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Mik

[Mik’s Warp] - Solving the puzzle of the Trolloc attack on Lord Algarin’s Manor

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Let me start by saying that I’m going to try to convince you that Demandred ordered the attack. By focussing solely on Demandred, it will help keep this theory as short as is possible (which means to say, that it will be lonnngg anyway :P).

To solve this puzzle, -and show you why Demandred is the culprit- we need to explain several issues that I’ll address in order of complexity. I’ll start with straightforward, simple explanations (under ‘Motive’ and ‘Means’), and I’ll finish with new, slightly more complex proof (under ‘Opportunity’ and ‘Verins subtle hint’) that I think solves all existing issues that I think other theories still struggle with.

 

1. Motive:

  • 1.1. Wanting Rand dead
  • 1.2. Failing getting Rand killed, wanting Rand captured.

2. Means:

  • 2.1. The Chosen Mark
  • 2.2. Knowing What Sammael looks like and be able to disguise like him

3 Opportunity:

  • 3.1 The Waygate / Machin Shin issue
  • 3.2 The Timing issue

4 Verin subtle hint:

  • 4.1. Timing of arrival and leaving
  • 4.2. Verin’s letter to Rand

 

Since especially 3.1, 3.2 and 4.2 are practically pretty long theories in and by themselves, I’ll keep ‘Motive’ and ‘Means’ very short.

 

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Motive

 

1.1. Wanting Rand dead

Demandred’s obviously fits this motive since his own thoughts on Rand up until KoD betray this: Demandred wants Rand dead, preferably at his command, but not by his own hands.

Demandred’s words to Shai’tan at the start of LoC indicate he’s convinced he can kill Rand and won’t be a vain fool like Rahvin was, by trying it himself:

“Great Lord, the Dragon can be destroyed.” A dead man could not wield balefire again, and perhaps then the Great Lord would see no need for it. “He is ignorant and weak, scattering his attentions in a dozen directions. Rahvin was a vain fool […for trying to kill Rand personally]. I—”

 

Kisman’s thoughts clearly indicate that Demandred has send several Asha’man with orders to kill Rand, mirroring “Taim’s” command, but not knowing Taim had send them with the same orders to Cairhien and Far Madding:

He had been a fool to let Rochaid talk him into this in the first place. They were supposed to wait until everyone had arrived, slipping into the city one by one to avoid notice. Rochaid had wanted the glory of being the one to kill al’Thor; the Murandian had burned with the desire to prove himself a better man than al’Thor. Now he was dead of it, and very nearly Raefar Kisman with him, and that made Kisman furious.

…/ /…

“Kill him,” the M’Hael had ordered before sending them to Cairhien, but he had been as displeased that they were found out as that they had failed. Far Madding was to be their last chance; he had made that as plain as polished brass. Dashiva had simply vanished. Kisman did not know whether he had run or the M’Hael had killed him, and he did not care.

“Kill him,” Demandred had commanded later, but he had added that it would be better they died than let themselves be discovered again. By anyone, even the M’Hael, as if he did not know of Taim’s order.

 

We have Demandreds own thoughts and words proving Kinsmans thoughts a few chapters earlier when the Forsaken met. Demandred ordered ‘the blind fools / idiots’ (indicating the 4 Asha’man) to kill Rand in Cairhien, but they failed. Demandred orders those Asha’man to kill Rand again, but this time they better just die trying then being discovered ‘again’.

“Where is he?” Demandred growled, clenching his fists behind his back. Standing with his feet apart, he was aware that he dominated the room. He always did. Even so, he wished Semirhage or Mesaana were present. Their alliance was delicate—a simple agreement that they would not turn on one another until the others had been eliminated—yet it had held all this time. Working together, they had unbalanced opponent after opponent, toppling many to their deaths or worse. But it was difficult for Semirhage to attend these meetings, and Mesaana had been shy, of late. If she was thinking of ending the alliance...

“Al’Thor has been seen in five cities, including that cursed place in the Waste, and a dozen towns since those blind fools—those idiots!—failed in Cairhien. And that only includes the reports we have!

…/ /…

“If the young man does somehow remove the shadow, well... You who channel saidin will no longer need the Great Lord’s special protection. Will he trust your... loyalty... then?” Smiling, she sipped her wine.

Osan’gar did not smile. His face paled, and he scrubbed a hand across his mouth. Aran’gar sat up on the edge of her long chair, no longer trying to be sensuous. Her hands formed claws on her lap, and she glared at Graendal as if ready to go to her throat.

Demandred’s fists unclenched. It was out in the open at last. He had hoped to have al’Thor dead—or failing that, captive—before this suspicion reared its head.

…/ /…

“So it seems he must be killed after all,” Demandred said. Hiding his satisfaction was not easy. Rand al’Thor or Lews Therin Telamon, he would rest easier when the fellow was dead.

 

Again, it’s obvious Demandred wants Rand dead- or failing that, captive- at that point. He’d like to be responsible for Rand’s death but certainly at that point in the story, his thoughts and actions tell us he wants others to do it on his orders, -for Demandred views himself a general that commands soldiers to execute his orders- instead of being the one execute the orders of others (Moridin / Cleansing order) and take the risks a “vain fool like Rahvin” took, as Demandred called it in front of the Great Lord.

 

 

1.2. Failing getting Rand killed, wanting Rand captured

We know Demandred is part of the Forsaken Triat with Semirhage and Mesaana. We’ve just seen that –when failing to have Rand killed- Demandred will settle for Rand’s captivity.

As we could read in CoT and KoD, Rand wants a truce with the Seanchan badly, because he –rightfully, I feel– thinks he can’t fight both the Shadow’s forces and the Seanchan at the same time:

Rand leaned back in his chair, careful not to let his tiredness show. The seals on the Dark One’s prison on one hand, Taim splitting the Asha’man on the other. Was the seventh seal already broken? Was the Shadow beginning the opening moves of the Last Battle? “You told me something once, Bashere. If your enemy offers you two targets...”

“Strike at a third,” Bashere finished promptly, and Rand nodded. He had already decided, anyway.

Thunder rattled the windows till the casements shook. The storm was strengthening.

I can’t fight the Shadow and the Seanchan at the same time. I am sending the three of you to arrange a truce with the Seanchan.”

Bashere and Logain seemed stunned into silence. Until they began to argue, one on top of the other. Loial just looked ready to faint.

 

As we can see, Rand sends Bashere, (with Logain & Loial) to arrange a truce. He doesn’t want to get personally involved. He just needs this truce, but he thinks it can be dealt with by Bashere and by ‘using’ Logain and Loial to throw in some extra weight by what they represent to the Seanchan .

But Bashere doesn’t return with an arranged truce at all:

Rand stared out of the window at the steady rain falling out of a gray sky. Another storm down out of the Spine of the World. The Dragonwall.

…/ /…

The door creaked open behind him, and he looked over his shoulder at the man who came into the sitting room. Bashere was wearing a short, gray silk coat, a rich shimmering coat, and he had the baton of the Marshal-General of Saldaea, an ivory rod tipped with a golden wolf’s head, tucked behind his belt next to his scabbarded sword. His turned-down boots had been waxed till they shone. Rand tried not to let his relief show. They had been gone long enough.

“Well?” he said.

The Seanchan are amenable,” Bashere replied. “Crazy as loons, but amenable. They require a meeting with you in person, though. The Marshal-General of Saldaea isn’t the Dragon Reborn.”

“With this Lady Suroth?”

Bashere shook his head. “Apparently a member of their royal family has arrived. Suroth wants you to meet someone called the Daughter of the Nine Moons.”

Thunder rolled again for distant lightning.

 

It’s obvious from a readers perspective that from the moment Bashere proposed a truce to Suroth, the Shadow knows about it, since Suroth is a known Darkfriend that’s directly and firmly under Semirhage’s thumb. (don’t even get me started on Bashere :P )

It’s also clear from the previous quotes from WH Ch 13 & 22 that Demandred has a hard time pinpointing Rand, because he’s moving around a lot and that it clearly frustrates Demandred, because it’s severely hindering his efforts to have Rand killed. After the Cleansing at the end of WH, this stay at the Manor is the first time again that Rand has been sitting (recovering from the Cleansing and waiting for word from Bashere) in one location for far longer than a WoT week.

Semirhage has Bashere return to Rand late with nearly empty hands and with the ‘opening moves’ of her trap. It’s likely that Semirhage shares (some of) this information with the other members of her delicate alliance; Mesaana and Demandred.

The longer Bashere’s dealings with the Seanchan –well, the Shadow actually- take, the longer Rand is a sitting duck. As we can read in the quote above, Rand is relieved that Bashere finally returned, because ‘he had been gone long enough’. Rand is hoping that Bashere will return with a truce as we read in the Epilogue of CoT, but instead Bashere returns with somewhat of a ‘promise’ of what could become a truce (Suroth  and Fake Tuon/ Semirhage are –ahum- ‘amenable’), but only if Rand is willing to show up himself.

If that news wasn’t bad enough in and by itself, we learn in KoD that Bashere apparently had to go and meet Suroth again to (ahum) flesh out the details of the meeting! The first question Logain manages to squeeze in when reporting after he returns to Lord Algarin’s Manor (KoD chapter 18) is to ask if Bashere has returned yet:

"The news from Andor is fair enough, I suppose," Logain said, tucking black gauntlets behind his sword belt. He offered Rand a minimal bow, the slightest bending of his back. "Elayne still holds Caemlyn, and Arymilla still holds her siege, but Elayne has the advantage since Arymilla can't even stop food getting in. much less reinforcements. No need to scowl. I kept out of the city. Black coats aren't exactly welcome there, in any case. The Borderlanders are still in the same place. You were wise to stay clear of them, it seems. Rumor says there are thirteen Aes Sedai with them. Rumor says they're looking for you. Has Bashere gotten back yet?"

 

Rand doesn’t answer Logain’s question, but later we do find out that Bashere is still gone when Logain asks the question and why he had to leave again:

As soon as Bashere returns, I'll know when and where I'm to meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons. The only question now is how do I bind her, and she'll have to answer that.''

 

Note that this is probably approximately about an hour before the attack. (I’ll explain later in the section ‘Timing’)

As we can see right after the Shadowspawn attack on Lord Algarin’s Manor, the plan to capture Rand from Semirhage starts to unfold further; Bashere returns with ‘Seanchan’-news just hours after the attack…how convenient!

Regardless that the plan to capture Rand backfires on Semirhage later in KoD, the Trolloc / Myrddraal attack and Bashere’s words about how it looks somewhat like what he expects Tarmon Gai’don to look like straight after the attack and him bringing the terms on the meeting with Semirhage. Bashere confirms Rand’s belief that the Shadow is making the opening moves of Tarmon Gai’don alreadyv and thereby also confirms Rand’s belief he needs this truce with the Seanchan asap!

Rand accepts the terms Bashere brings that are all set by Semirhage, regardless of warnings of a possible trap and Rand actually believing himself it very well might be one:

"My Lord Dragon, Lord Davram has returned." It was Elza Penfell who escorted Bashere into the barn.

.../ /...

"I've never seen anything like what's outside," Bashere said quietly as he walked. "A big raid out of the Blight is a thousand Trollocs. Most are only a few hundred. Ah, Kirkun. you never did guard your left the way you should. Even then, you need to outnumber them three or four times to be assured you won't go into their cookpots. Out there. ... I think I saw a foreshadowing of Tarmon Gai'don. A small part of Tarmon Gai'don. Let's hope it really is the Last Battle. If we live through that, I don't think we'll ever want to see another. We will, though. There's always another battle. I suppose that will be the case until the whole world turns Tinker.'' At the end of the row. he stopped in front of a man whose face was split almost down to his luxuriant black beard. "Ahzkan here had a bright future ahead of him. But you could say the same of a lot of dead men."

Sighing heavily, he turned to face Rand. "The Daughter of the Nine Moons will meet you in three days at a manor house in northern Altara, near the border of Andor." He touched the breast of his coat. "I have a map. She's already near there somewhere, but they say it isn't in lands they control. When it comes to secrecy, these Seanchan make Aes Sedai look as open as village girls."

"Maybe they're frightened of Tarmon Gai'don," [LOL!] Rand said. "Or the Dragon Reborn. I'll have to be careful. Frightened people do stupid things. What are the arrangements, Bashere?"

The Saldaean pulled the map from inside his coat and walked back to Rand unfolding it. "They're very precise. She will bring six sul'dam and damane, but no other attendants." Alivia made a noise like an angry cat, and he blinked before going on. no doubt uncertain of a freed damane, to say the least. "You can bring five people who can channel. She'll assume any man with you can. But you can bring a woman who can't to make the honors even."

Min was suddenly at Rand's side, wrapping her arm around his.

"No," he said firmly. He was not about to take her into a possible trap.

 

The attack on the Manor itself and Bashere his words about it to Rand, convinced Rand that the Last Battle was right at his doorstep and that he needed this truce badly and quickly. Regardless that the Trolloc-attack itself failed to kill Rand, the net result was that it helped to convince Rand to walk into a possible trap willingly:

A fool. Lews Therin's wild laughter echoed inside his head. A fool to walk Into a trap. Rand ignored the madman. It might be a trap, but he was ready to spring it if it was. It was worth the risk. He needed this truce. He could crush the Seanchan, but at what cost in blood, and in time he might not have? He glanced north again. The sky above Andor was clear except for a few high white clouds, drifting wisps. The Last Battle was coming. He had to take the risk.

 

Demandred couldn’t lose;

The attack could kill Rand, which I think even Demandred thought was a long shot, given the fact that Rand had sa’angreal that Demandred knew Rand had and that Rand could Travel to safety. Still, there was a decent chance of killing Rand if the timing of the attack was right! (I’ll deal with that Timing later)

But even if the attack wouldn’t kill Rand, even then –just by having thousands of Shadowspawn managing to find and attack Rand- it served the purpose of nudging Rand into a Shadow trap to capture and control him, as was Demandred second best choice, given his own thoughts in WH.

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Means

 

2.1. The Chosen ‘Mark’

I’ll keep this short and simple:

Moridin said the one who ordered the attack must have been one of the Chosen, because the Myrddraal & Trollocs obeyed that person who was disguised as Sammael. (KoD, Chapter 3 - ‘at the Gardens’)

There’s no reason what-so-ever to even doubt that, because it’s...

  1. …Moridin knows what he’s talking about;
  2. …no Chosen present, nor Aran’gar in her thoughts Moridin could be mistaken and all reactions imply they agree with Moridin’s statement.
  3. …after what we learn from RJ in his Q&A answer on the Chosen Mark, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

Demandred is one of the Chosen and thus has been given the Chosen specific Mark by Shai’tan that can be sensed by Myrddraal and makes Myrddraal obey them (up until this point in the series anyway); a vital part needed to be able to command thousands of Trollocs and a hundred Myrddraal.

 

2.2. Knowing What Sammael looks like and be able to disguise like him

To be able to disguise like Sammael, the culprit had to know what Sammael looked like. We know for a fact Demandred knows exactly what Sammael looks like. Given how often we see Chosen disguising themselves using a Mirror of Mist in one way or another (and given the fact that I think Demandred hides as Amel among the Sea Folk of which more proof will follow at the end of this theory), it’s assumption bordering fact that Demandred knows how to use a weave like the Mirror of Mists to be able to disguise like Sammael.

Pretty straightforward.

Onwards!

*rubs hands and cackles with glee*

 

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Opportunity

 

Ok. At this point it becomes relevant to be aware of another theory of mine, where I explain why I think Demandred is ‘hiding’ among the Sea Folk and that he’s their current Master of the Blades, Amel (theory here: Demandred is Amel )

It is relevant, because of how this theory deals with by far the biggest obstacle for any theory regarding the Manor House Attack; Machin Chin and it’s specific behaviour.

 

 

(continued in the next two posts:)

Edited by Mik

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3.1 The Waygate / Machin Shin issue

First off, some facts:

Fact 1: The Trolloc army used the Ways. (Moridin’s statement (and his furious order of the Forsaken Coffee Hour) in KoD 3):

"Are you going to tell us what these orders were?" Semirhage's tone was cool, and she sipped her wine calmly, watching Moridin over the goblet's rim. She sat very erect, but she always did. She too appeared completely at ease, yet that was unlikely.

Moridin's jaw tightened. "I don't know.'' he said at last, reluctantly. He never liked saying that. "But they [those orders to Myrddraal] sent a hundred Myrddraal and thousands of Trollocs into the Ways."

 

Fact 2: The closest Waygate to the Manor House is the Waygate near Stedding Shangtai:


The Manor House has several specific Ogier rooms indicating a relationship with Ogier/ a Stedding. it’s mentioned several times that Stedding Shangtai is fairly close
For a lot more specifics and a map I made of distances, open the spoiler tag below dealing with the “The location of the Manor House”:

 

 

 

The location of the Manor House

To be able to address the  Machin Shin issue properly, we first need to define the position of several key locations on the map. Especially the location of the Manor House in relation to the two known closest way-gates is important, because we know the Trollocs and Myrddraal were ordered into the Ways:

I used the official map and combined that with several quotes regarding travel-distances between a few major locations (as shown in cyan on the map). I also used all there was to find on the locations of the Waygates near Tear and Stedding Shangtai to try and pinpoint them as best as I could on that map. I also used the little that was available about the location of Lord Algarin’s Manor house to determine the region where it is located.

If you’re interested in the quotes that I think are most relevant, open the spoiler-section below. If you’ll just take my word for it, then just check out the map I made using AutoCad:

On general distance:

A reliable way of measuring the maps was produced in the novel New Spring, which gave the straight-line distance from Tar Valon to the sea south of Tear as 400 leagues (1,600 miles). Other distances in the novels include 600 miles for Cairhien to Caemlyn, 100 miles for Emond's Field to Baerlon, 900 from Tear to Aringill, 800 miles for the length of coastline between Ebou Dar and Illian and 1,500 miles for Cairhien to southern Ghealdan (although another distance is given of 500 leages - 2,000 miles - for Kinslayer's Dagger to northern Amadicia).

 

On Manor House location:

Still, [Cadsuane] could think of few places better for her purposes, with the Spine of the World little more than a day’s hard ride to the east. Who would think to look inside the borders of Tear? Had convincing the boy to stay here been too easy, though?

“But if you don’t mind me asking,” with her confidence restored, Samitsu’s tone made that the merest courtesy; she was no shrinking flower except when her self-assurance weakened, “why are you here, at the back end of Tear? [indicating furthest away possible from the capital and very close to the border] What’s young al’Thor going to do? Or should I say, what are you going to have him do?”

 

On Waygate location close to Stedding Shantai:

Suddenly, he realized that he was not the only one who was tired. Loial looked worn and gaunt. His coat was rumpled and hung loosely on him. It was dangerous for an Ogier to be outside the stedding too long, and Loial had left his home a good five years ago. Maybe those brief visits over the last few months had not been enough for him. “Maybe you should go home now, Loial. Stedding Shangtai is a only a few days from here.

Loial undid his high-collared tunic all the way down, and his shirt as well; the Ogier had a narrow strip of hair up the middle of his chest, as thick as fur. He muttered apologies all around.

“You must forgive me. Stedding Shangtai is in the mountains, and cool.” His broad nostrils flared, drawing in air that was becoming warmer by the minute. “I don’t like this heat, and damp.”

 

On Waygate location close to the capital Tear:

In TSR, Loial leads Perrin, Faille and company eastwards out of the city for a what appears a relatively short period and then southwards a bit too. This can be found in Chapter 18 ‘into the Ways’. Here’s the summary of that chapter straight from ‘encyclopaedia-wot.org’ (great site):

[quote name=‘http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/books/tsr/ch18’]

Summary:

Perrin POV - Perrin and Gaul are packed and ready to leave. Gaul tells Perrin that Faile has been telling everyone she meets about their trip. They proceed to the stable by the Dragonwall Gate where Loial and Faile are waiting. Bain and Chiad agreed to accompany her. Perrin saddles Stepper. Faile checks out her horse, Swallow. Suddenly, the Stone of Tear rings like a bell and the floor shakes.1 Perrin can feel Rand's ta'veren pull, but overcomes it. Perrin, Faile and Loial gallop east until they are in the countryside. A few minutes later the Aiel to catch up. They continue east, then south, until they reach the Waygate. Loial is angry that what was once a beautiful Ogier grove is now just pastureland. Loial opens the Waygate and Perrin urges Stepper through first. Gaul follows and tells him that Faile is angry. They proceed along the bridge to the first island.

With all those quotes, we can roughly put the locations of the two closest Waygates and the location of the Manor House on the map. Because the exact location of the Manor House is still a guestimate, I used three different locations in that region where we can deduct the Manor House has to be. I also put the Waygate @ Stedding Shangtai furthest away from the approximate location of the Manor House and placed the Waygate @ Tear closest to the Manor House, because those locations are the worst locations for my theory. And if that theory still is the best solution given those parameters, it must also be the best solution given any other location of those Waygates. Here’s the map and the distances from the two Waygates to the three plausible different locations I used for the Manor House:

 

Manor_Waygate_Distances_png.png

 

 

 

Fact 3: Since Machin Chin ‘caught’ a part of the ‘kindred spirit’ of Padan Fain in the Ways (and then fled from Fain), Machin Chin can sense where Rand is and since then it tracks Rand much like Fain does. With nothing to hunt in the Ways, Machin Chin waits for Rand at the closest Waygate to Rand:

“You must be mistaken,” Verin said at last. “Machin Shin could not be used as a guard. No one can constrain the Black Wind to do anything.”

“It’s a creature of the Dark One,” Mat said numbly. “They’re Darkfriends. Maybe they knew how to ask it for help, or make it help.”

“No one knows exactly what Machin Shin is,” Verin said, “unless, perhaps, it is the essence of madness and cruelty. It cannot be reasoned with, Mat, or bargained with, or talked to. It cannot even be forced, not by any Aes Sedai living today, and perhaps not by any who ever lived. Do you really think Padan Fain could do what ten Aes Sedai could not?” Mat shook his head.

“I have told you,” Verin said, “the Black Wind is a creature of the Ways. It cannot leave them.” She sounded calm, but she still wiped her hands on her skirt. Rand opened his mouth, then gave it up. “And yet,” she went on, “I wonder at it being here. First in Cairhien, now here. I wonder.” She gave Rand a sidelong glance that made him jump. The look was so quick that he did not think anyone else noticed it, but to Rand it seemed to connect him with the Black Wind.

“I have never heard of this,” Alar said slowly, “Machin Shin waiting when a Waygate was opened. It always roamed the Ways. But it has been long, and perhaps the Black Wind hungers, and hopes to catch some unwary one entering a gate. Verin, assuredly you cannot use this Waygate. And however great your need, I cannot say I am sorry. The Ways belong to the Shadow, now.”

Rand frowned at the Waygate. Could it be following me? There were too many questions. Had Fain somehow ordered the Black Wind? Verin said it could not be done. And why would Fain demand that he follow, then try to stop him?

.../ /...

“Whichever Waygate we try to use,” Verin said absently, “I fear we will find Machin Shin waiting.” Alar looked at her questioningly, but the Aes Sedai said no more that anyone could hear. She muttered to herself instead, shaking her head as if arguing with herself.

 

Fact 4: Big groups of people and/ or Trollocs attract Machin Chin (likely in minutes), according to Verin. We have seen a lot of behaviour of Machin Chin that matches that statement. If there are people or Trollocs using the Ways, Machin Chin hunts them down:
 

“The next attack will not come right away. I saw two or three Trollocs reach the forest, so word of this will spread. The Halfmen will have to make them remember they’re more afraid of Myrddraal than of dying. That attack will come, however, and it will certainly be stronger than this. How strong depends on how many the Faceless have brought through the Ways.”

Perrin grimaced. “Light! What if there are ten thousand of them?”

“Not likely,” Verin said, walking up to pat Tomas’s mount on the neck. The warhorse allowed her touch as meekly as a pony. “At least, not yet. Not even a Forsaken could move a large party through the Ways safely, I think. One man alone risks death or madness between the closest Waygates, but...say...a thousand men, or a thousand Trollocs, would very likely draw Machin Shin within minutes, a monstrous wasp to a bowl of honey. It is much more probable that they travel no more than ten or twenty together, fifty at most, and the groups spaced out. Of course, the questions remain of how many groups they are bringing, and how much time they allow to elapse between. And they would lose some anyway. It might be that Shadowspawn attract Machin Shin less than humankind, but...Hmmm. Fascinating thought. I wonder...” Patting Tomas on the leg much in the manner she had patted his horse, she turned away, already lost in study. The Warder heeled his horse after her.

 

So, given those facts, how on earth do you get one-hundred thousand Trollocs safely through the Ways, without those Trollocs attracting Machin Chin in minutes -or at least in hours- to devour the whole army!?!? Even if you disbelieve Trollocs will attract Machin Chin (something we saw and heard of in the books), there is another fact complicating matters: Machin Chin would have been waiting at the Waygate @ Stedding Shangtai, because it’s the closest Waygate to Rand’s location. Given either fact, no way in hell an army that size could travel the Ways and reach it’s destination…

It doesn’t make any sense to send a huge Trolloc force into the Ways –even if you cut it up into 200 groups of 500 Trollocs that travel with a few hours in between- with Machin Chin hunting freely there. Machin Chin will find the army and ‘eat’ it.

 

The only plausible explanation is that the one sending those Trollocs can somehow control Machin Chin!

Read on about how to control it …and Sing you Screams!

 

About Machin Chin and how to control it:

Well… to control something, you need to know how it behaves:

But as they crossed bridge after bridge, ate a midday meal riding, and crossed still more bridges, all he could hear were their own saddles creaking, and the horses’ hooves, and sometimes one of the others coughing, or muttering to himself. Later there was a distant wind, too, off in the black somewhere. He could not say in which direction. At first he thought it was his imagination, but with time he became sure.

 

It’ll be good to feel the wind again, even if it’s cold.

 

Suddenly he blinked. “Loial, didn’t you say there isn’t any wind in the Ways?”

Loial pulled his horse up just short of the next Island and cocked his head to listen. Slowly his face paled, and he licked his lips. “Machin Shin,” he whispered hoarsely. “The Black Wind. The Light illumine and protect us. It’s the Black Wind.”

.../ /...

The sound of the wind became louder. Rand could hear it even over the pounding of hooves on stone. Behind them, and gusting closer.

.../ /...

He felt it. Back toward the Guiding, the wind howled. He almost thought he could hear voices in it, voices screaming vileness that, even half understood, brought bile up in his throat.

.../ /...

Maybe if we all get down and push. Maybe we can push one of them over before the wind gets here. A gust tugged at his cloak. He tried not to listen to what the voices cried.

.../ /...

The wind shrieked in agony; it screamed in rage. The thousand murmurs that hid in the wind roared like thunder, roars of madness, half-heard voices cackling and howling promises that twisted Rand’s stomach as much by the pleasure in them as by what he almost understood them to say.

.../ /...

The Waygate darkened. The hazy shimmer became murkier, sinking through gray to charcoal, then to black as deep as the heart of the Ways. As if from a great distance the wind howled at them

 

The darkness of the Ways compressed the light of Perrin’s pole-lantern to a sharp-edged pool around himself and Gaul. The creak of his saddle, the gritty click of hooves on stone, seemed to reach no further than light’s rim. There was no smell to the air; nothing. The Aielman strode along beside Stepper easily, keeping an eye on the dimly seen lanternglow from Loial’s party ahead. Perrin refused to call it Faile’s. The Ways did not seem to bother Gaul, for all their reputation. Perrin himself could not help listening, as he had for nearly two days, or what passed for days in this lightless place. His ears would be first to catch the sound that meant they were all going to die or worse, the sound of wind rising where no wind ever blew. No wind but Machin Shin, the Black Wind that ate souls. He could not help thinking that traveling the Ways was slack-witted folly, but when need called, what was foolish changed.

Rand leaped back with a shout, dropping the Avendesora leaf in his haste, and Loial cried out, “Machin Shin. The Black Wind.”

The sound of wind filled their ears; the grass stirred in ripples toward the walls, and dirt swirled up, sucked into the air. And in the wind a thousand insane voices seemed to cry, ten thousand, overlapping, drowning each other.

 

Regardless of how scary, insane and dangerous Machin Chin- literally the Black Wind- is -and behaves like- a wind, but in this case with a very malevolent will of its own.

And regardless of how scared everyone we saw was of Machin Chin, there was one person who’s behaviour AND words indicated she had a way to deal with the Black Wind: Liandrin:

After a time, Egwene said, “Liandrin Sedai, what if we encounter the Black Wind?” Min mouthed the word questioningly, but Elayne gave a squeak. “Moiraine Sedai said it could not be killed, or even hurt very much, and I can feel the taint on this place waiting to twist anything we do with the Power.”

 

“You will not so much as think of the Source unless I tell you to,” Liandrin said sharply. “Why, if one such as you tried to channel here, in the Ways, you might well go as mad as a man. You have not the training to deal with the taint of those men who made this. If the Black Wind appears, I will deal with it.” She pursed her lips, studying a lump of white cheese.

“Moiraine does not know so much as she thinks.” She popped the cheese into her mouth with a smile.

Liandrin is a known Black Ajah member. So sure, she can lie.  But why would a self-serving, egocentric evil bitch like Liandrin risk dying a horrible death if she was lying. And… if she was lying, why take the obvious insane risk again to enter the Ways again after she dropped off Egwene and company on Toman Head? (TGH, Ch40) Her relaxed behaviour, her words and Liandrin re-entering the Ways again indicate more than a lie or a boast. We know for a fact that Liandrin had help navigating the Ways (through her map) and we know for a fact she was present at the Darkfriend Social in the TGH Prologue. (through her ‘Bors’ comment in TSR, Ch38). Maybe she also learned of a way to control or divert Machin Chin….we just haven’t seen it yet….or have we… and did we forget to connect the dots…:

 

Two men stood at the wheel on the sterndeck, the muscle of both needed to hold the vessel on course, The Sailmistress was not on deck, but the Windfinder was, standing at the rail beyond the wheelmen, bare to the waist like the men, studying the sky where billowing clouds rolled more fiercely than the ocean. For once it was not Jorin’s state of dress—or undress—that bothered Elayne. The glow of a woman embracing saidar surrounded her, clearly visible despite the lurid light. That was what she had felt, what had drawn her. A woman channeling.

Elayne stopped short of the sterndeck to study what she was doing. The flows of Air and Water the Windfinder handled were cable-thick, yet her weaving was intricate, almost delicate, and it reached as far as the eye could see across the waters, a web drawn across the sky. The wind rose higher, higher; the wheelmen strained, and Wavedancer flew through the sea. The weaving stopped, the glow of saidar vanished, and Jorin slumped at the rail, leaning on her hands.

Elayne climbed the ladder quietly, yet the Sea Folk woman spoke in a soft voice without turning her head as soon as she was near enough to hear. “In the middle as I worked, I thought that you were watching me. I could not stop then; there might have been a storm even Wavedancer could not survive. The Sea of Storms is well named; it will throw up bad winds enough without my help. I meant not to do this at all, but Coine said we must go quickly. For you, and for the Coramoor.” She raised her eyes to peer at the sky. “This wind will hold until morning, if it pleases the Light.”

*slaps forehead*

“Weaving the Winds”! Of course! You can control the weather with certain weaves. If you have the Talent, called Weaving the Wind, you can guide and direct the weather and most notably; the wind! And we learn in TPoD, Chapter 16 that this Talent is known among Aes Sedai as well, but that it is known as Cloud Dancing. Perhaps Liandrin has this Talent and that’s why it was Liandrin that was ordered to attend the Darkfriend Social and it was Liandrin that received the map of the Ways with orders to bring the girls to Toman Head.

 

And here comes the slam-dunk: the Sea Folk –through their Bargain with Elayne and Nynaeve- have possession of the Bowl of the Winds since halfway through TPoD.

That it’s a pretty hefty tool in regards to weather-control and the Sea Folk are most knowledgeable about using it:

“Today, we shall do what has not been done since the Breaking of the World, when our ancestors fought wind and wave gone mad. By the Bowl of the Winds and the mercy of the Light, they survived. Today, we will use the Bowl of the Winds, lost to us for more than two thousand years, and now returned. I have studied the ancient lore, studied the records of the days when our foremothers first learned the sea and the Weaving of the Winds, and the salt entered our blood. What is known of the Bowl of the Winds, I know, more than anyone else.” Her eyes cut toward her sister, a satisfied glance that Tebreille did not acknowledge. Which seemed to satisfy Caire even more. “What the Aes Sedai cannot do, I will do today, if it pleases the Light. I expect every woman to stand her station to the last. I will not accept failure.”

We see how strong the Bowl is -that the Bowl draws a lot of Power itself and that it uses both sides of the Power- when it is used by the circle of female channelers later that same chapter:

Eight points and sky. Nine and sea, and suddenly, Elayne felt the Bowl itself drawing saidar, a wild torrent far greater than all the circle together could manage. The changes continued unabated inside the Bowl, sea to sky, waves to clouds, but a writhing, braided column of saidar shot up from that flattish crystal disc, Fire and Air, Water and Earth and Spirit, a column of intricate lace as wide as the Bowl, climbing up and up into the sky, until its top rose out of sight.

…/ /…

It was a very good thing she had not wanted to focus the flows for this circle, Elayne realized; what the woman was doing required years more study than she had. Many years more. Suddenly, she realized something else. That ever-changing lacework of saidar bent itself around something else, something unseen that made the column solid. She swallowed, hard. The Bowl was drawing saidin as well as saidar.

…/ /…

Still Caire wove, and the column danced to her bidding, saidar and saidin together, and the spiderweb altered and flowed like a lopsided kaleidoscope spinning across the heavens, vanishing into the distance, on and on and on.

 

So in conclusion of this chapter, I think Demandred used Darkfriend/compelled Windfinders, or better yet, the Bowl of the Winds –either himself or through those Windfinders- to control or trap the Black Wind in the Ways.

It fits with how Machin Chin manifests and –if you believe my theory on Demandreds location- the use of either Windfinders and/ or the Bowl fits with Demandred having that opportunity at that point in the story.

As stated earlier, I think that without some form of control of Machin Chin it’s impossible to move huge numbers of troops fast. Especially if you wanted to exit through a Waygate positioned closest to Rand.

But when controlling Machin Chin, suddenly it does become possible –and actually very smart- to use the Ways for fast and large construct-troop transport!

Read on for more hints indicating Demandred is our culprit (and more hints pointing towards him hiding among the Sea Folk)….

 

 

3.2 The Timing issue

Machin Chin aside, to risk such a big operation that requires a lot of time and recourses, the one sending the attack must have known that Rand was going to stay put for all the time it took to get the troops moving and in position.

How did the culprit know Rand was there –at the Manor House- and was there to stay for several weeks, to risk sending such a big operations that had to stretch quite some time?

 

Let’s try to guesstimate how much time it takes for a Trolloc army of that size to surround the Manor House with everything we know about the Waygates and their locations in relation to the Trolloc army and the Manor House.

First off, we know that the army consists of Trollocs and Myrddraal hailing from at least fifteen different Trolloc tribes:

Numb with horror, he stared at the Trollocs and Myrddraal racing toward the outbuildings. With the Power in him, he could make out the pins fastened to massive mailed shoulders. The silver whirlwind of the Ahf'frait band and the blood-red trident of the Ko'bal. The forked lightning of the Ghraem'lan and the hooked axe of the Al'ghol. The iron fist of the Dhai'mon and the red, bloodstained fist of the Kno'-mon. And there were skulls. The horned skull of the Dha'vol and the piled human skulls of the Ghar'ghael and the skull cloven by a scythe-curved sword of the Dhjin'nen and the dagger-pierced skull of the Bhan'sheen. Trollocs liked skulls, if they could be said to like anything. It seemed the twelve principal bands might all be involved, and some of the lesser. He saw pins he did not recognize. What seemed a staring eye. a dagger-pierced hand, a man-shape wrapped in flames.

If you divide the total army –roughly thought to be 100000 Trollocs strong- by the number of Greater and Lesser Tribes, I think it’s fair to say that Demandred had to pull roughly 7000 Trollocs from each Greater Tribe and about 3000 from the Lesser Tribes. 7000 x 12 + 3000 x 3 = 93000 Trollocs. That leaves some room for two to three other Lesser Tribes to be present that Rand could not see on his side of the Manor House.

So, how much time does it take to visit and order 7 to 8 Myrddraal from each Greater Tribe to assemble about 7000 Trollocs?

Demandred had to pull huge numbers from the Blight instantly to even have a shot at having the army arrive on time to try an attack, so he used whatever each tribe had ready, or could have armed and ready to march within half a day, I think.

Disguised as Sammael, he Travelled to each of the tribes, gathered bertween 5 and 10 Myrddraal at each tribe and he ordered those Myrddraal at each tribe to assemble what they could have marching in –say- five hours, tops. He had to give them directions to  the Waygates, directions inside the Ways and directions to the Manor House, so that must have taken some time and some preparation on his side.   

Let’s assume Demandred planned his visits to those tribes smart and that he started his visits at the tribe that had furthest to travel to their Waygate and that he finished with the tribes that were positioned closest to their Waygate, so that the tribes that had more marching time ahead of them, would be marching already as he was ordering the last tribes to assemble their armies. In other words; the tribes that would arrive latest at the Waygate at Stedding Shangtai were visited first, so they would be marching first and that would probably take half a day.

Still, there are only a few Waygates in or on the border of the Blight that those Myrddraal could use. To the best of my knowledge, there are three Waygates inside the Blight and one Waygate is on the border:

Every stedding has [a Waygate] just Outside.

…/ /…

Rand knew of a Waygate in Shienar, in the countryside near a moderate town that had kept part of the name of the huge city leveled by Trollocs, and another inside the Blight, in Shadow-murdered Malkier.

…/ /…

Sadder was the list of stedding abandoned, given up because the numbers there had grown too few….Perhaps saddest was the one [unnamed stedding] marked on the very edge of the Blight in Arafel; Myrddraal might be reluctant to enter a stedding, but as the Blight marched south year by year, it swept over  everything.

Pausing, Haman said sadly, “Sherandu was swallowed by The Great Blight one thousand eight hundred forty-three years ago, and Chandar nine hundred sixtyeight.”

That makes a total of four Waygates that are accessible from the Blight. Two are near the Blight border; one in Malkier and one on the border in Arafel. The other two are inside the Blight (Waygate Sherandu & Chandar), but we have no real clue how deep inside the Blight they are, except that they must be far apart due to the 900 year gap in between them being swallowed by the Blight. Regardless that we have no exact location of those Waygates, we know only two are actually in the Blight.

 

Now let’s see how fast Trollocs can march over several days. We learn from Mat how fast several armies can travel:

Mat ignored him. “I want to make thirty-five miles today. When we can do thirty-five every day, we’ll see how far we can push it.” They gaped at him, of course. Horses could not maintain that pace very long, and anybody but Aiel considered twenty-five miles an excellent day’s march for foot. But he had to play this out the way it had been dealt. “Comadrin wrote, ‘Attack on ground where your enemy believes you will not, from an unexpected direction at an unexpected time. Defend where your enemy believes you are not, and when he believes you will run. Surprise is the key to victory, and speed is the key to surprise. For the soldier, speed is life.’ ”

…/ /…

Teaching the Band to move fast was a good idea—moving fast could keep you away from the fighting—but their progress was sure to be noted from the river if nowhere else. He scanned the sky; no ravens or crows, but that did not mean much. No pigeons, either, yet if none had left Maerone this morning he would eat his saddle.

…/ /…

At the best speed the Band could do, it was still more than a month [28 days] to Tear.

Mat’s army at Maerone (near Aringill) marching to the army waiting on the Plains of Maredo, has approximately 820 miles to march when marching a logical route along the river Erinin (the route Mat takes). And Mat thinks it will take his army ‘more than a WoT month, meaning more than 28 WoT days. That’s an average off more then 28 miles per day if it takes 29 days and that average fits well with how Mat wants his Band to learn to march from somewhere around 25 miles per day to 35 miles per day when they reach the Plains, I think.

And Mat knows this stuff better than anyone else anyway, so we can take his word for it.

According to the BWB Trollocs ‘are stronger than the animals and humans from which they were created and can run almost as fast as a horse’ (TWoRJTWoT, Ch7). So, let’s suppose a Trolloc army can nearly match the maximum a light-cavalry army can march in a day. Let’s even disregard that each of those Trolloc armies have to march for more than a WoT week straight and that that would certainly have an impact on their average speed.

So, let’s suppose a Trolloc army can then march 32 miles per day, even when marching more than a week.

 

What then is a reasonable amount of time that the Tribe that has to travel most, longest, most difficult (mountain) terrain to reach the closest Waygate to their position? Given the fact there were at least fifteen Tribes involved, it stretches credibility to think each of those Tribe specific Trolloc armies is within a three-day marching distance of those Waygates (approx. 100 miles). The Trollocs have to move by foot (or hoof :P) and we know the Blight is a dangerous environment with mountain ranges, etcetera. So, let’s say that the Trolloc Tribe furthest away from the closest Waygate is assembled in four hours and then has to march for seven straight days to their Waygate. That is approximately a 220 mile march (a fairly low estimate considering the size of the Blight compared to the number of Tribes in relation to the Waygates) @  a whopping 32 miles per day (fairly high estimate, considering what other armies can march and considering the terrain).

So, in the most positive scenario, the tribe moving slowest to a Blight Waygate took about 7,5 days to reach it.

 

Say, it takes 7000 Trollocs just two hours for the last one to enter the Ways through the relatively narrow entrance. That’s one Trolloc entering every second for two hours straight. Traveling the Ways usually takes a good two days (in “Ways”-time) of travelling for our heroes (as can be read in TEotW, TGH & TSR). In Randland time, usually a full day passes then. When the Trollocs reach the Waygate where they need to exit, they’ll probably run into more Trollocs, all meeting up at the same Waygate-exit. Regardless, let’s say those Trollocs exit with the same speed at this choke-point; every second, a Trolloc exits the Stedding Shangtai Waygate, so exiting costs another 2 hours.

The bare minimum of time the passage through the Ways costs for a Greater Tribe, is about 1,5 days in ‘real time’.

 

We know, that Stedding Shangtai lies in the mountains of the Dragonwall (per Loials words in the Blight in TEotW). We don’t know where exactly, but given the location of the name of Stedding Shangtai on the map and Rand’s words of Loial needing ‘a few days’ to get to Stedding Shantai (KoD, Ch24), let’s assume Rand is correct (Loial doesn’t argue about Rands statement) and that it’s a 3 to 4 day trip to reach Stedding Shangtai. The weather has been very, very bad at this point in the story…and moving a grand army of a total of 100000 Trollocs through very difficult (mountain) terrain, in bad weather conditions is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a slow process. But let’s be unrealistically nice again and assume it takes the army just three days to reach the Manor House. 

Organizing those tribes into one army in the field and surrounding the Manor House at a safe distance, so no Trolloc or Myrddraal can be seen by travellers (the three Ogier saw nothing out of the ordinary an hour prior to the attack) and seen or felt by the channelers at the Manor House most likely costs another day. From exiting the Ways to organising the attack near the Manor House with a huge Trolloc army with ‘just’ a hundred Myrddraal (no easy task, given the ‘nature of the beast’…literally), that takes a minimum of 4 days given the conditions of terrain / weather and opposition.

 

If we now add up the total travelling times, from ‘commanding the Myrddraal to assemble their Tribes’ to ‘having the whole army in position for attack’, it takes a bare minimum -that already stretches credibility- of 13 whole days.

 

When Demandred came up with this plan –assuming that he figured that at a bare minimum it would take 13 days to gather the army he envisioned in Tear-, he had to be really sure that Rand would still be at the Manor House then! And since Demandred is really smart (RJ said he was a genius),  it’s likely he would factor in some extra time, just to be sure that he wouldn’t spend all this time, energy and resources (and take this risk, considering Moridin’s reaction and the fact Demandred thought it prudent to disguise as Sammael) if he wasn’t ab-so-lu-te-ly sure he had more than enough time to set this up!

So, let’s add just two days to that bare minimum of 13 days, to make both that number more reasonable and to give pulling of the attack a decent chance of success: Demandred knew he had his 15 days to make this work…. But how?

Let’s track back through CoT and KoD and try to reason out when and how…;

  1. …Demandred found out Rand was staying at Lord Algarin’s Manor;
  2. …Demandred managed to keep Rand at that Manor House long enough (at least those 15 days) to initiate and risk executing this plan to attack it with such a force.

 

Here’s my take on these events:

I think it was Verin who informed Demandred of Rand his whereabouts. She told Demandred when she brought back Harine, Moad & Shalon to the Sea Folk in Tear (the city). She brought back the Sea Folk before or on Aine-2 (Day 724), because that’s the day she returns from the drop-off back at the Manor House (CoT, Ch23). I think I have found proof of Verin meeting Demandred and trying to give Rand a hint of Demandred’s whereabouts, but I’ll save that proof for later use in this theory.

Demandred learns of Rand’s location through Verin at least 21 days prior to the attack. But at this point, Demandred doesn’t have the means to keep Rand at that location yet.

 

Later that same day (Day 724), we also read of Rand’s plan to seek a truce with the Seanchan (CoT, Ch24). Rand decides to send Bashere to negotiate a truce with the Seanchan and Rand uses an Asha’man (Logain) and an Ogier (Loial) to accompany Bashere as extra pressure on the Seanchan.

As noted earlier, Bashere doesn’t return with a truce at all. Bashere returns with just an invitation! And while that in and by itself is interesting, what’s even more interesting is the timing! According to Steven Coopers Timeline, that took a whopping 15 days. Yes, you read it right…fifteen days! Rand told Bashere on day 724 and most likely send them on their way the next day. Bashere returns on day 740. Rand tries not to let his relief show at finally seeing Bashere back again and thinks ‘they had been gone long enough’. That’s quite an understatement.

 

We also know that Demandred and Semirhage have been plotting and planning together since the WoS:

Their alliance was delicate—a simple agreement that they would not turn on one another until the others had been eliminated—yet it had held all this time. Working together, they had unbalanced opponent after opponent, toppling many to their deaths or worse. But it was difficult for  Semirhage to attend these meetings, and Mesaana had been shy, of late. If she was thinking of ending the alliance...

We also know that Semirhage infiltrated the Seanchan as Tuon’s Truthspeaker more then 1,5 years prior to events at the Manor House and that Semirhage knows Suroth is a Darkfriend. Hardly  a surprise when she has been secretly pulling string among the Seanchan for so long:

“When we are ashore,” she said, “the High Lady Suroth must be commended.” Hold to your chosen course. “And her ambition must be looked into. She has done more with the Forerunners than the Empress, may she live forever, dreamed of, but success on such a scale often breeds ambitions to match.”

Peeved at the change of subject, Anath drew herself up, lips compressing. Her eyes glittered. “I am sure Suroth has only the best interests of the Empire for ambition,” she said curtly.

What’s really surprising is that we learn that on Aine 8 (Day 728), just 4 days after Bashere was given orders by Rand to seek a truce with the Seanchan, Semirhage finally takes direct control of Suroth (KoD, Prologue). In the prologue of KoD, we have a long PoV from Suroth where she first meets Semirhage (concealed in flame with distorted voice, to hide her position as Truthspeaker) and nowhere in that PoV, it’s implied that Suroth has met Bashere yet, or heard of the truce offer. So it’s most probable that it’s about to happen and exactly at that time, Semirhage reigns Suroth in, while Semirhage was around for more then 1,5 years.

And who did Bashere end up making his first arrangements with? With Suroth, just firmly under Semirhage’s thumb. So we know for a fact, that Semirhage was aware of Rand’s proposal the moment it was presented by Bashere since she was in Ebou Dar as Anath at that point in the story.

Edited by Mik

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I think that Demandred learned through the “Forsaken Triat” alliance with Semirhage (and Mesaana) that Rand sought a truce with the Seanchan. Given that Demandred already knew the location of Rand through Verin (more on that later),  I think he asked Semirhage to stall those ‘negotiations’. And as we saw happening, Bashere sure took his time and finally returned without a truce, but with more negotiating to be done and the beginnings of the trap we see sprung in KoD, Chapter 27.

It doesn’t matter that we can’t put an exact date on when Demandred must have learned of Rand seeking a truce through Bashere, but what we can say with certainty, is that this gave him the time-window he needed to flesh out the details of his plans to have a huge Shadowspawn army attack the Manor House.

When we look at the timeline, Suroth must have first met Bashere somewhere right after, or on Aine 8, day 728. The Manor House Attack took place on Aine 22, day 745 into the story. That’s a time-window of 17 days for Demandred to find out about the truce from Semirhage, to flesh out his plan and to Travel to all the Trolloc tribes to issue his orders.

I think it all fits very neatly with the time needed to assemble the army around the Manor House.

 

Timeline & Summary of events:

 

Day 724 morning (-21); Verin returns from Sea folk drop-off @ Tear and her meeting with Demandred where he learns Rand’s location. (fact)

Day 724 afternoon (-21); Rand tells Bashere he sends him to the Seanchan to arrange a  truce. (fact)

Day 728 morning (-17); Semirhage takes direct control of Suroth. Suroth hasn’t met Bashere yet. (fact)

Day 728 afternoon (-17); Bashere meets Suroth. Suroth informs Semirhage. (speculation)

Day 729 (-16); Semirhages meets Demandred (and Mesaana?). Demandred learns of truce and asks for delay. Semirhage gives orders to Suroth. (speculation)

Day 729 or 730 (-16 / -15); Demandred fleshes out plans. Demandred takes Windfinder(s) and/ or Bowl of the Winds into Ways to test control of Machin Chin. Demandred having trapped Machin Chin, Travels to the Trolloc Tribes to give marching orders (and directions/ maps) to the Myrddraal. (speculation)

Day 733 (-12); After about 3 full days of marching to, the Trolloc tribes closest to the Waygates in the Blight emerge from the Waygate @ Stedding Shangtai and wait for the rest of the army to exit and assemble. (speculation)

Day 738 (-7); Moridin finds out a Chosen commanded a hundred Myrddraal to take thousands onf Trollocs into the Ways, but he doesn’t know who and what the order were. He summons the Chosen through furious dreams as we can read through Aran’gars thoughts in KoD, Ch3. (fact)

Day 739 (-6); Moridin asks the summoned Chosen who of those Chosen commanded a hundred Myrddraal and thousands of Trollocs to go into the Ways. Demandred acts odd according to Aran’gar, by giving off ‘unreconciled‘ (inconsistent) signals with his behaviour and admitting a mistake, noted as a ‘remarkable admission’ for Demandred. (fact)

Day 739 (-6); After about 9 full days of marching to and through the Ways, the whole Trolloc army is assembled in the Spine of the World. The whole army starts moving through mountain-terrain in severe weather conditions to the Manor House. (speculation)

Day 740 (-5); Bashere returns to the Manor House. Not with a truce, but with ‘an answer’ that the Seanchan (read; Semirhage) require a meeting with the Dragon reborn in person. Odly enough, given that it took Bashere about 15 days to return, details of that meeting still need to be fleshed out. Bashere has to go back for that. (fact)

Day 743 (-2); After a three day march through and down the Spine of the World, the Trolloc army reaches the surroundings of the Manor House. Parts of the army circle around wide enough to stay undetected (to vision and feeling of channelers) and take up key-positions around the Manor, staying clear of roads and ‘pacifying’ local threats to exposure. Now they wait for the order to attack. (speculation)

Day 745 (0); In the middle of the day, the Shadowspawn army attacks the Manor House, just hours after Logain and company got back. (fact)

Day 745 (0); How lucky for Bashere! Just a few hours after the attack, Bashere returns with a fully fleshed out plan (read: trap) of where and how the ‘negotiations’ are to take place. (fact)

 

To conclude, I think I have given a decent answer to both the Machin Chin problem and the Timing of events that indicate Demandred was the only one with the opportunity to use the Ways like he did and that he actually had the info and time to invent and execute this plan.

Now read on for how I think Verin was involved and how that puts the nail in the coffin for Demandreds involvement and his hiding place among the Sea folk!

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Verin subtle hints

 

4.1. Timing of arrival and leaving

One question that up until hasn’t been mentioned and hasn’t been answered is one of the most important, I think.. and it’s this one:

Why did the Trolloc attack take place at that specific time…?

The reason why I asked myself this question over and over –and couldn’t answer up until I found the clue about Verin in section 4.2-, is simply because the timing was the worst possible time to initiate this attack from a Shadow’s point of view.

It doesn’t make sense to attack in full day-light, just when the rain starts slowing, giving the defenders the best, longest vision possible while Trollocs see very well in near darkness. Why not attack under cover of darkness? Or wait for night-time and attack when (nearly) everyone is sound asleep? Or why not at the very least attack when the rain is still pouring down, so (supreme channeler) vision for the defenders is also severely impaired? The moment of attack aids the defenders! Not the attackers.

Because of the day-light and the drizzle, Loial could spot the Trollocs from as far back as the tree-line and the channelers had clear vision to work their magic:

 

Turning his back on them, he strode to the nearest window and stood rolling the teacup between his palms. The window was sized decently, though the panes set in the carved casement were no larger than those in the rooms below. The rain had dwindled to a drizzle falling from a gray sky, and despite bubbles in the glass he could make out the trees beyond the fields, pine and sourgum and the occasional oak, all full of new growth.

…/ /…

Something was moving among the trees, all along the line he could see. A herd of cattle? A very big herd, if so….

"Trollocs," he breathed. That was what it was, thousands of Trollocs in black, spiked mail spilling out of the trees at a run with scythe-curved swords raised, shaking their spiked spears, some carrying torches. Trollocs as far as he could see to left and right. Not thousands. Tens of thousands.

…/ /…

With an oath, [Rand] leaped to his feet and ran to a window. Trollocs in the thousands came running through the light rain across the newly planted fields,… muddy earth splashing beneath boots and hooves and paws.

 

 

Add to that, the very important fact that Logain has just gotten back with some channelers (both Aes Sedai and Asha’man) to aid in defence of the Manor. As we can see from thoughts from Logain and Rand right after the attack, they both think the Trolloc attack would have actually succeeded without Logain and co.:

 

Suddenly there was a Myrddraal afoot beside the window, pale eyeless face as calm as an Aes Sedai's, black sword already stabbing toward him. Two thrown Aiel spears took it in the chest, and a throwing knife blossomed in its throat, but it only staggered before resuming the thrust. Rand bunched his fingers together, and just before the blade reached him, a hundred Arrows of Fire ripped through the Myrddraal, flinging it back twenty paces to lie riddled and leaking black blood onto the ground.

…/ /…

Outside, the ground lay carpeted with bodies and parts of bodies from the fields almost to the manor house walls. Within paces of them.

.../ /...

"A close run thing," Logain muttered. "If this had happened before I arrived. ... A close-run thing." He gave himself a shake and released the Source, turning away from his glassless window.

Rand looked back toward the manor house. In some places, dead Trollocs lay right at the foundations. None had made it inside, but.... Logain was right, he thought, surveying the carnage. It had been a close-run thing. Minus the Asha'man and Aes Sedai Logain had brought, the end might well have been different. A very close-run thing.

 

Given the above, we can conclude that the only reason Rand (and company) survived the attack, is because the timing of the attack actually favoured the defenders as most as it could, instead of the attackers.

Had the timing been any different, meaning that if it had happened at dusk / night… or before Logain had arrived…or during the pouring rains that tormented the Manor for days… the attack wouldn’t have been a ‘close run thing’ like it was now, but it would have been a success and it would certainly have reached the Manor and almost certainly would have killed Rand.

So, how come that the Trollocs attacked then?

I think it was Verin intervening. She ordered the Myrddraal to attack at a time that she knew would favour the defenders. She waited with that order until Logain returned and until the rain lessened….:

They were seated at a long table in one of the larger rooms in Lord Algarin s manor house, the remains of the midday meal pushed down to one end.

…/ /…

But King Johanin and the Crown High Council stripped him of his lands and title after he became a false Dragon."

Small spots of color appeared in Logain's cheeks, yet his voice was cool and composed. "They could take my estate, but they could not take away who I am."

Still seemingly intent on her embroidery needle. Cadsuane laughed softly. Verin's knitting needles had stopped. She was studying Logain [finally sure he wasn’t a Darkfriend?], a plump sparrow studying an insect.

…/ /…

"Well," Verin said, holding up her knitting for inspection, "I believe I have done all that I can here. I think I'll go find Tomas. The rain makes his knee ache [a silly excuse…it’s been raining for days and it’s actually slowing!], though he denies it even to me." She glanced at the window. "It [the rain] does seem to be slowing."

This is the final time we see Verin in Rand’s company (*sad sniff*). She states that ‘she believes she has done all she can do here’, goes to fetch her warder and leaves the room. This is about an hour before the attack, given what Loial does in-between leaving the room with Verin and Nynaeve and the attack:

Loial watched Nynaeve glide off down the lamp-lit corridor in one direction and Verin in the other.

 

I think Verin Travelled to the Trolloc army, knowing it was there through orders from Demandred and ordered the attack to commence at a time that would give the Light the most chance of surviving it, without actually betraying the order and plan itself.. (wich she can’t because of her Oaths)

We know Verin infiltrated the Black Ajah and aided the Light where she could, regardless that she had to do evil because of her Oaths and to keep her cover. She was part of Shadow-wrought plans, but secretly tried to influence them just so –as far as the limits of her Oaths to the Great Lord would allow- to give the Light the best chances of thwarting them:

You can double-cross other Darkfriends, you can turn against the Chosen if you can justify it. Selfishness must be preserved. But you can never betray him. You can never betray the order itself to outsiders. But the oaths are specific. Very specific." She looked up, meeting Egwene's eyes. " 'I swear not to betray the Great Lord, to keep my secrets until the hour of my death.' That was what I promised. Do you see?"

Verin probably returns to the Manor House after the attack fails, for her last interaction with Rand and through it, she tries to expose herself as Black Ajah (to either Rand or Cadsuane) and tries to show Rand about Demandred’s involvement in the Trolloc attack and his hiding place in one go…:

 

 

4.2. Verin’s letter to Rand

Oh Verin. Brave, brave Verin...

The following takes place right after the attack. Verin sends a servant outside with a letter for Rand. Rand logically wonders why Verin would have information that had to be put in a letter. And it’s also surprising that Verin send the servant outside –in the rain- with the letter to give it Rand  straightaway:

"My Lord Dragon," the old man said with a bow that spilled more water down his back, "Verin Sedai instructed me to give this to you straightaway." From beneath his coat, he produced a paper, folded and sealed.

 

Rand hastily stuffed it into a pocket of his own coat against the rain. Ink ran easily. "Thank you, but it could have waited till I returned to the house. Best you get back inside before you're soaked through completely."

 

"She did say straightaway, my Lord Dragon." The fellow sounded offended. "She is Aes Sedai."

 

At Rand's nod, he bowed again and started slowly back toward the manor house, his back stiff with pride, the parasol showering him with streams of water. She was Aes Sedai. Everyone hopped for Aes Sedai, even in Tear, where they were not much liked. What did Verin have to say that she needed to put in a letter? Thumbing the seal, Rand walked on. His destination was one of the barns, its thatched roof partially blackened.

 

Alas for Verin, Rand doesn’t read the letter straightaway and gives it to Cadsuane right there and then, because now her true message gets lost. Only- us readers- get to piece it together. Had Rand read the letter right there –with the servant present- and had he given it to smart, attentive Cadsuane straightaway, my guess is, that Cads would have picked up the hint that brave Verin was trying to send, despite her Oaths.

Let’s read Verin’s letter:

[inside the barn] Rand took out Verin's letter and broke the blob of yellow sealing wax impressed with the head of a Great Serpent ring. The Brown sister's spidery hand covered most of the page, a few letters blotted where raindrops had soaked the paper. He walked closer to the nearest lantern. It gave off a faint stink of spoiled oil.

 

As I said, I have done what I can do here. I believe that I can

fulfill my oath to you better elsewhere, so I have taken Tomas

and gone to be about it. There are many ways to serve you, af-

ter all, and many needs. I am convinced that you can trust

Cadsuane, and you certainly should heed her advice, but be

wary of other sisters, including those who have sworn fealty to

you. Such an oath means nothing to a Black sister, and even

those who walk in the Light may interpret it in ways you

would disapprove of. You already know that few see that oath

as invoking absolute obedience in all things. Some may find

other holes. So whether or not you follow Cadsuane's advice,

and I repeat that you should, follow mine. Be very wary.

 

It was signed simply, "Verin."

 

Verin tells Rand to trust Cadsuane and take advice from Cadsuane twice and to be very wary.

Rand takes Verin’s advice and trusts Cadsuane with the content of Verin’s letter, which surprises Cadsuane greatly:

When he held out the letter to Cadsuane, her left eyebrow twitched slightly. She must have been truly startled to show so much, but she took the letter and held it where the lantern's light illuminated it.

"A woman of many masks," she said finally, handing the page back. "But she gives good advice here."

What did she mean about masks? He was about to ask her when Loial and Elder Haman suddenly appeared in the doorway...

 

The good advice gave was “be very wary”. Now let’s BE “very wary” (attentive, vigilant, watchful) and head back to the scene where Rand got the letter:

The wind had died away as the rain diminished, but gray clouds still hid the sun. The fine drizzle was enough to dampen Rand's hair, however, and begin soaking into his gold-embroidered black coat as he walked through the dead Trollocs. …

The circle of Maidens parted slightly to let through a white-haired serving man with a long sharp nose who looked even frailer than Ethin. He was trying to shelter beneath a two-tiered Sea Folk parasol missing half its fringe, of all things, but the aged blue silk had several ragged holes worn in it, so small rivulets fell on his yellow coat and one on his head. His thinning hair clung to his skull and dripped. He seemed wetter than if he had gone without. Doubtless one of Algarin's forebears had obtained the thing somehow as a memento, but the obtaining must have been a story in itself. Rand doubted the Sea Folk gave up a clan Wavemistress's parasol lightly.

 

"My Lord Dragon," the old man said with a bow that spilled more water down his back, "Verin Sedai instructed me to give this to you straightaway." From beneath his coat, he produced a paper, folded and sealed.

 

Rand hastily stuffed it into a pocket of his own coat against the rain. Ink ran easily. "Thank you, but it could have waited till I returned to the house. Best you get back inside before you're soaked through completely."

 

"She did say straightaway, my Lord Dragon." The fellow sounded offended. "She is Aes Sedai."

 

At Rand's nod, he bowed again and started slowly back toward the manor house, his back stiff with pride, the parasol showering him with streams of water.

 

If Rand had been more ‘wary’ of his surroundings, he would have made more of WHEN and WHO gave him the letter telling him to be wary and WHERE he gave it, carrying WHAT….:

 

WHEN:

Right after the attack…

 

WHERE:

Outside in the rain, giving Verin an excuse to send a servant, and strongly suggesting to the servant to carry a parasol against the rain. A parasol Verin provided….

 

WHAT:

The broken parasol is ODD; it doesn’t aid the poor old, frail servant at all! In fact, it makes him more wet as Rand notes. Rand is wrong about where the parasol comes from (it doesn’t come from Algarin… it’s from Verin!) and wrongly thinks it is a Wavemistress her parasol. It’s a broken two tiered blue parasol (not red, like a Wavemistress her parasol). And you can be damned sure the Sea Folk won’t give a parasol like this one up easily, because it belongs to the Master of the Blades! (the Swordmaster of the Mistress of the Ships whos attendants carry a three-tiered blue parasol)

 

WHO:

Verin picked this very frail servant for a specific reason; he’s the servant that has a very distinctive face as Rand notes. This servant probably came closest to what Verin could pick from to give her hint to someone who was ‘very way’. Why would Verin send this poor, old, frail servant outside? Because if Rand would have noted the significance of the parasol, that used to belong to the Master of the Blades of the Atha’an Miere and had noted that Verin send it to him the moment after the attack –now that the Black Ajah plan (since she was a part of it) could be considered an old plan- Rand or preferably Cadsuane –someone Verin mentions twice in her letter to seek advice and trust- would see the characteristic feature of the servant that Rand actually notes would be seen for the hint that it was; Verin pointing to Demandred!

 

The servant:

 

A very old man with a long sharp nose

 

Demandred:

 

His hawk-nosed profile was handsome enough, though not quite the sort to make every woman’s heart beat faster. In a way, “almost” and “not quite” had been the story of Demandred’s life.

Semirhage. all in black as usual, looked around to see who had entered, then returned to her huddled conversation with Demandred and Mesaana in one corner of the room. Demandred's hook-nosed face carried an expression of anger that only made him more striking.

 

Rand missed the hints even though he is ‘aware’ of them (we read of them through his PoV). He’s wrong about the parasol and missed the connection to the servant, even though he finds it odd Verin sends him a letter in the rain.

Rand reads the letter, hinting to be ‘very wary / watchful’ and ‘trusting Cadsuane’ too late, even though he does take her advice. Cadsuane reads the letter inside the barn after the fly/ corpse incident and fails to make a connection to the moment Rand was given the letter as well, even though she realises this letter tells Rand and her that Verin practically exposes herself as Black Ajah.

Verin….“A woman of many masks, giving good advice” indeed! The last time she knew she would see Rand, she gave him this very important ‘tidbit’ about Demandred and herself…

 

Verin smiled faintly. "You did very well with the previous tidbits I gave you. That was quite the interesting situation.

 

What a nice “tidbit” this was, Verin! And what a nice puzzle you have written, RJ!

Thanks for pointing out Demandred to us and for linking him to both this attack and the Sea Folk.

 

And thank you, reader, for reading my Warped view of the Wheel and actually reaching the end of this theory!

Cheers,

Mik

Edited by Mik

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I had a big smile on my face as soon as I saw Mik;s warp :D

 

waiting for part 3...

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@Mik Interesting idea about the parasol. There may be something there. I always wondered about it as it was a very odd detail to put in that scene. Not sure I'm buying your explanation though. Are you suggesting that Verin got hold of Demandred's parasol and gave it to Algarin's servant? That looks exceedingly unlikely to me. I highly doubt Verin would ever be in a position to steal it from Demandred and the parasol fabric is described as very old. And as hints go that would be way too subtle for Rand to get. Certainly, Verin couldn't count on it. She has much more direct means of communication via the red letters. It's clear that Rand is still not aware of Demandred's secret identity even after getting Verin's letter. If she knew where Demandred was hiding she would have surely told Rand about it in the red letter she left for him.

 

I also don't buy the idea that the windfinders would be any help in dealing with Machin Shin. The idea that being able to deal with normal wind would help with Machin Shin looks very implausible to me. Also, the windfinders never had any contacts with Machin Shin as far as we know. It's a relatively recent phenomena and there is no indication anywhere that they ever traveled the Ways. The quote from the using the Bowl scene about wind and a wave gone bad pretty clearly refers to the Breaking. And Liandrin wouldn't know anything about the windfinders and weaving of the winds. Black Ajah doesn't seem to know any more of windfinders than the rest of the Aes Sedai. Verin certainly doesn't and neither do any members of Mili Skane's group. So if Liandrin does have a way of controlling Machin Shin (not a given, she might be thinking of using balefire) it comes from a different source.

 

It is still very unclear what is going on with Machin Shin. I still like Fain for being behind the Algarin manor attack although Demandred and Taim are certainly possibilities. Fain could move a large group of Trollocs through the Ways quickly.

The ones attacking Caemlyn now spent a LOT of time in the Ways which suggests that they may have been moved in relatively small groups to somewhere close to Caemlyn (say, Murandy) before being sent to Caemlyn. So there need not exist a method to control Machin Shin at all. A lot of Trollocs might be lost in transit but their numbers seem pretty much unlimited and the Forsaken would not care about losing some. And if the idea that Machin Chin now follows Rand the way Fain does is correct (I rather like it) then this would not be an issue at all as Rand is nowhere near Caemlyn at the moment.

Edited by herid

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Love that everybody ignores that many chanellers are completely invincable if no channelers against them, walls of air to close out baddies and open it at your leisure and kill how many you want to like Dumai Well

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I had a big smile on my face as soon as I saw Mik;s warp :D

 

 

So true.  Love the theory.  It's gotten to the point where I'm going to be thouroughly dissapointed if Demandred is not actually hiding amonst the Sea Folk.

 

It's the little things I like so much about this one.  Explaining Bashere's absence and the random servent with the Sea Folk parasol are perfect tidbits that are easily missed (heck, I just got to this part in my re-read literally yesterday, and thought nothing more besides how odd they were,) and something I can easily see RJ doing.

 

And honestly, explaining the Machin Shin issue via windfinders or Bowl of the Winds is perfect.  Something almost so obvious it's easily missed.  Giant evil wind rushing to kill you and screw with your plans?  Find someone who can control the wind.  Heck, that would almost give Dem defacto control over the Ways, being the only one who can reliably move forces through without fear.

 

And from Verin's letter at the end of ToM, we know the shadow has used the Ways a second time, and assuming there was a significant force moving via the Ways, someone would have had to solve the Machin Shin issue again.  It's not much of a stretch to assume Dem is in charge of that force, being the last big battle general the shadow has (I think,) so it does make sense that he would have a way around the black wind.  Heck, maybe the attack on the manor served a side role of making sure the Windfiners/Bowl could control Machin Shin as Dem prepared for the big show.

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I'm with jsbrads, though even I wouldn't phrase it that harshly. Throw infinite trollocs at Rand's group there (even less Logain + whomever's with him), you should just have infinite dead trollocs. I think that needs resolving before looking into who sent the attack, i.e. if it was meant to actually do something besides what it does (spur Rand into action, but he'd been waiting on Bashere's news anyway).

 

Bowl of Winds for purpose described seems too much bad fantasy cliche for me (yah, RJ's used or subverted cliches in the past too). Will have to dig into more specific thoughts later.

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Great theory, but I'm still convinced it was Fain, Myrdaal obey him and Machin Shin appears to as well. He could have given it some humans in exchange for letting the trollocs pass through pretty much unharmed. You haven't convinced me but I look forward to the next one

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Great idea Mik! I've been trying to figure that one out for some time...

 

*bows*

I take it you just saw the title and haven’t read the theory yet, because of when you posted. DM was acting a little weird when trying to post the theory, so it took a while to get all three parts posted in the right format etc.

Hope you like the content itself as much as the topic.

 

I had a big smile on my face as soon as I saw Mik;s warp :D

 

That theory was well worth the wait!

Thank you Mik, your attention to detail astounds me. :)

 

 

 

I had a big smile on my face as soon as I saw Mik;s warp :D

 

So true. Love the theory. It's gotten to the point where I'm going to be thoroughly disappointed if Demandred is not actually hiding amongst the Sea Folk.

Most deff a great theory and a good read for sure. Always makes me think

 

Haha. Fans! Great! *bows and tries to flourish inky black cloak that stays unnaturally still*

(Ok, so Thom does that better, but it’s the thought that counts) :myrddraal:

*adds skip to his stride*

 

excellent to see this has finally been posted, like I said before, I am a fan. The Sea Folk Parasol really got me. It is such a strange thing.

 

Another fan! Yay!

Sorry it took so long (..and that it still turned out to be such a long read; I just couldn’t / wouldn’t make it shorter)

Thanks for proofreading some of it though. Much appreciated!

 

About that parasol… Exactly how RJ managed to sneak that past us for so long without anyone connecting the dots is beyond me, honestly. I’m glad I got this theory out before the end. If this is right, it does RJ his work more justice, I think; it could be pieced together before it was spelled out and only admired in hindsight. *crosses fingers*

 

@Mik Interesting idea about the parasol. There may be something there. I always wondered about it as it was a very odd detail to put in that scene. Not sure I'm buying your explanation though. Are you suggesting that Verin got hold of Demandred's parasol and gave it to Algarin's servant? That looks exceedingly unlikely to me. I highly doubt Verin would ever be in a position to steal it from Demandred and the parasol fabric is described as very old.

Why would that look ‘exceedingly unlikely’ to you?

 

I doubt Demandred would view it as his parasol. Because it’s Baroc’s parasol, the old former Master of the Blades. To Demandred, it’s just a broken piece of junk of a rustic insect he needed removed for his own plans. To Demandred, that broken parasol of Baroc means nothing. Only in the eyes of Verin, is that parasol a possibility for her –bound by her Oaths as she is- to point at a very specific spot where the Shadow rules, if the circumstances would allow it.

The rain allowed Verin to have the servant use it. That’s why it was vital to Verin, that the servant brought the letter straightaway; Rand was outside at that point in rainy weather. Verin needed to convince herself that she gave –or had the servant pick it up from next to the door or something- that parasol because it might help against the rain.

 

Verin was bound by her Oaths to the Great Lord. But in everything we see from her, she does her utmost best within those boundaries, to aid Rand in defeating Shai’tan, without blowing her cover and risking her 70 year old project (of trying to find and expose every member of the Black Ajah). I think that letter/ parasol/ servant “tidbit” fits perfectly with her behaviour. Since it wasn’t “the hour of her death” just yet, her options were quite limited, but she made the most of it, bound (by Oaths and trying to keep her cover towards the Shadow) as she was.

I think it’s a very bold move to have the Shadowspawn army attack untimely and thereby thwart Demandreds plans. I think it’s very cunning, the way Verin tries to point at Demandred right after the attack to both link Demandred to that attack and showing Rand and/ or Cadsuane his hiding location.

 

We also see other Black Ajah members think about disobeying one of the Chosen, or actually try to overpower/ kill a Chosen. Their motives are different, because they are just self-serving –the one unifying trait among the Chosen according to verin-, whereas Verin’s motives are exactly the opposite (selflessness). Here are a few examples:

Alviarin’s thoughts betray how foolish it is to question, or disobey one of the Chosen. You serve, listen and obey without question…. And yet:

Remain hidden and rouse not even the slightest hint of suspicion, Mesaana had commanded. That seemed over-timid when the Black Ajah had walked the Tower with impunity since its founding, but when one of the Chosen commanded, only a fool disobeyed. At least, if there was any chance of being found out.

 

Then there are Eldrith, Liandrin, Chesmal, Temaile and Asne, that all tried to surprise and defeat Moghedien, even though we only get to see Liandrin’s attack (TFoH, Chapter 18). Liandrin even tries a second time by attacking Moghedien when she is wounded in T’a’r, regardless of Moghedien’s warning that she knew Liandrin would probably try again (TFoH, Chapter 34).

I don’t think it’s ‘exceedingly unlikely’ at all, that Verin would risk something like this. In fact, it fits Verin’s modus operandi like a glove; covert (to the Shadow anyway), smart, brave and improving the Light’s chances at success or survival.

 

And as hints go that would be way too subtle for Rand to get. Certainly, Verin couldn't count on it.

 

Verin had to work with what she had and given the limitations of her Oaths, the only options Verin has is ‘subtle’. And Verin didn’t just hope Rand would pick up her subtle hints, she also counted on Cadsuane, as I wrote in the theory. Verin realises full well, that Cadsuane has a biger chance of picking up her hinting at her own allegiance and hinting at Demandred’s location. Given that Cads reads the letter too late –inside the barn after the fly / corpse incident with the servant/ parasol gone-, Cads only picks up one of the hints.

 

She has much more direct means of communication via the red letters.

 

Urmm.. yeahh…. Well… let me be subtle here and say that RJ was a ‘subtle guy’ himself. IfyaknowwhatI’msayin.

 

It's clear that Rand is still not aware of Demandred's secret identity even after getting Verin's letter. If she knew where Demandred was hiding she would have surely told Rand about it in the red letter she left for him.

 

C’mon herid. I think that’s a strawman argument for several reasons;

1. We don’t even know for sure the letter came from Verin. I agree it’s probably Verin’s, but still.

2. We haven’t seen the content of this letter yet, even though we might have gotten a hint of some of its content when we read about the king of Illian

3. Even if this was a letter from Verin (I agree it probably is) and even if that hint about Stepaneos his location was in that letter and that was all that the letter said, that’s not proof Verin didn’t know where Demandred was hiding at all.

That letter doesn’t disprove the hint Verin gave in KoD in the slightest.

Like I wrote, right before the attack was the last time Verin was around Rand. Verin said she ‘has done all that she can here’. It’s clear to us readers that Rand missed the hint about Demandred. How would Verin know that Rand (and Cads) missed the hint.

 

I also don't buy the idea that the windfinders would be any help in dealing with Machin Shin. The idea that being able to deal with normal wind would help with Machin Shin looks very implausible to me.

*shrugs* Weaving the Winds through the Bowl of the Winds even repaired the Great Lords His touch on the weather on a global scale. Fact. How is it implausible that Machin Shin –a wind- can be affected, when we know for a fact the Bowl is strong enough to remove Shai’tans touch on a global scale? Hardly implausible in my book. A logical assumption, I’d say.

And the only plausible solution I ever saw (even though that does feel like patting myself on the shoulder)

Got a better idea…? :myrddraal:

 

Also, the windfinders never had any contacts with Machin Shin as far as we know. It's a relatively recent phenomena and there is no indication anywhere that they ever traveled the Ways. The quote from the using the Bowl scene about wind and a wave gone bad pretty clearly refers to the Breaking.

How is all that relevant? They knew how to Weave the Wind, right? The Sea Folk are most knowledgeable about Weaving the Winds and controlling weather, right? It’s like saying you can’t shoot a certain villain, because you haven’t met him prior to when you shot him. If you know how the gun works, the target isn’t all that relevant as long as it can get shot, now is it?

 

And Liandrin wouldn't know anything about the windfinders and weaving of the winds. Black Ajah doesn't seem to know any more of windfinders than the rest of the Aes Sedai. Verin certainly doesn't and neither do any members of Mili Skane's group. So if Liandrin does have a way of controlling Machin Shin (not a given, she might be thinking of using balefire) it comes from a different source.

 

Strawman again. I never said anything about Liandrin knowing Windfinders, nor about them sharing a source of information. Nor does that matter one bit. What I –and Liandrin’s behaviour- implied, was that she learned of a way to deal with Machin Shin. This implies there most probably is a way for a fairly strong, single Channeler to deal with Machin Shin and all I did was suggest that Liandrin has the Talent called Cloud Dancing by the Aes Sedai (= Weaving of the Wind) as well and that Ishamael was aware of that and that’s why he send her on a mission through the Ways and provided her with a map through the Ways and that knowledge. Liandrin / Ishamael and the Windfinders/ Bowl / Demandred are two separate combination of factors. I merely suggested they deal with Machin Shin in a similar matter.

 

It is still very unclear what is going on with Machin Shin. I still like Fain for being behind the Algarin manor attack although Demandred and Taim are certainly possibilities. Fain could move a large group of Trollocs through the Ways quickly.

….

Errrrr… no… Fain never ever “could move a large group of Trollocs through the Ways quickly” at all… for a number of reasons;

- Fain doesn’t know the way through the Ways. He just closely followed a group who did know the way, because they had an Ogier who could read the Guidings.

- Fain has no control over Machin Shin at all.

- Machin Shin would find a huge army in minutes and devour it, but leave Fain alone.

- Fain has no control over Shadowspawn at all. It takes him weeks to break a single Myrddraal.

- Fain has no way to visit all those different tribes in a few days –or any one tribe for that matter-, because he’s on foot without any fast way of travelling.

- Fain can’t move as fast as a Shadowspawn army…he would slow them down!

Seriously herid. Thinking Fain is the culprit is beyond silly if you ask me.

 

On Taim;

I think the real Taim died in TSR, chapter ‘Deceptions’, so to me, this suggestion is even more crazy then Fain. But I guess we’ll have to RAFO in AMoL about that.

For the sake of not derailing this theory too much, I’ll say that even if I for a minute assume Taim is alive and look at it from your perspective on Taim, I’d say he has no way to control Machin Shin, nor do I think he’s hiding among the Sea Folk, per Verin’s hint. Nor does he have the Chosen Mark, or else Moridin would have invited him and asked him the same question as he asked the others with that Mark and let the zomara read Taim’s thoughts as well. (regardless of what the Chosen think, I think Moridin learned all he needed to know from the zomara present)

 

The ones attacking Caemlyn now spent a LOT of time in the Ways which suggests that they may have been moved in relatively small groups to somewhere close to Caemlyn (say, Murandy) before being sent to Caemlyn. So there need not exist a method to control Machin Shin at all. A lot of Trollocs might be lost in transit but their numbers seem pretty much unlimited and the Forsaken would not care about losing some. And if the idea that Machin Chin now follows Rand the way Fain does is correct (I rather like it) then this would not be an issue at all as Rand is nowhere near Caemlyn at the moment.

 

Machin Shin only waits for Rand at the closest Waygate when it senses noone to hunt inside the Ways. Else Faille, Perrin, Loial and the Aiel could never have been able to use the Waygate near Tear (the city) back when Rand plunges Callandor into the Heart of the Stone

 

And why is Machin Shin not waiting? Because there are very little groups Trollocs for it to hunt in the Ways. *shrugs*

My take is that to use the Ways properly for troop transport, you do need a way to control Machin Shin and you need to know the way inside the Ways. When Machin Shin freely roams the Ways, there’s no Way in Hell (bad pun.. :P), you’d get a decent army (think tens of thousands) across in just a few days.

I very much like the Bowl / Weaving the Wind combo in relation to Machin Shin. I think it fits really well.

 

 

Love that everybody ignores that many chanellers are completely invincable if no channelers against them, walls of air to close out baddies and open it at your leisure and kill how many you want to like Dumai Well

 

It’s “ignored”, because RJ ignored it or thought otherwise then you, given the way he wrote about that attack. RJ had a Myrddraal blade inches from Rand’s heart. RJ wrote that Trolloc corpses were but a step away from the Manor house.

 

The Dome of Air at Dumai’s Wells was build by an organised army of male weapons that trained for nothing but war and that numbered at around 200 channelers that were prepped for war and used to working together. They build the Dome as a team, like you would build an igloo.

I think there were about 25 channelers present during the Trolloc attack and they were caught totally off-guard and hardly trained for war and never trained together.

It’s comparing apples and oranges, even when disregarding how RJ wrote about these two events:

A dome of Air suddenly covered the entire camp, smoke from the fires sliding up to a hole left in the top. It was not one solid weave of saidin; Rand could see where individual weaves butted one against another to make it. He thought there might have been as many as two hundred black-coated men beneath the dome.

…/ /…

“Asha’man, raise the barricade two spans!” At Taim’s command, the edges of the dome rose all around.

 

 

 

I'm with jsbrads, though even I wouldn't phrase it that harshly. Throw infinite trollocs at Rand's group there (even less Logain + whomever's with him), you should just have infinite dead trollocs. I think that needs resolving before looking into who sent the attack, i.e. if it was meant to actually do something besides what it does (spur Rand into action, but he'd been waiting on Bashere's news anyway).

 

See above. I don’t think anything needs ‘resolving’… and even if you do, there’s more than enough info to go on to catch the culprit, me thinks.

 

 

Bowl of Winds for purpose described seems too much bad fantasy cliche for me (yah, RJ's used or subverted cliches in the past too). Will have to dig into more specific thoughts later.

 

Well. I’m very much looking forward to your ‘less cliché’ / ‘bad fantasy’ solution. In the meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy my version, because I like it. :)

 

 

Great theory, but I'm still convinced it was Fain, Myrdaal obey him and Machin Shin appears to as well. He could have given it some humans in exchange for letting the trollocs pass through pretty much unharmed. You haven't convinced me but I look forward to the next one

 

Thanks!

On Fain, read my reply to herid.

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Mik another great theory, but we have come to expect nothing else frpom you one thing though man you really need to get some life outside wot. you are spending entirely too much time for this to be healthy

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And as hints go that would be way too subtle for Rand to get. Certainly, Verin couldn't count on it.

Verin had to work with what she had and given the limitations of her Oaths, the only options Verin has is ‘subtle’. And Verin didn’t just hope Rand would pick up her subtle hints, she also counted on Cadsuane, as I wrote in the theory. Verin realises full well, that Cadsuane has a biger chance of picking up her hinting at her own allegiance and hinting at Demandred’s location. Given that Cads reads the letter too late –inside the barn after the fly / corpse incident with the servant/ parasol gone-, Cads only picks up one of the hin

 

 

 

 

 

 

why would Cadsuane be expected to get any more of that letter than Rand? that makes no sense. She doesn't even know what Demandred looks like. And her knowledge of Seafolk is very limited too.

 

She has much more direct means of communication via the red letters.

Urmm.. yeahh…. Well… let me be subtle here and say that RJ was a ‘subtle guy’ himself. IfyaknowwhatI’msayin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

as I said, this would be so subtle that nobody, not readers and not Rand would be expected to get it, definitely not with any degree of certainty. And why would she even think that Rand would open her letter right there in the rain?

 

It's clear that Rand is still not aware of Demandred's secret identity even after getting Verin's letter. If she knew where Demandred was hiding she would have surely told Rand about it in the red letter she left for him.

C’mon herid. I think that’s a strawman argument for several reasons;

1. We don’t even know for sure the letter came from Verin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

oh, please.

I agree it’s probably Verin’s, but still.

2. We haven’t seen the content of this letter yet, even though we might have gotten a hint of some of its content when we read about the king of Illian

3. Even if this was a letter from Verin (I agree it probably is) and even if that hint about Stepaneos his location was in that letter and that was all that the letter said, that’s not proof Verin didn’t know where Demandred was hiding at all.

That letter doesn’t disprove the hint Verin gave in KoD in the slightest.

Like I wrote, right before the attack was the last time Verin was around Rand. Verin said she ‘has done all that she can here’. It’s clear to us readers that Rand missed the hint about Demandred.

that's only clear if your theory is correct. and as I said, even if it is, as hints go that was way too subtle to rely on.

How would Verin know that Rand (and Cads) missed the hint.

No. the question for you is how the heck would she be sure that they didn't? to rely on it and not to double up and relay the same info (assuming she had it) in the red letter would be monumentally stupid.

 

I also don't buy the idea that the windfinders would be any help in dealing with Machin Shin. The idea that being able to deal with normal wind would help with Machin Shin looks very implausible to me.

*shrugs* Weaving the Winds through the Bowl of the Winds even repaired the Great Lords His touch on the weather on a global scale. Fact. How is it implausible that Machin Shin –a wind- can be affected, when we know for a fact the Bowl is strong enough to remove Shai’tans touch on a global scale? Hardly implausible in my book. A logical assumption, I’d say.

And the only plausible solution I ever saw (even though that does feel like patting myself on the shoulder)

Got a better idea…? :myrddraal:

Also, the windfinders never had any contacts with Machin Shin as far as we know. It's a relatively recent phenomena and there is no indication anywhere that they ever traveled the Ways. The quote from the using the Bowl scene about wind and a wave gone bad pretty clearly refers to the Breaking.

How is all that relevant?

They knew how to Weave the Wind, right? The Sea Folk are most knowledgeable about Weaving the Winds and controlling weather, right? It’s like saying you can’t shoot a certain villain, because you haven’t met him prior to when you shot him. If you know how the gun works, the target isn’t all that relevant as long as it can get shot, now is it?

And Liandrin wouldn't know anything about the windfinders and weaving of the winds. Black Ajah doesn't seem to know any more of windfinders than the rest of the Aes Sedai. Verin certainly doesn't and neither do any members of Mili Skane's group. So if Liandrin does have a way of controlling Machin Shin (not a given, she might be thinking of using balefire) it comes from a different source.

Strawman again. I never said anything about Liandrin knowing Windfinders, nor about them sharing a source of information. Nor does that matter one bit. What I –and Liandrin’s behaviour- implied, was that she learned of a way to deal with Machin Shin. This implies there most probably is a way for a fairly strong, single Channeler to deal with Machin Shin and all I did was suggest that Liandrin has the Talent called Cloud Dancing by the Aes Sedai (= Weaving of the Wind) as well and that Ishamael was aware of that and that’s why he send her on a mission through the Ways and provided her with a map through the Ways and that knowledge. Liandrin / Ishamael and the Windfinders/ Bowl / Demandred are two separate combination of factors. I merely suggested they deal with Machin Shin in a similar matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ok, I misunderstood your argument somewhat. I agree that Liandrin's behavior shows that there might be a method to deal with Machin Shin and she might know it. The other stuff about windfinders is what I don't buy but it's not very important.

However, I should point out that Verin did not know how to deal with Machin Shin. She is very well connected in Black Ajah judging by the fact that she met Mesaana twice and got almost a complete roster of Blacks.

 

It is still very unclear what is going on with Machin Shin. I still like Fain for being behind the Algarin manor attack although Demandred and Taim are certainly possibilities. Fain could move a large group of Trollocs through the Ways quickly.

….

Errrrr… no… Fain never ever “could move a large group of Trollocs through the Ways quickly” at all… for a number of reasons;

- Fain doesn’t know the way through the Ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

lol. and he of course found his way through the Ways from Cairhien to Toman Head just by accident.

He just closely followed a group who did know the way, because they had an Ogier who could read the Guidings.

- Fain has no control over Machin Shin at all.

And you know that how? Fain at least reached some accomodation with Machin Shin because Machin Shin let him go and didn't kill him. and you yourself suggested that Fain altered Machin Shin's behavior.

- Machin Shin would find a huge army in minutes and devour it, but leave Fain alone.

again, you know that how? Machin Shin let Fain go. Fain might be able to influence it to let whoever is with him pass too.

- Fain has no control over Shadowspawn at all. It takes him weeks to break a single Myrddraal.

Fain has been growing in power over time. That much is crystal clear. What took him a long time in TGH might take far less time in KoD. Also, he created illusions of Toravl and Gedwyn in Far Maddin. Mashadar killed Sammael so it's possible that he can create an illusion of Sammael and his Chosen mark too in which case the Myrddraal would obey him.

- Fain has no way to visit all those different tribes in a few days –or any one tribe for that matter-, because he’s on foot without any fast way of travelling.

we don't know anything about the positioning of Trollocs in the Blight at the moment. They could be in the same place. Moridin was getting them ready to attack so he could have moved them near the Waygates. Whoever commandeered them for the attack on Algarin's manor had to have those Trollocs near the Waygates to begin with. Else their plan would have been quickly unmasked, whoever it was behind it.

- Fain can’t move as fast as a Shadowspawn army…he would slow them down!

hah? Fain moved with Trollocs and Myrdraal that he did command just fine.

Seriously herid. Thinking Fain is the culprit is beyond silly if you ask me.

seriously, if you offer a good argument against it I'll listen. You haven't so far. I'm not claiming that it was Fain for certain. I have not made up my mind on the matter. But this is a lot more plausible than what you are suggesting.

On Taim;

I think the real Taim died in TSR, chapter ‘Deceptions’, so to me, this suggestion is even more crazy then Fain. But I guess we’ll have to RAFO in AMoL about that.

For the sake of not derailing this theory too much, I’ll say that even if I for a minute assume Taim is alive and look at it from your perspective on Taim, I’d say he has no way to control Machin Shin, nor do I think he’s hiding among the Sea Folk, per Verin’s hint. Nor does he have the Chosen Mark, or else Moridin would have invited him and asked him the same question as he asked the others with that Mark and let the zomara read Taim’s thoughts as well. (regardless of what the Chosen think, I think Moridin learned all he needed to know from the zomara present)

 

We know that Taim is a Chosen as of AMOL prologue. It's not clear when he became one but it's possible (if unlikely IMO) that it happened by the time of the attack on Algarin's manor.

 

 

The ones attacking Caemlyn now spent a LOT of time in the Ways which suggests that they may have been moved in relatively small groups to somewhere close to Caemlyn (say, Murandy) before being sent to Caemlyn. So there need not exist a method to control Machin Shin at all. A lot of Trollocs might be lost in transit but their numbers seem pretty much unlimited and the Forsaken would not care about losing some. And if the idea that Machin Chin now follows Rand the way Fain does is correct (I rather like it) then this would not be an issue at all as Rand is nowhere near Caemlyn at the moment.

Machin Shin only waits for Rand at the closest Waygate when it senses noone to hunt inside the Ways. Else Faille, Perrin, Loial and the Aiel could never have been able to use the Waygate near Tear (the city) back when Rand plunges Callandor into the Heart of the Stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good point about Tear. I did not think of it. Still, we don't know what is really going on with Machin Shin. Fain is changing. Whatever he did to Machin Shin might be changing too.

Edited by herid

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Re: Machin Chin

 

Is Fain's order(or whatever) to Machin Shin to follow Rand still in effect? We haven't seen anything that involves Machin Shin and Rand since The Great Hunt. Would it really still follow Rand around? Eventually it would get bored/hungry and wander off. I understand what you are saying about it chasing after live food that is in the ways, that makes sense, but would it really then immediately go back to the nearest Waygate to Rand? I see it more as Fain influenced/commanded Machin Shin to follow Rand back in The Great Hunt, and that order would last only as long as the next time someone enterst the ways. Machin Shin then hunts and devours new victims and Fain's orders are forgotten. Fain has come and gone in the ways a few times since, so maybe he refreshes his orders, but I imagine that Machin Shin would wander off and forget the orders if not reminded from time to time. If Rand were to enter the Ways, I am sure that Machin Shin would quickly attack him, but wait for him indefinitely? No.

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@Whisbang We don't  really know what is going on with Machin Shin. I imagine it would be difficult for anybody to really order it to do anything but it may simply be drawn to Rand the way Fain is. Then again, Mashadar was mindless too and Fain can control it now (whatever is left of it).

Edited by herid

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Quickly on Fain: he has to get to a subvertable pile of shadowspawn quickly (we're a handful of days from the end of CoT when Fain was in Far Madding). Probably means the Blight, which means a few days in the Ways for him. Then a few other assumptions as well as going against character, he just killed people that were trying to kill Rand after all. Takes too many leaps of faith and things we haven't seen.

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Quickly on Fain: he has to get to a subvertable pile of shadowspawn quickly (we're a handful of days from the end of CoT when Fain was in Far Madding). Probably means the Blight, which means a few days in the Ways for him.

 

Sure, but Fain does know how to use the Ways so this is not an issue. The Algarin manor attack takes place 30 days after the Fain Rand encounter in Far Madding. Plenty of time to get to the Blight via the Ways.
 

Then a few other assumptions as well as going against character, he just killed people that were trying to kill Rand after all.

That's one of the better arguments against Fain. I wouldn't rule him out completely based on just this though. Also, I would consider the character argument to go somewhat against Demandred too.

The Algarin manor attack doesn't really fit his MO. It's rather blunt and direct. Demandred is supposed to be a brilliant and devious military planner after all. There is no finesse in throwing a large number of Trollocs at Rand and hoping that would be enough. It's a one punch and you are done move. In my opinion, in terms of MO the attack fits Taim better than either Demandred or Fain.

Edited by herid

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I literally just made an account for the purpose of replying to the original post. I love your theory, and though there may be a couple of things not quite right, I think it is generally very accurate. What is great/terrible about WoT are the countless situations like these where we will probably never actually know the answer. 25 days!!!

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I suppose that's always the problem with this situation, too many possibilities and very little to go on.

 

The last many page thread I don't think we could get very many people to agree on what the attack was supposed to accomplish, what actually was accomplished (and why/not) and who could possibly benefit from those. And it always gets side-tracked into Fain lol.

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Nice theory. Do you have any idea what it was that made Demandred want to kill Rand personally? It happens in KoD, I believe. The first time we see this behavior is in tGS Prologue. It might even be connected to this attack.

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Just a quick reply, because I don’t have much time…

Mik another great theory, but we have come to expect nothing else frpom you one thing though man you really need to get some life outside wot. you are spending entirely too much time for this to be healthy
Thank you! *bows*

And you’re wrong. I haven’t spend enough time here. I have toh to all of you, for not explaining my views on WoT better.

 

 

And as hints go that would be way too subtle for Rand to get. Certainly, Verin couldn't count on it.

Verin had to work with what she had and given the limitations of her Oaths, the only options Verin has is ‘subtle’. And Verin didn’t just hope Rand would pick up her subtle hints, she also counted on Cadsuane, as I wrote in the theory. Verin realises full well, that Cadsuane has a biger chance of picking up her hinting at her own allegiance and hinting at Demandred’s location. Given that Cads reads the letter too late –inside the barn after the fly / corpse incident with the servant/ parasol gone-, Cads only picks up one of the hint

 

why would Cadsuane be expected to get any more of that letter than Rand? that makes no sense. She doesn't even know what Demandred looks like. And her knowledge of Seafolk is very limited too.
I think we could expect Cadsuane to notice that the bearer of the letter -the servant with the parasol- was the actual message, instead of the letter itself. Because the combo was odd and Verin’s real message was to ‘be wary’. Cadsuane had to notice the oddness and might have known the real origins of the parasol and that might have helped Rand see what the two things that made the servant stand out were meant to tell. Rand noticed the servant was really, really old and he also noticed the characteristic nose. He just didn’t see them as clues. With a bit of Cads help, he might have.

 

He might still do so in AMoL, when Demandred triest o lure Rand into a trap. Rand made a Bargain to visit the Mistress of the Ships when she called for it. (again.. doing this by heart….don’t have time to check books) Perfect Bargain to set up a trap. Rand and/ or Cads might see a blue parasol, like the servant held…and things might click into place right in time, yet. Maybe that’s what Verin intended alla long, because she might be aware of the Bargain and might realise Demandred would use it to try and kill/ trap Rand. *shrugs* Rafo, mate!

 

She has much more direct means of communication via the red letters.

Urmm.. yeahh…. Well… let me be subtle here and say that RJ was a ‘subtle guy’ himself. IfyaknowwhatI’msayin.

 

as I said, this would be so subtle that nobody, not readers and not Rand would be expected to get it, definitely not with any degree of certainty. And why would she even think that Rand would open her letter right there in the rain?
Because Verin wanted it brought to Rand straightaway. If someone brings me a message that has ‘URGENT’ written all over it… I think I’d read it asap.

And about that ‘subtle’ problem; see my answer above….

 

It's clear that Rand is still not aware of Demandred's secret identity even after getting Verin's letter. If she knew where Demandred was hiding she would have surely told Rand about it in the red letter she left for him.

C’mon herid. I think that’s a strawman argument for several reasons;

1. We don’t even know for sure the letter came from Verin.

 

oh, please.
LOL! You’re totally right herid. I’ll surrender that one; logic more then suggests that this letter is from Verin. I said so, but I shouldn’t have used this ‘argument’. I do think that the point I tried to make still stands as strong. I was a fool to use this one bit as an argument. It’s just as strong without it…

I agree it’s probably Verin’s, but still.

2. We haven’t seen the content of this letter yet, even though we might have gotten a hint of some of its content when we read about the king of Illian

3. Even if this was a letter from Verin (I agree it probably is) and even if that hint about Stepaneos his location was in that letter and that was all that the letter said, that’s not proof Verin didn’t know where Demandred was hiding at all.

That letter doesn’t disprove the hint Verin gave in KoD in the slightest.

Like I wrote, right before the attack was the last time Verin was around Rand. Verin said she ‘has done all that she can here’. It’s clear to us readers that Rand missed the hint about Demandred.

that's only clear if your theory is correct. and as I said, even if it is, as hints go that was way too subtle to rely on.
Not if it’s meant just to spark a memory of that parasol when Rand sees a similar, newer one present at a meeting he’s summoned to as part of the Bargain he (well.. ectually his two Aes Sedai made it, IIRC) made with Harine. I’ve been thinking some more about this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rand recieve a summons from the new Mistress of the Ships (Zaida), where Amel (Demandred) is present to kill or capture Rand. RAFO!

 

C’mon herid…it might be very, very subtle. But nothing was too subtle for RJ, and you know it!

How would Verin know that Rand (and Cads) missed the hint.

No. the question for you is how the heck would she be sure that they didn't? to rely on it and not to double up and relay the same info (assuming she had it) in the red letter would be monumentally stupid.
I can’t. I still don’t see why that should mean Verin didn’t give a very nice hint right there. RAFO in a few weeks mate! Can’t wait!

 

I also don't buy the idea that the windfinders would be any help in dealing with Machin Shin. The idea that being able to deal with normal wind would help with Machin Shin looks very implausible to me.

*shrugs* Weaving the Winds through the Bowl of the Winds even repaired the Great Lords His touch on the weather on a global scale. Fact. How is it implausible that Machin Shin –a wind- can be affected, when we know for a fact the Bowl is strong enough to remove Shai’tans touch on a global scale? Hardly implausible in my book. A logical assumption, I’d say.

And the only plausible solution I ever saw (even though that does feel like patting myself on the shoulder)

Got a better idea…? :myrddraal:

Also, the windfinders never had any contacts with Machin Shin as far as we know. It's a relatively recent phenomena and there is no indication anywhere that they ever traveled the Ways. The quote from the using the Bowl scene about wind and a wave gone bad pretty clearly refers to the Breaking.
How is all that relevant?

They knew how to Weave the Wind, right? The Sea Folk are most knowledgeable about Weaving the Winds and controlling weather, right? It’s like saying you can’t shoot a certain villain, because you haven’t met him prior to when you shot him. If you know how the gun works, the target isn’t all that relevant as long as it can get shot, now is it?

And Liandrin wouldn't know anything about the windfinders and weaving of the winds. Black Ajah doesn't seem to know any more of windfinders than the rest of the Aes Sedai. Verin certainly doesn't and neither do any members of Mili Skane's group. So if Liandrin does have a way of controlling Machin Shin (not a given, she might be thinking of using balefire) it comes from a different source.
Strawman again. I never said anything about Liandrin knowing Windfinders, nor about them sharing a source of information. Nor does that matter one bit. What I –and Liandrin’s behaviour- implied, was that she learned of a way to deal with Machin Shin. This implies there most probably is a way for a fairly strong, single Channeler to deal with Machin Shin and all I did was suggest that Liandrin has the Talent called Cloud Dancing by the Aes Sedai (= Weaving of the Wind) as well and that Ishamael was aware of that and that’s why he send her on a mission through the Ways and provided her with a map through the Ways and that knowledge. Liandrin / Ishamael and the Windfinders/ Bowl / Demandred are two separate combination of factors. I merely suggested they deal with Machin Shin in a similar matter.

 

ok, I misunderstood your argument somewhat. I agree that Liandrin's behavior shows that there might be a method to deal with Machin Shin and she might know it. The other stuff about windfinders is what I don't buy but it's not very important.

However, I should point out that Verin did not know how to deal with Machin Shin. She is very well connected in Black Ajah judging by the fact that she met Mesaana twice and got almost a complete roster of Blacks.

 

No probs. About Verin not knowing how to deal with Machin Shin. I hear what you’re saying. But apparently she didn’t know, because she said so and really apears at a loss. Noone is omnipotent in RJ’s world. *shrugs*

 

 

It is still very unclear what is going on with Machin Shin. I still like Fain for being behind the Algarin manor attack although Demandred and Taim are certainly possibilities. Fain could move a large group of Trollocs through the Ways quickly.

….

Errrrr… no… Fain never ever “could move a large group of Trollocs through the Ways quickly” at all… for a number of reasons;

- Fain doesn’t know the way through the Ways.

 

lol. and he of course found his way through the Ways from Cairhien to Toman Head just by accident.
….I always saw that as part of the Shadow messing with Fains head. Fain was compelled to use the Ways. I think it’s in the TEotW, that we learn Fain HAD to use the Ways and didn’t even know what he was doing when he opened the Ways. I’d have to check the books again, but no time right now! :(

I’d need a re-read, but the whole run from Fain to Toman Head was still Ishy messing with Fain the way Ishy compelled Bors in TGH, I think. Fain had no reason to go to Toman Head, except as part of well-laid plans made by the Shadow…where ‘some commands were to important to know’ …

I know this answer is short and messy…. But given my time, it’s all I can give mate.

 

I still stand by what I said; Fain doesn’t know the Way in the Ways. The more he is free of the Shadow, the more he steers clear of the Ways. He only uses the Ways when forced inside. I recall he took his Fain Whitecloak posse to Caemlyn by horse. How silly is that, if you know how to travel the Ways???

When you’re not satisfied with this answer, I’d be willing to look for the quotes…

 

I’m out of time. Raincheck on the rest of your post and the other posts after herids post.

I have toh. :)

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@Mik about Fain knowing the Ways. RJ confirmed that he does (from Mordeth)

 

 

Interview: Jul 19th, 2005Week 10 Question
In The Great Hunt, who wrote the Dark Prophecy on the dungeon wall in Fal Dara? And why, after Ingtar released Padan Fain from the dungeon, did Fain decide to go to Toman Head? We know he was rebelling against Ishamael's orders (he was supposed to follow the Myrddraal to Shayol Ghul) but why did Fain go to Cairhien and then to Toman Head?
Robert Jordan

A Myrddraal wrote the Dark Prophecy on orders, as a threat. I might want to use some of the reasons, so the rest on that is RAFO.

Fain (now amalgamated with Mordeth) was seeking his own power base, something he would try again with Pedron Niall and Toram Riatin. He wanted enough power to be able to kill Rand, Mat and Perrin, though most especially Rand, and to protect himself against agents of the Shadow. Because of Darkfriend reports, the Myrddraal who wrote the prophecy already knew who the strangers on Toman Head were, or claimed to be: Artur Hawkwing's armies returned to reclaim the lands stolen from Hawkwing's heirs. He knew that they collared women who could channel, which appealed to Fain/Mordeth, since one disliked Aes Sedai at best and the other purely hated them. The Myrddraal didn't simply give this up to Fain, you understand. Fain is one of the few people who could successfully torture information out of one of the Eyeless. As for why he went to Cairhien first, he knew the location of the Waygate there (along with several others and how to read the guidings in the Ways, this last from Mordeth) and preferred to use the Ways rather than make the longer cross-country journey from Fal Dara to Toman Head.

 

I'm still not convinced about the servant with the parasol being the message but it is an intriguing possibility. It may be correct even if some other parts of your theory turn out to be wrong.

Edited by herid

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