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The Future of the A'dam


Luckers
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The Future of the A'dam

 

I do not believe the leashing of damane is sustainable, whatever Fortuona thinks. Already things are unravelling, and whilst I doubt we'll see a full resolution in the main sequence novels, I think it will have at least begun by the end of aMoL. In this essay I'll try and lay out what the current state of the a'dam is, what will lead to it's fall, and what we might expect to be established afterwards.

The State of the A'dam

 

Elayne's Plan: Revelations.

 

In [KoD; 14, Wet Things] a sul'dam named Marli admits she can see the weaves, and immediately demands to be collared. Elayne decides to give her what she wishes.

 

"She helped hold enough others prisoner that she deserves a taste of it herself, Reanne. But that's not why I mean to send her back. If any of the others wants to stay and learn, and make up for what she's done, I certainly won't hand her to the Seanchan, but Light's truth, I hope they all feel like Marli. They'll put an a'dam on her, Reanne, but they won't be able to keep secret who she was. Every one-time sul'dam I can send the Seanchan to collar will be a mattock digging at their roots."

 

If Elayne is clever she'll ensure that Marli and any that go with her return to Seanchan to demand being leashed in front of as many people as she can manage, but even if she does not, even if only a few sul'dam hear, it will have a detrimental effect. Once that secret is out, it will spread like wildfire, even if only few believe it.

 

Seta and Bethamin

 

They are actively training their abilities, and Teslyn says this about Joline's seeming intentions.

 

Teslyn grunted sourly. She patted her white-faced chestnut mare, a much more feisty creature than Joline's mount, and spoke to the air. "She does train wilders and expects them to behave once out of her sight. Or perhaps she does think the Tower will accept over-age novices."

 

[KoD; 37, The Prince of Ravens]

 

And, of course, we know they do now accept over-age novices. I'm thinking this is very likely foreshadow for the path Bethamin and Seta will walk. Though I suppose that depends alot on Egwene's reaction to Seta. Two former sul'dam standing as Aes Sedai would be a powerful blow against the Empire--irrespective, bringing Egwene to confront her feelings towards sul'dam through the personification of Seta will be a thematic moment, I suspect.

 

The Seanchan Reaction

 

Fortuona makes the distinction between choice and channeling, but I doubt many other will. Due to her close interaction with damane, and her higher degree of education, the position she takes towards the situation will naturally have more degree for nuance--simply because she's capable of--and for that matter needs to--rationalise the situation. To the average Seanchan, however, marath'damane are simply monstrous animal. They will not be inclined to make the fine distinctions that Fortuona has made.

 

In addition we know that very soon the Seanchan will be fighting alongside marath'damane of all colours and shades--if you take Egwene's dream about the Seanchan woman with a sword to represent a Seanchan army (face constantly changes but the sword remains rock-solid--many people defined by their military nature in the sword=army) led by a woman (Fortuona or Tylee, which defines the woman with the sword as female), then it seems that a Seanchan army will save Egwene and the Aes Sedai from an attack, and fight through it to win (the Seanchan army is facing the same adversity as Egwene, they're just better off. "We can reach the top together").

 

Fighting alongside someone opens you to percieving them in a new and more favourable light. It did with Egeanin and again with Tylee. It, in effect, creates an atmosphere in which opinion--even long held, stubborn opinion--may change.

The Future of the A'dam

 

I suspect Egeanin states the opinion that will gain hold during TG.

 

She no longer believed that any woman who could channel deserved to be collared. Criminals, certainly, and maybe those who refused oaths to the Crystal Throne, and. . . . She did not know.

 

[WH; 21, A Matter of Property]

 

Then consider that in [TFOH: 26, Sallie Daera, 317] Min sees...

 

a raven floating beside [Carlinya's] dark hair; more a drawing of the bird than the bird itself. She thought it was a tattoo...

 

A raven tattoo is the sign of the property of the Empress. Note that the vast majority of damane are property of the Crown, yet are not so marked, which indicates something weird is going to happen. The tattoo's are prestigous, and can lend very great power--the Seekers and the Deathwatch Guard bear them as signs of their authority. For an Aes Sedai to be so marked would indicate she was not leashed.

 

Now consider Egwene's dream...

 

A hard-faced Seanchan woman handed her a silvery bracelet and necklace connected by a silvery leash, an a'dam. That made her cry out; Seanchan had put an a'dam on her once. She would die before letting it happen again.[LoC; 15, A Pile of Sand]

 

Egwene clearly dismisses it as a nightmare bought on by fear, but consider, if this were a simple nightmare would not the woman be trying to leash Egwene? I find it curious as well that she gives Egwene BOTH the bracelet and the necklace.

My Conclusions

 

That some time in the future the Aes Sedai and the Seanchan will reach an agreement. The Seanchan will send by damane and sul'dam to the Tower for training as Aes Sedai (bracelet and necklace given to Egwene), and in return there will be Aes Sedai who will serve the Empire as property of the Empress--but property with great authority and power of their own.

 

This makes sense to me on a number of levels beyond the dreams. Imperial power relies on the strength of the channelers, but Fortuona isn't likely to let Aes Sedai run free with no checks or balances. This represents a middle ground. Aes Sedai have power, but the Throne retains its over-all sense of control.

 

I do not believe this resolution will occur in the mainsequence books. Their isn't enough time. I suspect we will see it begun by the end--problems with people being leashed, Fortuona admitting to herself that the situation is unjust and must change, perhaps even a tacit agreement to figure something out between Egwene and Fortuona... but that'd be it. And anything like that would be at the very end of aMoL.

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A key factor here in reconciliation could be Tuon's relationship with Setalle Anan.

Especially if Anan runs into Damer and he can heal her.

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Just in regards to Egwene's dream of the "hard-faced Seanchan woman" handnig her the a'dam.

 

I believe this is Leliwin (sp).

 

She is always described as "hard" in every way, her face inccluded.

 

Also, look at her plotline throughout the series.

 

She is the first Seanchan (as far as we know) that figures out hte secret of the Sul'dam. Everything from that point revolves around the secret. She is disowned by the Seanchan empire.

 

From what we have seen of Tuon's thoughts, she knows the secret, and she doesnt have a mind to pull down the whole damane army. I dont think anything short of compulsion will change her mind on it. Remember she resists Rand's taveren pull because she is so self assured, i dont see her changing her mind any time soon.

 

Therefore, I think it is Leliwin who will tell the secret to Egwene, who then manages to use it to spread the word throughout the Seanchan empire. AS you said, if word gets out, the common Seanchan will go nuts and damane will be useless. Thus, Tuon is forced to disband the damane, getting rid of the problem forever.

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Just in regards to Egwene's dream of the "hard-faced Seanchan woman" handnig her the a'dam.

 

I believe this is Leliwin (sp).

 

She is always described as "hard" in every way, her face inccluded.

 

Also, look at her plotline throughout the series.

 

She is the first Seanchan (as far as we know) that figures out hte secret of the Sul'dam. Everything from that point revolves around the secret. She is disowned by the Seanchan empire.

 

From what we have seen of Tuon's thoughts, she knows the secret, and she doesnt have a mind to pull down the whole damane army. I dont think anything short of compulsion will change her mind on it. Remember she resists Rand's taveren pull because she is so self assured, i dont see her changing her mind any time soon.

 

Therefore, I think it is Leliwin who will tell the secret to Egwene, who then manages to use it to spread the word throughout the Seanchan empire. AS you said, if word gets out, the common Seanchan will go nuts and damane will be useless. Thus, Tuon is forced to disband the damane, getting rid of the problem forever.

 

 

Egwene already knows the secret--she is the one who first explains it.

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Just in regards to Egwene's dream of the "hard-faced Seanchan woman" handnig her the a'dam.

 

I believe this is Leliwin (sp).

 

She is always described as "hard" in every way, her face inccluded.

 

Also, look at her plotline throughout the series.

 

She is the first Seanchan (as far as we know) that figures out hte secret of the Sul'dam. Everything from that point revolves around the secret. She is disowned by the Seanchan empire.

 

From what we have seen of Tuon's thoughts, she knows the secret, and she doesnt have a mind to pull down the whole damane army. I dont think anything short of compulsion will change her mind on it. Remember she resists Rand's taveren pull because she is so self assured, i dont see her changing her mind any time soon.

 

Therefore, I think it is Leliwin who will tell the secret to Egwene, who then manages to use it to spread the word throughout the Seanchan empire. AS you said, if word gets out, the common Seanchan will go nuts and damane will be useless. Thus, Tuon is forced to disband the damane, getting rid of the problem forever.

 

 

Egwene already knows the secret--she is the one who first explains it.

 

Oh crap. Thats right. I havent read tGH in aaaaaaaaaages.

 

Ill have to do so, my memory's getting slack.

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This is something I noticed when re-reading some scenes from Knife of Dreams a while back.

 

The Seanchan obviously take names very seriously, drawing a strong connection between the name and the self. Da'covale and damane aren't allowed to refer to themselves with pronouns, and often have their given names changed. You take a new name when you reach a certain age, and again when you get a major change in social standing. From Suroth we learn it's bad luck to think on a new name before you take it. Tuon and Selucia made a big deal of renaming Egeanin as Leilwin Shipless, and Egeanin finally embraced that name when she decided to fully accept her new life. In Seanchan POVs (and dialogue), women who can channel are always marath'damane or damane and "Aes Sedai" is almost never used except when referring to the abstract organization.

 

Yet we see in Tuon's POV (KOD, As if the World were Fog) she makes a mistake. When thinking about Teslyn, Joline and Edesina, she thinks about them as "Aes Sedai" and more specifically "Joline." She still thinks of Egeanin, Amathera and Juilin as "Leilwin," "property," and "the thief" respectively, and also of the marath'damane being leashed. She never wavers on "Toy."

 

It's very subtle, but I think it shows that Tuon's views on women who can channel may have been shifted a bit, though she may not yet have realized it.

 

-- dwn

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Another good post, Luckers. Rand is marching for equal rights and I'd be surprised if Randland were left with any official anti-channeler discrimination on the level of the damane or ritual killings. Still, I'm baffled by Min's viewing on Carlinya. I had totally forgotten that, and this late in the series it seems unlikely to happen on-screen. Carlinya hasn't really left the Salidar sisters much, has she? How on earth would she become so entangled with the Seanchan as to become Imperial property? She'd either have to marry into the High Blood, or agree to be a permanent envoy to the Crystal Throne / tutor for Fortuona (this seems more like her) after TG is done. Either of these options supports your argument.

 

btw, your post makes total sense, dwn, great catch! I really hope that little nuance was intentional and not a slip up... :D

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I don't think that there is any future for the a'dam. Rand will not let it happen, and neither will Mat. He holds a very powerful position in Seanchan now

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That's pretty much what I was trying to say lordofsoup--the a'dam is doomed, except maybe as a law enforcement tool. The point of this thread was to relay my theory of how things would progress based on the current situation and prophecies.

 

And, in point, I don't believe that Rand OR Mat will be instrumental in the death of the a'dam. I think part of the reason Rand will face Egwene's anger is that in forming an alliance with the Seanchan he will not demand the release of captured Aes Sedai. Mat may be involved in the clean up--that was inferred by RJ's outriggers involving Mat and Tuon ten years after Tarmon Gai'don--but not in actively stopping the practice.

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It is impractical to release all the damane at this point. Perhaps some of the women who were captured recently could be released without freaking out, but those already indoctrinated into being slaves/possessions it may be too late (not every damane is like Alivia and wants to kill Seanchan). In the Path of Daggers, how many men died when they removed the collar from a damane?

 

I think once it gets out that sul'dam are marathe'damane, the usage of channelers will fade from the Seanchan, in effect they will become similar to the Children of the Light (maybe not foaming at the mouth about darkfriends, but in viewing channelers as dangerous things).

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No, IMO, Luckers thoughts are more likely. They will need the chanellers. What better to free the damane from those "mental" collar after being freed from the a'dam, than other chaneller? We see that the Kin have good result in reshaping damane and sul'dam. Alivia has been damane for centuries and is now quite normal, and some sul'dam admit that they see the weaves. And this is the same method used by sul'dam for reluctant damane. They parc them with old damane that are known for making friends among other damane. Other chaneller could do the same thing in the other way to make damane understand that they are not animals/monsters.

 

Men died when they tried to release damane. They went Berserk and probably used the Power without being leashed, which could be dramatic.

 

So if they continue to give damane and sul'dam to Aes Sedai sisters -or the Kin - for training, they will maybe find the best way to overcome the situation. Change the perception of the whole damane/sul'dam thing, and maybe (but I'm afraid that it won't be seen anytime soon in WoT) share precious knowledge.

 

The fact that the Dragon Reborn, the Prince of the Raven and the Empress, may she live forever, have to deal with each other and each have a different PoV on the matter. The Empress, as Protector of Hawkwing's Legacy, want to conquer his Kingdom. As Protector of the whole culture and customs of the entire Empire, she has to hold to them as much as possible, and her whole Ever Victorious army is so succesful thanks to the damane. She herself is a possible chaneller. She has much to lose.

 

Rand is the key to the Last Battle, and she is sure that she has to subdue him. Mat is the Empress' husband, and Leader of the army (or so I suppose). And more or less in favor of Aes Sedai/chanellers.

 

For the Last Battle, they will have to collaborate. There won't have such a change in Seanchan, but probably a truce regarding collaring.

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the adam new use will be to chain renegade channellers and to bring them into a detention centre without the full circle of channellers having to shield a person

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And how do you propose to put the collar without shielding the renegade? :)

 

And 13 Aes Sedai for shielding is the custom for men chaneller. And I don't see sul'dam with Domination Band for male chaneller.

 

But yes, it's a good idea. But to see that coming in two books? I unfortunately don't think so.

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@Luckers

I agree that the damane will be unleashed and will become initiates of the WT, just as the Suldam. But because of the prophecies it will happen before the last battle. The Dragon can only win, if they are fulfilled before Tarmon Gaidon.

“And it shall come to pass that what men made shall be shattered, and the Shadow shall lie across the Pattern of the Age, and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man. Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the earth are rent like rotting cloth. Neither shall anything stand nor abide...

Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow, born once more as he was born before and shall be born again, time without end. The Dragon shall be Reborn, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind. Like the unfettered dawn shall he blind us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation.”

 

When the Dragon is Reborn he will break all oaths, shatter all ties.

 

It’s obvious that the adam is a tie that binds, but figurative, being property, is a tie that binds too.

Of course the Three Oath’s will be removed, but what of the oath’s of the Black Ajah to the Dark One and what of the Seanchan oath’s. And how about the Warder bond.

What will happen with the sisters if the oath’s are removed? Will they still be Aes Sedai or will they become Kin.

 

Sorry, on-topic again.

If Egwene “sold” a sister to the Seanchan she would be deposed soon after. Besides Egwene doesn’t need a truce. With a good 1000 novices and an army of 100K she can blow the Ever Victorious Army in the Aryth Ocean and Forty will know that after she has received the reports about the raid and interrogated the captured AS.

 

a raven floating beside [Carlinya's] dark hair; more a drawing of the bird than the bird itself. She thought it was a tattoo...

I think I have reread this quotation a dozen times before I realized how I had been fooled by RJ; it doesn’t say it was a tattoo. Min thought it was a tattoo…

The raven is also a sign of the DO. Carlinya is one of those who are unknowingly serving Moridin. Without knowing she served the DO, she could evade the Three Oath’s. Carlinya warned the black sisters in the rebel camp.

Edited by Wantanswers
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Egwene wont be able to attack teh seanchan too much beaurocracy in the AS way of life, and also I think that if an AS army showed up that the seanchan would aim to kill instead of trying to disable and capture them

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  • 3 weeks later...

not to mention that damane are much more skilled in battle than AS.

 

I think there will be little uncollaring of those already damane, at least from Seanchan. At least, perhaps a truce will allow every damane a chance to become free?

 

Anyway ice enjoyed reading this thread and I'm even more anticipating the next book :)

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When I think of damane and how they seem to be happy and content, I cant help but think of Stockholm Syndrome, where those held captive come to identify with their captors.

 

Having said that, I dont know if those like Pura, former Aes Sedai now damane, would be grateful at being released, or horrified. I wonder what would be if Pura could be taken back to her old rooms in the White Tower, see all her old familar belongings...if she would come back to who and what she was prior to being captured?

 

Nothing like brainwashing, Seanchan style.

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... Wow, thought I'd be registering for the first time here to reply, turns out I had an account. Who knew?

 

I see two ways it can go. There's how I wish it would go in my more frustrated moments, then there's how I expect it to go.

 

How I wish it would go (loony theory that is loony, but it's nice to pretend) - especially when I have just read a frustrating passage that emphasizes the arrogant foolishness of modern Aes Sedai: Seanchan spend the 4th Age turning every female channeler into damane. Damane get nicely trained to be subservient, become known in later ages as Servants of All because that's what they do. Then (reaching back to the Prologue of EotW), the Nine Rods of Dominion are created, making it so that not only are male channelers bound, but that a'dam are not required to enforce subservience; the Ring of Tamyrlin is a control mechanism for the Rods. More time goes by, the myths that explained why this is done fade away, the Aes Sedai are granted equality by people who don't know any better, and the Age of Legends happens.

 

How I realistically think it will go:

Although I hate and despite the Three Oaths, I think we're not done with them, or at least the binders, yet. I think when they realize that all sul'dam inevitably become marath'damane if they live long enough, the Seanchan are going to look for an alternative to the a'dam. They look over at those weirdos that still control the other half of the continent, and beg/steal a spare binder, because the former sul'dam insist that they must be bound, yet a damane with no sul'dam is unusable. Thus just as the Aes Sedai are about to realize that they don't need to be bound, they just need to have accountability to the rest of the world, not just themselves, the Empire mires itself down into the foolishness of Oath Rods. And the Aes Sedai, never ones to back down from a perceived slight, decide that if the Empire is going to use an Oath Rod, they're certainly not going to stop using one.

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Just a stray thought...

 

What do you suppose would happen if a damane picked up and donned the bracelet of another damane? What if two damane donned each other's bracelets? Or if 3 or more donned each others bracelets in succession?

 

Would they be able to direct each other to channel? Would they all be linked in a circle? Or would they neutralize each others' ability?

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... Wow, thought I'd be registering for the first time here to reply, turns out I had an account. Who knew?

 

I see two ways it can go. There's how I wish it would go in my more frustrated moments, then there's how I expect it to go.

 

How I wish it would go (loony theory that is loony, but it's nice to pretend) - especially when I have just read a frustrating passage that emphasizes the arrogant foolishness of modern Aes Sedai: Seanchan spend the 4th Age turning every female channeler into damane. Damane get nicely trained to be subservient, become known in later ages as Servants of All because that's what they do. Then (reaching back to the Prologue of EotW), the Nine Rods of Dominion are created, making it so that not only are male channelers bound, but that a'dam are not required to enforce subservience; the Ring of Tamyrlin is a control mechanism for the Rods. More time goes by, the myths that explained why this is done fade away, the Aes Sedai are granted equality by people who don't know any better, and the Age of Legends happens.

 

 

The Nine Rods are not the oath rods. They are offices, much like Governors. they are in no way related to the binders.

 

Just a stray thought...

 

What do you suppose would happen if a damane picked up and donned the bracelet of another damane? What if two damane donned each other's bracelets? Or if 3 or more donned each others bracelets in succession?

 

Would they be able to direct each other to channel? Would they all be linked in a circle? Or would they neutralize each others' ability?

 

Damane cannot touch an a'dam. They would get very sick. IF it were possible, they would have done it by now.

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A´dams will be used as dog collars because there won´t be any channeling after TG.

 

Yeah, but everyone will have to be careful not to let a cat touch the bracelet or they'll both die screaming.

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Just a stray thought...

 

What do you suppose would happen if a damane picked up and donned the bracelet of another damane? What if two damane donned each other's bracelets? Or if 3 or more donned each others bracelets in succession?

 

Would they be able to direct each other to channel? Would they all be linked in a circle? Or would they neutralize each others' ability?

They would suffer I think. The a'dam creates a circle between the leashed one and the leasher. One must be in control -> the sul'dam. If they both wore necklace and bracelet, they woumd both be in control of the same circle. Thus the big pain. And inability to do anything with the Power I'd say.

 

Same thin with three. Even worse, because there will be three circle of two. With everyone in control and attendant in the circle. They would suffer greatly I'd say. And incapable of performing anything.

 

A´dams will be used as dog collars because there won´t be any channeling after TG.

 

Yeah, but everyone will have to be careful not to let a cat touch the bracelet or they'll both die screaming.

Screaming, or meowing and barking? That would be strange to see cats and dog screaming. (I only start considering possible that with you it can rain Cats and Dogs.)

Edited by Demiandre
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  • 1 year later...

Assuming Elayne cannot create some sort of uber Ter'angrael with Rand that in effect negates the effect of A'dams....

 

Personally I think I would just Still every Sul'dam I could get my hands on, as it would effectively destroy the seanchen damane army over night, and they would be forced to ask for help in rectifying it. Leanne and Suine could not control Moghedion whilst they were stilled...

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