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You mean these White Tower pretend AS

 

You keep mentioning that. Time to back it up. Find a quote that says they're not Aes Sedai.

 

Rand says he was the only one properly raised by the standards of the AoL, he doesn't say he is the only Aes Sedai, he treats them as Aes Sedai and refers to them as Aes Sedai. By the existing rules, which are what counts, they are Aes Sedai.

 

You would make a good current third age 'Aes Sedai' imo. It's very convenient or perhaps disturbring that you ignore what Aes Sedai actually means. If I told you that building was the color white when it's actually the color green, are you going to believe me just because I said it was? You're doing the same thing here. These woman at the White Tower are not Aes Sedai (Servants of All). If you want to blindly believe they're Aes Sedai because they themselves think they are, then by all means continue to do so; just don't ask me to wear your blinders as well.

 

There's really no indication anywhere that they aren't Aes Sedai. They're clearly not what you think Aes Sedai should be, but that doesn't actually change the fact that they are Aes Sedai. Pretty much everyone in the books, new Rand included, recognise them as Aes Sedai, they are Aes Sedai. Nothing says you have to like them or approve of them.

 

And while you've for some reason jumped back a few weeks to pick out a quote of mine you seem to have ignored all the other discussion that went on around it.

 

This idealised conception of Aes Sedai you and some others seem to think of as being the 'real' Aes Sedai never existed, not even in the AoL.

 

Aes Sedai serve all in the sense that a public servant or an elected politician serves all now.

 

The AoL was a totally different society, with different goals, values and so on. Society was structured around helping others as a way to gain personal status and power. Even the majority of the Forsaken did so, all bar Mesaana, Moghedien and Balthamel have the honorific third name gained through community service. Yet we know they had crime amongst Aes Sedai (binding chairs and rods), we know that they had politics and pettiness (the events chronicled in A Strike at Shayol Ghul), we know they were arrogant via Rand's memories, and we even know that the most noted ascetic of the age despised everyone for not being able to live up to her standards, which in itself suggests everyone wasn't as clean and wonderful as people try project onto them. The AoL Aes Sedai have, in every instance we've seen them, been shown to be just as human as the TA Aes Sedai.

 

As people have already discussed in the thread the organisation has changed over time as it has adapted to circumstances, which is hardly surprising given the breaking. But the TA Aes Sedai are just as much Aes Sedai as the AoL Aes Sedai, even though neither of them would meet this ideal people seem to have constructed around an absolutely literal interpretation of the name. The AoL Aes Sedai are closer to the ideal, partly due to the nature of the society they existed in and partly due to the fact that we haven’t seen as much detail about them. But on close inspection of the evidence we do have of the AoL there is no reason to think they were any better or worse than the TA Aes Sedai, just different due to the circumstances.

 

Did the AoL Aes Sedai get more done? Absolutely. But again we have to look at the differences in the socieites. RJ described Aginor as a "chip designer dropped into the seventeenth century" when someone asked why he hadn't created more shadowspawn etc once he was released from the bore. He would have had to actually start from the bottom, with just creating simple things like the basic science. The AoL Aes Sedai had access to that science, to the facilities etc that they needed to do what they did. Expecting the TA Aes Sedai to do the same without the resources (which they don't have due pretty directly to the AoL Aes Sedai helpfully serving everyone by drilling the Bore and then breaking the world), is just silly.

 

There was an excellent quote from Robert Jordan posted in one of the threads where this was discussed earlier. It was something about how the AoL was a utopia compared to the TA (I believe it drew the analogy of our society seeming a utopia if viewed by someone from hundreds of years ago), but that didn't mean it was actually a perfect society. If anyone knows where I can find that I'd appreciate the link.

 

I choose to not believe they are Aes Sedai. My ideal of an Aes Sedai is to be a servant. How hard of an ideal is that to meet? Modern day 'Aes Sedai' in Randland do not serve the people, they serve their own interest. By consequence, they do not deserve the title to which they claim. I imagine they will hear something to this affect on the Fields of Merrilor by Rand. Just because someone lays claim to a title does not mean they deserve that title. In my opinion, it's analagous to a bad Presidents in history. True they were Presidents but what do you hear of bad Presidents? The general statement is something along the lines of, So and So grumbled that, "well he might have been elected President but no doubt he was a terrible President" - judged by history.

 

If you judge these current woman to actually deserve the title to which they claim, that's fine. All I ask is that you don't blindly believe they are what they claim they are, simply because they claimed they were.

 

An example would be, Nynaeve, Moiraine, Verin and Cadsuane do actually have precedent for claiming the title to which they hold and are indeed Servants of All. I simply claim that all the other woman who profess themselves to be Aes Sedai are not Aes Sedai by their own actions.

 

This is not to say they can't come to understand the title to which they claim and actually be an Aes Sedai. I'm just saying that as of Towers of Midnight, minus the woman mentioned, they are not Aes Sedai in my judgement. The same as I would say about all the bad Presidents, Kings, Queens and Dictators throughout history.

 

What happens when Presidents make serious goofs? They are impeached by a democratically elected council - The Seante/House of Representatives.

 

There is no governing body to do the same for Aes Sedai. In the AOL there was a governing body to do this. All the Forsaken were stripped of the title of Aes Sedai subsequently.

Edited by gambril

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I thought the comparison was a hoot!

 

The Aes Sedai are supposed to be servants of all, but they do it in their own way, which is not always necessarily best. So far, Nyneave is the best Aes Sedai I've seen, and I'm hoping that all of them start acting a bit more like her and a bit less manipulative.

 

See the thing that bugs me when people go off on rants about Aes Sedai is that it's based on limited examples that are referred to in the series. The generalizing that, because of the lack of evidence concerning every single deed or action undertaken by AS across 3000 years, therefore they must all be, or have been, convoluted jerkwads across an entire age, because of what we're able to see in a handful of examples evidenced in the past 50 years of a timeline...Sh*t's weak!

 

It's like saying all movies suck for having only seen Gigli, Howard the Duck, and Battlefield Earth. :jordan:

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I thought the comparison was a hoot!

 

The Aes Sedai are supposed to be servants of all, but they do it in their own way, which is not always necessarily best. So far, Nyneave is the best Aes Sedai I've seen, and I'm hoping that all of them start acting a bit more like her and a bit less manipulative.

 

See the thing that bugs me when people go off on rants about Aes Sedai is that it's based on limited examples that are referred to in the series. The generalizing that, because of the lack of evidence concerning every single deed or action undertaken by AS across 3000 years, therefore they must all be, or have been, convoluted jerkwads across an entire age, because of what we're able to see in a handful of examples evidenced in the past 50 years of a timeline...Sh*t's weak!

 

It's like saying all movies suck for having only seen Gigli, Howard the Duck, and Battlefield Earth. :jordan:

 

You are probably correct that there have likely been plenty of individual Aes Sedai that have significant accomplishments and contributions to society. However, I think it is fair for us to judge the Aes Sedai as a whole lacking just based on what we see in the world. The Aes Sedai are capable of so much, we see this in the glimpses we get of the AoL. But look at the world now - There are no hospitals or centers of healing. We have seen no apparent progress in healing weaves until Nynaeve comes along. What have the Yellow Ajah been doing? We have little indication that Aes Sedai spend much time helping patrol the Borderlands. What have the Green Ajah been doing? We have little evidence that any kind of plan has been made to seal the Bore. Despite prophecies that indicate the seals will not last forever this problem doesn't seem to be addressed. What have the White and Brown Ajahs been doing? You see almost no innovation in creating new weaves or Power made objects until the Super Girls come along. We don't need to see the actions of all Aes Sedai of the last 3000 to generalize that the White Tower as a whole has not even come close to living up to its potential.

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I thought the comparison was a hoot!

 

The Aes Sedai are supposed to be servants of all, but they do it in their own way, which is not always necessarily best. So far, Nyneave is the best Aes Sedai I've seen, and I'm hoping that all of them start acting a bit more like her and a bit less manipulative.

 

See the thing that bugs me when people go off on rants about Aes Sedai is that it's based on limited examples that are referred to in the series. The generalizing that, because of the lack of evidence concerning every single deed or action undertaken by AS across 3000 years, therefore they must all be, or have been, convoluted jerkwads across an entire age, because of what we're able to see in a handful of examples evidenced in the past 50 years of a timeline...Sh*t's weak!

 

It's like saying all movies suck for having only seen Gigli, Howard the Duck, and Battlefield Earth. :jordan:

we also have the deeds of the WT during the trolloc wars and hawkwings reign aswell as the fall of the truth of malkier's and why the WT failed to aid them. Durring times of greatest hardship the WT fails to do well except for the forming the covenant of the 10 nations.

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In the first several books, including New Spring, it was made very clear that the Aes Sedai are declining in numbers and individual strength levels. New Spring has the best info on this when Cadsuance went off about when she dies that it is a long drop to the next most powerful Aes Sedai.

 

So how can we hold the WT to some standards of the AOL equivalent of being Aes Sedai?

The WT has been in decline for centuries. They have fewer memebrs and are less capable overall and individually.

 

This is an organization that would have failed with time if things had kept on the current path.

 

So let's give them a break if they didn't measure up to your personal standards of what it means to be Aes Sedai.

 

The end of the age is exactly what they needed.

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In the first several books, including New Spring, it was made very clear that the Aes Sedai are declining in numbers and individual strength levels. New Spring has the best info on this when Cadsuance went off about when she dies that it is a long drop to the next most powerful Aes Sedai.

 

So how can we hold the WT to some standards of the AOL equivalent of being Aes Sedai?

The WT has been in decline for centuries. They have fewer memebrs and are less capable overall and individually.

 

This is an organization that would have failed with time if things had kept on the current path.

 

my take on this is that it's less about the amount of magic they weild, and sort of like their mission statement. what you are saying can be interpreted as that because they are weaker, thus they have less of an obligation to serve. correct me if i am wrong there.

sure, they have less of an ability to serve effectively, but not less of an obligation. the serving should never be ancillary to maintaining power. imho, the ideal is that they earn their power through the respect and value they command. sort of a command vs. demand respect sort of thing. at this point, debatably, they hold on to power by being the guy with the biggest gun (chanelling).

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You are probably correct that there have likely been plenty of individual Aes Sedai that have significant accomplishments and contributions to society. However, I think it is fair for us to judge the Aes Sedai as a whole lacking just based on what we see in the world. The Aes Sedai are capable of so much, we see this in the glimpses we get of the AoL. But look at the world now - There are no hospitals or centers of healing.

 

Is comparing the AoL Aes Sedai and the TA Aes Sedai really in any way a fair comparison?

 

Again I'll refer back to Aginor as the "chip designer dropped into the seventeenth century", he was useless in the TA, despite being one of the most brilliant scientists in the AoL, because he just didn't have any of the base tools he needed to work with. The TA doesn't even have the building blocks of AoL society. It doesn't have the science, the records, the facilities, or even the ability to create those without again going back further and creating the things they need to create those things and so on back.

 

Why doesn't it have those tools? Because a gigantic disaster, which was in a very large part the making of the AoL Aes Sedai, destroyed them all, wiped out the records and so on, and left humanity in no state to pick up where they left off.

 

And then of course there's the other differences in society. If the Aes Sedai had centres of healing would people even go to them? Most people seem to refuse Aes Sedai healing when offered the choice. The TA Aes Sedai live in a society that still carries enourmous scars from the breaking, something you can see reflected in people's attitudes to Aes Sedai. They are only human, something we see again and again, yet people expect them to not be so. Any human who was as hated and shunned as the Aes Sedai have been would pull away from that. Add that to the fact that they are incredibly isolated from normal existance, they have no real ties to the world, they outlive their families and other connections to the world, and the men that were previously their companions are now gone, can anyone blame them from retreating to what is quite literally their own ivory tower?

 

I am *amazed* they have actually managed to keep together in any respect, and while I won't disagree they are very often misguided and their actions can have unhelpful results I don't think it is done with malice generally (obviously there are exceptions). They do have some real desire to do good generally, how they go about it is problematic and flawed, but also fairly understandable given their circumstances.

 

We have seen no apparent progress in healing weaves until Nynaeve comes along. What have the Yellow Ajah been doing? We have little indication that Aes Sedai spend much time helping patrol the Borderlands. What have the Green Ajah been doing? We have little evidence that any kind of plan has been made to seal the Bore. Despite prophecies that indicate the seals will not last forever this problem doesn't seem to be addressed. What have the White and Brown Ajahs been doing? You see almost no innovation in creating new weaves or Power made objects until the Super Girls come along. We don't need to see the actions of all Aes Sedai of the last 3000 to generalize that the White Tower as a whole has not even come close to living up to its potential.

 

The recent discoveries, skills and Talents that account for the supergirls etc have been explained away by the concept of the old things returning being a sign of the last battle, the elements that have made the new things workable simply haven't been there in the past. Numbers have declined drastically, strength in the power has declined drastically, those things are fairly strongly linked to the lack of progress. Is it suprising travelling wasn't discovered in an environment where less than 10 Aes Sedai even had the strength to make the weave? Added to which a lot of the new things can be traced back to the knowledge of the Forsaken in one way or another, something which Aes Sedai have not have had access to previously.

 

I'm not saying they're a perfect organisation. They're very clearly not. They're a bureaucracy and bureaucracy is flawed as an organising structure (although what isn’t?), and often results in the things we see happening in the WT. But given that how they are/what they have become in the TA is more understandable if viewed in context. That doesn't mean they don't need a shakeup, but they do actually appear to be getting one.

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my take on this is that it's less about the amount of magic they weild, and sort of like their mission statement. what you are saying can be interpreted as that because they are weaker, thus they have less of an obligation to serve. correct me if i am wrong there.

sure, they have less of an ability to serve effectively, but not less of an obligation. the serving should never be ancillary to maintaining power. imho, the ideal is that they earn their power through the respect and value they command. sort of a command vs. demand respect sort of thing. at this point, debatably, they hold on to power by being the guy with the biggest gun (chanelling).

This. I don't really have a problem with the White Tower Aes Sedai being reclusive. I don't have a problem with the White Tower taking an active interest in the world. I do have a problem with the White Tower being reclusive and taking an active interest in the world. The White Tower essentially feels it can dictate to any king or queen in the world, but refuses to provide positive benefits to the people of the world. Actually, refuses is too strong of a word. It's just never occurred to the vast majority of them that anything is wrong with their approach.

 

I see people saying that the Aes Sedai are feared due to the legacy of the AOL Aes Sedai. That's true. But three thousand years have gone by, and the Aes Sedai have not made a serious attempt to fix their reputation. It would have been relatively easy to make a start on it. Open Yellow Ajah hospitals in Caemlyn and in the capital cities of the Borderlands. Station Green Ajah along the Borderlands, treating them as military assets attached to the local military command. Within a normal generation or two, Borderland troops would be familiar with fighting alongside Aes Sedai, and people would be using the hospitals. From there, offer to Murandy, Cairhien, Illian, Tarabon, and Arad Doman the hospitals, and look to start great libraries in Caemlyn and Cairhien.

 

Again, wait a generation as people get used to things. Then, start using the Red Ajah actively for recruiting. Send out women with talents for healing, plant growth, making weather, etc. When practical, let them take along Accepted from that region, so that those women have a chance to visit their families and their old homes. Their job would be to essentially show up, show the flag and to put a human face on the White Tower, help people who need it, find any men who can channel, and find any women who can channel. Start up a long term plan like that, and they'd reap what they would sow. Within a few generations, outside of some of the more backwards parts of the south, Aes Sedai would be more respected and less feared.

 

Instead, for three thousand years the Aes Sedai sat in their tower like spiders, trying to pull at threads and manipulate kings and queens. And then they wondered why people had problems with them. Meh.

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Instead, for three thousand years the Aes Sedai sat in their tower like spiders, trying to pull at threads and manipulate kings and queens. And then they wondered why people had problems with them. Meh.

 

See I disagree entirely with the totality of that statement.

 

Take for instance the compact of 10 nations. 200 years after the breaking, we see the nations of Randland brought together in alliance specifically for the purpose of defending against the Shadow. The chief architect of the compact, was Aes Sedai. Many of the queens of those nations, were also Aes Sedai. The, greatest alliance of nations since the Breaking, orchestrated by the directly by the hands of Aes Sedai.

 

On the flip side of the coin - The Shadow/Ishy finds out what's up with that, when he gets out of his phasic slumber, and you've got to figure crap, we can't have folks all united and trah-lah-lah against us which would make it easier for their side come Tarmon Gaiden - Daddy needs Chaos! *queues up 300+ years of nonstop Trolloc+Dreadlord invasions, founds Black Ajah to infiltrate and disrupt AS on organizational level.

 

For real, people go on and on about wah wah wah, the AS should be doing this, the AS should be doing that. To me it absolves all the normal people in Randland from culpability by saying ugh, life's terrible, I know there's nothing keeping me from doing good things - but let's blame the Aes Sedai. Yeah, I know in the AoL they were less than 3 percent of all living people in the world, and even less of a percentage now, but god dammit I have an infected cut and my diaper needs changing WHERE ARE THEY?!?!?!

 

War of the Second Dragon, the Aes Sedai rally eastern nations to counter the destructive campaign of Guaire Amalasan. 30 Aes Sedai hold back his forces in defense of the Stone of Tear. The Aes Sedai rallying cry paves the way for the rise of Artur Hawkwing.

 

Seriously across WoT history post-breaking, every time the Aes Sedai catch a break and things start looking pretty good - the Shadow comes around and dicks things over in overwhelming ways.

 

Manage to Unite Randland : 300+ Years of Decimating Trolloc Wars

Artur Hawking's Rule : Ishamael corrupts Hawkwing. Systematic dismissal and dismantling of all Aes Sedai influence in the Empire, and sending vast forces of stabilizing influence to the other side of the world after some agenda emboldening with a little Trolloc action in the Border Provinces. Hawkwing refuses Aes Sedai healing from the Amyrilin herself on his death bed, which would have saved his life and allowed for the continuation of a stable Kingdom & World to counter the Shadow.

 

What? Hawkwing's dead? Mission Accomplished! I'll just leave this now completely unstable and hateful towards all things Aes Sedai world thanks to me, to youuu. P.s. How's that Black Ajah I started in the Trolloc Wars doing for you? OMG ROFL 100 years of Succession Wars and no outward stabilizing influence like all those troops I sent with Hawkwing's direct heir to Seanchan too, on top of all that other stuff? Oops I did it again! Bonus! Have fun!

 

*Ishy takes power nap

 

Oh but the Yellows, the yellows ugh, they should like have created hospitals! Get out of your pipe dream. They're the 5th largest Ajah, of the Aes Sedai which number around 1000 on a whole, in all of Randland, not all of which even have the ability to heal, until recently lost the ability to Travel in any expedient way. What the hell is so wrong with ordinary people that they couldn't have done the exact same thing for themselves? If you needed Aes Sedai healing or aid everybody knew exactly where and when you could find them *points at WT

 

And, to the best of our knowledge, they've never turned anyone away or refused a request for healing if they were able, regardless if they were in the tower or not. It's also intimated that the Aes Sedai have played a role in the defense of the borderlands - References about the Green Ajah facing Dreadlords, the respect the Borderlanders have for the Aes Sedai, the army led by the BL leaders having the support of a full circle - it's not blowing hot air up a skirt!

 

People just seem to want to rag on the Aes Sedai for the lack of evidence concerning all the good they do, or have done, for the world because we're given examples of how they can be, or are, at the center of various sh*tstorms.

 

Hell, if there were more Tam Al'Thor's out there saying hey, we need to step up and take charge for ourselves and the betterment of our world whether there's AS or not - the world would be a better place. Instead there's a whole lot of whining and complaining about a minority organization with powers that they evidently will, and do, use to aid and heal people on request to the best of their ability.

 

Normal Person: Ugh, like, you should do more.

Aes Sedai: You do know we're in the vast minority, our powers are decreased yet still in demand, people still hate and mistrust us because of that crazy most powerful Ta'varen since the AoL named Hawking, and we can't be everywhere at once right? I tell you what, here's our address, if you need help come see us, any time - we don't turn anyone away, even if you think we're witches and call us names.

Normal Person: OMG, like, that's too complicated. I hate you.

Aes Sedai: Soo, you do realize if you grew a pair you could do alot better for yourself, maybe talk to your neighbors more and get along, that you'd probably not even need our help?

Normal Person: UGH AS IF, WHAT-EVER! *flips hair

Aes Sedai: *sigh

 

 

:thom:

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You are probably correct that there have likely been plenty of individual Aes Sedai that have significant accomplishments and contributions to society. However, I think it is fair for us to judge the Aes Sedai as a whole lacking just based on what we see in the world. The Aes Sedai are capable of so much, we see this in the glimpses we get of the AoL. But look at the world now - There are no hospitals or centers of healing.

 

Is comparing the AoL Aes Sedai and the TA Aes Sedai really in any way a fair comparison?

 

Again I'll refer back to Aginor as the "chip designer dropped into the seventeenth century", he was useless in the TA, despite being one of the most brilliant scientists in the AoL, because he just didn't have any of the base tools he needed to work with. The TA doesn't even have the building blocks of AoL society. It doesn't have the science, the records, the facilities, or even the ability to create those without again going back further and creating the things they need to create those things and so on back.

 

Why doesn't it have those tools? Because a gigantic disaster, which was in a very large part the making of the AoL Aes Sedai, destroyed them all, wiped out the records and so on, and left humanity in no state to pick up where they left off.

 

And then of course there's the other differences in society. If the Aes Sedai had centres of healing would people even go to them? Most people seem to refuse Aes Sedai healing when offered the choice. The TA Aes Sedai live in a society that still carries enourmous scars from the breaking, something you can see reflected in people's attitudes to Aes Sedai. They are only human, something we see again and again, yet people expect them to not be so. Any human who was as hated and shunned as the Aes Sedai have been would pull away from that. Add that to the fact that they are incredibly isolated from normal existance, they have no real ties to the world, they outlive their families and other connections to the world, and the men that were previously their companions are now gone, can anyone blame them from retreating to what is quite literally their own ivory tower?

 

I am *amazed* they have actually managed to keep together in any respect, and while I won't disagree they are very often misguided and their actions can have unhelpful results I don't think it is done with malice generally (obviously there are exceptions). They do have some real desire to do good generally, how they go about it is problematic and flawed, but also fairly understandable given their circumstances.

 

We have seen no apparent progress in healing weaves until Nynaeve comes along. What have the Yellow Ajah been doing? We have little indication that Aes Sedai spend much time helping patrol the Borderlands. What have the Green Ajah been doing? We have little evidence that any kind of plan has been made to seal the Bore. Despite prophecies that indicate the seals will not last forever this problem doesn't seem to be addressed. What have the White and Brown Ajahs been doing? You see almost no innovation in creating new weaves or Power made objects until the Super Girls come along. We don't need to see the actions of all Aes Sedai of the last 3000 to generalize that the White Tower as a whole has not even come close to living up to its potential.

 

The recent discoveries, skills and Talents that account for the supergirls etc have been explained away by the concept of the old things returning being a sign of the last battle, the elements that have made the new things workable simply haven't been there in the past. Numbers have declined drastically, strength in the power has declined drastically, those things are fairly strongly linked to the lack of progress. Is it suprising travelling wasn't discovered in an environment where less than 10 Aes Sedai even had the strength to make the weave? Added to which a lot of the new things can be traced back to the knowledge of the Forsaken in one way or another, something which Aes Sedai have not have had access to previously.

 

I'm not saying they're a perfect organisation. They're very clearly not. They're a bureaucracy and bureaucracy is flawed as an organising structure (although what isn’t?), and often results in the things we see happening in the WT. But given that how they are/what they have become in the TA is more understandable if viewed in context. That doesn't mean they don't need a shakeup, but they do actually appear to be getting one.

 

I wasn't necessarily comparing them to the AoL Aes Sedai as trying to point out that they have not realized their potential. They could and should do so much more than they do even if they won't reach the heights of the AoL.

 

And who's fault is it that they are not trusted. If they had spent the last 3000 years doing things like healing people and performing other services that their power gives them the potential to do, they would have long ago erased that fear and suspicion from the populace. Nobody remembers the breaking, the general populaces' thoughts are not influenced by that, their prejudice comes from the impression that Aes Sedai are manipulators that can't be trusted. And the current Aes Sedais' actions are largely responsible for that.

 

It is true that power levels have decreased and the Pattern is partly responsible for some of the old weaves being re-found, but my complaint was more along the fact that you rarely see the Aes Sedai trying to innovate with their weaves. Cadsuane actually comments on this in tGS. They don't try to better themselves.

 

Its hard for me to see how anyone can argue that the White Tower is living up to its potential. They are a student who's abilities should allow them to get straight A's but who's laziness and sense of entitlment have left them at a C to C- level.

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Instead, for three thousand years the Aes Sedai sat in their tower like spiders, trying to pull at threads and manipulate kings and queens. And then they wondered why people had problems with them. Meh.

 

See I disagree entirely with the totality of that statement.

 

Take for instance the compact of 10 nations. 200 years after the breaking, we see the nations of Randland brought together in alliance specifically for the purpose of defending against the Shadow. The chief architect of the compact, was Aes Sedai. Many of the queens of those nations, were also Aes Sedai. The, greatest alliance of nations since the Breaking, orchestrated by the directly by the hands of Aes Sedai.

 

On the flip side of the coin - The Shadow/Ishy finds out what's up with that, when he gets out of his phasic slumber, and you've got to figure crap, we can't have folks all united and trah-lah-lah against us which would make it easier for their side come Tarmon Gaiden - Daddy needs Chaos! *queues up 300+ years of nonstop Trolloc+Dreadlord invasions, founds Black Ajah to infiltrate and disrupt AS on organizational level.

 

For real, people go on and on about wah wah wah, the AS should be doing this, the AS should be doing that. To me it absolves all the normal people in Randland from culpability by saying ugh, life's terrible, I know there's nothing keeping me from doing good things - but let's blame the Aes Sedai. Yeah, I know in the AoL they were less than 3 percent of all living people in the world, and even less of a percentage now, but god dammit I have an infected cut and my diaper needs changing WHERE ARE THEY?!?!?!

 

War of the Second Dragon, the Aes Sedai rally eastern nations to counter the destructive campaign of Guaire Amalasan. 30 Aes Sedai hold back his forces in defense of the Stone of Tear. The Aes Sedai rallying cry paves the way for the rise of Artur Hawkwing.

 

Seriously across WoT history post-breaking, every time the Aes Sedai catch a break and things start looking pretty good - the Shadow comes around and dicks things over in overwhelming ways.

 

Manage to Unite Randland : 300+ Years of Decimating Trolloc Wars

Artur Hawking's Rule : Ishamael corrupts Hawkwing. Systematic dismissal and dismantling of all Aes Sedai influence in the Empire, and sending vast forces of stabilizing influence to the other side of the world after some agenda emboldening with a little Trolloc action in the Border Provinces. Hawkwing refuses Aes Sedai healing from the Amyrilin herself on his death bed, which would have saved his life and allowed for the continuation of a stable Kingdom & World to counter the Shadow.

 

What? Hawkwing's dead? Mission Accomplished! I'll just leave this now completely unstable and hateful towards all things Aes Sedai world thanks to me, to youuu. P.s. How's that Black Ajah I started in the Trolloc Wars doing for you? OMG ROFL 100 years of Succession Wars and no outward stabilizing influence like all those troops I sent with Hawkwing's direct heir to Seanchan too, on top of all that other stuff? Oops I did it again! Bonus! Have fun!

 

*Ishy takes power nap

 

Oh but the Yellows, the yellows ugh, they should like have created hospitals! Get out of your pipe dream. They're the 5th largest Ajah, of the Aes Sedai which number around 1000 on a whole, in all of Randland, not all of which even have the ability to heal, until recently lost the ability to Travel in any expedient way. What the hell is so wrong with ordinary people that they couldn't have done the exact same thing for themselves? If you needed Aes Sedai healing or aid everybody knew exactly where and when you could find them *points at WT

 

And, to the best of our knowledge, they've never turned anyone away or refused a request for healing if they were able, regardless if they were in the tower or not. It's also intimated that the Aes Sedai have played a role in the defense of the borderlands - References about the Green Ajah facing Dreadlords, the respect the Borderlanders have for the Aes Sedai, the army led by the BL leaders having the support of a full circle - it's not blowing hot air up a skirt!

 

People just seem to want to rag on the Aes Sedai for the lack of evidence concerning all the good they do, or have done, for the world because we're given examples of how they can be, or are, at the center of various sh*tstorms.

 

Hell, if there were more Tam Al'Thor's out there saying hey, we need to step up and take charge for ourselves and the betterment of our world whether there's AS or not - the world would be a better place. Instead there's a whole lot of whining and complaining about a minority organization with powers that they evidently will, and do, use to aid and heal people on request to the best of their ability.

 

Normal Person: Ugh, like, you should do more.

Aes Sedai: You do know we're in the vast minority, our powers are decreased yet still in demand, people still hate and mistrust us because of that crazy most powerful Ta'varen since the AoL named Hawking, and we can't be everywhere at once right? I tell you what, here's our address, if you need help come see us, any time - we don't turn anyone away, even if you think we're witches and call us names.

Normal Person: OMG, like, that's too complicated. I hate you.

Aes Sedai: Soo, you do realize if you grew a pair you could do alot better for yourself, maybe talk to your neighbors more and get along, that you'd probably not even need our help?

Normal Person: UGH AS IF, WHAT-EVER! *flips hair

Aes Sedai: *sigh

 

 

:thom:

a major part of the fall of 10 nations happened b/c the aes sedai withheld aid from Manetheren and let it die do to internal arguments and jealousies. hawkwing could of never been the tool of the shadow if the aes sedai hadnt tried to control him and humiliated him after he saved them at there own request. they pushed him away in the same manner they did rand. its not really that they failed its that they never decide to change the SOP to correct there flaws.

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@ Mats Spare Hat

 

very good points. But the covenant of the nations pre Trolloc Wars, if majority of the queens where AS then they where in the world more, and just following orders, so in effect it was the actions of only one woman (the amyrlin).

Artur Hawkwing, I do not think it was AS that allowed him to gain such prestige and power. And sure Ishy made things worse for AS but the Amyrlin bungled things terrible, so in effect if would be like if during the Cold War a huge amount of soviet spies stood up in the USA and said hey look what we are doing to screw you over.

 

 

As for people thinking the Ajahs are useless, well they are, all they do is sit in the WT gathering intell on the world and usually do not do much ever. Lets take a comprehensive look

Red: hunts men who channel, but there are almost no sisters out of the tower from this ajah (the noticeable ones I can think of are Elaida (when she is in andor, and Teslyn or whomever was in Ebou Dar). But they accomplish their job somewhat, although EotW suddenly there was 3 or so male channellers in various countries.

Greens: Battle ajah, to fight dread lords. I would say over 90% are in the tower, one was in Toman Head (for some reason), almost none in the borderlands for some reason.

Yellows: dedicated to healing the world, stay in the WT, rarely leave the tower, believe folk wisdom is useless.

whites: dedicated to the development and creation of ideas/theories in all disciplines, do not share information with people outside of AS (that we know), almost never leave the tower.

browns: dedicated to gathering intell and research, most stay in TV (due to large libraries), when they leave the WT they mostly visit the libraries.

blue: dedicated to plotting, mostly stays in WT

 

mostly they isolate themselves and anything people do not understand they tend to fear. That is half their problem, and they all seem to have forgotten their mission statement: instead falling back on internal politics since this is the best way to get into positions of power

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I wasn't necessarily comparing them to the AoL Aes Sedai as trying to point out that they have not realized their potential. They could and should do so much more than they do even if they won't reach the heights of the AoL.

 

What is their full potential though? People seem to credit them with things they don't really have.

 

You say they should set up hospitals. Ok, there's ~1000 Aes Sedai, and the Yellow Ajah is one of the smallest as healing as a Talent and not everyone can do it, so lets say ~100 yellows for arguments sake. Some of those need to stay in the Tower doing admin work (ajah head/sitters etc), and some need to stay in the tower to train novices/accepted and provide healing to people who come to the Tower since they have an open door policy about that. That leaves maybe 80 Yellows at most to get these hospitals going.

 

They individually can't heal 24/7 so you need groups of them together, and without travelling (which they didn't have at the time) they're going to need to be decent sized groups as some will be gone taking ages to travel around at any one time or some will need a break or have to attend to something else etc, so you get maybe 8 groups, making 8 hospitals. While 8 hospitals is still more than zero hospitals it is hardly going to cover the world with healers and solve its health problems. The poor or more rural people are still not going to get healed. Not that they want to be healed by witches anyway.

 

Then add in the fact that they're simply banned in some places (Tear, Amidacia) and that the Whitecloaks are going to follow them around trying to kill them wherever they openly establish themselves, and in small groups they'd be sitting ducks to set up permanently anywhere, then you end up with maybe one Aes Sedai hospital in some of the larger capitals with each only able to really see to the most serious cases and each one subject to near constant harassment from people who think they're witches. I have no idea why the Yellows aren't rushing to do that, it sounds so enjoyable and personally safe.

 

So instead they have an open door healing policy where they heal anyone who comes to the WT. You'll note they're not constantly overwhelmed by floods of sick people, which suggests people don't really want Aes Sedai healing except in the worst of cases anyway, which again makes it questionable as to whether setting up those hospitals is really the best possible use of time and resources.

 

And who's fault is it that they are not trusted. If they had spent the last 3000 years doing things like healing people and performing other services that their power gives them the potential to do, they would have long ago erased that fear and suspicion from the populace. Nobody remembers the breaking, the general populaces' thoughts are not influenced by that, their prejudice comes from the impression that Aes Sedai are manipulators that can't be trusted. And the current Aes Sedais' actions are largely responsible for that.

 

I don't think it's accurate to say nobody remembers the breaking, people clearly have plenty of myths/ledgends about that time that they hold on to, which are arguably more dangerous than the actual truth. Add that in to laws against them in some countries, the fallout from Hawkwing (discussed above) and the Whitecloaks and there's plenty of reason they won't be trusted regardless of what they do. 80 people out healing when someone will let them isn't going to stack up to tens of thousands against them, plus laws, plus rumors plus all the half remembered mis-remembered history. It might change some people's attitudes sure, but I doubt it would be the huge societal shift you seem to think would happen.

 

As above you're really expecting them to do things they're not capable of. They have actually done what they could, there's plenty of examples of the Ajahs doing what they're 'meant' to be doing, e.g. Greens in the Trolloc Wars, they Treaties the Greys have negotiated etc. What other services should they or could they have performed given the restrictions placed on them, their low numbers and strength and the hatred of the general population for them?

 

Healers have healed where they could, they've opened the WT to everyone for healing if they want it (which they largely don't). Are you suggesting they go around forcing healing onto people? They should interfere with peoples bodies without their consent? I'm sure that would earn them no end of goodwill.

 

It's not really reasonable to say that because they can channel they have an obligation to spend their entire lives unhappy, uncomfortable and in personal danger. If they choose that path for themselves individually then great, but forcing them to do so is only one step away from just clapping an A'dam onto them.

 

It is true that power levels have decreased and the Pattern is partly responsible for some of the old weaves being re-found, but my complaint was more along the fact that you rarely see the Aes Sedai trying to innovate with their weaves. Cadsuane actually comments on this in tGS. They don't try to better themselves.

 

That I'll give you. Their recruiting and training is problematic and I see that issue as directly stemming from those. That it goes back to the structure of the organisation for me thogugh, that's always going to be a problem within a bureaucracy, people aren't encouraged to be different, rules become an end in themselves etc. Although as I said before every organising structure has flaws, and that's always a case of the lesser of the evils to some extent. At least the Aes Sedai structure does allow for people who are strong enough to push/innovate to do so, and those people often end up well respected within the organisation (Cadsuane and Moiraine for example).

Edited by Kahlika

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So instead they have an open door healing policy where they heal anyone who comes to the WT. You'll note they're not constantly overwhelmed by floods of sick people, which suggests people don't really want Aes Sedai healing except in the worst of cases anyway, which again makes it questionable as to weather setting up those hospitals is really the best possible use of time and resources.

I wouldnt take the trip either its too far and theres a good chance they will die along the way.

 

They individually can't heal 24/7 so you need groups of them together, and without travelling (which they didn't have at the time) they're going to need to be decent sized groups as some will be gone taking ages to travel around at any one time or some will need a break or have to attend to something else etc, so you get maybe 8 groups, making 8 hospitals. While 8 hospitals is still more than zero hospitals it is hardly going to cover the world with healers and solve its health problems. The poor or more rural people are still not going to get healed. Not that they want to be healed by witches anyway.

well it would be a start, as well as a open recruitment house, since women who are curious about AS would end up checkin it out, and during a shift change (which would likely happen every so often) they could transport a whole bunch of potential channellers with them. not to mention it would serve as a very good base of operations for other ajahs coming into the area.

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It's not really reasonable to say that because they can channel they have an obligation to spend their entire lives unhappy, uncomfortable and in personal danger. If they choose that path for themselves individually then great, but forcing them to do so is only one step away from just clapping an A'dam onto them.

I have no problem with the Aes Sedai staying safe and sound in the White Tower. I have a problem with the Aes Sedai staying safe and sound in the White Tower and feeling entitled to be listened to and respected by the rest of the world. Respect is earned. Some individual sisters have done things to deserve respect. As a whole, the White Tower has not.

 

As for the Aes Sedai opening the Tower up for healing, that's not particularly true. By way of an example I can think of off-hand, after Gaywn injures a few troops getting to Bryne in the siege of the Tower, Bryne makes it clear that it's quite possible that the Aes Sedai will refuse to heal them, and cites a recent example of one of his troops being injured and the Aes Sedai refusing to heal him. One of their own troops. Even when Aes Sedai are willing, the scenes with petitioners in the Dragon Reborn and elsewhere indicate that people don't necessarily have a comfortable time waiting, that they aren't made to feel particularly welcome.

 

As for the argument that the White Tower's failings should be laid at the feet of the Black Ajah, I don't buy it. The White Tower is the only group in the world with access to a quick and easy way to keep Darkfriends out. Eventually, some sisters even got around to quietly making use of it. Far too late to be of large scale practical use; Verin's revelations outpaced them. But at least after 3,000 they made an effort, rather than denying that the problem existed. To take all this one step further: Verin identified over two hundred sisters who were Black Ajah, and there were some that she missed. If there are roughly a thousand Aes Sedai living, that means that 20% of the White Tower was Black Ajah.

 

I highly doubt that that percentage applies to the rest of the people of the world. If 20% of the world were comprised of Darkfriends, I'd be beyond shocked and amazed. I highly doubt that 20% of the monarchs of the world were Darkfriends. Even in Tear, which was just behind Cairhein in terms of how manipulative and corrupt the leadership was (and which was worse in some ways), Rand found only two Darkfriends among the High Lords. What is it about Aes Sedai that makes them more corrupt than the vast majority of the world? I'd say it's obvious: they're trained to be distant, cold, above all else to seek to manipulate and control the people around them.

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I wasn't necessarily comparing them to the AoL Aes Sedai as trying to point out that they have not realized their potential. They could and should do so much more than they do even if they won't reach the heights of the AoL.

 

What is their full potential though? People seem to credit them with things they don't really have.

 

None of the things I've mentioned are out of the range of possibilities for them. They don't need the power and knowledge of the AoL to do better than they currently are.

 

You say they should set up hospitals. Ok, there's ~1000 Aes Sedai, and the Yellow Ajah is one of the smallest as healing as a Talent and not everyone can do it, so lets say ~100 yellows for arguments sake. Some of those need to stay in the Tower doing admin work (ajah head/sitters etc), and some need to stay in the tower to train novices/accepted and provide healing to people who come to the Tower since they have an open door policy about that. That leaves maybe 80 Yellows at most to get these hospitals going.

 

They individually can't heal 24/7 so you need groups of them together, and without travelling (which they didn't have at the time) they're going to need to be decent sized groups as some will be gone taking ages to travel around at any one time or some will need a break or have to attend to something else etc, so you get maybe 8 groups, making 8 hospitals. While 8 hospitals is still more than zero hospitals it is hardly going to cover the world with healers and solve its health problems. The poor or more rural people are still not going to get healed. Not that they want to be healed by witches anyway.

 

Then add in the fact that they're simply banned in some places (Tear, Amidacia) and that the Whitecloaks are going to follow them around trying to kill them wherever they openly establish themselves, and in small groups they'd be sitting ducks to set up permanently anywhere, then you end up with maybe one Aes Sedai hospital in some of the larger capitals with each only able to really see to the most serious cases and each one subject to near constant harassment from people who think they're witches. I have no idea why the Yellows aren't rushing to do that, it sounds so enjoyable and personally safe.

 

So instead they have an open door healing policy where they heal anyone who comes to the WT. You'll note they're not constantly overwhelmed by floods of sick people, which suggests people don't really want Aes Sedai healing except in the worst of cases anyway, which again makes it questionable as to weather setting up those hospitals is really the best possible use of time and resources.

 

Setting up some hospitals is still better than nothing. And they don't have to man all of them - they could use their impressive knowledge of the human body to train others (such as Wisdoms, Wise Women, etc) to heal people better using herbs and medicines and leave the day to day running to them. Instead they shun these type of remedies instead of using them to supplement their powers. And this is a cumulative thing. Had they been working on these things for centuries (the last great upheaval was over 1000 years ago) they would already have a substantial hospital system.

 

And the open door policy is essentially useless. A very sick or injured person would find the trek to the White Tower just from the surrounding Tar Valon countryside to be onerous much less from anywhere else in the world. And had they not been isolating themselves for thousands of years maybe people wouldn't fear being healed by them so much.

 

My biggest complaint is that they don't even try. Maybe you're right and with the way the world is they wouldn't be able to do any more than they currently do. That would be fine if they actually tried and failed. They don't even try to improve.

 

And who's fault is it that they are not trusted. If they had spent the last 3000 years doing things like healing people and performing other services that their power gives them the potential to do, they would have long ago erased that fear and suspicion from the populace. Nobody remembers the breaking, the general populaces' thoughts are not influenced by that, their prejudice comes from the impression that Aes Sedai are manipulators that can't be trusted. And the current Aes Sedais' actions are largely responsible for that.

 

I don't think it's accurate to say nobody remembers the breaking, people clearly have plenty of myths/ledgends about that time that they hold on to, which are arguably more dangerous than the actual truth. Add that in to laws against them in some countries, the fallout from Hawkwing (discussed above) and the Whitecloaks and there's plenty of reason they won't be trusted regardless of what they do. 80 people out healing when someone will let them isn't going to stack up to tens of thousands against them, plus laws, plus rumors plus all the half remembered mis-remembered history. It might change some people's attitudes sure, but I doubt it would be the huge societal shift you seem to think would happen.

 

What I'm saying is that something that happened 3000 years ago doesn't really impact the lives of the general populace. I know that Nazi Germany committed atrocities during WWII (which was only about 60 years ago) but it doesn't effect my opinion of current Germans because its just abstract info. Any opinions I have on Germany would involve their current actions.

 

And, again, this is cumulative. I'm not just talking about the current batch of Aes Sedai. The White Tower has had 3000 to lessen peoples fears and suspicions since the Breaking. The Aiel and Sea Folk remember the breaking also but their channelers are greatly respected due to their actions that have benefited their people.

 

As above you're really expecting them to do things they're not capable of. They have actually done what they could, there's plenty of examples of the Ahjas doing what they're 'meant' to be doing, e.g. Greens in the Trolloc Wars, they Treaties the Greys have negotiated etc. What other services should they or could they have performed given the restrictions placed on them, their low numbers and strength and the hatred of the general population for them?

 

They are perfectly capable of everything I have suggested. Hospitals could be founded. Greens could patrol the Borderlands and actually train for battle in the White Tower which you never see. Browns could open universities and educate the populace. Weaves could be improved. None of these are out of reach of their potential. Yet they don't do any of this and, worse, they don't even try.

 

I'm not saying the White Tower doesn't do anything good. The Grays seem to do a good job with the mediation. The Reds are successful in stoping men from going crazy and having mass killing sprees. Individual Aes Sedai probably have many notable accomplishments. But they are still capable of (and wrongly view themselves as) so much more.

 

It's not really reasonable to say that because they can channel they have an obligation to spend their entire lives unhappy, uncomfortable and in personal danger. If they choose that path for themselves individually then great, but forcing them to do so is only one step away from just clapping an A'dam onto them.

 

I don't mean to suggest that they should do anything that they don't want to do. But they profess to be this bastion of Light. They purport to uphold the ideals of what an Aes Sedai is. They expect adulation and respect from everyone. They certainly believe they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm just suggesting that they should actually make an effort to live up to that.

 

The things I've mentioned are within their power to accomplish. If they choose not to do that, they are free to do. Being unwilling and unable are not the same thing.

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So instead they have an open door healing policy where they heal anyone who comes to the WT. You'll note they're not constantly overwhelmed by floods of sick people, which suggests people don't really want Aes Sedai healing except in the worst of cases anyway, which again makes it questionable as to weather setting up those hospitals is really the best possible use of time and resources.

I wouldnt take the trip either its too far and theres a good chance they will die along the way.

 

And you making that choice for yourself is their fault how?

 

If you wouldn't make the trip to Tar Valon are you any more likely to make the trip to anywhere else they set up a hospital? It carries the same risks.

 

As discussed above they really only have the numbers for a handful of hospitals which they'd run at high personal risk. If someone wants Aes Sedai healing they're going to have to travel for it. As you've pointed out a lot of people would rather not, which again raises the issue of whether expending the manpower and resources on setting up the hospitals everyone keeps going on about is actually sensible.

 

They individually can't heal 24/7 so you need groups of them together, and without travelling (which they didn't have at the time) they're going to need to be decent sized groups as some will be gone taking ages to travel around at any one time or some will need a break or have to attend to something else etc, so you get maybe 8 groups, making 8 hospitals. While 8 hospitals is still more than zero hospitals it is hardly going to cover the world with healers and solve its health problems. The poor or more rural people are still not going to get healed. Not that they want to be healed by witches anyway.

well it would be a start, as well as a open recruitment house, since women who are curious about AS would end up checkin it out, and during a shift change (which would likely happen every so often) they could transport a whole bunch of potential channellers with them. not to mention it would serve as a very good base of operations for other ajahs coming into the area.

 

A start to what? You yourself said you wouldn't bother to go to one if it was set up because the traveling is too dangerous.

 

How would your idea have worked without traveling? Don't forget they've only had that for a couple of months of the last 3000 years. They do appear to send people out occasionally, and they bring people back, which is about all they could really do without travelling.

 

How can/could they set up in small groups anywhere temporarily and easily with things like the Whitecloaks etc? They're more able to do so now, and even now only in some places, but during long periods of the last 3000 years it wouldn't have been possible.

 

You're blaming them for other people not taking responsibility for themselves. It's not like they're hard to find if you do want to know more. If someone can't even be bothered to take that much initiative how good a recruit do you think they'd be? They did open the novice book and a lot of older people expressed interest and did take the initiative, and the Aes Sedai took them on. I'm not seeing what they did wrong there except not doing it sooner, and there were originally reasons for that, although over time that is one of the things that became a rule for the sake of it rather than reflecting any real need.

 

Of course that leaves aside the issue of people with the spark who die, but even with travelling and active recruiting etc I don't see how you'd get around that without having a societal structure like either the Seanchan or the Aiel. They can't be everywhere at once, recruiting parties simply won't catch everyone, a lot of wilders don't even realise they're channeling for example.

Edited by Kahlika

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Durinax, on 15 December 2010 - 06:27 PM, said:

Quote

So instead they have an open door healing policy where they heal anyone who comes to the WT. You'll note they're not constantly overwhelmed by floods of sick people, which suggests people don't really want Aes Sedai healing except in the worst of cases anyway, which again makes it questionable as to weather setting up those hospitals is really the best possible use of time and resources.

I wouldnt take the trip either its too far and theres a good chance they will die along the way.

And you making that choice for yourself is their fault how?

If you wouldn't make the trip to Tar Valon are you any more likely to make the trip to anywhere else they set up a hospital? It carries the same risks.

As discussed above they really only have the numbers for a handful of hospitals which they'd run at high personal risk. If someone wants Aes Sedai healing they're going to have to travel for it. As you've pointed out a lot of people would rather not, which again raises the issue of whether expending the manpower and resources on setting up the hospitals everyone keeps going on about is actually sensible.

yes but theres a difference between inter country travel, when walking or riding is the only options, and cross country. A couple of days of riding, and having it rough I would likely take, weeks or months of hard travel I would not, especially along that long stretch that belongs to no nation which could easily have a lot of brigands in it

 

Durinax, on 15 December 2010 - 06:27 PM, said:

 

Quote

 

They individually can't heal 24/7 so you need groups of them together, and without travelling (which they didn't have at the time) they're going to need to be decent sized groups as some will be gone taking ages to travel around at any one time or some will need a break or have to attend to something else etc, so you get maybe 8 groups, making 8 hospitals. While 8 hospitals is still more than zero hospitals it is hardly going to cover the world with healers and solve its health problems. The poor or more rural people are still not going to get healed. Not that they want to be healed by witches anyway.

well it would be a start, as well as a open recruitment house, since women who are curious about AS would end up checkin it out, and during a shift change (which would likely happen every so often) they could transport a whole bunch of potential channellers with them. not to mention it would serve as a very good base of operations for other ajahs coming into the area.

A start to what? You yourself said you wouldn't bother to go to one if it was set up because the traveling is too dangerous.

How would your idea have worked without traveling? Don't forget they've only had that for a couple of months of the last 3000 years. They do appear to send people out occasionally, and they bring people back, which is about all they could really do without travelling.

How can/could they set up in small groups anywhere temporarily and easily with things like the Whitecloaks etc? They're more able to do so now, and even now only in some places, but during long periods of the last 3000 years it wouldn't have been possible.

You're blaming them for other people not taking responsibility for themselves. It's not like they're hard to find if you do want to know more. If someone can't even be bothered to take that much initiative how good a recruit do you think they'd be? They did open the novice book and a lot of older people expressed interest and did take the initiative, and the Aes Sedai took them on. I'm not seeing what they did wrong there except not doing it sooner, and there were originally reasons for that, although over time that is one of the things that became a rule for the sake of it rather than reflecting any real need.

Of course that leaves aside the issue of people with the spark who die, but even with travelling and active recruiting etc I don't see how you'd get around that without having a societal structure like either the Seanchan or the Aiel. They can't be everywhere at once, recruiting parties simply won't catch everyone, a lot of wilders don't even realise they're channeling for example.

well in lets say Andor where AS are more accepted, they queens writ stands, and if the children where inciting riots any queen would boot out the whitecloaks and potentially wage war. and if they can leave tar valon safely then they should be able to set up a bit of a workshop. It may even counter WC claims to them being power hungry darkfriends if they are doing charitable work. and as for a rotationary system, they could ask for a monarch to send a bodyguard, or head out with a tax collecting group heading towards the edge of the realm

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It's not really reasonable to say that because they can channel they have an obligation to spend their entire lives unhappy, uncomfortable and in personal danger. If they choose that path for themselves individually then great, but forcing them to do so is only one step away from just clapping an A'dam onto them.

I have no problem with the Aes Sedai staying safe and sound in the White Tower. I have a problem with the Aes Sedai staying safe and sound in the White Tower and feeling entitled to be listened to and respected by the rest of the world. Respect is earned. Some individual sisters have done things to deserve respect. As a whole, the White Tower has not.

 

So you don't think an academic should be listened to and respected? You don't think a judge should be listened to and respected? They stay safe and sound and I assure you they expect respect.

 

Respect can come from a variety of sources and one is through respect of the position/office somebody holds, which is how I see the respect the Aes Sedai expect. Aes Sedai is a role/office and it's one they expect to be respected. People will of course argue that they were given their office as a result of something inherant (the ability to channel), however the training and testing process is actually meant to be them earning their position and the respect that is given with that, people who don't earn it are turned away.

 

The counter argument is of course that respect for a role is only given when that role is doing something worthy of respect. We could probably argue that all day, I think Aes Sedai acting in that role do enough to merit the role of Aes Sedai being respected. Other people will disagree.

 

As for the Aes Sedai opening the Tower up for healing, that's not particularly true. By way of an example I can think of off-hand, after Gaywn injures a few troops getting to Bryne in the siege of the Tower, Bryne makes it clear that it's quite possible that the Aes Sedai will refuse to heal them, and cites a recent example of one of his troops being injured and the Aes Sedai refusing to heal him. One of their own troops.

 

I don't have the books with me so this is going from memory, but they said it was because he was injured doing something foolish and to just heal him right up would not teach him to not be foolish in the future, is that right? Hospitals do that with patients at times now, it's been somewhat controversial particularly where it's happened with transplant patients in particular a bit. The general reasoning goes why should someone get an organ when they're just going to waste it (by smoking/remaining obese or whatever else). It's less controversial and more common with elective procedures, many doctors are unwilling to give someone something like a gastric band if they haven't made any attempt to lose weight themselves for example.

 

Even when Aes Sedai are willing, the scenes with petitioners in the Dragon Reborn and elsewhere indicate that people don't necessarily have a comfortable time waiting, that they aren't made to feel particularly welcome.

 

Welcome to every public hospital or government department anywhere ever.

 

As for the argument that the White Tower's failings should be laid at the feet of the Black Ajah, I don't buy it. The White Tower is the only group in the world with access to a quick and easy way to keep Darkfriends out. Eventually, some sisters even got around to quietly making use of it.

 

Do you mean the way the Oath rod was used? I'm genuinely not sure what you mean here, if that is what you mean it was good for uncovering Darkfriends, but clearly not good for keeping them out.

 

I highly doubt that that percentage applies to the rest of the people of the world. If 20% of the world were comprised of Darkfriends, I'd be beyond shocked and amazed. I highly doubt that 20% of the monarchs of the world were Darkfriends. Even in Tear, which was just behind Cairhein in terms of how manipulative and corrupt the leadership was (and which was worse in some ways), Rand found only two Darkfriends among the High Lords. What is it about Aes Sedai that makes them more corrupt than the vast majority of the world? I'd say it's obvious: they're trained to be distant, cold, above all else to seek to manipulate and control the people around them.

 

There are a lot of reasons. Some came to the Aes Sedai as Darkfriends (Liandrin), some converted as a means to getting ahead (Sheriam), some had no choice (Verin). But you're right proportionately a lot of Aes Sedai were Darkfriends which indicates something was wrong, and that could either be that the BA was very effective in what they did within the WT, given that people joined to get influence and personal position it probably was, or other things such as the power corrupting type concept. More likely a combination of factors. The unifying thing with most Darkfriends is selfishness, so the real question is why were so many Aes Sedai so selfish?

 

I do think in general that comes from their isolation, they are isolated from society, partly due to the dislike and distrust and partly due to something they simply can't help, their longevity. They don't have real ties to the world, they can't really have normal relationships etc (in the past the could have had with male Aes Sedai who were in the same position), and it's very hard to maintain any sort of ties when you outlive everyone, and so they are left with all they have being themselves. The ones we see the least selfishness in tend to be the ones who've been more effective at maintaining their ties to the world.

 

If anything I'd say the distance, coldness etc came at least in part that seperation from normal people and lives they go through, something of a coping mechanism, until finally it became tied in to what it actually means to be Aes Sedai, and now it's just this self perpetuating cycle. Although I can see how it would be useful to them to continue it and to encourage that in their members. If they are going to act as judges, or negotiators or the male channeler police they need to be seen as seperate, impartial, aloof etc.

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yes but theres a difference between inter country travel, when walking or riding is the only options, and cross country. A couple of days of riding, and having it rough I would likely take, weeks or months of hard travel I would not, especially along that long stretch that belongs to no nation which could easily have a lot of brigands in it

 

Even if they did the absolute maximum possible hospital wise it would mean long journeys and likely inter country travel for the vast majority of people.

 

well in lets say Andor where AS are more accepted, they queens writ stands, and if the children where inciting riots any queen would boot out the whitecloaks and potentially wage war. and if they can leave tar valon safely then they should be able to set up a bit of a workshop. It may even counter WC claims to them being power hungry darkfriends if they are doing charitable work. and as for a rotationary system, they could ask for a monarch to send a bodyguard, or head out with a tax collecting group heading towards the edge of the realm

 

The Aes Sedai weren't particularly welcome under Morgase. Any upset or change of leadership or in the power balance or just any rulers personal gripe and they're gone. No protection, not assistance and whatever they've set up is lost.

 

If they rely on other governments for bodyguards etc they end up in a position of dependance on the monarch, a monarch they may need to negotiate a treaty with, or that they may need to work with in some other way where they do need their independance. And again if they establish a working relationship of that sort with one monarch what happens when the monarch changes? They'll lose everything again.

 

They do do charitable work, just not how you think it should be done, it clearly hasn't been enough to counter the Whitecloak claims. I can see what you're saying in that they need to make it more visible, and there's merit to that, but again with the numbers they have how visible could they be? Particularly when they rely on people's consent to do things like healing, which is not in general very forthcoming.

 

There is every indication that they do go out looking for girls who can channel already, at the very least when on their travels (and they travel a lot) they keep their eye out and bring people back. Or did you mean they should go with tax collectors to do charitable work? If so who would staff the hospitals? Who would do all the other stuff that needs doing? Would they be trading off doing actual practical work against visibility? And is that particularly ethical? They could heal more at a hospital or by staying put in the WT, but in traveling around healing they'd be seen as doing more more although the reality would be they'd likely heal less. I'm sure people would be howling if they chose to travel around and make themselves look good at the expense of not actually getting as much done.

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So you don't think an academic should be listened to and respected? You don't think a judge should be listened to and respected? They stay safe and sound and I assure you they expect respect.

Do Judges and academics have a superpowerful way to protect themselves from harm with little effort? Do they have an elite, hand picked force of personal bodyguards that have no purpose in life other than protect them? Do judges and academics do their jobs, or do they sit in a communal home politicing with other judges and academics, only stopping to answer the door once in a while? Do judges and academics live for 300+ years? Does the word judge or academic literally mean servant of all in a different language that they are fully aware of? Are 1/5 of judges and academics evil, not just cold, but evil? Do judges and academics give answers you can make sense of or answer at all(ie: only Aes Sedai can know this)?

If you wouldn't make the trip to Tar Valon are you any more likely to make the trip to anywhere else they set up a hospital? It carries the same risks.

Lets say I lived in Elmora. Looks like its pretty far to Tar Valon. and theirs a mountain range and several rivers in the way. Oh well I guess I'll die since there isnt a hospitol in Arad Domons capitol.

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Do Judges and academics have a superpowerful way to protect themselves from harm with little effort? Do they have an elite, hand picked force of personal bodyguards that have no purpose in life other than protect them?

...

Do judges and academics live for 300+ years?

 

Police if and where needed?

 

Honestly not sure what you're getting at with that, or if you've just totally missed my point.

 

I was drawing an analogy between roles that are respected because the nature of the role and not necessarilly the person in it and the type of respect the Aes Sedai expect. The Aes Sedai expect to be respected because of their role, because they are Aes Sedai, not because they have warders or live for a long time, so I just don't see why that's an issue.

 

Do judges and academics do their jobs, or do they sit in a communal home politicing with other judges and academics, only stopping to answer the door once in a while?

...

Are 1/5 of judges and academics evil, not just cold, but evil?

...

Do judges and academics give answers you can make sense of or answer at all(ie: only Aes Sedai can know this)?

 

Not gonna lie I laughed so hard at those. You haven't had much exposure to academics or judges have you?

 

Perhaps I'm just being overly cynicle, but that sums up a lot of my recollections from my time at University. Either way it gave me a chuckle, thanks ^.^

 

Does the word judge or academic literally mean servant of all in a different language that they are fully aware of?

 

They are generally public servants (excepting academics at private institutions which aren't common where I am and I admittedly forgot about when posting the analogy) i.e. servants of the public, i.e. servants of all.

 

That's all Servants of All ever meant, even in the AoL Servants of All was akin to public servant, not a litteral servant.

 

Lets say I lived in Elmora. Looks like its pretty far to Tar Valon. and theirs a mountain range and several rivers in the way. Oh well I guess I'll die since there isnt a hospitol in Arad Domons capitol.

 

Right, but since at absolute maximum capacity there's still not likely to be a hospital in Arad Doman's capital, you'd be dead regardless. After all they only have enough people for a few and why would they put one so close to the Seanchan, and who would be liekly to put their hand up to staff it if they tried?

Edited by Kahlika

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Take for instance the compact of 10 nations. 200 years after the breaking, we see the nations of Randland brought together in alliance specifically for the purpose of defending against the Shadow. The chief architect of the compact, was Aes Sedai. Many of the queens of those nations, were also Aes Sedai. The, greatest alliance of nations since the Breaking, orchestrated by the directly by the hands of Aes Sedai.

 

On the flip side of the coin - The Shadow/Ishy finds out what's up with that, when he gets out of his phasic slumber, and you've got to figure crap, we can't have folks all united and trah-lah-lah against us which would make it easier for their side come Tarmon Gaiden - Daddy needs Chaos! *queues up 300+ years of nonstop Trolloc+Dreadlord invasions, founds Black Ajah to infiltrate and disrupt AS on organizational level.

 

For real, people go on and on about wah wah wah, the AS should be doing this, the AS should be doing that. To me it absolves all the normal people in Randland from culpability by saying ugh, life's terrible, I know there's nothing keeping me from doing good things - but let's blame the Aes Sedai. Yeah, I know in the AoL they were less than 3 percent of all living people in the world, and even less of a percentage now, but god dammit I have an infected cut and my diaper needs changing WHERE ARE THEY?!?!?!

 

War of the Second Dragon, the Aes Sedai rally eastern nations to counter the destructive campaign of Guaire Amalasan. 30 Aes Sedai hold back his forces in defense of the Stone of Tear. The Aes Sedai rallying cry paves the way for the rise of Artur Hawkwing.

 

Seriously across WoT history post-breaking, every time the Aes Sedai catch a break and things start looking pretty good - the Shadow comes around and dicks things over in overwhelming ways.

 

Manage to Unite Randland : 300+ Years of Decimating Trolloc Wars

Artur Hawking's Rule : Ishamael corrupts Hawkwing. Systematic dismissal and dismantling of all Aes Sedai influence in the Empire, and sending vast forces of stabilizing influence to the other side of the world after some agenda emboldening with a little Trolloc action in the Border Provinces. Hawkwing refuses Aes Sedai healing from the Amyrilin herself on his death bed, which would have saved his life and allowed for the continuation of a stable Kingdom & World to counter the Shadow.

 

What? Hawkwing's dead? Mission Accomplished! I'll just leave this now completely unstable and hateful towards all things Aes Sedai world thanks to me, to youuu. P.s. How's that Black Ajah I started in the Trolloc Wars doing for you? OMG ROFL 100 years of Succession Wars and no outward stabilizing influence like all those troops I sent with Hawkwing's direct heir to Seanchan too, on top of all that other stuff? Oops I did it again! Bonus! Have fun!

 

*Ishy takes power nap

 

Oh but the Yellows, the yellows ugh, they should like have created hospitals! Get out of your pipe dream. They're the 5th largest Ajah, of the Aes Sedai which number around 1000 on a whole, in all of Randland, not all of which even have the ability to heal, until recently lost the ability to Travel in any expedient way. What the hell is so wrong with ordinary people that they couldn't have done the exact same thing for themselves? If you needed Aes Sedai healing or aid everybody knew exactly where and when you could find them *points at WT

 

And, to the best of our knowledge, they've never turned anyone away or refused a request for healing if they were able, regardless if they were in the tower or not. It's also intimated that the Aes Sedai have played a role in the defense of the borderlands - References about the Green Ajah facing Dreadlords, the respect the Borderlanders have for the Aes Sedai, the army led by the BL leaders having the support of a full circle - it's not blowing hot air up a skirt!

 

People just seem to want to rag on the Aes Sedai for the lack of evidence concerning all the good they do, or have done, for the world because we're given examples of how they can be, or are, at the center of various sh*tstorms.

 

Hell, if there were more Tam Al'Thor's out there saying hey, we need to step up and take charge for ourselves and the betterment of our world whether there's AS or not - the world would be a better place. Instead there's a whole lot of whining and complaining about a minority organization with powers that they evidently will, and do, use to aid and heal people on request to the best of their ability.

 

I've got to hand it to you, you have a lot of good stuff here Mat Hat.

 

And for a large part you are correct. AS have done some good things in the past. There are quite a few that are even now doing good things. And the DO minions have been screwing things up along the way.

 

But there quite a few things that they could have easily done just a bit better. And that little bit would have made a big difference.

 

 

 

For the most part though they were working for the good.

 

 

My main complaint is more against the current AS (I will save my complaints for certian aspects of the past for some other time).

 

You said that they do not have enough Yellows to put them all over. Sure that may be true, but many others are quite good at healing.

 

If the WT set up a specific WT waystation in every major & medium city of every country acros the land.

 

Having an office in all those areas provides healing where and when it is needed. Those AS that are frequestly passing through should also stop by to make themselves available for service if needed. In addition, the Accepted that show interest/ability in healing (not necessarily just those going to Yellow) should be sent to these facilities, because that is where they would get ther greatest quantity and variety of opportunity to practice that skill.

 

This aspect of having WT representitives out in the field, would give the people a much better view/association with AS, in one of their better capacities and would greatly reduce the fear of the group. It is much harder to dislike the group if they saved/healed your sick child/husband/wife.

 

The same for the B orderlands, there should always be a significant group of greens present to assist in the fighting and to practice their craft.

There should never be an excuse, "sorry we got there to late!"

 

I hope to add more later. But I just want to say again, historically I an not so much anti-AS. But they usually could have done a little better and the current group should be doing a LOT better.

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I was drawing an analogy between roles that are respected because the nature of the role and not necessarilly the person in it and the type of respect the Aes Sedai expect. The Aes Sedai expect to be respected because of their role, because they are Aes Sedai, not because they have warders or live for a long time, so I just don't see why that's an issue.

 

lol...people aren't respected for their roles or titles anymore. Deeds shall always speak louder than words. That's what makes someone respect people. It does take awareness to see beyond the obvious, of course, but some folk do see past a white robe on a doctor and seek a second opinion, for instance. While others see way past the black robes and crosses on the chest and keep their young boys as far away from those "priests" as they can heh heh...

 

Aes Sedai don't get the respect they think they deserve because in truth, they don't deserve it. What we want is not necessarily what we get. We can't expect to lie in a nice and tidy bed, lest we make it ourselves or pay someone to make it for us ;-)

 

They are generally public servants (excepting academics at private institutions which aren't common where I am and I admittedly forgot about when posting the analogy) i.e. servants of the public, i.e. servants of all.

 

That's all Servants of All ever meant, even in the AoL Servants of All was akin to public servant, not a litteral servant.

 

Aes Sedai of the Third Age do not even qualify as public servants, simply because nobody has granted them with that power outside their jurisdiction perhaps, which would be limited to Tar Valon. I had already blown your last arguments about Cadsuane's abusive behavior concerning Tam with this simple word: jurisdiction.

 

A judge can be respected but has no power outside his jurisdiction.

 

Ditto for a scholar or an academic, except when outside their field of expertise.

 

Aes Sedai have not been granted with power to serve "anyone" and have no jurisdiction over any territory outside their own, so their title means spit and they deserve no more respect than that which they earn to themselves.

Edited by Darth Krewl

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