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Demandred's proxies


Terez
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I'm trying to compile a list of what Sammael might have been referring to when he said this:

 

"So Demandred knows you and I meet," he said flatly. Why had he ever expected to receive more than driblets from her?

 

"Of course he does. Not how much I tell you, but that I tell you something. I am trying to bring us together, Sammael, before it is too—"

 

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. "Tell him to be careful. I won’t have him or his friends interfering in my plans." Perhaps he could direct al’Thor’s attention there; that would likely put an end to him. If other means did not work. "So long as they steer clear of me, his lackeys can carve out what he wants, but they will steer clear or he will answer for it." There had been a long struggle after the Bore was opened into the Great Lord’s prison, many years before enough strength was gathered to move openly. This time, when the final seal was shattered, he would present the Great Lord with nations ready to follow. If they did not know who they followed, what did that matter? He would not fail, as Be’lal and Rahvin had. The Great Lord would see who served him best. "You tell him!"

My list so far of 'events in the south':

 

1. Rand's army. (Clearly not Demandred.)

2. Invasion of Tarabon by Seanchan. (Doubtful Sammael believed Demandred was behind that.)

3. Masema.

4. Carridin's "Dragonsworn". (Niall's orders.)

5. Murandy. (We don't know of anything going on there at the time, but we have evidence that Sammael was planning to invade Murandy in TDR.)

 

Any other ideas? Somehow I doubt it has anything to do with the Sea Folk, and nothing else comes to mind, except the rebellion in Haddon Mirk, which was not very eventful at the time. Just a bunch of rebels hiding in Haddon Mirk, and way out of Sammael's territory. (Some have tried to stretch 'in the south' to mean 'south of Arad Doman', but I don't think we can stretch it too far from Illian without losing the meaning.)

Edited by Terez
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What were Sammael's plans? How could Demandred's proxies have interfered with them?

 

The last three conflicts on the list prepare the ground for the Seanchan.

 

Sammael's use of the Shaido a defensive response and competing with Demandred to cause chaos.

 

so I guess i'd go for one or all of those till somthing else comes to mind...

 

Does it seem a bit anti-climactic to you?

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This isn't about Demandred's overall gameplan, but just about what Sammael might have been referring to in that particular quote (regardless of whether or not he was correct about Demandred having anything to do with it).

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Interesting BTW that none of the Chosen really attempted to rise to the top of the Sea Folk hierarchy. Tough as it may have been, there are DFs among the mariners and it would be useful having a navy with unfettered channelers under Compulsion. I've been wondering about this ever since ACoS.

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the isle of madmen is south and bringing these people up north to soon could have interferred with a lot of the other forsakens plans.

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Interesting BTW that none of the Chosen really attempted to rise to the top of the Sea Folk hierarchy. Tough as it may have been, there are DFs among the mariners and it would be useful having a navy with unfettered channelers under Compulsion. I've been wondering about this ever since ACoS.

 

It's not so surprising none of them tried to imitate a Sea Folk person; I imagine that would be difficult to do. Some have theorized that Zaida is a Darkfriend, though.

Edited by Terez
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the isle of madmen is south and bringing these people up north to soon could have interferred with a lot of the other forsakens plans.

 

Problem is that's not really infringing on Sammael's territory, so it doesn't make sense in the context.

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I think he was referring to Masema and the Dragonsworn. They were slowly creeping south and east at that point. Masema started in Ghealdan, then went into Amadicia and then there's the other "Dragonsworn" that had nothing to do with Masema sowing chaos all over the south in the name of the Dragon, from Almoth Plain to Illian. Given Masema's "visions of the Lord Dragon" and all, I'd bet anything Demandred has a lot to do with all those Dragonsworn. I doubt, however, that they have anything to do with "his rule being secure" meaning I have no doubt he has another stronghold somewhere.

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There's nothing south of Illian on the mainland, except the Sea Folk Isles outside of Tremalking and a few others, so it's going to take some stretching regardless :)

 

Off the top of my head for early LoC and things that Sammael might care about: Seanchan. Possibly Amador. Prophet and related. Not sure if the Tairen "rebellion" was doing much by then. Black Tower? Probably others, will think aboot.

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I think he was referring to Masema and the Dragonsworn. They were slowly creeping south and east at that point. Masema started in Ghealdan, then went into Amadicia and then there's the other "Dragonsworn" that had nothing to do with Masema sowing chaos all over the south in the name of the Dragon, from Almoth Plain to Illian. Given Masema's "visions of the Lord Dragon" and all, I'd bet anything Demandred has a lot to do with all those Dragonsworn. I doubt, however, that they have anything to do with "his rule being secure" meaning I have no doubt he has another stronghold somewhere.

 

I think so too, mostly because it would make sense for Demandred's "mark" to have something to do with death and destruction in the name of the Dragon Reborn. It fits with some other things we know Demandred was up to, like the Black Tower and the Legion of the Dragon.

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There's nothing south of Illian on the mainland, except the Sea Folk Isles outside of Tremalking and a few others, so it's going to take some stretching regardless :)

 

No, because there's nothing in the quote to suggest it has to be south of Illian. It's just 'in the south'. When you're in Arad Doman, a comment like that could be stretched as far north as, say, Andor, but the context of the quote suggests that it's something happening in or near Sammael's territory.

 

The Black Tower had just barely been founded at that time. Like, Rand took Taim there in chapter 3 for the first time, and this is chapter 6.

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Then share whatever tidbit you weaseled out of whoever or your other sources besides the text for dating and limiting the possibilities.

 

Read the second half of chapter 6 and compare to Graendal's thoughts (not what she says) on where her timeline is for your flippant dismissal of the BT :) (Granted, it's possible to read this chapter as coming before Rand's chapters too if I'm not missing anything in my glance over, but that still doesn't disqualify the BT.)

 

I'll predict the Sammael/Carridin chapter is also worth checking out (ACoS), but possibility of changed premises there too. Also Seafolk is worth adding.

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Then share whatever tidbit you weaseled out of whoever or your other sources besides the text for dating and limiting the possibilities.

 

It's clear enough from the context of the quote, but you can believe whatever you like about it.

 

I'll predict the Sammael/Carridin chapter is also worth checking out (ACoS)

 

It's already been checked out. Did you have anything useful to add about it?

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I thought that the "events in the south" was either the Seanchan or the Masema, but Semirhage being with the Seanchan pared it down to Masema for me. At the same time, I thought the "proxies" comment indicated more than one connection and also applied to Taim and possibly others.

 

The other thing that reinforced the Taim connection was "carve out", which I think is a better description for the establishment of the BT within Andor than what happened with the dragonsworn.

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In all probability the Black Tower did not exist yet. They probably knew about Rand's amnesty, and maybe even the few he had gathered at that point, but it's unlikely Sammael was talking about that when he mentioned events in the south. It's impossible to place that scene in the chronology, but RJ liked to approximate chronological order as best he could manage, especially in the earlier books, so there's no reason to think Steven Cooper was far off in his estimation that the scene happened three days after Taim submitted to Rand.

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Now that you've got me analyzing it, the line "perhaps he could direct Al'Thor's attention there" really solidifies it not being the BT without having to get too deep into chronology.

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Taken in the context of the conversation...there is nothing South of Illian other than the Isle of Madmen correct? So other than there being something that we don't know about I would think we need to take the comment meaning South from where Sammael was standing at that moment, which should be Arad Doman correct? The Seanchan fit(which has always been my interpretation) and so does Masema and the Dragonsworn. I dont think that the Whitecloaks have enough of a presence to be anything but a minor annoyance to Sammael at the time. We know Demandred was in league with Mesaana and Graendal at the time, was there any mention of Semirhage? I cant remember if she was part of it or not, as crafty as Dem is supposed to be I would think he would have approached her too with or without the others knowing. If Sammael knew she was in Seanchan he could have been referring to her as Dems proxy or if not just referring to the Seanchan themselves. Either way, that would fit into the statement of directing Rands attention for a diversion...I think the Seanchan are a big enough issue to take up a major amount of the Dragons time and resources if Sammael could press them to go to war. The Dragonsworn never impressed me too much, I mean they were raiding and pillaging and what not but why would Sammael think of that being much of a distraction for Rand? He could have sent 100k Legion of the Dragon to crack some skulls and it would have been over in a matter of a month or so...I expect Sammael to have had a much more clever mind than that...I may be way off here but I think the Seanchan are the only threat that fits into Sammaels conversation without knowing more of the behind the scenes acts going on...

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On a side note, building off the quote of Sammael possibly diverting Rand's attention to where Demandred had his marks over events to the south. In the next book, isn't Rand diverted to send Perrin to go get Masema because tales of the atrocities there had grown so great? Sammael could have sent some of his men as "Dragonsworn" to do even more damage than Masema already was, to make sure Rand sent someone to deal with. In addition, he sent large numbers of Shaido to that area, again something, that if events had gone differently, would have also drawn his attention to that area.

 

My only issue is that I seem to remember reading a quote where either Brandon, or someone from team RJ said that the Forsaken manipulating Masema was a female Forsaken... Couldn't find the quote, and I could be wrong, but does anyone know/vaguely remember this quote as well?

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Yes, Sammael was probably wrong about Masema, if he was indeed thinking about Masema (which seems likely). It's not certain Demandred was uninvolved, though; he was allied with Semirhage and Mesaana at the time, and he might have thought to take advantage. The meetings with Suroth are somewhat telling, and they might have pawned off the resonsibility onto Masuri and/or Anourra when the opportunity arose. Also Suroth might have come first, and when those meetings were exposed (which Masema knew, because of his missing letter) then Masuri was appointed to give Masema visions.

 

He would also have been wrong about Carridin's Dragonsworn. The others probably didn't cross his mind; I was just addressing them for the sake of making a list of 'events to the south', and wondering if I might have missed something. We know that Sebban Balwer was behind the rebels in Haddon Mirk, but it's also unlikely Sammael was thinking of them.

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I feel it is needed to state this again, for Atlas74 and others: The conversation takes place at Natrin's Barrow, not in Illian.

 

@Terez,

We need to have a better understanding of what Sammael's plans were at the start of Lord of Chaod. Could Sammael's original plan have been to invade Murandy and possibly Altara? It would put him in a position where he could easily strike at Andor/Caemlyn and take it back after Rahvin's defeat. We have the odd passage from TDR Chapter 42 about the Illian soldiers facing north to Murandy as possible support for his wanting control of Murandy.

 

If Sammael wants Murandy, then there are several major groups who could interfere with his plan. First, the Dragonsworn. There isn't much going on with this group outside of preaching at this point in the story. Second, there is Roedran's sudden interest in uniting Murandy's forces. Third, we have the whitecloaks who were playing in the Altara/Murandy/Illian scene during this time, causing general grief and trying to make deals with Mattin Stepaneos (LOC). We have the Seanchan, who are poised to make their return by conquering Ebou Dar and subsequently expanding to the east and north. The Sea Folk started showing up in very large numbers along the southern coast and also in Andor and Cairhien.

 

So, who are the candidates within these factions? In my opinion, we have:

Dragonsworn - Masema, there isn't really any other named person of influence with them.

Murandy - Roedran, could be just an advisor but, again, none of them are named.

Whitecloaks - Balwer, as head of the spy network he could easily manipulate the whitecloaks' actions if fed the correct information.

Valda and Asunawa seem like good candidates, but neither are in position to do much. It is more likely that their assassination cut off Demandred's access to the Whitecloaks, but provided him an even greater opportunity when Balwer arrived in Perrin's camp. I have not searched for anything to support this, but I am curious to see if Balwer could have been prolonging Perrin's ordeal with the Aiel to keep him occupied.

Seanchan - ?? Mostly Semi's turf.

Sea Folk - ?? No Idea.

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Now that you've got me analyzing it, the line "perhaps he could direct Al'Thor's attention there" really solidifies it not being the BT without having to get too deep into chronology.

 

Indeed, this quote makes me pretty certain it can't be Masema etc. In what way could Masema and his ragged "Dragonsworn" realistically put an end to Rand? If Rand's full attention turned on something, likely a large proportion of his military strength would be too. Even though Rand is in the habit of going places with little protection, the Forsaken by this point must think more highly of Rand's capabilities than that?

Unless I'm mistaken, we know that it was a female forsaken behind Masema, so simply ruling the Seanchan out because Semi is behind it would seem foolish. They're a very dangerous and powerful group, and at this point have considerably more channelers and troops than Rand. Therefore, I'm firmly of the view he saw Demandred's hand (incorrectly) behind the Seanchan.

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I don't have my books in front of me, but at one point doesn't Sammael think that Mesanna, Demandred and Semirhage work together so often on their own plans that they most certainly do now. That could be one reason that the Seanchan had a feel of Demandred's hand. In a since, they might have if he and Semi were known to work together that much then it would make sense she would be moving Seanchan pawns in a way that displayed some influence from Demandred. Just a thought.

 

I think the two likely scenarios are Murandy or the Whitecloaks because both are setting to "carve out" a nice for themselves in the southern lands. Murandy is uniting and there is a Niall PoV (I believe it was, but certainly a Whitecloak leader) talking about moves that need to begin to happen in order to unify the area under the rule of the Whitecloaks. That would also qualify as a standing army ready to move against the Dragon (and that group of zealots would blindly follow any leader who points them at someone backed by the witches of Tar Valon). It also would set up a nice little conflict and continue the story arc with a path that Galad is on struggling for the soul and future of the Whitecloaks and their role vs. the Shadow.

 

Just thoughts and idle speculation.

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"So Demandred knows you and I meet," he said flatly. Why had he ever expected to receive more than driblets from her?

 

"Of course he does. Not how much I tell you, but that I tell you something. I am trying to bring us together, Sammael, before it is too—"

 

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. "Tell him to be careful. I won’t have him or his friends interfering in my plans." Perhaps he could direct al’Thor’s attention there; that would likely put an end to him. If other means did not work. "So long as they steer clear of me, his lackeys can carve out what he wants, but they will steer clear or he will answer for it." There had been a long struggle after the Bore was opened into the Great Lord’s prison, many years before enough strength was gathered to move openly. This time, when the final seal was shattered, he would present the Great Lord with nations ready to follow. If they did not know who they followed, what did that matter? He would not fail, as Be’lal and Rahvin had. The Great Lord would see who served him best. "You tell him!"

 

One of most intriguing quotes to analyze in the whole series so far. And I had it noted down for my current reread. But I cannot wait that long since I'm only half way through TEotW. So, I'll do some thinking aloud, wandering in the dark, on this. Here goes:

 

First off, I'm leaning towards giving attention to "to the south" as opposed to the "in the south." The meeting in Natrin's Barrows (east of Arad Doman) would put Almoth Plain, Ghealdan, Tarabon, Amadicia, and (remotely Altara) as the general direction of "to the south." Whereas "in the south" would geographically put Tear, Illian, Amadicia, Altara, and Tarabon as the general theater for that comment.

 

Secondly, Sammael points that whatever he was referring to isn't interfering with his plans (yet). To me that takes out Tear and Rand's army, which were the greatest threat facing Sammael at the time.

 

Sammael's immediate thought after the warning is "perhaps he could direct Al'Thor's attention there; that would likely put an end to him." This is a very critical junction. What did Sammael do to distract Rand? Where did he try to direct Rand's attention? One possible reading is the Shaido. Sammael dispersed the Shaido throughout "to the south" (Almoth Plain, Tarabon, Ghealdan, Amadicia, and Altara). He forced Rand to send Perrin to try and resolve the Masema and Shaido issues. And there is the issue of a certain letter from Alliandre that lured Rand to that part of the world. Is it a coincidence that Alliandre's letter reached Rand at about the same time that Alviarin's reached him?

 

In any case, Rand's attention was diverted to Ghealdan, which would have put split Rand's forces and put him in confrontation with the Seanchan (who held Tarabon and Amadicia at the time).

 

Sammael's thought "that would likely put an end to him" could refer to Rand or Demandred. But I'm leaning toward's Rand. The complete thought would be "diverting Rand's thoughts towards a certain area would likely put an end to Rand." It would split Rand's forces and bring him in open conflict with a strong foe: Demandre'ds alliance (Dem, Semi, Mesa). Masema or Niall would not put an end to Rand.

 

Then again, "end to him" could refer to Demandred. Sammael could be thinking that he's clever enough to direct Rand against Demandred to get rid of the latter for Sammael.

 

And whether the "end to him" refers to Rand or Demandred, we know that Sammael diverted Rand's attention to that part of the world through the Shaido (proven) or possibly Alliandre's letter (needs further evidence).

 

"So long as they steer clear of me, his lackeys can carve out what he wants, but they will steer clear or he will answer for it." Now this is interesting. The only ones carving anything out significant "to the south" or "in the south" were the Seanchan. A very remote alternative is Salidar; but that is too weak to consider. So, the Seanchan it is. And Demandred using Semirhage who is using Suroth as a proxy might be a credible thought.

 

The Seanchan at the time were not interfering with his plans; but Sammael saw that they would eventually reach Illian's domain of interests (Altara and Murunday); and thus the early warning. Again, bringing Rand to Ghealdan at the time would put him in a position to stop or hinder that expansion as well as weaken his forces (concentrated in Tear to fall on Illian).

 

"he would present the Great Lord with nations ready to follow." Sammael's plans were not restricted to Illian. He had Murunday and Altara in mind (the two natural expansionist options left for him) since Tear and Far Madding are out of the question with Rand's hammer stationed in that direction. So, anything affecting those three kingdoms would interfere with Sammael's plans. The warning probably covers the three kingdoms. And the only forces threatening those three kingdoms were Rand and the Seanchan.

 

Hopefully there were a sentence or two in these thoughts worth discussing. Jumping in the discussion unprepared has me prepared to see these thoughts or most of them shredded to pieces with evidence or quotes; but what the heck, how else am I going to learn in such a short time before AMoL comes out?

Edited by Theodril
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I think that Sammael thought that whatever it was would put an end to Rand because he believed that Demandred was behind it, not because of the thing itself. None of the options really make sense in that context, except maybe the Seanchan. And you could say that both Masema and the Dragonsworn were 'carving out' something.

Edited by Terez
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