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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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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.

ok, I think misunderstood you a bit earlier. But if you are saying that those red veiled dudes can channel and have been 13x13d that's really reaching. there is no indication of either. most particularly, there is no indication that they can channel at all. they travel through Blight on foot, carry spears and when one of them kills Barriga he uses a knife. None of this would support the notion that they can channel.

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ok, I think misunderstood you a bit earlier. But if you are saying that those red veiled dudes can channel and have been 13x13d that's really reaching. there is no indication of either. most particularly, there is no indication that they can channel at all. they travel through Blight on foot, carry spears and when one of them kills Barriga he uses a knife. None of this would support the notion that they can channel.

 

That was a big of a snag for me, that the rvAiel didn't use the OP in that scene. It could be implying that they're something else and not 13 turned or it could simply be a kind of teasing by BS/RJ about their true nature. What convinced me is that the narrator specifically states that they're all men, which they don't have to be if they're just some random Aiel DF's. It's a well known fact in the series that male channelers in the Aiel go north into the Blight to die, but now we find out that hey, maybe they were instead captured alive and turned. (Aiel male channelers could be another Chehkov's gun scenario even)

 

On that one page BS/RJ writes 4 times that they are men: p. 839- "They were men, wearing read veils...", "Why was the man's veil red?", "The Aiel man undid his veil...", "The man's teeth had been filed to points." He could easily have called them just "Aiel" when referring singularly or in plural form to them. It seems to strongly imply an importance to their gender.

 

Also, their teeth being filed to points and their hard glassy eyes make them somehow far more than just simple darkfriends, almost like they've turned into shadowspawn themselves. That extreme effect could and I think is attributable to being 13 turned.

Edited by Ashandarei
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Let's look at the usages, then:

In front of him, three figures wearing black and brown approached with a sleek grace. Myrddraal! No. He blinked the tears and blood from his eyes. No, those weren't Myrddraal. They were men, wearing red veils over their faces. They walked at a crouch, scanning the terrain, short spears worn on their backs.

"Light be praised," he whispered. "Aiel." He'd been in Andor when Rand al'Thor had come. Everyone knew the Aiel followed the Dragon Reborn. He had tamed them. I'm safe!

One of the Aiel stepped up to Barriga. Why was the man's veil red? That was unusual. The Aiel's dark eyes were glassy and hard. The Aiel man undid his veil, and revealed a smiling face. The man's teeth had been filed to points. His smile broadened, and he slipped a knife from his belt. Barriga stuttered, looking at that horrific maw and the glee in this man's eyes as he reached in for the kill. These weren't Aiel. They were something else.

The first is obviously to clarify that they are human rather than Myrddraal. The rest are just because of the choppy sentence structure: he believes them to be Aiel, but using that term or a pronoun would make for some awfully repetitive reading:
One of the Aiel stepped up to Barriga. Why was the Aiel's veil red? That was unusual. The Aiel's dark eyes were glassy and hard. The Aiel undid his veil, and revealed a smiling face. The Aiel's teeth had been filed to points. The Aiel's smile broadened, and the Aiel slipped a knife from his belt. Barriga stuttered, looking at that horrific maw and the glee in the Aiel's eyes as he reached in for the kill. These weren't Aiel. They were something else.
I don't think there's anything really telling about the choice to vary his word choice a little.

 

And, of course, I note the "dark eyes" and Barriga's own conclusion that, just as he had been mistaken to believe them Myrddraal, he was also mistaken to believe them Aiel.

 

Really, the only things going for the "Aiel" interpretation are the short spears and the unveiling before killing, possibly as a mockery of the Aiel tradition or possibly just to show off his pointy teeth. Taking two rather non-specific descriptions out of a brief passage describing the thoughts of a man in shock, who incidentally specifically stated "These weren't Aiel" seems a rather ambitious interpretation to me. Particularly if you're then going to claim, as most do, that they're channelers as well.

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ok, I think misunderstood you a bit earlier. But if you are saying that those red veiled dudes can channel and have been 13x13d that's really reaching. there is no indication of either. most particularly, there is no indication that they can channel at all. they travel through Blight on foot, carry spears and when one of them kills Barriga he uses a knife. None of this would support the notion that they can channel.

 

That was a big of a snag for me, that the rvAiel didn't use the OP in that scene. It could be implying that they're something else and not 13 turned or it could simply be a kind of teasing by BS/RJ about their true nature. What convinced me is that the narrator specifically states that they're all men, which they don't have to be if they're just some random Aiel DF's. It's a well known fact in the series that male channelers in the Aiel go north into the Blight to die, but now we find out that hey, maybe they were instead captured alive and turned. (Aiel male channelers could be another Chehkov's gun scenario even)

 

On that one page BS/RJ writes 4 times that they are men: p. 839- "They were men, wearing read veils...", "Why was the man's veil red?", "The Aiel man undid his veil...", "The man's teeth had been filed to points." He could easily have called them just "Aiel" when referring singularly or in plural form to them. It seems to strongly imply an importance to their gender.

 

Also, their teeth being filed to points and their hard glassy eyes make them somehow far more than just simple darkfriends, almost like they've turned into shadowspawn themselves. That extreme effect could and I think is attributable to being 13 turned.

The fact that they have dark eyes means that they are not Aiel at all as Barriga realizes at the very end. I didn't notice this on the first read but somebody on this forum pointed this out to me. To me this is proof positive. they are not Aiel. they are something else. None of the Aiel we've seen have dark eyes. the only people who mentioned darked eyed Aiel in the books are ignorant wetlanders. Like Tenobia in her meeting with Elayne. Avi sets her straight on the issue.

 

“Black?” Aviendha muttered in confusion. “My eyes are not black. I never saw black eyes except on a peddler until I crossed the Dragonwall.”

 

And it has not been suggested anywhere that 13x13 turning can change the color of someone's eyes.

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ok, I think misunderstood you a bit earlier. But if you are saying that those red veiled dudes can channel and have been 13x13d that's really reaching. there is no indication of either. most particularly, there is no indication that they can channel at all. they travel through Blight on foot, carry spears and when one of them kills Barriga he uses a knife. None of this would support the notion that they can channel.

 

That was a big of a snag for me, that the rvAiel didn't use the OP in that scene. It could be implying that they're something else and not 13 turned or it could simply be a kind of teasing by BS/RJ about their true nature. What convinced me is that the narrator specifically states that they're all men, which they don't have to be if they're just some random Aiel DF's. It's a well known fact in the series that male channelers in the Aiel go north into the Blight to die, but now we find out that hey, maybe they were instead captured alive and turned. (Aiel male channelers could be another Chehkov's gun scenario even)

 

On that one page BS/RJ writes 4 times that they are men: p. 839- "They were men, wearing read veils...", "Why was the man's veil red?", "The Aiel man undid his veil...", "The man's teeth had been filed to points." He could easily have called them just "Aiel" when referring singularly or in plural form to them. It seems to strongly imply an importance to their gender.

 

Also, their teeth being filed to points and their hard glassy eyes make them somehow far more than just simple darkfriends, almost like they've turned into shadowspawn themselves. That extreme effect could and I think is attributable to being 13 turned.

WOT is very sexist. Against men channeling, against men taking the throne of Andor and in Two Rivers the Women's Circle seem to have the real power. But it's also sexist against women fighting. Though there are exceptions (Green Ajah, Aiel, Saldaeans, some Cairhien women mimicking the Maidens), women aren't supposed to be warriors. That this rvAiel are all men doesn't imply that they're discarded male channelers, but could as well point to a society assigning warfare to men.

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I agree with those who say that Demandred is going to get a huge force from every source available. I think that he will marshal armies from Seanchan, the Land of Madmen (rvAiel), darkfriends in Randland, Trollocs, and maybe even portal worlds. I also think that as the Grand Marshall of an army of millions in a time with amazing weapons, he will do something much cooler than have all his men run at Mat's men.

 

I fully expect Demandred to use channellers as artillery like the Seanchan, to use DF Asha'man like they were used at Dumai's Wells, to use Aiel as skirmishers, to make use of infantry tactics from all over history, and to push Mat to the limit. RJ was a soldier after all, he knew his tactics.

 

Lastly, what Mat invented for the Legion of the Dragon and the Band is called Pike and Shot formation. Demandred will not be blown away by this like most forces, but will smash it with long range channeler strikes. Cannons will be the only ace Mat will have up his sleeve, assuming that in the AoL gunpowder wasn't used because channeling was so prevalent.

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The fact that they have dark eyes means that they are not Aiel at all as Barriga realizes at the very end. I didn't notice this on the first read but somebody on this forum pointed this out to me. To me this is proof positive. they are not Aiel. they are something else. None of the Aiel we've seen have dark eyes. the only people who mentioned darked eyed Aiel in the books are ignorant wetlanders. Like Tenobia in her meeting with Elayne. Avi sets her straight on the issue.

 

“Black?” Aviendha muttered in confusion. “My eyes are not black. I never saw black eyes except on a peddler until I crossed the Dragonwall.”

 

And it has not been suggested anywhere that 13x13 turning can change the color of someone's eyes.

 

Except for the Darkfriend Aiel in LoC ch 46..... With dark eyes.

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The fact that they have dark eyes means that they are not Aiel at all as Barriga realizes at the very end. I didn't notice this on the first read but somebody on this forum pointed this out to me. To me this is proof positive. they are not Aiel. they are something else. None of the Aiel we've seen have dark eyes. the only people who mentioned darked eyed Aiel in the books are ignorant wetlanders. Like Tenobia in her meeting with Elayne. Avi sets her straight on the issue.

 

“Black?” Aviendha muttered in confusion. “My eyes are not black. I never saw black eyes except on a peddler until I crossed the Dragonwall.”

 

And it has not been suggested anywhere that 13x13 turning can change the color of someone's eyes.

 

Except for the Darkfriend Aiel in LoC ch 46..... With dark eyes.

 

Are you refering to the "Aiel" that attack the Aes Sedai in Caemlyn? Because those weren't Aiel. The dark eyes were specifically mentioned to indicate that this was a rouse. They were also described as short which would be very unusual for an Aiel. It was a trick to turn the Aes Sedai against Rand. We have yet to see any dark eyed Aiel.

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For all those saying that the LoM can't be introduced now: the ravens and rats should give the DO a rough idea of what's going on in every land. For the DO to not send someone to harvest the LoM would be stupid of him.

 

I think the DO has already achieved what he wanted in Seanchan and Shara. Both continents would be more likely to send reinforcements to the Light if left to their own devices. By throwing both continents into civil war, the DO prevents this. The Seanchan who have already come to Randland are likely to cause trouble with the rest of the Light's armies, thus playing into the DO's hands. This effect would have been even worse had Suroth succeeded in killing Tuon, as then the Randland Seanchan would have been lead by a DF.

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For all those saying that the LoM can't be introduced now: the ravens and rats should give the DO a rough idea of what's going on in every land. For the DO to not send someone to harvest the LoM would be stupid of him.
Complaining about introducing characters from the Land of the Madmen is secondary to complaining about introducing the Land of the Madmen itself. For someone who's only read the novels (which is to say, 99% of WOT readers), the Land of the Madmen does not exist. As a storytelling device, introducing characters from a previously unheard-of location in the final book of a 14-part series is just bad; better by far to say nothing at all about where they're coming from. Or to say they're from a place we've never been to but are aware of – mirror worlds, a civilization in the Blight, Shara, remote Seanchan, a colony of Darkfriends on Mars, whatever.
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Also, what's the point of his having some big army in a portal stone world or Shara or something? We've already got massive armies of Trollocs coming through the portal stones, so why bother having some non-Trolloc army come through as well just to give Demandred something to do?

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"My rule is secure, I gather for war. We will be ready".

 

This doesn't sound like a amassing a huge army to me. In fact this sounds like the second most acclaimed man in the AoL gathering his own Hundred Companions from turned Ashaman. At the time he made this statement the turning had commenced, the timelines all fit. What better army than one hundred powerful and sane male channelers led by an extremely powerful and knowledgeable super general forsaken?

Done right they could have a devastating effect as a support force for the main trolloc hordes, imagine if they'd appeared at Maradon a day before Rand did, the trollocs would have hit Arad Doman not long after.

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"My rule is secure, I gather for war. We will be ready".

 

This doesn't sound like a amassing a huge army to me. In fact this sounds like the second most acclaimed man in the AoL gathering his own Hundred Companions from turned Ashaman. At the time he made this statement the turning had commenced, the timelines all fit. What better army than one hundred powerful and sane male channelers led by an extremely powerful and knowledgeable super general forsaken?

Done right they could have a devastating effect as a support force for the main trolloc hordes, imagine if they'd appeared at Maradon a day before Rand did, the trollocs would have hit Arad Doman not long after.

 

But we know that Taim isn't Demandred from what we saw at the cleansing in WH and from RJ's comments. It's very hard to see Demandred been involved with the Asha'man, given that Dashiva (Osan'gar) was also there, and that Taim is evidently one of the Shadow's guys.

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It all but says directly that Graendal's trap for Perrin was trollocs using a portal stone to teleport to the riverbed where the whitecloaks were camped. Whether they were just teleporting from another stone, or from a mirror world isn't said, but I believe that the usage of portal stones IS where the trolloc armies are coming from. There just isn't enough food to supply millions of trollocs in the blight.

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I think what makes the most sense is that it's the Black Tower.

 

First, the Land of Madmen or Portal storm army is just a little too out of left field.

 

Also, Demandred was basically introduced in terms of an important character in LoC, the same book that the BT was started and had their coming out party at Dumai's Wells.

 

Demandred has been mentioned to use proxies, and Taim is obviously a good proxy for him. I don't think the fact that Taim is already running the BT means you wouldn't have direct Chosen control over it. Moridin has too many other things in play to have direct control. He's given Taim orders before if there's something big brewing like trying to stop the cleansing of the Source, but Demandred makes perfect sense to be the direct controller of dark activities at the BT. It's not overkill to have forsaken and a major DF in one place. Mesanna was in the WT along with Alviarin, the head of the Black Ajah. Dashiva was never portrayed as having a leadership role behind the scenes at the BT. I don't know what he would have done if Rand hadn't selected him to go along, but it was pretty apparent that Taim had no idea Dashiva was a Chosen. During that Chosen meeting in WH, Arangar says that Demandred and Osangar were responsible for watching Rand, so that also goes along with Demandred being responsible for the BT.

 

I think that if Demandred isn't in charge of Taim and the BT, Taim is basically much better and more effective than the actual Chosen and I think that takes away from their characters. The Chosen squabble constantly over power and positioning, would they really let Taim, from this Age, full reign over male channelers? Mesanna directs Alviarin (even after getting punished by SH, as we see in ToM), would Taim be allowed to run free? It doesn't make sense.

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I think that if Demandred isn't in charge of Taim and the BT, Taim is basically much better and more effective than the actual Chosen and I think that takes away from their characters. The Chosen squabble constantly over power and positioning, would they really let Taim, from this Age, full reign over male channelers? Mesanna directs Alviarin (even after getting punished by SH, as we see in ToM), would Taim be allowed to run free? It doesn't make sense.

 

You make a good point about Taim's effectiveness, however, who says it could only be Demandred using Taim as a proxy?

From what I have seen, everything points more to Ishamael/Moridin pulling the strings at the BT.

The Dreamspike at the BT and the black garbed men guarding Moridin's keep in the Blight seem to lend considerable credence to this theory.

 

Who knows though, Demandred's location is definitely the biggest and most guarded secret left us.

Edited by Finnssss
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Seanchan, Demandred and Semirhage were working together. It has also been mentioned that a murderer sits on the crystal throne, and I don't think he would settle for anything less than an empire of his own anyway.

wont be the Empire, because he would have had the imperial family in his pocket and it makes no sense for semi to butcher them all. and it would take too much time and effort into a back story, consolidating armies, doing a campaign without using any of the power in obvious ways. Just is impractical.

 

Murandy seems the most likely, Rhoedran has had a personality change, he was described as stagnant just sittin on his throne and watching without doing anything and now he has suddenly come up with a brilliant plan to consolidate all the nobles of his land under him (nobles that would like to take the throne instead of him). Murandy is where he spends the bulk of his time

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Murandy just wouldn't be big enough for my liking, and I can't remember hearing anything strange going on there. In any case, would the red-veiled Aiel be from Murandy? Roedran may be acting under influence from another Forsaken or he simply sees a chance to consolidate power for himself.

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You make a good point about Taim's effectiveness, however, who says it could only be Demandred using Taim as a proxy?

From what I have seen, everything points more to Ishamael/Moridin pulling the strings at the BT.

The Dreamspike at the BT and the black garbed men guarding Moridin's keep in the Blight seem to lend considerable credence to this theory.

 

Who knows though, Demandred's location is definitely the biggest and most guarded secret left us.

 

Oh I agree, Moridin does have some hand in the BT, but as Nae'blis I think this only makes sense. Like I mentioned, if it's something important we've seen Moridin direct Taim and the DF Ashaman before. I think something important like locking the BT down with a dreamspike is another instance where Moridin is asserting his control, like when he ordered Taim in Winter's Heart. And it would also make sense that Moridin would make sure that not all of the control of the BT is in the hands of Demandred, just because its such a potentially powerful asset Moridin would want to make sure he has influence there.

 

Demandred's quote "Have I not done well, Great Lord?" at the end of the LOC is another indication of Demandred's foothold being the BT.

 

I really don't think that there were that many possibilities for Demandred. I don't even think Murandy is a legit possibility because it hasn't been shown as having any potential great power. I think there were really only 4 possibilities based on potential of power and the amount of time spent on them:

The Borderlanders (huge 200,000 army battle hardened by Blight skirmishes with 13+ Aes Sedai)

The Seanchan (army of hundreds of thousands and a thousand+ damane)

Black Tower (almost a 1000 male channelers trained for war)

Shaido (100,000? + warriors and hundreds of channelers)

 

We get a direct quote from Greandal saying that he wasn't with the Borderlanders, and we know that Semi was in control of the Seanchan. We get a lot of interaction with the Shaido leaders and we don't see any interaction that could be Demandred. (we do see Sammael and Graendal utilizing them). That really only leads the BT. It would also kind of fit for the Demandred - Mesanna - Semirhage alliance to have them try to lock down the WT, BT, and Seanchan empire.

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I think the working through proxy covers why he doesn't recognize Flinn, I don't think he's posing as another Ashaman a la Mesanna he just runs things through Taim, so he wouldn't recognize Flinn.

 

Demandred is a possibility for being behind the red veiled killers we see, but so is Moridin. I just think that from Demandreds POV starting in LOC, those 4 possibilities fit best rather than something new.

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I believe there was an Aiel Clan in the blight, the rvAiel. I think Demandred has several armies prepared in the south. One of his main strikes is currently taking place in Caemelyn. He already has a defensive perimeter setup around the BT. I think, having the BT channelers constantly hold the power helps in 2 ways:

 

1. They can do the 13X13 turning without anybody noticing since Saidin is held all the time.

 

2. It can make shielding them more difficult since they have the power already.

 

Rand even called out a possible trap in ToM. Demandred wants Rand to strike him there. The forces of dark also want Rand to strike at the borderlands. As said in one of the previous books, "When offered 2 targets, strike at the 3rd."

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I just wish we knew what Demandred's name means, I really think there's a clue there and a reason we have never been informed of it.

 

Best I can gather out of it is the "mand" part which means sword or something along those lines.

The "De" and the "red" are as yet undefined in any OT source.

 

Either way, you all might be right about the BT, it does fit in with what we do know about Demandred.

The biggest problem is that everything we know about him is exactly and eerily the same as what we know about Taim and even with being totally rebuked by RJ himself as well as an incident in WH, many of us thought for so long that Taim was Demy, it's hard to get that out of our minds and start from scratch.

 

...and yeah Griz I agree 100% that the strike on Caemelyn totally reeks of Demandred.

Edited by Finnssss
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