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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Slopes of Shayol Ghul


Orderofolde
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One thing that I've not noticed discussed is Shayol Ghul itself. I bring this up because I have two observations about the place where the Last Battle is supposed to be fought. First, we have every Forsaken POV who has traveled there stating that it is dangerous to hold onto the One Power at Shayol Ghul. I get some mixed feelings from the Forsaken that it might be due to the Dark One's presence, but it's the other connotations of the danger that I am interested in, of it simply not being safe. I bring this up because we also have the view of the Forgers using tongs to dip their blades they forge into the "inky black rivulet" that runs past their forge, where the touch of the water is death, even to the lifeless forgers themselves. Demandred in the Prologue of LOC also states in his observations that there is a thinness to the pattern there (within the mountain itself near the Pit of Doom) which allows the bore to be accessed better than any other part of the world, though not really closer there than anywhere else, just the thinness of the pattern there allows better access to the DO.

 

As far as we have been led to believe, we have this epic battle coming up that is to take place at SG and all the Forsaken are very quick to get rid of the One Power as soon as they make a Gateway there and are through. We have the Thakkandar (forge, river, etc) that is death to touch. It doesn't seem a very safe place for a bunch of Channelers to arrive at and start wielding the OP. Is it because of deadly wards and traps, something to do with the thinness of the pattern, or some other reason? What are your thoughts?

 

I also noticed from Demandred's POV (Around the time that the Blight is beginning to retreat) he wonders at there being so few prisoners from the raids into the Borderlands, and gives us a hint at the weakness the Fades have in needing new swords forged every so often, and how they had to be "Gnashing their teeth." When he revisited the thought, he used a curious term when describing how the "raids into the Borderlands had been 'curtailed' and the Fades had to be gnashing their teeth indeed." This shows us that things were not going good for the DO's forces but to use the term "curtailed" means that they had been stopped, rather than the raids simply not having produced enough prisoners and DF's willing to give their essence or some such to the blade makers. I don't understand how all their losses in the Waste and at the Two Rivers and elsewhere have the forces diminishing and the blight itself retreating, then we get this massive resurgence of numbers of the shadowspawn and the Blight coming on faster than ever before eating up ground a few books later.

 

I myself think that later on the portal stones were used to bring in massive numbers of trollocs from mirror worlds, but what are the thoughts on how the Shadow suddenly has tens and hundreds of thousands of Trollocs at each instance to send against Rand at Algarin's Manor, Tarwin's Gap, 2nd Tarwin's Gap with Lan, against Perrin and the Whitecloaks, Maradon, the Seanchan returning from attacking the Shaido, the borderland towers, and everywhere else large numbers have cropped up for a big fight? Or is that all grouped in with the new Shadow War, with the strike at Shayol Ghul the Last Battle in all respects? I can't help but wonder, as through Randland history we have the shadow wars lasting many years, not just two as we've been following Rand and co. To me it seems like things are just starting to get going into a real war. Just some thoughts that have been on my mind recently. Pick a point and let me know what you think.

Edited by Orderofolde
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As far as we have been led to believe, we have this epic battle coming up that is to take place at SG and all the Forsaken are very quick to get rid of the One Power as soon as they make a Gateway there and are through. We have the Thakkandar (forge, river, etc) that is death to touch. It doesn't seem a very safe place for a bunch of Channelers to arrive at and start wielding the OP. Is it because of deadly wards and traps, something to do with the thinness of the pattern, or some other reason? What are your thoughts?

 

Personally I think its because while the Prison is everywhere, the thinness of the Bore at Shayol Ghul means that that part of the world is effected greatly by the presence of the Dark One.

 

The One Power is clearly natural to the world; it is drawn from the True Source which is what drives time forward. In a sense, I think you could say that the One Power is natural to everything, that is, that human life is "of the True Source" or "of the One Power."

 

But the Dark One is foreign to the Pattern. He is not "natural" to the world, therefore anything "of the Dark One" is toxic to creatures of the Pattern. And since the Bore is getting thinner, that means the effects of his presence will get worse. The Blight and all that.

 

I think Lews Therin has his own input on this topic. He said he touched the Dark One with saidin, which led to the Taint. The effects are obvious, but the implications point towards the same thing that the Forsakens comments do with regard to channeling the Power. Using the One Power in the Dark Ones presence can be bad news.

 

So if the world, the land, and everything is of the True Source, and the Dark One is not, yet the barrier between the Dark One and Shayol Ghul is getting thinner, doesnt that mean he is infecting the place with his "not-of-the-Powerness?" The Blight gets Blightier, Shayol Ghul gets more Shayol Ghul-esque... The land becomes poisonous.

 

And the Forgers are Shadowspawn, part One Power part True Power. Maybe the part One Power bit makes them still vulnerable to the Dark Ones touch on the world with regard to the black liquid etc. I can see Fades being an exception there though.

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After posting this I stumbled on "The Strike at Shayol Ghul" written by RJ as a short fiction of non-fiction as RJ described it. It gave some more insight into Shayol Ghul by second and third hand account. It was a short if not good read. Apparently the DO is able to touch the world at Shayol Ghul there more than anywhere else due to the thinness of the Pattern, and can affect and make changes, even discipline his minions and change them (think of Fain being changed by the DO to sense Rand) and to perform other deeds himself, but only at SG. As the seals weaken and break on account of the True Power (which corrupts the One Power and can even destroy Cuendillar) his touch is able to spread and we see the weather changes, food rotting, and the dead walking and reality itself breaking free with the changes in Caemlyn Palace and White Tower itself. Just some info.

 

I personally wonder with these changes, if we have had things brought into this age and things that once belonged were removed by this phenomenon of the pattern unraveling. It's been mentioned elsewhere of Hinderstap and the condition there, and of the vanishing village that poor peddler sinks into, being pulled from this age to...where though? If the halls and rooms and entire towns/villages can shift to be in ways they never were...let's just simplify things by saying that all the sections and halls and rooms couldn't have been empty. I think that Elayne actually wondered what would happen if someone was in a room that suddenly morphed to have no doors or windows. I wonder if we've not had a few people added to our current Age. Makes you wonder about possibilities when nothing is any longer certain and anything is possible...

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