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Where is Demandred's Army coming from?


Lord D
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  1. 1. Where is Demandred's Army coming from?

  2. 2. If you selected "Other" above, where do you think Dem's army is?

    • The Black Tower
    • Murandy
    • Seanchan
    • Some combination of all the above
    • Still other


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This post is to discuss where Demandred's army that he refers to in tGS is coming from. I think the not-Aiel Aiel that we see in the epilogue of ToM are the first we've seen of Dem's army. Although some people have semi-plausible scenarios of these nasty Aiel been originally from a DF Aiel society in the Blight, I think that if there were such a society, surely we'd have heard about it before the end of book 13 - such DF Aiel would be hankering to go after the real Aiel, so the real Aiel would know about these Aiel. Another theory was that the not-Aiel Aiel were turned male Aiel channelers, but they don't resemble people who have clearly been turned in the Black Tower. Therefore, I think the sharp-toothed Aiel are the first we're going to hear of Dem's army. Here are the possibilities of where they come from:

 

The Land of Madmen: This seems the most plausible origin of the army, as it's described in the Guide as being a place where there had been no recovery from the Breaking, and where there were still male and female channelers. The LoM looks like the WoT's Australian equivalent, and it would probably be fairly easy for Dem to sufficiently impress a completely primitive culture. Civilised people abhor cannibalism, so cannibals are much more likely to be found in extremely primitive cultures. Also, remember that the nasty Aiel had spears, but no bow & arrows. Spears can be easily made in primitive cultures, but not bow & arrows. Aiel in the AoL used cadin'sor, so the fact that the nasty Aiel have cadin'sor doesn't mean they're connected to the real Aiel; they could be AoL Aiel with a very different development.

 

Shara: I think Shara is too civilised to have people with sharp teeth, and that Dem would have a hard time taking control given that Shara is run by female channelers. Also, Sharans should be dark-skinned. It would also be difficult to introduce a major civilisation at this stage, while primitive cultures are much easier.

 

Portal Worlds: I would feel that Jordan was cheating a bit if he introduced a Dark army from a Portal World. Apart from one jaunt in a portal world in tGH, all the action has taken place in the WoT world. If the Shadow could recruit a massive Dark army through a Portal World, the Light should be able to do the same and maybe both sides could give themselves modern tech to boot. It really would make what's been going on in the WoT itself seem a bit meaningless if there's such an easy way to get more troops, etc.

 

The Blight: I think Moridin is in complete control of the Blight, so I don't think Dem would be looking for additional troops in the Blight.

 

 

Edit 26 Feb: Because of the unanticpated number of "other" votes for the 1st question, I've now added a 2nd question that asks other votes to specify where they think Dem's army is from. However, I think it's very unlikely Dem's army is from anywhere in Randland, Seanchan or the Waste. The major reason for this is that it's very hard to believe that the red-veiled Aiel would turn up independently of Dem's army; it's much more probable that these Aiel are scout units for the army that follows. Clearly, these Aiel are not from either the Waste, Randland or Seanchan, so if they are connected with Dem's army, these places are ruled out. In addition, there are problems with the most popular choices "other" choices, which I will explain below.

 

The Black Tower: This theory seems to owe much to the old Dem = Taim theory, which is obviously wrong given the cleansing chapter in WH when Dem fails to recognise Flinn. Surely if Dem was Taim's boss, Taim could have informed Dem about Rand's favourite Asha'man. This theory also requires Dem and Taim to be in the same place; it's much better for the DO for Dem to be doing something different than Taim.

 

Murandy: It just isn't important enough, and in particular there are no channelers there. Also, we haven't really heard of anything funny happening there. Channelers are absolutely vital in armies.

 

Seanchan: It was Semi's domain, and the Seanchan were in complete control of their own continent prior to the civil strife there now. It's dangerous to try to set up your own little demesne in civil war, as you can get invaded. Dem also probably wouldn't like being near female channelers that much.

 

Some combination: This seems like a cop-out option to me. Yes, Dem probably has a few things going outside his main force, but where is his main force?

Edited by Lord D
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The LoM looks like the WoT's Australian equivalent, and it would probably be fairly easy for Dem to sufficiently impress a completely primitive culture.

 

Did an Australian girl dump you, or something? :laugh:

 

I could see the red-veiled Aeil being an alternate-world Aeil culture from the Portal Stones. It would seem like a bit of cheating, but on the other hand, quite a lot of effort went into setting up and explaining the portal stones, relative to their impact on the story so far.

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Ruling out Murandy are we?

 

Doubt it's Shara as Graendal all but admits that she was the one that sent the whole region into chaos.

Not likely Seanchan either as that was Semirhage's play ground.

Portal stone worlds would be lame.

The Blight I agree is Moridin's.

Land of Madmen would be my second and preferred guess after Murandy. I say preferred because I do not like the prospect of my favorite secondary character Talmanes having that much contact with Roedran, not to mention having the pipe and book that Roedran gifted him with.

I also remember reading a Q&A saying that the Land of Madmen would make an appearance before the end but who knows how much of an appearance that would be.

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Please add "none of the above " option. I don't have a firm theory but I don't believe any of the choices you present are correct. there are several other possibilities as mentioned by others: Seanchan, Murandy, some other place we haven't thought of. Say, it could be one of the borderlands. Their kings and queens have been gone looking for Rand a very long time. somebody rules in their places and we know that at least in Saldea a darkfriend was in charge in Tenobia's absence.

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Demandred has no army. He is sitting pool side sipping on pina colada's carved out of coconuts served to him by bikini-clad super models. He is trying to throw Moridin off his scent because he wants to enjoy his vacation. He's been wrapped up in prison for the last three thousand years and he deserves a break.

 

No but seriously, I'm figuring on some kind of quarterback sneak where he is in charge of some army or territory where we previously thought the Light ruled. That seems to be more Demandred's style. He has to come out swinging for the fences and I think him secretly set up in Camelyn or something like that would be a pleasant surprise.

 

Demandred needs to emerge from the sky riding a flaming chariot driven by flying red-eyed black stallions while "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC blares. He's the one bad guy I'm secretly hoping will win.

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For one of the Chosen to lead Trollocs I think would be a letdown. Fades lead Trollocs, not the Chosen.

 

Give him an army of Fades and his own private mixed gender circle, and have him hold his own against Aiel and Seanchan forces together with Wise Ones and a'dam at the same time. Then in his typical Forsaken idiocy moment he sends the Shadowspawn through One Power gateways, thus earning the Shaidar Haran treatment.

Edited by Drekka Mort
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Guest Emu on the Loose

Somebody mentioned somewhere that Demandred might have posed as The Dragon in a portal stone world. I have to say, that'd be awesome.

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I would feel that Jordan was cheating a bit if he introduced a Dark army from a Portal World. Apart from one jaunt in a portal world in tGH, all the action has taken place in the WoT world.
At least, unlike the Land of the Madmen, the Portal Stones have been mentioned in the WOT novels. And there are clues that the massive Trolloc armies are coming from mirror worlds, too.

 

Since I can't believe that the dark-eyed people in TOMep were Aiel, I guess I go with Shara as a place too long built up, and too large, to play no role.

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I've added an option in the poll for "Other", but I don't think other options are realistic. Seanchan was Semirhage's dominion, Murandy seems to be its normal chaotic self, and I can't see Dem raising an army in territory that the Light controls. The Shaido Aiel don't sharpen their teeth.

 

My Australian reference meant that the LoM was about in Aus's size and location on the WoT map, so it's probably geographically similar to Aus. I'm an Australian myself. The LoM can be introduced: just because the Light doesn't know about it doesn't mean that the Shadow doesn't know about it, and I would think the Shadow would have ways of finding out what's happening on every continent.

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I am also thinking LoM. I am currently in the middle of a re-read and have come across a couple of references to what may be the LoM.

 

The first was in LoC or FoH (can't recall exactly) but it was a meeting between Sammael and Graendal and Sammael mentions that Demandred was "cooking something up to the south" or something along those lines. Now Sammael as we know was based in Illian so LoM is the only thing south of there besides a lot of water and something like antarctica I'd imagine. The second is at the end of ACoS the people in Illian keep saying "a storm is coming" while looking southward.

 

Now in previous read throughs I thought that this was referring to the Seanchan but they come from the west. Now it's been a little while since I read KoD and TGS so I can't recall if the storm from the south comments have been explained yet in those books so feel free to correct me.

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I am also thinking LoM. I am currently in the middle of a re-read and have come across a couple of references to what may be the LoM.

 

The first was in LoC or FoH (can't recall exactly) but it was a meeting between Sammael and Graendal and Sammael mentions that Demandred was "cooking something up to the south" or something along those lines. Now Sammael as we know was based in Illian so LoM is the only thing south of there besides a lot of water and something like antarctica I'd imagine.

The quotation probably does refer to the Seanchan:
He cut in sharply. “You deliver a message to Demandred from me. Tell him I know what he is up to.” Events to the south had Demandred’s mark all over them. Demandred had always liked using proxies.
This was in Arad Doman, south of which is Tarabon. Several days after this in LOC9, Pedron Niall received a message from an informant in Tanchico which clearly refers to the invasion of the Forerunners. Sammael probably just assumed that since Demandred was a military man that he must have been involved.
The second is at the end of ACoS the people in Illian keep saying "a storm is coming" while looking southward.
I assume you're referring to this paragraph at the end of ACOS:
The story spread as stories will, and changed as stories change with time and distance, spreading out from Illian by coasting ships, and merchant trains of wagons, and pigeons sent in secret, spreading in ripples that danced with other ripples and made new. An army had come to Illian, the stories said, an army of Aiel, of Aes Sedai appearing from thin air, of men who could channel riding winged beasts, even an army of Saldaeans, though not many believed that one. Some tales said the Dragon Reborn had been presented the Laurel Crown of Illian by the Council of Nine, and others by Martin Stepaneos himself on bended knee. Some said the Dragon Reborn had wrenched the crown from Martin’s head, then stuck that head on a spike. No, the Dragon Reborn had razed Illian to the ground and buried the old king in the rubble. No, he and his army of Asha’man had burned Illian out of the earth. No, it was Ebou Dar he had destroyed, after Illian.

 

One fact, though, turned up again and again in those tales. The Laurel Crown of Illian had been given a new name. The Crown of Swords.

 

And for some reason, men and women who told the tales often found a need to add almost identical words. The storm is coming, they said, staring southward in worry. The storm is coming.

I read that as looking southward to Illian, not from it, since Illian is the southernmost point on the continent and any stories would spread to the north. Besides, according to the Guide only the Sea Folk were aware of it as of ACOS, and they avoided it – not hard considering how far it is from the main continent. The Illianers would have no habit or superstition about storms from the south, except for the winter storms called cemaros that would ordinarily be arriving at that time of year.
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To start with, I don't think the DF Ashaman group at the Black Tower are 13x13 turned people, I think that they're one of two: actual DF's or under compulsion. This is supported by the fact that from the Aes Sedai Tarna Feir and Javindhra both suddenly change their minds about staying at the BT without becoming evil as far as we can see, they're just under compulsion.

 

The reason I brought that up is that I think the weird eye color of the red veiled Aiel is a definite sign of being 13x13 turned, and the fact that the BT Ashaman aren't like that isn't evidence to the contrary.

 

Lastly, even though Demandred has been confirmed to not be Taim, he could still be giving Taim orders, and the BT therefore still could be his army even if he doesn't personally deal with the Ashaman. My two guesses would be Demandred's army is either the BT or the rvAiel. I hadn't considered the rvAiel as being a possibility for his forces before reading your post though, that's a pretty intriguing idea.

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I'm thining more along the lines of Demandred having set up multiple things to sweep the proverbial carpet out from under the lights feet.

 

So like. Coordinating Black Tower efforts. Also we've only heard from Kandor and Saldea. So he could have organised armies in Arafel, Sheindar and the other borderland province. Especially since not hearing about it could be sus at best. Due to all the commotion in Kandor and Saldea.

 

Maybe he is involved in the Dragons Legion. We haven't really heard anything about them, and they are quite a key force. or is/and leading the attack on Camelyn.

 

To many other options. I think a big interwoven puzzle would really be the only thing that makes up for his absence up till this point. Cause really? Just one nation. Bit of an anticlimax for all he has been built up.

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Yeah, I agree with multiple fronts. Im not sure why people are always narrowing it down to 1 place. If he was 2nd only do Lews Therin, do you really think he would settle with an army from 1 location? Do you really think RJ would think that a 30k army from Murandy would be enough? Come on.

 

Wouldnt be suprised if he has his own army of channelers, thousands of trollocs/fades, and even human armies. He's going to throw the land into complete chaos. Well, and get beaten by Mat of course.

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I got the impression that Ran is aware that the Black Tower is a breeding ground for Darkfriends. Because he can sense those who have turned to the Shadow, it seems to me that he is being careful to stay away from there. I think he knows that if he shows up he will have to clean house. That being said, if he is aware of the threat, why hasn't he handled it? This is the same man who has been afraid for the last four books of marching to Tarmon Gaidon with the Seanchan at his flanks. It seems silly to me that he refuses to clean up a very big mess that has the potential to conquer all of Andor in about three days.

 

I also wonder about Logain. We assume that Taim is the bad guy and Logain is good, but wouldn't it be a sweet twist if somehow Taim emerges as the hero while Logain's claim to glory is through the Shadow, even if only temporary?

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I got the impression that Ran is aware that the Black Tower is a breeding ground for Darkfriends. Because he can sense those who have turned to the Shadow, it seems to me that he is being careful to stay away from there. I think he knows that if he shows up he will have to clean house. That being said, if he is aware of the threat, why hasn't he handled it? This is the same man who has been afraid for the last four books of marching to Tarmon Gaidon with the Seanchan at his flanks. It seems silly to me that he refuses to clean up a very big mess that has the potential to conquer all of Andor in about three days.

 

I also wonder about Logain. We assume that Taim is the bad guy and Logain is good, but wouldn't it be a sweet twist if somehow Taim emerges as the hero while Logain's claim to glory is through the Shadow, even if only temporary?

 

Good Point for the first paragraph. Somethings up there.

 

As for the second how in the hell would that work out? Seriously. I mean I don't think we've ever had a viewpoint from someone we haven't yet known to be a DF and turned out to be have we? It would indeed be interesting.

 

I think Logain will more gain power from becoming the Black Tower leader which steadily begins to almost Rival the Amylrin for power, even with the combined female chenneling leadership. Who will begin to see their alliance necessary to check the Black Tower. Logain will leading the next generation of male Channelers. Who are still growing at a ridiculous rate. I wouldn't be suprised with a Cold War ending between the two blocks

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To start with, I don't think the DF Ashaman group at the Black Tower are 13x13 turned people, I think that they're one of two: actual DF's or under compulsion. This is supported by the fact that from the Aes Sedai Tarna Feir and Javindhra both suddenly change their minds about staying at the BT without becoming evil as far as we can see, they're just under compulsion.
Well, the people in Taim's special classes are probably voluntary Darkfriends, as is Javindhra (who didn't change her mind; she was dragging out negotiations for weeks by making absurd demands of Taim). Tarna and Mezar are almost certainly 13x13ed; Sanderson used Chekhov's gun on the mantel analogy to describe it, and it's getting a little late for it to be simple Compulsion.
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The first was in LoC or FoH (can't recall exactly) but it was a meeting between Sammael and Graendal and Sammael mentions that Demandred was "cooking something up to the south" or something along those lines. Now Sammael as we know was based in Illian so LoM is the only thing south of there besides a lot of water and something like antarctica I'd imagine.

 

LOC6 said:

He cut in sharply. “You deliver a message to Demandred from me. Tell him I know what he is up to.” Events to the south had Demandred’s mark all over them. Demandred had always liked using proxies.

 

I thought the thing to the south referred to the Prophet, who was an (unwittingly) proxy for Demandred.

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To start with, I don't think the DF Ashaman group at the Black Tower are 13x13 turned people, I think that they're one of two: actual DF's or under compulsion. This is supported by the fact that from the Aes Sedai Tarna Feir and Javindhra both suddenly change their minds about staying at the BT without becoming evil as far as we can see, they're just under compulsion.
Well, the people in Taim's special classes are probably voluntary Darkfriends, as is Javindhra (who didn't change her mind; she was dragging out negotiations for weeks by making absurd demands of Taim). Tarna and Mezar are almost certainly 13x13ed; Sanderson used Chekhov's gun on the mantel analogy to describe it, and it's getting a little late for it to be simple Compulsion.

 

While I agree that it is a possibility that the AS are 13x13'd, the Chehkov's gun analogy could easily, and I think does, apply to the red veiled Aiel, which fits the late reveal definition of the analogy and so it's not necessarily a must-be 13x13'd for the AS. Also I figure if you're turned like that there would be more overt signs then just seeming slightly off, signs like the creepy eyes of the rvAiel.

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I've added an option in the poll for "Other", but I don't think other options are realistic. Seanchan was Semirhage's dominion,

Seanchan is a huge continent, probably bigger than Randlands. Why would it be a domain of just one Forsaken while the rest 12 of them are squeezed into Randlands? Plus it's currently racked by rebellion and split into several parts. Demandred can easily rule one of them. And he was allied with Semirhage before she was captured and killed. I'm not saying that he is definitely there (I doubt he is) but it certainly can not be dismissed just because "Seanchan was Semirhage's domain".

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To start with, I don't think the DF Ashaman group at the Black Tower are 13x13 turned people, I think that they're one of two: actual DF's or under compulsion. This is supported by the fact that from the Aes Sedai Tarna Feir and Javindhra both suddenly change their minds about staying at the BT without becoming evil as far as we can see, they're just under compulsion.
Well, the people in Taim's special classes are probably voluntary Darkfriends, as is Javindhra (who didn't change her mind; she was dragging out negotiations for weeks by making absurd demands of Taim). Tarna and Mezar are almost certainly 13x13ed; Sanderson used Chekhov's gun on the mantel analogy to describe it, and it's getting a little late for it to be simple Compulsion.

 

While I agree that it is a possibility that the AS are 13x13'd, the Chehkov's gun analogy could easily, and I think does, apply to the red veiled Aiel, which fits the late reveal definition of the analogy and so it's not necessarily a must-be 13x13'd for the AS. Also I figure if you're turned like that there would be more overt signs then just seeming slightly off, signs like the creepy eyes of the rvAiel.

Given the Chekhov's gun analogy I would agree with moratcorlm. If anybody is 13x13d out of the people we've seen so far I don't see other candidates except Tarna and Mezar. Of course, it's also possible that they are just under compulsion and we'll only see 13x13d people in AMoL.

 

I don't see how the red veiled Aiel can be Chekhov's gun. Chekhov's gun is something that's introduced early on but only "fires" at the very end.

Edited by herid
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Given the Chekhov's gun analogy I would agree with moratcorlm. If anybody is 13x13d out of the people we've seen so far I don't see other candidates except Tarna and Mezar. Of course, it's also possible that they are just under compulsion and we'll only see 13x13d people in AMoL.

 

I don't see how the red veiled Aiel can be Chekhov's gun. Chekhov's gun is something that's introduced early on but only "fires" at the very end.

 

The rvAiel are an example of the gun being used not the gun itself. The gun in this case is the 13x13 weaving of flows to turn someone to the Dark. The 13 technique was introduced fairly early during Egwene's test for Accepted in the ring ter'angreal and it was fired now- how much closer to the end can it be left than the end of the 2nd last book in the series? It'll only truly be seen in full force in AMoL when the rvAiel male channelers turn out to be deadly warriors and channelers who fight for the Dark One.

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I agree that Demandred is not going to appear with a single-flank attack in the climax of the series.

 

I like the idea of a coordinated attack from the west, south, and maybe even north by Demandred (Seanchan, LoM, evil/turned Aiel) at the same time the attack is launched on Caemlyn.

 

It'll be nice if the Shadow has a general who uses at least semi-advanced tactics in the Last Battle.

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