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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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Note: I tried searching for this in the quote database at Theoryland but didn't find anything besides the Fain/Mordeth link stuff that permeates the threads in these forums as well. A search through this forum for this didn't give me what I was looking for either although admittedly I didn't look further than 2 pages of search result threads back, way too much for me to look through it all. Lastly, the reason I posted this here and not in the Simple Questions thread is because the question/answer may or may not be simple depending on if I'm a blind fool or if this truly is an unsolved mystery.

 

Something I noticed on my curent reread:

 

Suddenly Rand realized what had been nagging at him about the man. The scattered torches in the hallway had given each of them a ring of shadows, just as the torches in the treasure room did. Only . . . He was so shocked he said it out loud. "You don't have a shadow." A goblet fell from Mat's hand with a crash. Mordeth nodded, and for the first time his fleshy eyelids opened all the way. His sleek face suddenly appeared pinched and hungry. "So." He stood straighter, seeming taller. "It is decided." Abruptly there was no seeming to it. Like a balloon Mordeth swelled, distorted, head pressed against the ceiling, shoulders butting the walls, filling the end of the room, cutting off escape. Hollow-cheeked, teeth bared in a rictus snarl, he reached out with hands big enough to engulf a man's head.

 

With a yell Rand leaped back. His feet tangled in a gold chain, and he crashed to the floor, the wind knocked out of him. Struggling for breath, he struggled at the same time for his sword, fighting his cloak, which had become wrapped around the hilt. The yells of his friends filled the room, and the clash of goldplatters and goblets clattering across the floor. Suddenly an agonized scream shivered in Rand's ears. Almost sobbing, he managed to inhale at last, just as he got the sword out of its sheath. Cautiously, he got to his feet, wondering which of his friends had given that scream. Perrin looked back at him wide-eyed from across the room, crouched and holding his axe back as if about to chop down a tree. Mat peered around the side of a treasure pile, clutching a dagger snatched from the trove. Something moved in the deepest part of the shadows left by the torches, and they all jumped. It was Mordeth, clutching his knees to his chest and huddled as deep into the furthest comer as he could get.

 

"He tricked us," Mat panted. "It was some kind of trick." Mordeth threw back his head and wailed; dust sifted down as the walls trembled. "You are all dead!" he cried. "All dead!" And he leaped up, diving across the room. Rand's jaw dropped, and he almost dropped the sword as well. As Mordeth dove through the air, he stretched out and thinned, like a tendril of smoke. As thin as a finger he struck a crack in the wall tiles and vanished into it. A last cry hung in the room as he vanished, fading slowly away after he was gone. "You are all dead!"

 

I've bolded the text where Mordeth suddenly screams(I assume it's his scream) and then cowers in the corner because of something that happened. Now there are only two things that I can think of that might have caused this and neither seems a satisfactory explanation:

1) Mat slashed at him (underlined text) with the dagger- but why would Mordeth's own dagger hurt him?

2) Moiraine at that moment errected the ward around the building the party is camping in- why would a locally set ward hurt Mordeth so much, or at all for that matter?

 

I'm sorry if I'm missing something incredibly obvious, I've definitely seen threads like that before, so if I am, will somebody please explain? If not, is there a theory as to what caused this?

Edited by Ashandarei
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Could Rand have channeled instead? doing something to Mordeth in the process.

Or maybe Mordeth wasn't all that powerfull and what he tried to do hurt him?

 

Best guess is on Rand channeling but who knows ...

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I have no idea what happened personally, but it does present an interesting point.

 

Could this be a sign of something that can kill Fain? Perhaps a weakness?

 

The Shadow has been chasing him, with no luck, and channelers cant seem to kill him either.

 

he is definitely a formidable foe.

 

Could this be an insight into a weakness that could lead to the death of Fain?

 

More questions raised than answered, but yeah.

 

What is going down with that?

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It does sound like Rand channeled, if only for the lack of any other explanation. Shortly afterward he does suffer the channeling sickness on Doman's boat, and while he clearly channeled to knock trollocs off the boat, it's possible he was suffering from both times he was forced to channel that night.

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I don't think Rand channeled here. The first time he channeled was when he was urging Bela to run faster when carrying Egwene away from the trollocs. He desperately WISHED for something and it happened. Here, there was no need, no expression of a desire for something to happen.

 

When Mordeth screamed, it must have been when Mat clutched the dagger. But Mordeth's line is curious as well. What has been decided?

 

Mat panting is also curious, I think. It is entirely possible that Mat stabbed him as a reaction to Mordeth's swelling, but I doubt it. Mordeth may have known that Mat would carry him out of Aridhol, but that is also unlikely.

 

It must have been Moiraine's Ward. He was backing away from them, retreating into the darkest corner of the room, possibly away from the Ward. Could she have also placed a Ward on the boys themselves?

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I don't think Rand channeled here. The first time he channeled was when he was urging Bela to run faster when carrying Egwene away from the trollocs. He desperately WISHED for something and it happened. Here, there was no need, no expression of a desire for something to happen.

 

When Mordeth screamed, it must have been when Mat clutched the dagger. But Mordeth's line is curious as well. What has been decided?

 

Mat panting is also curious, I think. It is entirely possible that Mat stabbed him as a reaction to Mordeth's swelling, but I doubt it. Mordeth may have known that Mat would carry him out of Aridhol, but that is also unlikely.

 

It must have been Moiraine's Ward. He was backing away from them, retreating into the darkest corner of the room, possibly away from the Ward. Could she have also placed a Ward on the boys themselves?

 

I agree that Rand channeling is probably not it since when he did it for Bela we get a clear indication of it:

If Bela fell back, he would fall back, too, whatever Moiraine and Lan had to say about it. Back where the Fade and the Trollocs were. Back where the Draghkar was. With all his heart and desperation he silently shouted at Bela to run like the wind, silently tried to will strength into her. Run! His skin prickled, and his bones felt as if they were freezing, ready to split open. The Light help her, run! And Bela ran.

As to your question regarding it being "decided," that's a good question- I think it's simply decided that he'll just kill/corrupt the three of them right there instead of letting them escape since he can't consume their souls and escape via the tainted treasure being carried out of Shadar Logoth:

"If ever he convinces someone to accompany him to the walls, to the boundary of Mashadar's power, he will be able to consume the soul of that person. Mordeth will leave, wearing the body of the one he worse than killed, to wreak his evil on the world again."

Lastly, I also don't think it was Moiraine's ward because the three feel the "watching eyes" vanish the moment they enter it later and they would never have felt the menacing watchers if they had already been warded:

At last, with twilight falling, they came in sight of the white stone building they had left what seemed like days ago. Suddenly the watching eyes departed. Between one step and the next, they vanished in a blink.

Also I would think Moiraine would need to be close, if not have physical contact with them, to weave such a ward for the three of them specifically instead of for a location.

Edited by Ashandarei
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Is there anything in Mat's character at this point that suggests he is capable of reaching out and stabbing someone out of fear? Perrin brought an axe and was ready to use it, Rand fumbled for his sword, but Mat brought a bow: ready to hang back and let everyone do the fighting while he picked enemies off at a distance. It's a tough call. If he did stab Mordeth, then he's got kind of an evil streak already for lashing out and justifying it because Mordeth "tricked" them, but if he didn't, he's the only one in the room not preparing to rumble...

 

This is why I think it was the Ward, he retreated into the far corner to get away from something. It never states that Mat and Mordeth are in the same room...

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Have NO idea what it really is, but the one that makes the most sense, to me, is that the dagger had some specific/ special connection to Mordeth, so when Mat grabbed it something was triggered....

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Like others, I doubt Rand caused Mordeth's scream.

 

Also doubt that Mat slashed at Mordeth.

 

My guess would be of that being when Fain & Mordeth met.

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My guess would be of that being when Fain & Mordeth met.

I considered that as a possibility... just didn't have any proof to support it. Until now. After reading what you said I looked into the matter more carefully and here's what I found:

 

Padan Fain stared northward out into the night, past the only fire in his camp, smiling a fixed smile that never touched his eyes. He still thought of himself as Padan Fain - Padan Fain was the core of him - but he had been changed, and he knew it. He knew many things, now, more than any of his old masters could suspect. He had been a Darkfriend long years before Ba'alzamon summoned him and set him on the track of the three young men from mond's Field, distilling what he knew of them, distilling him, and feeding the essence back so that he could feel them, smell where they had been, follow wherever they ran. Especially the one. A part of him still cringed, remembering what Ba'alzamon had done to him, but it was a small part, hidden, suppressed. He was changed. Following the three had led him into Shadar Logoth. He had not wanted to go, but he had had to obey. Then. And in Shadar Logoth...1

 

Fain drew a deep breath and fingered the ruby-hilted dagger at his belt. That had come from Shadar Logoth, too. It was the only weapon he carried, the only one he needed; it felt like a part of him. He was whole within himself, now. That was all that mattered.

1 Here I found what I was looking for. I hadn't realized that there was evidence of Fain encountering Mordeth before getting the ruby hilted dagger but then voila, I came upon this. What happened in Shadar Logoth? We get a hint here:

 

"It was evil against evil in the ruins of Shadar Logoth," Moiraine continued, "foul fighting vile. When Fain spoke of it, his teeth chattered and he whimpered. Many Trollocs were slain, consumed by Mashadar and other things, including the Trolloc that held Fain's leash.2 He fled the city as if it were the Pit of Doom, at Shayol Ghul.

2 We find that the very Trolloc that held Fain's leash was consumed by Mashadar! And so the pieces of the puzzle come together. When Mashadar finished with that Trolloc and touched Fain- BAM. Enter Mordeth's "agonized scream" after which he cowers in the corner. Mashadar's evil clashed with Fain's DO distilled essence and hurt Mordeth(and I assume Fain as well) badly since they are opposite evils(3,4):

 

DragonCon 3 September 2005 - Emma reporting

Q: How did Aginor sense the Shadar Logoth dagger?

RJ: If you remember the Cleansing[...] It is an effect of resonance. The evil that taints the dagger is the same evil that taints Shadar Logoth, and you might say it is diametrically opposite3 to the evil that is the taint on the male half of the One Power. Rand at one point in Shadar Logoth... he feels a pulsing, especially in the wounds on his side. There is a resonance created there; it is like positive and negative poles of evil4, you might say.

 

Quote Link

 

Thanks for posting that mb- before this I had just backhandedly dismissed that option without truly considering it but because of your post I went back and reexamined that possibility and was actually able to find good evidence to support it. :smile:

Edited by Ashandarei
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Now wait, I don't think Mashadar came out until well after Mordeth's scream, so how would that work chronologically?

 

Hmm... Darn it kraefzke, it was all making sense for a bit there... Ignorance was indeed bliss :happy:

 

You make a good point though. The sun was still up when the boys were down there with Mordeth so Mashadar was probably not out yet(although later in the series it starts showing during the day too right? is the battle with Sammael in SL with the sun up or down?). Anyway, I still think it's more likely that Fain and Mordeth somehow clashed(even if not via Mashadar), maybe by Fain picking up something in the city or simply by entering? At least it's more likely in comparison to Mat doing something with the dagger or Rand channeling. But that's just my opinion.

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I agree that Rand channeling is probably not it since when he did it for Bela we get a clear indication of it:

 

We however did not get a clear indication of Rand channeling when he does it immediately after leaving Shadar Logath. Rand boards Domon's ship, but he gets knocked down by a trolloc and the wind is knocked out of him. Right as he's about to die he instinctively lashes out with Saidin and uses part of the ship to knock the trolloc into the river.

 

It sounds pretty similar to what happened with Mordeth.

 

Anyway, I still think it's more likely that Fain and Mordeth somehow clashed(even if not via Mashadar), maybe by Fain picking up something in the city or simply by entering? At least it's more likely in comparison to Mat doing something with the dagger or Rand channeling. But that's just my opinion.

 

Were trollocs and Fain even in the city at the time of the incident? It's not until hours after the boys return, enough time for some sleep at least, that trollocs are reported in the city by Lan.

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We however did not get a clear indication of Rand channeling when he does it immediately after leaving Shadar Logath. Rand boards Domon's ship, but he gets knocked down by a trolloc and the wind is knocked out of him. Right as he's about to die he instinctively lashes out with Saidin and uses part of the ship to knock the trolloc into the river.

 

Were trollocs and Fain even in the city at the time of the incident? It's not until hours after the boys return, enough time for some sleep at least, that trollocs are reported in the city by Lan.

 

You're right about the boat incident where the boom knocks the Trolloc over, there really isn't any conclusive evidence pointing to him using the Power, if he hadn't gotten Power-crazy and climbed the mast a few days later I would've argued he didn't even use the Power during the attack.

 

As for the timing with the trollocs/Fain, we know that Lan's been out scouting since way before the boys returned[1,2] and he wouldn't return without a thorough scan of the area and the enemy forces(he even brings back the badges for each fist[3], for which he must have killed some Trollocs).

 

"You wool-headed witlings!" the Wisdom snapped. She bristled from head to foot; her eyes glittered, and bright spots of red burned on her cheeks. "Why under the Light did you run off like that? Are you all right? Have you no sense at all? Lan is out looking for you now1, and you'll be luckier than you deserve if he does not pound some sense into the lot of you when he gets back."

-

"[Lan] has been gone a long time."2 Nynaeve looked worriedly at the night outside. Full dark had fallen, as black as pitch.

-

Suddenly the Warder trotted silently out of the darkness into the room. Moiraine came awake and sat up as if he had rung a bell. Lan opened his hand; three small objects fell to the tiles in front of her with the clink of iron. Three blood-red badges in the shape of horned skulls.3

My point is that we don't know the exact timing of the trollocs entering the city, they could have been inside and searching for a while now- it's mentioned multiple times how large SL is.

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  • 9 years later...

The scream coincides with Rand pulling out the sword he got from Tam. The timing is a little fuzzy the way it is written it sounds like he pulls it a split second after the scream but Jordan could have been describing simultaneous events separately, in that order order so as not to be blatantly obvious. I have read elsewhere that it is a power wrought blade. If that's correct, it may provide a clue. Creating power wrought weapons is obviously significant to fighting the shadow but I remember as I read, it didn't exactly explain why. Obviously they are semi indestructible but perhaps their relationship with the power wards off evil to some extent. Mordeth said himself he was sensitive to light as an excuse to lurk in the shadows. The one power infused in the blade may have blinded him. He did retreat to the shadows. This is a theory I love myself but I honestly think Matt is the culprit. More on that on a sec.

 

The other element is that the the boys were just barely beginning to discover their link to the pattern. Matt had just said that he felt like a dead man was speaking through him when he gave out his battle cry with the trollocs they had just fought. Mordeth had said after screaming "You are all dead" perhaps he realized that all of them are men from his age who were reborn and was startled by it. That one is a big maybe.

 

I've always thought of the dagger as "Mordeth's horcrux". Maybe simply grabbing it harmed him. Maybe he just wanted somebody to take something from the city. Once Matt seized the dagger his real goal was accomplished. The Mat stabbing him part is pretty likely though. Rand had just untangled his sword, Perrin was drawing back for a swing and Matt popped up from behind a pillar with knife in hand. He was the first to speak by saying "he tricked us!". He could have been defending an action nobody saw which was stabbing another person. That would be a big deal for simple country folk.

 

There is plenty of possibility. That's one of the great things about WOT. There is plenty of mystery left and so many bread crumbs. 

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5 hours ago, lewstherinscousin said:

The scream coincides with Rand pulling out the sword he got from Tam. The timing is a little fuzzy the way it is written it sounds like he pulls it a split second after the scream but Jordan could have been describing simultaneous events separately, in that order order so as not to be blatantly obvious. I have read elsewhere that it is a power wrought blade. If that's correct, it may provide a clue. Creating power wrought weapons is obviously significant to fighting the shadow but I remember as I read, it didn't exactly explain why. Obviously they are semi indestructible but perhaps their relationship with the power wards off evil to some extent. Mordeth said himself he was sensitive to light as an excuse to lurk in the shadows. The one power infused in the blade may have blinded him. He did retreat to the shadows. This is a theory I love myself but I honestly think Matt is the culprit. More on that on a sec.

 

The other element is that the the boys were just barely beginning to discover their link to the pattern. Matt had just said that he felt like a dead man was speaking through him when he gave out his battle cry with the trollocs they had just fought. Mordeth had said after screaming "You are all dead" perhaps he realized that all of them are men from his age who were reborn and was startled by it. That one is a big maybe.

 

I've always thought of the dagger as "Mordeth's horcrux". Maybe simply grabbing it harmed him. Maybe he just wanted somebody to take something from the city. Once Matt seized the dagger his real goal was accomplished. The Mat stabbing him part is pretty likely though. Rand had just untangled his sword, Perrin was drawing back for a swing and Matt popped up from behind a pillar with knife in hand. He was the first to speak by saying "he tricked us!". He could have been defending an action nobody saw which was stabbing another person. That would be a big deal for simple country folk.

 

There is plenty of possibility. That's one of the great things about WOT. There is plenty of mystery left and so many bread crumbs. 

"...but they were all so excited that nobody told anything in the order it happened" that's how their retelling is described when they return to the group. If I snag more details about the sword and power wrought weapons, my official head cannon will be the sword caused it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/20/2020 at 1:36 AM, lewstherinscousin said:

"...but they were all so excited that nobody told anything in the order it happened" that's how their retelling is described when they return to the group. If I snag more details about the sword and power wrought weapons, my official head cannon will be the sword caused it.

It IS a power wrought weapon. Lan explains it in the first chapter of TGH about midway through after sword soaring with Rand. I'm going to believe it's the drawing of the sword. Makes total sense now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

When I originally read this I thought it maybe was Rand drawing his sword, but that didn't seem quite right. Upon rereading the series I'm now pretty certain this was some clever foreshadowing and the scream was caused by Mat.

 

I believe the sequence of events is Mordeth turns hostile, Mat sees and grabs the dagger from the treasure pile, Mordeth screams and cowers. I think this is because when Mat picks up the dagger, Mordeth connects with Mat and finds not just some ordinary village lout, but the pseudo-reincarnation/embodiment of all those countless soldiers from however long across time. Mordeth cries out, "You are all dead!" three times as he basically flees, not threatening that the boys will die, but in shock over what he encountered when connecting with Mat through the dagger.

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46 minutes ago, Jackdaw_Fool said:

I believe the sequence of events is Mordeth turns hostile, Mat sees and grabs the dagger from the treasure pile, Mordeth screams and cowers. I think this is because when Mat picks up the dagger, Mordeth connects with Mat and finds not just some ordinary village lout, but the pseudo-reincarnation/embodiment of all those countless soldiers from however long across time. Mordeth cries out, "You are all dead!" three times as he basically flees, not threatening that the boys will die, but in shock over what he encountered when connecting with Mat through the dagger.

This was my take when I re-read it most recently too. 

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If he did stab Mordeth, then he's got kind of an evil streak already for lashing out and justifying it because Mordeth "tricked" them, but if he didn't, he's the only one in the room not preparing to rumble.

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On 1/1/2021 at 12:52 PM, Elder_Haman said:

This was my take when I re-read it most recently too. 

That would be one hell of an example of foreshadowing, particularly since Mat didn't get those memories until his "wishes".

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1 hour ago, SinisterDeath said:

That would be one hell of an example of foreshadowing, particularly since Mat didn't get those memories until his "wishes".

That's true and it caused me much consternation on my first several reads. But then I began to take more notice of Mat's use of the old tongue. He uses it several times prior to visiting the Finn. So my understanding now is that Mat always had the memories, the Finn just brought them to the surface and allowed Mat to access them.

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