out of Caemlyn to the South?  I've been trying to deduce its location ever since the attempted kidnapping of Elayne, because I was convinced that was where she was being taken.

 

I think that the Band will be given over to Elayne while Mat is away doing other things.

Yes about the Black Tower, no about the Legion of the Dragon. I only looked at the 2nd map when I said that and thought the walls to the south of the city indicated their camp, when actually looking at the 1st map you see that they were camped to the northwest of the city.

 

Caemlyn and the Black Tower

ANDOR_CAEMLYN_001.jpg

 

width=640 height=442http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zLF7UMyLc_E/Sc1Aqpa3-dI/AAAAAAAAAbg/3QyDtXvxNMM/s1600/ANDOR_CAEMLYN_002.jpg[/img]

 

 

Brandon's reports so far indicate that the final draft of ToM is going to be a big manuscript. IIRC he had 400k words done before he started the major revising needed to prepare each chunk to send off to Team Jordan (and he wasn't done with all the writing). That leaves plenty of room for lots of stuff to happen and it's going to all be centered on Mat and Perrin.

 

Could the Band, equipped with Dragons and possibly a new crank for their crossbows that allowed them to be loaded standing up, take down the Black Tower -- or at least the portion of the Black Tower aligned with Taim? Mat's mused that the design for the Dragons allow for him to hit enemies too far away to be seen, which would mean that the Dragons potentially out-range Asha'man. The crossbowmen could provide a defensive perimeter around the Dragons preventing any Asha'man from getting close enough to channel -- as soon as a gateway opens they could smother it with suppressive fire to prevent the Asha'man from getting through. They would need at least a handful of channelers to prevent Asha'man from closing the distance while shielded in flows of Air or whatnot, but then again, Elayne does have a small "force" of channelers with her. With the Band's new toys, they could still conceivably carry the day against the Black Tower even if the numbers of channelers don't sit in their favor.

 

An assault including Taim's Asha'man could very well happen on Caemlyn in connection with the Mass Hordes of Shadowspawn. IIRC that was a principal MO for the Shadow's forces during the War of Power and Trolloc Wars -- hordes of Shadowspawn and Darkfriends fighting in concert with a bunch of Dreadlords. But the Shadow's unlikely to anticipate Mat's weaponry developments, and as such, the Forsaken are unlikely to much at hand to counter them before they do serious damage. I could see Moridin and Demandred drinking some wine in a field tent among their camp, musing about how screwed Caemlyn is. Then the shelling starts. Then we get the compulsory Forsaken POV where, of course, he/she just can't believe how the savages were able to come up with something surprising all on their own. Then the shelling continues, and we get to see some Forsaken learning how to duck n' cover in a very undignified manner.

 

All they'd need to do is form a dome of air like the Tower Aes Sedai did when fighting the Shaido to deflect incoming rounds. And they can definitely strike out of line of sight, whether they can do it accurately or not is another matter, but The Band as the same problem. They can line up their sights for a target they know the location of like the Black Tower, but once the Ashaman start moving around they won't be able to adjust.

 

The Forsaken would be surprised and annoyed, but there were tanks, helicopters, missiles and etc in the War of Power so it wouldn't be something they wouldn't know how to deal with.

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We won't be seeing Aludra's Dragons in ToM. They take too long to manufacture. I'm not even sure if we'll see them in aMoL (Egwene's dream doesn't imply that either).

 

As Mat notes, it is quite possible that other armies might have the cranks the Band has as well. Tuon might have even stolen one before she left.

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I cant remember where but I remember reading an interview with RJ, where he talked briefly about the effect Traveling had on war. Like, it was hard to keep an area secure from the enemy if they could just gateway in to any point they knew. I do think the Band would have trouble against a channeling force, especially Ashaman, seeing as its purely a military channeling organization.

 

I think the only way the Band would stand a chance against the Black Tower, Dreadlords or whatever you want to call it, if he had some loyal Ashaman of his own. And if he got some I think it would spoil the Band-if I had my way Mat wouldnt ever get control over a single Ashaman, it just doesnt fit him or the Band.

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I cant remember where but I remember reading an interview with RJ, where he talked briefly about the effect Traveling had on war. Like, it was hard to keep an area secure from the enemy if they could just gateway in to any point they knew. I do think the Band would have trouble against a channeling force, especially Ashaman, seeing as its purely a military channeling organization.

 

I think the only way the Band would stand a chance against the Black Tower, Dreadlords or whatever you want to call it, if he had some loyal Ashaman of his own. And if he got some I think it would spoil the Band-if I had my way Mat wouldnt ever get control over a single Ashaman, it just doesnt fit him or the Band.

 

He has three Aes Sedai with him. And few more of either Aes Sedai or Ashaman wouldn't be a big deal.

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Mats had dealings with Aes Sedai for a long time now though, that isnt the same. Mats ventures with Elayne lasted long enough for Aes Sedai and the Band to interact enough and that is represented by Mat having them with him. The Band and the Ashaman though... I dunno, maybe its just me, but I think Mat suddenly working with Ashaman after his disdain of Rands channeling and his sarcasm over the Taint, just wouldnt fit in my oppinion.

 

Saying that, while writing that bit I remembered the Logain-Bashere-Loial trio Rand created in KoD. If that little group was sent to Mat, I could handle that. Loial is an old friend that would reassure Mat, Bashere is a great general that he could appreciate and most likely surpass already, and Logain would be an interesting jaw dropper for Mat. I would love it if that happened, especialy if Mats first conversation with Logain involved sarcastic comments about the Taint and his False Dragonhood  :D

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Saying that, while writing that bit I remembered the Logain-Bashere-Loial trio Rand created in KoD. If that little group was sent to Mat, I could handle that. Loial is an old friend that would reassure Mat, Bashere is a great general that he could appreciate and most likely surpass already, and Logain would be an interesting jaw dropper for Mat. I would love it if that happened, especialy if Mats first conversation with Logain involved sarcastic comments about the Taint and his False Dragonhood  :D

The problem with taht is that Bashere should be with the Legion of The Dragon rather than traipsing round with Logain and Loial...
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I cant remember where but I remember reading an interview with RJ, where he talked briefly about the effect Traveling had on war. Like, it was hard to keep an area secure from the enemy if they could just gateway in to any point they knew.

That's the opposite of what he said. He said this:

 

Robert Jordan Answers: Good question, though not all of the forces involved could use gateways. (Rafo! Rafo!) Think of the ability to Travel in terms of moving troops via aircraft, and you will begin to get the picture. Even with the largest possible circles, there are limits to the size of gateways and thus limits to the front along which you can move troops out through it, the numbers you can commit simultaneously. Of course, you can use multiple gateways, but each is still only so large and can admit only so many soldiers at a time.

 

So-called front lines were very fluid, but you couldn't fling your forces in anywhere without regard to what would be surrounding them or how you were going to re-supply, reinforce or withdraw them. Although no one has shown it so far in the books, there are ways to interfere with the making of a gateway - and ways to defend against interference - so the battle would take place on many levels. Yes, any area you hold can be attacked by your enemy, and you can attack any area that he holds. (Part of the result was great destruction and a great fall-off in the ability to produce high tech items. By the time the Bore was sealed, soldiers were already much, much more likely to ride horses and carry swords than to ride armored vehicles or aircraft and carry shocklances, which had all become very rare.) But holding an area is not impossible so long as you can successfully disrupt your opponent's attempts to make gateways into it. Even if he manages to get those first soldiers in, if you can disrupt his ability to reinforce, re-supply or withdraw, it becomes another Dien Bien Phu for him. Of course, if you fail, then it becomes Gettysburg or Waterloo, a bloody fight that will be decisive for somebody. At least until the next "decisive" battle is fought. Remember, that designation is always given after the fact, by historians."

 

Maj's girlfriend must be so disappointed.

Hey-yo!

 

The problem with taht is that Bashere should be with the Legion of The Dragon rather than traipsing round with Logain and Loial...

Obviously, the Legion is well-trained enough to have been used in actual combat against the best professional soldiers (the Seanchan). Seeing how the Legion utilizes crossbows to a great extent, Mat will undoubtedly show them the crank unless they have it already.

 

Mat would need hundreds of Asha'man to balance Taim's men and the Black Ajah sisters who fled from Egwene along with the Black Tower embassies from both the rebels and loyalists if they have been in fact turned.

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Mat would need hundreds of Asha'man to balance Taim's men and the Black Ajah sisters who fled from Egwene along with the Black Tower embassies from both the rebels and loyalists if they have been in fact turned.

 

If the confrontation were to go down in Caemlyn, Mat would have Elayne's channelers -- Sea Folk, Kin and maybe some more damane by now able to fight -- although the Sea Folk might pitch a fit again about participating or whatnot. This would also mean that Mat has access to Traveling in Caemlyn. I would love to see what the Band would do in combat with Traveling. They could be the 3rd Age's first Gate Assault Troopers.

 

Do we have an accurate number of channelers currently with Elayne?

 

Additionally, I'd assume the Legion of the Dragon gets frequent visits by Asha'man for communications purposes (or has one with them for this purpose), so they'd be able to get quick word to Bashere, who could get Rand, or Logain, or whoever, to quickly commit loyalist Asha'man to the battle. There's a hundred with Ituralde which may be recalled if Ituralde abandons his post along the Blight.

 

Further, I'd be surprised if a number of Asha'man not aligned with Taim didn't flee the Black Tower for sanctuary in Caemlyn once things hit the fan over there.

 

I doubt these numbers would necessarily put them on a par with whatever Taim could throw at them, but it should be enough for Mat to make a difference through his superior generalship, deployment of weaponry and ta'veren luck.

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The problem with taht is that Bashere should be with the Legion of The Dragon rather than traipsing round with Logain and Loial...

Obviously, the Legion is well-trained enough to have been used in actual combat against the best professional soldiers (the Seanchan). Seeing how the Legion utilizes crossbows to a great extent, Mat will undoubtedly show them the crank unless they have it already.

 

Mat would need hundreds of Asha'man to balance Taim's men and the Black Ajah sisters who fled from Egwene along with the Black Tower embassies from both the rebels and loyalists if they have been in fact turned.

 

But the Black Tower scene, should be decided by Aes Sedai & Logain's men... not the Band of Red Hand.  Elaida's  foretelling mentions sisters walking the grounds....Shrug. Moving on now.

 

 

A future Legion of Red-Eyed Dragon-Wagons?

 

I have wondered for a long time, if Mat Cauthon, and his Band of Red Hand would have the time, the resources to incorporate: Streamwagons, Dragon Eggs, advanced Optics of the Sea Folk, and faster crank speed crossbows into a new war machine?

 

Wheel of Time--Tanks?

 

1. Streamwagons, are commonly running between Tear to Cairhien (KoD), Mervin Poel at the Academy of Cairhien can build more. "It can travel a hundred miles a day", that's far better than a horse.

2. Dragon Eggs, Mat has the plans for already (tGS) designed by Aludra.

3. Advanced Optics, are available from the Sea Folk (tFoH), and in Cairhien (tFoH) from Kin Tovere at the Academy of Cairhien.

4. Faster Crank Speed Crossbows, are available likely in either Caemlyn from a Murandian merchant, in Cairhien from Idrien Tarsin at the Academcy of Cairhien.

 

There is even a possibility that Elayne and or a 'healed' Setalle Anan might be able to create re-productions of Mat's Fox-eyed Medallion for use, to defense against saidar, saidin, true power attacks.

 

  Combine all these creations, inventions up together....

 

  Hence forth it should be known as Mat's legion of "Band of Red-Eyed Dragon-Wagons"  :P ;D         

 

 

  All Mat really has to do, is to get into contact with the Academy of Cairhien, and to get the war contracts created. Although, the time available is relatively small now, with T'G literally around the corner.

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Streamwagons, are commonly running between Tear to Cairhien (KoD), Mervin Poel at the Academy of Cairhien can build more. "It can travel a hundred miles a day", that's far better than a horse.

 

You would have to armor the Steamwagon or it would be uite easily destroyed (an arrow into the steamchamber). Its possible and I would expect that it will eventually happen but not in the shot time prior to TG.

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If the confrontation were to go down in Caemlyn, Mat would have Elayne's channelers -- Sea Folk, Kin and maybe some more damane by now able to fight -- although the Sea Folk might pitch a fit again about participating or whatnot. This would also mean that Mat has access to Traveling in Caemlyn. I would love to see what the Band would do in combat with Traveling. They could be the 3rd Age's first Gate Assault Troopers.

That is all very unlikely. The Kin are unreliable in combat. It would be the equivalent of sending novices and Accepted into battle. Enlisting the Sea Folk in another battle would be a difficult at best.

 

If the Asha'man attacked the Band, the odds would be in their favor as they have a longer range than the Band's crossbows. If the Band attacked the Asha'man, the Asha'man would use the same tactics they used against the Shaido in LoC.

 

Additionally, I'd assume the Legion of the Dragon gets frequent visits by Asha'man for communications purposes (or has one with them for this purpose), so they'd be able to get quick word to Bashere, who could get Rand, or Logain, or whoever, to quickly commit loyalist Asha'man to the battle. There's a hundred with Ituralde which may be recalled if Ituralde abandons his post along the Blight.

To be honest, it is the Legion is in Andor. Rand most likely left them in Illian with the forces checking the Seanchan advance on the Illian/Altara border (and also hunting bands of Shaido and bandits).

 

There are over a hundred Asha'man with the force in Illian so Rand is most likely kept up to date with the situation.

 

Further, I'd be surprised if a number of Asha'man not aligned with Taim didn't flee the Black Tower for sanctuary in Caemlyn once things hit the fan over there.

I'm not sure they'd want to flee to a city where there a scores of female channelers. There are also many rumors of Red Sisters in Caemyln which isn't exactly a plus in the eyes of any male channeler.

 

1). It is very unlikely the fox-head medallion would be able to be duplicated so I'm not sure speculation on that point is necessary.

 

2). It is even more unlikely a tank of all things could be constructed. The first steam powered wagon was built in 1769. The first tank (actually it was more of an "armored car") was built in 1902. It is unlikely those of the Westlands will be able to undertake two centuries of technological advancement in only a few months.

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If the confrontation were to go down in Caemlyn, Mat would have Elayne's channelers -- Sea Folk, Kin and maybe some more damane by now able to fight -- although the Sea Folk might pitch a fit again about participating or whatnot. This would also mean that Mat has access to Traveling in Caemlyn. I would love to see what the Band would do in combat with Traveling. They could be the 3rd Age's first Gate Assault Troopers.

That is all very unlikely. The Kin are unreliable in combat. It would be the equivalent of sending novices and Accepted into battle. Enlisting the Sea Folk in another battle would be a difficult at best.

I completely agree with your reasoning; however, the Sea Folk are susceptible to attacks of conscience (a la Elayne's rescue -- her Guard would have probably been able to take the BA but not without severe casualties). If an attack on Caemlyn included Shadowspawn and the Black Tower (or even possibly just Taim's crowd), I doubt they'd sit on the sidelines. And Elayne can still channel, albeit imperfectly due to her pregnancy, so Mat would still have access to Traveling even if she were acting solo.

 

There are over a hundred Asha'man with the force in Illian so Rand is most likely kept up to date with the situation.

So there's plenty of Asha'man to commit quickly if Caemlyn is attacked by the Black Tower, or if an assault on the Black Tower is called for, giving Mat the Asha'man he might need to make the difference.

 

Further, I'd be surprised if a number of Asha'man not aligned with Taim didn't flee the Black Tower for sanctuary in Caemlyn once things hit the fan over there.

I'm not sure they'd want to flee to a city where there a scores of female channelers. There are also many rumors of Red Sisters in Caemyln which isn't exactly a plus in the eyes of any male channeler.

Okay, then they flee to whatever portion of the Legion has remained encamped near Caemlyn. Although some Asha'man already know that Elayne won't contest the Black Tower's existence because of their meeting in WH, so they may instead just go straight to her.

 

It is even more unlikely a tank of all things could be constructed. The first steam powered wagon was built in 1769. The first tank (actually it was more of an "armored car") was built in 1902. It is unlikely those of the Westlands will be able to undertake two centuries of technological advancement in only a few months.

I should mention that the use of steam power in our world has its origins in antiquity, the steam engine was in development for centuries, and that decades passed between the development of Watt's steam engine (1763) and a functional transportation mechanism using said engine (Robert Fulton, steamboat, 1807; Matthew Murray, locomotive, 1812). Steam power was unknown in the Third Age, but Poel not only invented an engine but also developed a functional locomotive in only a couple of months. If we accept Poel's developments (and we sorta have to -- it's in the story) then we can't discount that other leaps might be made. A tank could basically just be a couple of his steamwagons with armored plating and some weaponry.

 

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I was thinking of the Band at work and this just hit me, I don't think I've seen it discussed anywhere else (though of course it may have been extensively for all I know). We all know that one of the main suspects for being Demandred is King Roedran of Murandy (that or the power behind the throne). Without rehashing the arguments for or against this notion, I don't think we've talked about what this means to The Band of the Red Hand if true. Talmanes, and perhaps other officers of The Band were in contact with Roedran and his court. It's possible that they've been put under compulsion by Demandred.

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