Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The myriad abilities of the Forsaken


Fliggerty
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

 

This thought recently came to me, and I can't seem to logically resolve this question on my own.

 

It was mentioned somewhere that the Forsaken (actually I'm going to use "Chosen" in this context) were chosen not simply because they were strong in the Power, but also talented in other areas. They are generals, dream-walkers (sort of,) researchers, healers, artists, innovators, and much more. It certainly does make sense that you would want your supreme leaders to have many skills which set them apart from the masses.

 

In LoC there are a few conversations among the Chosen about searching for caches of angreal and ter'angreal and such. They are obviously important to them to have, and for good reason. After all, Rand's fat little man angreal was the difference between defeating Asmodean and losing to him and losing the Choedan Kal access key.

 

I wonder why they can't make their own? They are from the AoL, where angreal and such were prevalent, if not exactly common. Since they were so talented in other things, shouldn't it stand to reason one or more of the Chosen could create angreal?

 

Now of course this all depends on the fact that it was never mentioned that they did make them. Perhaps one of them did and it wasn't stated explicitly. But if they did not, maybe it means there is something more required that was present or possible in the AoL that simply doesn't exist now. I suppose we may just have to wait and see what Elayne figures out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To my understanding, the difference between using the source and creating ter'angreal is the difference between using scientific principles and actually creating a working device based on those principles. Anyone can do it with more basic devices like levers, fulcrums and the like, but the more specialized the development becomes, the less likely people are to be skilled in or be able to perform it. It increasingly requires training and study to be performed safely, and it's very likely those skills and training would be relegated to those who actually have an interest in it. Thus, someone like Demandred, Graendal or Sammael is unlikely to have that ability, while Forsaken such as Aginor or Lanfear might, but are too caught up in their own OCD rages and failings to see the value in doing so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder why they can't make their own? They are from the AoL, where angreal and such were prevalent, if not exactly common. Since they were so talented in other things, shouldn't it stand to reason one or more of the Chosen could create angreal?

 

Now of course this all depends on the fact that it was never mentioned that they did make them. Perhaps one of them did and it wasn't stated explicitly. But if they did not, maybe it means there is something more required that was present or possible in the AoL that simply doesn't exist now. I suppose we may just have to wait and see what Elayne figures out.

 

Quite simply they don't have the manufacturing capabilities they did in the AoL. It is why all of Aginor's genius is wasted in this age with him unable to make new creations.

 

If they have the skill set there are some I'm sure that could be made(such as Elayne does) but something on the scale of say Callandor would be impossible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, Chosen was the name given to every Aes Sedai who went over to the Shadow, and there were thousands of them. The jolly bunch we know and love just happened to be the highest ranking at the time of LTTs attack on SG.

 

With that in mind, there was absolutely no reason for the DO to pick the highest ranked based on such mundane skills as angreal-making. The shadow was winning the war, so why set up something that only would be important if every Chosen except the highest ranked got wiped out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, Chosen was the name given to every Aes Sedai who went over to the Shadow, and there were thousands of them. The jolly bunch we know and love just happened to be the highest ranking at the time of LTTs attack on SG.

 

With that in mind, there was absolutely no reason for the DO to pick the highest ranked based on such mundane skills as angreal-making. The shadow was winning the war, so why set up something that only would be important if every Chosen except the highest ranked got wiped out?

 

Isn't that precisely what happened though Maj? I guess the Dark One forgot to pay his insurance renewal premium :wink: .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are thirteen of them. I find it odd that there isnt at least one of them that has at least elaynes ability. Elayne doesnt seem to need any specialised equipment and Im sure someone from the age of legends who had a talent in that sort of thing would have the knowlledge on how to make a few kinds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are thirteen of them. I find it odd that there isnt at least one of them that has at least elaynes ability. Elayne doesnt seem to need any specialised equipment and Im sure someone from the age of legends who had a talent in that sort of thing would have the knowlledge on how to make a few kinds.

 

As I understand it, there were something like 30 Forsakenchosens at the time, and it seems reasonable enough to me that the leadership, those honored enough to go to Shayol Ghul, wouldn't be the kind to be involved in mundane work like creating things. Creation of *angreal, special as it might be in the current age or to us as readers, was a mundane aspect of existence at that time. Keep in mind that they probably are to combat what Elayne is to power-based innovation or Nynaeve to healing.

 

We do have a rough idea of their functions in the AoL, and you can pretty much divine exactly how likely it is from those roles, that one of the Forsaken would have specialized knowledge like that. I'm noting their pre-turn work, as I'm sure that governing the DOs territories and earning their evil reputations is rather exclusive of learning how to make *angreal.

 

Rahvin - politics, diplomacy

Demandred - politics

Lanfear - researcher++

Semirhage - healer

Sammael - sportsman

Graendal - healer, ascetic

Ishamael - philosophy, theologian

Moghedien - financial consultant

Mesaana - failed (?) researcher, teacher+

Balthamel - historian

Asmodean - composer

Be'lal - legal profession, lawyer(?)

Aginor - genetic engineering+

 

Lanfear seems the most likely to know anything about making *angreal, but is too obsessed with achieving greater power by controlling LTT/Rand. Aginor's field isn't terribly closely related, dealing with biology, and Mesaana's indicated an interest, but either because her skills or her resources aren't up to par, she has to rely on what she's salvaged from that Age.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some 29 (?) Chosen had been granted access to the True Power according to Moggy (ACoS) when she is chatting to Moridin,

Let's assume that those were the leaders of the Shadow.

Of these some 13 ere trapped in the Bore (Assuming that everyone trapped in the Borehad been allowed to use TP).

There's no reason why the GLoD would have chosen those 13 for their ability in Angreal making/ ter'angreal making. (As pointed out above).

In fact, He pretty much selected them for various other qualities,

 

Also with the degradation of technology, they may have lacked specialised materials that are necessary (as pointed out above)

A simple example : Newton could have calculated the trajectory and velocity required to send a rocket to the moon, It took another 300-odd years to develop the various technologies required,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also with the degradation of technology, they may have lacked specialised materials that are necessary (as pointed out above)

A simple example : Newton could have calculated the trajectory and velocity required to send a rocket to the moon, It took another 300-odd years to develop the various technologies required,

That isn't actually true, you'd be lucky to hit the moon with 18th century science.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always thought that there must be some extremely high cost to creating angreal and especially sa' angreal, or else we'd be overrun with them. Aren't there only a handful even in the tower?

 

I'm thinking the creation involves something severe and permanent, like a reduction in someone's strength in the power for good, or maybe even severing, or even death. I'd bet it requires a least circle with both saidin and saidar. Since we know only a living mind can channel, and angreals work by drawing the power "through" them, it fits that some part of a living essence ought to be involved in their creation.

 

But who knows? I could easily see this as one of those things which RJ indicated will never be explained.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always thought that there must be some extremely high cost to creating angreal and especially sa' angreal, or else we'd be overrun with them. Aren't there only a handful even in the tower?

 

I'm thinking the creation involves something severe and permanent, like a reduction in someone's strength in the power for good, or maybe even severing, or even death. I'd bet it requires a least circle with both saidin and saidar. Since we know only a living mind can channel, and angreals work by drawing the power "through" them, it fits that some part of a living essence ought to be involved in their creation.

 

But who knows? I could easily see this as one of those things which RJ indicated will never be explained.

 

I've thought the same thing. If creating angreal/saangreal was simply a matter of knowing the weave and having the right material (as the making of ter angreal seems to be), why didn't every AS in the AoL have sa angreal to carry around? really powerful ones were rare even then. which implies there's something more difficult to it. I've also speculated that it would take the life or ability to channel from the one creating it. If that were the case though, how many people sacrificed themselves for the choedan kal?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thoughts:

 

The Forsaken have shown, like modern Aes Sedai, an knowledge that some things are just "done" a certain way and there isn't another way. Remember Semi's remarks about the Warder bond when she was torturing the Aes Sedai? She was surprised the "primitive" channelers came up with such a complex weave that Age of Legend Aes Sedai were unable to create.

 

Age of Legend One Power technology seemed to be based on a type of channeling industry and hierarchy of development, with many folks specialized. They could have general knowledge of something, but unable to know how to actually do it. Like a Accountant might know generally of how a doctor can perform Heart surgery, but give him the situation and he wouldn't be able to perform the task. I have a feeling AoL channeling was much the same.

 

Also, we have seen that new talents and abilities have seemed to come to fruition among current Aes SEdai, and I have a feeling the "reverse engineering" ability Elayne possesses is new. She can probably devise a way to make an Angreal, but I highly doubt any Forsaken will be able to. They simply will not be able to think it possible or have the mental avenues that Elayne does. Think also about how for thousands of years, Aes Sedai had no clue you could heal with all five powers, until someone of a completely different midnset discovered, or rediscovered, the weaves.

 

So, to sum it up. The Forsaken/Chosen currently lack the talent and insight (or even belief that they can) make Angreal/Sa'Angreal. They probably have general knowledge to how they were created, but that knowledge was dependent on a cultural industry that does not exist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recall reading that the access keys and the tools used to create them was lost behind enemy lines. That this was why they could not just make a new set of keys. This implies that it is not as easy as to just copy a weave 500 times and get 500 access keys in a day, or as fast as you can create the full weave.

On the other hand, we know that there are or were at least two female access keys: one that was destroyed during the Cleansing of Saidin and a broken one at the palace in Tanchico (http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Access_key) so who know, maybe there are more or that Elayne can make a working copy?

 

I don't think we have ever had a PoV or booksigning interview of what these instruments actually were and what they did, but I guess you can just look around today and see all the times we use tools in our every day life. Yes a medic in a combatfield can do some very crude surgery but still do some amazing work in patching soldiers up. Get them to a hospital where they have the right equipment and you can do so much more. Watch a cook without their ususal machines, a car mechanic, a carpenter with just a saw and a hammer and a handful of nails..

 

 

Still, remember that even though the creation of Ter'Angreal is not something only available to Elayne, we know that Seanchain can create Ter'angreal, but that they can only create one kind: The A'dam.

Q. Mr. Jordan stated that the Seanchan only know how to make one kind of ter'angreal. Then there are the Bloodknives' rings. Is this a departure from Jordan's notes, or a discrepancy in a past answer?

A. Neither. The Seanchan only know how to make a'dam.

 

Q: Do certain races have better ability at channeling than others? For example, the Sea Folk at very good at weather, the Aiel have a high proportion of Dreamers, and the Seanchan can make ter'angreal.

RJ: The Seanchan can only make one kind of ter'angreal. They haven't thought about making another.[...]

https://docs.google.com/View?docID=dcjspjqg_79cz3vmjhc&revision=_latest

 

If a war-driven race such as the Seanchan have not thought about making weapons of the One Power, or other objects that can do other things (we know they know there are other types of Ter'angreal with their Bloodknife rings) and if they among all their Damane / Sul'dam dont have anyone able to make anything else except just copying A'dam, then it seems it is not all that easy to make objets of the One Power.

 

 

I think you need circles to make angreal and sa'angreal. Circles bigger than 13. The Forsaken would never work together like that

I think this is quite true. We know that there are many different Talents in the WoT world, and depending on what is needed, circles can be made. It can also be that part of the Ter'angreal need to be made by someone with a certain talent, while another part by someone of another. Reading up on how circles work somewhere I learned that if you create a circle to heal someone, then you still need the person with the best Talent in healing to lead, same with other Talents.

Maybe the one strong in earth need to lead to affect the actual material somehow, while after that passing the circle to someone else who do another part, or it need to be more than one person doing something at the same time.. We know very little about how these things are actually created. Someone should ask Brandon or see if we can get it into the WoT Lexicon they talk about releasing :o

Edited by Ferdawoon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may simply be that the way of creating ter'angreal and angreal was more complicated in the AoL. They had their way of doing things, and didn't make them the way Elayne does. We know that to be true in other instances. Moridin was amazed at what the modern channelers can do with weather weaves ... something that required complex ter'angreal in the past.

 

Working with the One Power is probably like solving a Rubik's Cube. You may know one way of doing it, but there's always a faster, more simple way that you just can't figure out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emu on the Loose

I think it is surprising, Luckers, simply because the 13 Forsaken are not a random sampling of the population. They were very good at some highly valued skills back in their day, and creating ter'angreal would have been an even more valuable skill in the AoL than in the present time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is surprising, Luckers, simply because the 13 Forsaken are not a random sampling of the population. They were very good at some highly valued skills back in their day, and creating ter'angreal would have been an even more valuable skill in the AoL than in the present time.

 

I don't particularily see why. We know that 3% of the population in the Age of Legends could channel, which means there must have been hundreds of thousands, if not millions of channelers. If one in every hundred have the ability to create ter'angreal that's a lot with that ability, and thus no reason for anyone to be given any special authority as a result of having it. And if the ability was so common, and therefore not an element in the selection of leaders, then the math revereses and speaks against a random selection of thirteen containing one with the ability.

 

In effect it is common enough that the ability is not so unique as to award status, but uncommon enough that it is not surprising that it doesn't crop up in a selection of thirteen--even thirteen chosen for the value of their skillsets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is surprising, Luckers, simply because the 13 Forsaken are not a random sampling of the population. They were very good at some highly valued skills back in their day, and creating ter'angreal would have been an even more valuable skill in the AoL than in the present time.

 

Keep in mind that the 13 have in the past been in competition (encouraged by the DO itself, iirc) with at -least- 17 other Forsaken, and likely got to the top by being the most brutal and ruthless at climbing that ladder over a bunch of other less nasty DreadLords/Ladies and lesser Chosen. You can be Evil Einstein McChannelot, and still get offed by someone dumber or less talented than you simply because they have more skill in the gamesmanship it takes to make it to the top. Case in point: Government. I don't see the making of ter'angreals as a real survival skill in that game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emu on the Loose

A fair point, but you forget that RJ went out of his way to single out some of the Forsaken as consistently maintaining themselves on the top of the evil pyramid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A fair point, but you forget that RJ went out of his way to single out some of the Forsaken as consistently maintaining themselves on the top of the evil pyramid.

 

Maintaining that position at the top of the pyramid requires ongoing action when you are dealing with people every bit as evil, ruthless and conniving as you are. They didn't just get the position and sit on it, that's stagnancy and DO discourages that sort of thing by rewarding ambition. There are a great many skills that would be useful in maintaining that place, and ter'angreal, while useful (insanely so in the current Age where they're no longer commonplace) aren't unique enough in that Age. What's the benefit, when the Dar-Din Mom&Pop down the road has a dozen? Too, making things isn't generally a personality trait coupled with ambition, unless you are somehow prevented from making the things you wish to (Aginor).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...