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The Battle Ajah.....and Cadsuane.


bigdoug1971
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I was re-reading the chapters when the Seanchan attack the White Tower and Egwene grabs the terangreal to defend herself and the novices.

 

 

There was a Green sister running through the tower and thinking to herself about what a joke the battle ajah was because they can do nothing to stop the Seanchan or their weaves. I've thought a lot of the Aes Sedai have been pretty hyped up by their reputation even though most of them never do anything at all.

 

 

Is this the case with all of the Green Ajah? When Cadsuane is in Far Madding and takes her little group outside the Guardians to teach them Nyneave is grudgigly impressed by her abilities and even Alivia thinks "That woman can teach". Cadsuane remarks that Alivia must know every possible way to destroy with the Power and little else, but still Cadsuane impresses her. This gives me hope for 2 reasons:

Cadsuane isn't just your average Green sister with an awesome terangreal in her hair. She really knows what she is about.

Maybe all of the Green Ajah won't put on such a pathetic showing as the Greens in the Tower when the Seanchan attacked.

 

 

I realize Cadsuane cannot teach everything she knows, but she is willing to teach. I worry the rest of the Battle Ajah is going to be sadly lacking unless they've spent time with her. And it seems the most important lesson she can teach, what must be endured can be endured, will be lost on most of the other sisters.

 

 

When the Green Ajah shows up to fight at the Last Battle, will they be swept away like dust on the wind because their battle skills are lacking so badly compared to the Seanchan, Dreadlords, or even Cadsuane, or will they be able to make a better showing than they did during the Seanchan raid?

Edited by bigdoug1971
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We really can't guage anything about the Green Ajah based on the Seanchan attack. First the majority of Greens(and Blues) were not even present during the attack. Second it was a sneak attack in the dead of night against a BA riddled, Forsaken influenced, Fain touched, Elaida led, split WT. Each ajah was so seperate that sisters were getting physically assaulted for walking in the wrong area. With all of those factors it is impossible to get a realistic view of how they would normally respond.

 

We do know all of the Greens, not just Cads have knowledge equal to a normal General(not the great captains). We have seen a number of them be impressive in action and many spend a good deal of time with their warders patrolling/fighting in the blight. Even regular AS have been impressive at times such as the fighting at Dumais Wells before they were picked off by Rand. Bottom line the WT has taken it's lumps and is set up for redemption at TG. If the Greens were even half as bad as some fans make out they will be absolutely slaughtered in the Last Battle.

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I disagree sutt, we can use this to gauge their mettle, by scattering like a flock of chickens they showed they do not have strong nerves. While I agree that it was an very unconventional attack, one would think with a rebel army outside they would have proceedures in place to allow efficient organization.

The green ajah on a whole has been woefully weak especially since they are called the 'battle' ajah

Also how do we know that all Green Ajah members have knowledge equatable to a general?

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Durinax most of the Greens weren't even in the WT and regardless it says very little about their mettle. We know they patrol/fight in the blight. That says more than enough about their fortitude. Further there is not a fighting force on earth that would have fared well under those circumstances. They had been targeted and eroded by the shadow for god knows how long, add to that Fain's touch and Elaida's orders being countered by the BA and it is impossible to have any cohesion. Nevertheless Egwene still rallied people once the shock wore off. We have seen Greens do very well at avrious times and again if they are as bad as you seem to suggest they will be slaughtered at TG and will cut and run at the first sign of trouble. Guess we will see in a couple weeks.

 

I'll have to dig the General quote up for you...

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Durinax most of the Greens weren't even in the WT and regardless it says very little about their mettle. We know they patrol/fight in the blight. That says more than enough about their fortitude. Further there is not a fighting force on earth that would have fared well under those circumstances. They had been targeted and eroded by the shadow for god knows how long, add to that Fain's touch and Elaida's orders being countered by the BA and it is impossible to have any cohesion. Nevertheless Egwene still rallied people once the shock wore off. We have seen Greens do very well at avrious times and again if they are as bad as you seem to suggest they will be slaughtered at TG and will cut and run at the first sign of trouble. Guess we will see in a couple weeks.

 

I'll have to dig the General quote up for you...

I don't get why you think that its impossible to get cohesion, the raid happened during the middle of the night so most sisters would have been in quarters, got woken up by the attack, and it appears they didn't organize before leaving their respective areas. Instead they all rushed out into the tower and scattered. I am mostly talking of each ajah trying to organize themselves because they would be woken/leaving their quarters at the same time but that doesn't seem to happen at all.

 

Patrolling the blight isn't as dangerous for them as you make it sound Sutt, remember that they can 'feel' shadowspawn so they cannot be taken by surprise, so that does not prove their mettle for me.

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I was writing a really great response when the power went out. Well, here's a breakdown.

 

Aes Sedai who adventure, are kick ass, we mean Moiraine, Verin, Alanna, Bera, Kirune, Cadsuane and a few others, and of course, Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne. Aes Sedai who spend most of their time in the Tower, Palaces and travel by boat or what have you, suck. It's like people who do versus those who merely study.

 

It does not depend on Ajah, though there may be more greens along the Blight border, I don't know.

 

If the Tower was not divided, even if Elaida was in charge and things were as bad as they were, Adelorna would NEVER have been alone, she is the head of an Ajah. I know she was with a few others over the course of the evening, but there is no way, no way, she is in that hallway alone needing to be rescued by Egwene. It was a kind of a story issue anyway, there is no reason for her to be in the novice areas.

 

As to the rest of the Aes Sedai, yep, pathetic, but then, for the most part, they are Tower based Aes Sedai. A great many of the adventuring types are either at the Black Tower, as prisoners, or whatever, and the rest went to the Rebels.

 

I think the Seanchan would have been totally over powered if the entire Sisterhood was at the Tower, but at the best of times, the most powerful (I mean worldly battle tupes) are out of the Tower.

 

So, I also don't think you can judge the Aes Sedai as a whole based on what happened there, only in movies will glorified librarians be able to fight off hardened terrorists.

 

I don't necessarily think the attack would have gone any better had Suane been in charge, she sounds pretty unpopular and she didn't even notice when her Warder was killed right outside her door. The second Seanchan attack probably won't go much better because 3/4 of the now Tower Aes Sedai are at the Feilds and something like 100 of them are still at the Black Tower, or bound to men of the Tower.

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I don't necessarily think the attack would have gone any better had Suane been in charge, she sounds pretty unpopular and she didn't even notice when her Warder was killed right outside her door.

 

 

thought i would point out that there is a quote that suians warder died after she was being pulled out of office, he rushed in to see what was wrong and was killed

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On the topic of Siuan and her warder...

 

Interview: Oct 5th, 2005

Robert Jordan's Blog: YET ANOTHER, IT SEEMS

Robert Jordan

For Roland Arien, a lot of people have asked questions about Alric's death. I should have made matters plainer. As I envisioned it, Alric, having sensed Siuan's extreme shock, came running to her and arrived just in time to be stabbed just before Siuan was taken into the anteroom. She should have sensed the knife going in, but that was masked by her shock. When she sees him lying there, he is dying, though not yet dead. As I said, I should have made it plainer.

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Umm, that is NOT how it is written in any of the copies of the books I have and regardless, we are in her mind at the time and no matter how crazy things are when you are getting pulled out of your office, you might notice that particular kind of pain. So, ya, okay we talk about BS a lot, but RJ wrote that scene in a very poor fashion.

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Okay, well, you posted that whilst I was writing. My main point was that I am not sure even Elaida was the greatest factor because Siuan was not a very good Amyrlin to begin with.

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I think your views are very much in the minority when it comes to Siuan. She might have ruffled some feathers but she started at a young age, was extremely accomplished and well regarded(if not well liked) by all acounts. We see just how skilled/knowledgeable she was in her ability to train up Egwene so fast...

 

Elaida was a huge factor because in addition to her own faults, Alviarin was forcing her to make orders which led to widespread dissention and mistrust in the WT(if Elaida hadn't badly bungled things and tried to cover it up no one could have blackmailed her). There was a concerted effort by the shadow to make sure they would be vulnerable to any type of situation like this.

Edited by Suttree
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Either way, the topic I was trying to discuss was the Battle Ajah and their poor showing during the Seanchan raid.

 

 

This all points to the stupidity of Aes Sedai as well. Regardless of who is in charge, you would think with a rebel army across the river with the sole purpose of pulling down Elaida and taking the Tower back would cause the Sisters on the inside to have some kind of plan in case they are attacked. And having the rebel's Amyrlin should make them even more wary of an attack from an army coming to get their leader back.

 

 

They had no plan. And they did scatter like chickens. One 18 year old GIRL stood up and fought when there were women there twice as old as Egwene's mother and practiced in being calm. (The only way to become Aes Sedai is to prove you can channel under great stress while being distracted in a terangreal).

 

 

This is what I was trying to get at with the original post. When they're faced with the last battle, and we all know battle plans can change when the 1st arrow fired, will the Battle Ajah live up to their name? They are going to be attacked by shadowspawn, dreadlords, and maybe even Forsaken.

 

 

I agree with the poster who said the very best of the Aes Sedai were not in the Tower at the time of the attack. But there were still Green Sisters there including a Sitter and they did nothing but run. They may have put up a better fight if they were whole, or all in the Tower. But then you might as well say they would have done better if they knew the raid was coming too. It was a surprise attack. During a time of potential war with the rebels.

 

 

 

I suppose when I originally posted this topic, I was surprised that a group of women who pride themselves on "standing ready for the Last Battle" and call themselves the "Battle Ajah" would put up a better fight against an opponent regardless of the circumstances and especially in their own Tower.

Edited by bigdoug1971
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Mate, the majority of the Battle Ajah were not even present during the attack. They had left the WT after Siuan was deposed. We've already discussed the circumstances and why the conclusions you draw from this incident are way over the top. You can not draw conclusions from an aerial sneak attack attack with the op & shadowspawn(which preparations for the rebels would not have taken into account) especially given the climate. We have seen them do just fine previously in battle during the series and know that they aquit themselves well in the blight. Additionally they are the inheritors of strategy passed down from when they saved the world as Generals in the Trolloc Wars at a time when military arts were at their height. They will use that knowledge and show just how skilled they are in the last battle. As an aside it was not only Egwene who stood and fought, there was resistance holding out on other floors as well.

 

As I said to Durinax though we only have a coupel of weeks to wait. If they are as pathetic as you claim they will be slaughtered at TG, if they even stand and fight that is. There is quite simply no other way it could go if what you say is true.

Edited by Suttree
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While they call themselves "the battle Ajah", I think the actual state of that is much the same as the rest of the Ajahs. I can't remember where it is, but somewhere in the series there's an explanation of how the Ajahs formed during the breaking. Some of it was shown in the Aiel flashback, but I think more was explained elsewhere.

 

None of the Ajahs have lived up to their original purpose. The Brown originally thought they could prevent another Breaking by learning from mistakes of the past, and they ended up basically useless librarians. The Gray originally tried to hold civilization together by being mediators, and ended up mediating petty politics with little to no long-term success. Etc. The only Ajahs that really held very well to their original purposes were the Red and Yellow.

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Full agreement that the WT has lost it's way. They are a fallen institution in a fallen world.

 

That said they still have been the major force against the shadow for 3,000 years. wihout them all is lost in the Trolloc Wars. They are pretty much the reason anyone even remembers the DO exists. Present day, changes are already happening and Egwene has done a good deal to reform and change the culture. That will only increase once they work with the male channelers and armies at TG earning trust. In relation to Greens their stated purpose is holding ready for TG. Shouldn't we wait to see how they aquit themselves at the Last Battle before claiming failure? We will find out very quickly in AMoL if bigdoug is correct in his assessment. I tend to go with the evidence we have seen of Cads, Kiruna, the impressive showing of all the AS at Dumais Wells etc when judging them. Again however, not long until we get our answer. It will be literally impossible for them to have a good showing against shadowspawn and dreadlords if they are as bad as you seem to suggest.

 

As for Browns and Greys, well given the AMoL pre-release materials preserving info has come in handy. The wars and treaties that have been stopped and averted over how many thousand years is impressive work by greys. The shadow has been working to tear down civilization. That has certainly hampered the Greys efforts as much as anything else. Everytime they civilization made significant strides Ishy the shadow was there to pull strings and tear it back down.

Edited by Suttree
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Mate, the majority of the Battle Ajah were not even present during the attack. They had left the WT after Siuan was deposed. We've already discussed the circumstances and why the conclusions you draw from this incident are way over the top. You can not draw conclusions from an aerial sneak attack attack with the op & shadowspawn(which preparations for the rebels would not have taken into account) especially given the climate. We have seen them do just fine previously in battle during the series and know that they aquit themselves well in the blight. Additionally they are the inheritors of strategy passed down from when they saved the world as Generals in the Trolloc Wars at a time when military arts were at their height. They will use that knowledge and show just how skilled they are in the last battle. As an aside it was not only Egwene who stood and fought, there was resistance holding out on other floors as well.

 

As I said to Durinax though we only have a coupel of weeks to wait. If they are as pathetic as you claim they will be slaughtered at TG, if they even stand and fight that is. There is quite simply no other way it could go if what you say is true.

I really don't care if all of them where present, that is not at issue. What is at issue is that they responded very poorly to an attack on the WT, when they are in effect at war with an army outside its gates who miraculously appeared from hundreds of miles away in the middle of a harsh winter.

 

even if 10 Green sisters would have started a pocket of resistance I would be more lenient on them, instead a Brown seizes control, no green sitters are to be found, an gathering of sisters on the ground floor (who by an AS description are too tired, shocked or dazed to respond much to summons to the 'command' centre), the command centre (which was barely able to hold its ground), and egwenes group. No where are green sisters mentioned (in a useful capacity) other than the one that goes from the ground floor to the command centre to report. In fact I believe a green sitter barely avoids capture because of egwene.

 

All I am saying is for the battle ajah whose headed by the Captain General or some title such as that, they where incredibly unprepared, undisciplined, and in fact a hinderance. Thus from what I have seen so far, they can be lumped into the useless catagory, hopefully someone can put some backbone into them and get them ready for the battles ahead.

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Their performance was pretty woeful, but what do you expect when they've been sitting on their laurels for 2,000 years.

 

Their predecessors who fought in the Trolloc Wars would have been ashamed.

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I should note that when the bubble of evil hit Salidar the Aes Sedai immediately responded in an organized fashion according to a premade plan. If the Seanchan had attacked the Rebel camp they would have faced much heavier resistance. Lets face it, those Aes Sedai in the Tower were those with bad enough judgement to support Elaida, the more competent sisters either left for the rebel camp or stood aside from the power struggle.

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I do agree with Suttree on the Sisters putting on a better show during Dumais Wells. I suppose that I figured if someone was attacking their house, like the Seanchan did, we would see Green sisters seeking out the battle above to make the invaders pay. I would also think that being the "Battle Ajah", they would have given the Seanchan pause in their attack and put up a better fight.

 

 

 

I don't want them to fail at the Last Battle. I hope they put up a fight that lives up to their name. I guess I always thought or envisioned that if there was an attack on Aes Sedai and a member of the Battle Ajah was present, they would deliver a spanking to the attacker and send them on their way with memories of staying away from those particular Sisters.

 

 

 

This was a great topic! Thanks for everyone's input. Like Suttree says, 2 weeks to the last book and we can see what happens. I'm looking forward to the release date more than Christmas!

Edited by bigdoug1971
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I should note that when the bubble of evil hit Salidar the Aes Sedai immediately responded in an organized fashion according to a premade plan. If the Seanchan had attacked the Rebel camp they would have faced much heavier resistance. Lets face it, those Aes Sedai in the Tower were those with bad enough judgement to support Elaida, the more competent sisters either left for the rebel camp or stood aside from the power struggle.

 

The White Tower itself has a legacy of being almost impenetrable, most of the pre-made plans the Green Ajah would have had in place would have been in response to shadowspawn, which would have been felt miles before they actually arrived to attack. 

 

You cant really fault their logic in not anticipating the Seanchan attacking them with a raid when to the best of their knowledge the Seanchan were the better part of a thousand miles away.

 

To put it more real world;

Pick any heavily defended base in the mainland US. Drop a raiding party with superior weapons and mobility inside the bases walls and inner defences in the middle of the night. It is human nature to panic in such situations, and while they would soon quickly pick up the pace their training and planning is usually to stop the penetration in the first place or at the very least to give some sort of warning. And lets face it, they would be trained professionals who would make contingency plans.

 

The Aes Sedai however generally speaking dont consider secular realms as a military threat, all in all it was a failure but you have to remember the mindset that Mesaana put the tower in...

 

Hard to plan a cohesive strategy against something you dont believe is a possibility when you dont trust anyone outside your close knit group.

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You cant really fault their logic in not anticipating the Seanchan attacking them with a raid when to the best of their knowledge the Seanchan were the better part of a thousand miles away.

 

To put it more real world;

Pick any heavily defended base in the mainland US. Drop a raiding party with superior weapons and mobility inside the bases walls and inner defences in the middle of the night. It is human nature to panic in such situations, and while they would soon quickly pick up the pace their training and planning is usually to stop the penetration in the first place or at the very least to give some sort of warning. And lets face it, they would be trained professionals who would make contingency plans.

 

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I agree the Seanchan were far away.....but there was a rebel army across the river that appeared in the middle of the night from nowhere. And their purpose was to pull down Elaida and take the Tower for themselves. Kidnapping Egwene should have made them even more prepeared for an attack when they are holding the army's leader and a rescue attempt could happen at any time.

 

 

They weren't prepared for anything to hit them. That's the rub. For being the equivelant of an average field general, I would think they should have made preparations for an attack, even if it wasn't the one they were expecting. And the main point is the WAY they reacted to the attack. If events in the Last Battle don't go as planned will they crumble or make adjustments and stand their ground?

Edited by bigdoug1971
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All I am saying is for the battle ajah whose headed by the Captain General or some title such as that, they where incredibly unprepared, undisciplined, and in fact a hinderance. Thus from what I have seen so far, they can be lumped into the useless catagory, hopefully someone can put some backbone into them and get them ready for the battles ahead.
All we are saying is it is a fallacy to judge the entire Ajah based on the small sliver that was present at the WT for the attack. Even for that small sliver it was so unique(literally a once an age at the most event given the nature of the attack and situation in the WT)that it tells us very little about their actual prowess. I prefer to go with all the other evidence we have of Greens and AS in text which would lead us to a far different conclusion.

 

Nevertheless if they have no mettle and are "useless" as you say we will soon find out. If it turns out that they are quite skilled and have a good showing at TG however don't try to tell us that they somehow received training and someone put some backbone into them "off screen". They either have it now or they don't.

 

Lastly touching on the preparation piece. There is nothing in the preperations for the rebels that would even remotely take in the possibility of an aerial & op attack. It is absurd to expect them to be ready for that, now if they had reports of the Seanchan on the move and closing in that would be somehting different entirely.

Edited by Suttree
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@Suttree - although I agree with your general statement about the 'readyness' of the AS, I have to question one point :)

 

Lastly touching on the preparation piece. There is nothing in the preperations for the rebels that would even remotely take in the possibility of an aerial & op attack. It is absurd to expect them to be ready for that, now if they had reports of the Seanchan on the move and closing in that would be somehting different entirely.

The rebel AS were attacked by flying teacups and stuff, I don't think anybody could have anticipated that :) So although they may not expect an aerial attack, they are fully expecting a OP attack and have come up with a solution to counter superior usage of the OP. This is the exact same method that Eg uses as the basis of her defence of the OT. So I don't agree that the Rebels wouldn't react any better.

 

I agree with the rest of the general points tho.

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They were expecting a OP attack? I would say they are expecting a conventional army with the op supplementing it with travelling but a full on assault with the op? An initial strike using the op from the air(which would be impossible for the rebels to even carry out) such as the Seanchan did would be highly problematic given the oaths wouldn't it?

 

Remember that both sides were trying to avoid sister on sister fighting at all costs.

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