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Who Killed Sierin Vayu


Luckers
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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.

 

Elaida

 

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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Except I don't think Tsutama has any reason to dislike Egwene. Without her, the Red would cease to exist (well, not really, because she was the one to destabilize them in the first place, but she did make a point of protecting the Ajah itself). I am impatiently waiting for the other shoe to drop with regards to Duhara, though, and I like the suggestion that Chesmal might help that along (if Elayne can get her hands on a Binder, that is).

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I always had an impression that several Reds were involved in the murder but there's no evidence that it couldn't have been done by one person - just Chesmal's boasting that she stampeded the Reds (plural) into offing the Amyrlin.

Whoever did the killing wasn;t Black or at least not acting under orders because Alviarin, who was already head of the BA, disavowed all knowledge/ responsibility. So presumably, Tsutsama isn't black if she did the killing. Tsutsama also doesn't feature on Verin's list.

Fair enough, Sierin could have been killed without direct use of the Power (or even maybe use of the Power if Tsu managed to convince herself that Sierin was a DF or that Tsu's life was in danger.)

But if Tsu isn't black and she doesn't consider Egwene either a DF or a direct threat to herself or her Ajah, why would she get trigger happy as and when she meets Egwene? One of the good things about Eg is that she's not from any Ajah and she's not spent time in the Tower as a sister so she's genuinely insulated from Ajah politics. (Even if she's pretended to be Green).

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Fair enough, Sierin could have been killed without direct use of the Power (or even maybe use of the Power if Tsu managed to convince herself that Sierin was a DF or that Tsu's life was in danger.)

This got me thinking. How indeed does one go about killing Sierin in a manner that won't show up by the usual Delving (this is pure speculation on my part, but I'm assuming dead Amyrlin are Delved for the COD)? If you manage to do it with the Power, I can see a number of ways. Otherwise, you'll have to resort to poisons - and mask them as spoiled food or something, if that's possible. But that is very cold blooded, to plan ahead like that, if one isn't a Darkfriend.

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Fair enough, Sierin could have been killed without direct use of the Power (or even maybe use of the Power if Tsu managed to convince herself that Sierin was a DF or that Tsu's life was in danger.)

This got me thinking. How indeed does one go about killing Sierin in a manner that won't show up by the usual Delving (this is pure speculation on my part, but I'm assuming dead Amyrlin are Delved for the COD)? If you manage to do it with the Power, I can see a number of ways. Otherwise, you'll have to resort to poisons - and mask them as spoiled food or something, if that's possible. But that is very cold blooded, to plan ahead like that, if one isn't a Darkfriend.

 

They could easily have delved her. Duhara, a Red/Black was her keeper and likely had the strength/skill to do a simple delving, and if she happened to "come upon the Amyrlin dead in her bed with a few of her Red sisters" Duhara could delve Sierin and report nothing abnormal while the Reds with her would swear they saw her delve and that she said she found nothing.

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Now wouldnt killing Sierin as Red Ajah mean using the power as a weapon? I dont think the oaths justify enough wiggle room to give them the feel of "immiediate danger" in this case. Im most likely missing something here since it was so long since i read NS.

Edited by moroten
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Restrain (shield) and gag her with the power and smother her physically with a pillow. OR stuff some grapes down her throat and make sure she chokes.

Should be enough wiggle room- the power is being used as a restraint/not weapon and we know sisters can do that without hassles.

Nothing in the oaths about not using a pillow as a weapon.

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But remember, after decades, or even a century+, of aging and experience as Aes Sedai, they would have learned how to twist and justify their actions in their own minds. Plus, these women use the Power as a weapon whenever they go out hunting male channelers (which they'd all recently had a lot of experience doing), they would be very familiar with which weaves were weapons and which ones were only restraints or means to control a recalcitrant foe.

 

Moiraine was very new to the Shawl, and was very idealistic... she's a blue. *shrug*

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Whoever did it, just had to convince herself it wasn't a direct weapon.

We've seen AS using shields, wrapping people in air, etc., when their lives are not in apparent danger

A black didn't do the killing (at least not under instructions).

Not clear whether the Blacks helped cover up - likely not since Cadsuane who isn't Black knew about something suspicious and so did several sisters she questioned about the vileness.

The killer didn't own up either - which is odd, since it would be possible to ask a direct question of every possible suspect "Did you kill Vayu?" and only a black could lie given the binary nature of answers (assuming it was a non-Black killer)

If a delving detected OP use (or something suspicious like poison or a knife in the back), the WT would surely have investigated further and it could start with the direct question, which would trap any non-Black sister.

So, there is a presumption that the death was at least initially, written off as natural.

That means if the power was used, it was used undetectably.

Since the Reds did it, warders don't come into the picture.

Maybe some Red uses compulsion on a servant who kills the Amyrlin and then himself?

Or you assume she was asleep/incapacitated someway and killed undetectably without using the power.

All quite tough to figure out without more detail and I doubt we'll ever get that in this instance.

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Whoever did it, just had to convince herself it wasn't a direct weapon.

We've seen AS using shields, wrapping people in air, etc., when their lives are not in apparent danger

A black didn't do the killing (at least not under instructions).

Not clear whether the Blacks helped cover up - likely not since Cadsuane who isn't Black knew about something suspicious and so did several sisters she questioned about the vileness.

The killer didn't own up either - which is odd, since it would be possible to ask a direct question of every possible suspect "Did you kill Vayu?" and only a black could lie given the binary nature of answers (assuming it was a non-Black killer)

If a delving detected OP use (or something suspicious like poison or a knife in the back), the WT would surely have investigated further and it could start with the direct question, which would trap any non-Black sister.

So, there is a presumption that the death was at least initially, written off as natural.

That means if the power was used, it was used undetectably.

Since the Reds did it, warders don't come into the picture.

Maybe some Red uses compulsion on a servant who kills the Amyrlin and then himself?

Or you assume she was asleep/incapacitated someway and killed undetectably without using the power.

All quite tough to figure out without more detail and I doubt we'll ever get that in this instance.

 

Wrapping people up in the air isnt a weave with the intention of killing, strangling someone is.

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Whoever did it, just had to convince herself it wasn't a direct weapon.

We've seen AS using shields, wrapping people in air, etc., when their lives are not in apparent danger

A black didn't do the killing (at least not under instructions).

Not clear whether the Blacks helped cover up - likely not since Cadsuane who isn't Black knew about something suspicious and so did several sisters she questioned about the vileness.

The killer didn't own up either - which is odd, since it would be possible to ask a direct question of every possible suspect "Did you kill Vayu?" and only a black could lie given the binary nature of answers (assuming it was a non-Black killer)

If a delving detected OP use (or something suspicious like poison or a knife in the back), the WT would surely have investigated further and it could start with the direct question, which would trap any non-Black sister.

So, there is a presumption that the death was at least initially, written off as natural.

That means if the power was used, it was used undetectably.

Since the Reds did it, warders don't come into the picture.

Maybe some Red uses compulsion on a servant who kills the Amyrlin and then himself?

Or you assume she was asleep/incapacitated someway and killed undetectably without using the power.

All quite tough to figure out without more detail and I doubt we'll ever get that in this instance.

 

Wrapping people up in the air isnt a weave with the intention of killing, strangling someone is.

So do the strangling/ smothering manually after using the Power to restrain.

Obviously whoever did it did get around the oaths one way or another.

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Whoever did it, just had to convince herself it wasn't a direct weapon.

We've seen AS using shields, wrapping people in air, etc., when their lives are not in apparent danger

A black didn't do the killing (at least not under instructions).

Not clear whether the Blacks helped cover up - likely not since Cadsuane who isn't Black knew about something suspicious and so did several sisters she questioned about the vileness.

The killer didn't own up either - which is odd, since it would be possible to ask a direct question of every possible suspect "Did you kill Vayu?" and only a black could lie given the binary nature of answers (assuming it was a non-Black killer)

If a delving detected OP use (or something suspicious like poison or a knife in the back), the WT would surely have investigated further and it could start with the direct question, which would trap any non-Black sister.

So, there is a presumption that the death was at least initially, written off as natural.

That means if the power was used, it was used undetectably.

Since the Reds did it, warders don't come into the picture.

Maybe some Red uses compulsion on a servant who kills the Amyrlin and then himself?

Or you assume she was asleep/incapacitated someway and killed undetectably without using the power.

All quite tough to figure out without more detail and I doubt we'll ever get that in this instance.

 

Wrapping people up in the air isnt a weave with the intention of killing, strangling someone is.

So do the strangling/ smothering manually after using the Power to restrain.

Obviously whoever did it did get around the oaths one way or another.

 

Wouldnt manually straggle someone being noticed by delving?

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Whoever did it, just had to convince herself it wasn't a direct weapon.

We've seen AS using shields, wrapping people in air, etc., when their lives are not in apparent danger

A black didn't do the killing (at least not under instructions).

Not clear whether the Blacks helped cover up - likely not since Cadsuane who isn't Black knew about something suspicious and so did several sisters she questioned about the vileness.

The killer didn't own up either - which is odd, since it would be possible to ask a direct question of every possible suspect "Did you kill Vayu?" and only a black could lie given the binary nature of answers (assuming it was a non-Black killer)

If a delving detected OP use (or something suspicious like poison or a knife in the back), the WT would surely have investigated further and it could start with the direct question, which would trap any non-Black sister.

So, there is a presumption that the death was at least initially, written off as natural.

That means if the power was used, it was used undetectably.

Since the Reds did it, warders don't come into the picture.

Maybe some Red uses compulsion on a servant who kills the Amyrlin and then himself?

Or you assume she was asleep/incapacitated someway and killed undetectably without using the power.

All quite tough to figure out without more detail and I doubt we'll ever get that in this instance.

 

Wrapping people up in the air isnt a weave with the intention of killing, strangling someone is.

So do the strangling/ smothering manually after using the Power to restrain.

Obviously whoever did it did get around the oaths one way or another.

 

Wouldnt manually straggle someone being noticed by delving?

Done carefully without marks or breaking the hyoid bone / or smothered with a pillow. I don't think delving will pick it up.

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There are poisons (most of them) that delving doesn't pick up. In PoD Nyn couldn't find the cause of death for the one AS who was killed. It was afterwords when she searched checked the cups when she found poisons.

 

And delving a person is meant to find out what is wrong with someone, they can sense an injury but they don't know what caused that injury. The only thing gain by delving a corpse most of the time is they find out the person is dead.

 

And compulsion is a forbidden weave that most AS don't know. Only a BA AS would be able to use it. I think it is looked down on to the same level as Balefire.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was relistening to tDR and I think Eliada did it. In NS she's 'helping' Moraine and Suiane prepare for the test. In EotW we see her tried to get Rand imprisoned, probably so she can convince herself he's a DF. In tDR we see her threatening Elayne either to discipline or kill and in tGS we see her using the power as a weapon against Egwene. In Elayne and Egwene's case, they are initiates and require extra self-delusion, so I think it is reasonable to say that it was Elaida.

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