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DRAGONMOUNT

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Magick till we rot


Hagazussa
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I was wondering about the illness that eventually kill male channelers from the taint. It is described as a wasting disease that make someone rot while they are still alive, is this meant literary? I mean such a working could mean anything, sometimes when someone is ill and they are not getting better you might figuratively say that they are rotting, but to me it just seam to be a bit more literal in the WoT books, and if it is meant literal is it in the form of flesh that get necrosis and so on more natural or are we talking zombie like actual body parts rotting while the channeler is still alive.

 

My second question is can the sickness happen before the madness? Or is it always madness first and then rotting?

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I think it is literal, though what happens varies. Madness always comes, but death can come before or after. The manner of death can change, too, I think.

 

In Rand's Rhuidean visions, a mad male AS is said to burst into flames. It could be the taint but he most likely killed himself by OD'ing on saidin or something like that.

Edited by Cem Önal
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In Rand's Rhuidean visions, a mad male AS is said to burst into flames. It could be the taint but he most likely killed himself by OD'ing on saidin or something like that.

 

This sounds more like over channeling than dying from the taint itself, the descriptions of how male channelers die from the taint is pretty consistent as a rotting illness, though off course a mad mage could get into all sort of trouble that could kill him in other ways as at the end they do not really know what they are doing most of the times.

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It is definitely a literal rotting of the body while it is still alive. As others have mentioned, Rand experienced losing fingers and generally smelling bad. Also, his face became pocked and deformed to the point where people wouldn't look at him (this is in the alternate life where he was a captain of the Home Guard in Caemlyn).

 

Also, I believe Taim mentions that they have had to "deal" with people who go mad, and he may have mentioned some people experiencing rotting sickness in the BT. Not sure on that last one. We do know that the AM death toll was going up due to the taint until Rand clensed Saidin, so it stands to reason some of them got the rotting sickness.

 

In various places in the series, it mentions that the taint affects everyone differently. Some people go mad within months, others hang on for years. Some waste away and rot very quickly, while others seem healthy right up until they go mad or die. In Rand's portal stone lives, he experiences different sicknesses as well, so it seems to vary even for the same person in different realities. The DO is chaos, so it stands to reason that there is no pattern to the illness.

Edited by Whizbang
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