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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Barid Bel Medar

The Seanchan: Past, Present and Future.

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I agree. The male a'dam flaw will be interesting. However, according to Mog, sometime in Tanchico, the flaw can be overcome by shuffling it between several women. While this wouldn't help a bunch of the Forsaken or Black Ajah (too many trust issues), with thousands of sul'dam and an almost insane level of trust in the Empire, this should be easy to implement among the Seanchan. One woman takes the leash of a man for a couple of months or a year, then hands him off to the next.

Edited by Orange7

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I agree. The male a'dam flaw will be interesting. However, according to Mog, sometime in Tanchico, the flaw can be overcome by shuffling it between several women. While this wouldn't help a bunch of the Forsaken or Black Ajah (too many trust issues), with thousands of sul'dam and an almost insane level of trust in the Empire, this should be easy to implement among the Seanchan. One woman takes the leash of a man for a couple of months or a year, then hands him off to the next.

I think the male a'dam is designed to be handled by 1 or 2 women, but the backwash effect is stronger for just one woman.  There are more sul'dam than damane already, so damane can be passed around the sul'dam.  I was thinking the Seanchan could have a camp where they train male damane.  The sul'dam who hold the male damane are switched every so often, but eventually the same women come back to holding the same male damane, in which case the backwash effect becomes cumulative.

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Curious as to why people think the male a'dam is something that Seanchan have wide access to. According to RJ the only ter'angreal the Seanchan know how to make is the femal a'dam. Semi could have made the copies of that one set with DF channelers and Rand got all of those after the attack. Am I forgetting something?

Edited by Suttree

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I agree. The male a'dam flaw will be interesting. However, according to Mog, sometime in Tanchico, the flaw can be overcome by shuffling it between several women. While this wouldn't help a bunch of the Forsaken or Black Ajah (too many trust issues), with thousands of sul'dam and an almost insane level of trust in the Empire, this should be easy to implement among the Seanchan. One woman takes the leash of a man for a couple of months or a year, then hands him off to the next.

I think the male a'dam is designed to be handled by 1 or 2 women, but the backwash effect is stronger for just one woman.  There are more sul'dam than damane already, so damane can be passed around the sul'dam.  I was thinking the Seanchan could have a camp where they train male damane.  The sul'dam who hold the male damane are switched every so often, but eventually the same women come back to holding the same male damane, in which case the backwash effect becomes cumulative.

 

According to Mog, the control exerted over the man is weakened even if the two women attempt to work together. It decreases the reversal, but it also decreases control. Not saying that it couldn't work, but it would be an unlikely route. Also, as for the "backwash;" assuming that there are several hundred to several thousand sul'dam, and each man lives about 600 years, they should be able to distribute it so that each sul'dam would spend between one year and a few months with each man captured. I would assume that a few months would likely be little enough time, although numbers in the years would likely be a different matter (Pure Speculation) so they might be able to maintain this arrangement. It is an interesting topic though.

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Unlike channellers, I don't think the sul'dam have their natural lifespan extended.  What do people think is the approximate ratio of sul'dam to damane currently in Seanchan?  The current female damane still need a leash holder, so the sul'dam could get over-extended.

 

I also wonder what the effect of reversal of the male a'dam would be?  We know that the female a'dam can be reversed, with a damane holding a sul'dam, provided the sul'dam has been one for a while, so could the male a'dam be used by a male channeller to control a female channeller?

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If the average natural lifespan of a damane is 500 years, the average natural lifespan of a sul'dam is 80 years, and ten sul'dam are born for every damane, assuming no major disruptions in the proportions of their population, there will be roughly 8 sul'dam for every 5 damane at any given time.  Of course, we know that there are at least 2 sul'dam  for every damane, and probably closer to 4 to 1.  That implies that either damane live less than 500 years on average, sul'dam live more than 80 years on average, or more than 10 sul'dam are born for every damane in Seanchan.  Probably, the answer is that damane live less than 500 years on average, with the 400+ year old damane being outliers.  Assuming the above natural lifespans and birth rates, and if every time a damane died before reaching her natural lifespan, a sul'dam died before reaching hers, then the premature death rate would be 2/5 for damane, and 1/4 for sul'dam, in order to bring the ratio to 2:1.  To bring the ratio to 1:4, the premature death rate for damane would be 4/5, and for sul'dam it would be 1/2.

 

If the average natural lifespan of a damane is only 300 years, then in order to bring the ratio of damane to sul'dam to 1:4 assuming everything else remains the same, the premature death rate for damane would have to be 4/9, and the premature death rate for sul'dam would be 1/6.

 

This also gives an illustration of the advantages the LS would have over the Seanchan.  Because sul'dam would only live 80 years, where as LS channies they'd live 300, assuming similar population sizes and ratios of sparkers and learners to normies, LS forces would be able to field 9 times as many channelers as Seanchan damane.  They'd have more channelers than the Seanchan would have sul'dam and damane put together if their populations were the same size. 

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Unlike channellers, I don't think the sul'dam have their natural lifespan extended. 

That is correct. Per RJ sul'dam do not slow unless they have started actively channeling.

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OK, if the Seanchan have a 4:1 ratio of sul'dam to damane, then they could afford to spare 3 in 4 of their sul'dam for the men if they can mass-produce a male a'dam.  Initially, there wouldn't be many born male channellers, but this number would increase with time.  I don't think 3 sul'dam for each born male channeller would be anything like enough to avoid the backwash effect.

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Another thought on male damane is that with male and female damane, the Seanchan could start a breeding program that would produce more born channellers, and thus damane; it wouldn't be at all romantic, more like breeding dogs.  This could compensate for Randland having more channellers per population head, since the Randland channellers wouldn't be forced to mate with each other.

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This is completely moot. Seanchan damane have no clue how to use saidin. They can probably use the male a'dam to control the men, but as channelers, the males are going to be useless. They have no idea how to use the OP at all.

 

And its not like the Seanchan advantage in channeler skill with destruction will last forever. The Tower has 10 former damane as Novices, and there's Alivia, and if they really need to, they can learn all they need to from these women. Plus, the Tower will now have extensive abilities with ter'angreal creation, and once Elayne gets better with things, you can imagine multiple copies of Nynaeve's/Cadsuane's ter'angreal suite, and a bunch of angreal from the seed Rand gave Elayne. The Aiel have Aviendha to identify useful ter'angreal from their extensive cache, and the Tower will probably train any of their members with ter'angreal making abilities too. And the Sea Folk will simply be able to wreck the weather in Seanchan lands. Add the Asha'man and mixed gender circles to this mix, as well as Dreamwalking, and the Seanchan will stand no chance.

 

Really, if the Seanchan want to have any hope, they need to strike now. Which they won't.

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Curious as to why people think the male a'dam is something that Seanchan have wide access to. According to RJ the only ter'angreal the Seanchan know how to make is the femal a'dam. Semi could have made the copies of that one set with DF channelers and Rand got all of those after the attack. Am I forgetting something?

 

You haven't missed anything (that I can think of), it's an interpretation of where Semi had the copies made, the only 2 places that I can think of that may be able to do so are either one of the factories in Seanchan or possibly Thakandar (sp?). But the level of technology in the Blight seems pretty low (the forging of the swords, although gruesome, was pretty low-tech).

 

Of course, even if the male a'dam were copied by the Seanchan, given their current upheaval it's possible they'd lose the knowledge of how to copy them, or that Semi compulsed them to forget.

 

But given that Suroth had them for a while (and I know she's a DF, but Egeanin was promoted because of the 'find', the crew that overtook them knew of the collar, other people (presumably) in Court would have seen it...), I doubt she was able to bury them entirely and given the BT, they'd have been interested in studying them.

 

 

I think I'd give it 50:50 that they can or not.

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This is completely moot. Seanchan damane have no clue how to use saidin. They can probably use the male a'dam to control the men, but as channelers, the males are going to be useless. They have no idea how to use the OP at all.

 

And its not like the Seanchan advantage in channeler skill with destruction will last forever. The Tower has 10 former damane as Novices, and there's Alivia, and if they really need to, they can learn all they need to from these women. Plus, the Tower will now have extensive abilities with ter'angreal creation, and once Elayne gets better with things, you can imagine multiple copies of Nynaeve's/Cadsuane's ter'angreal suite, and a bunch of angreal from the seed Rand gave Elayne. The Aiel have Aviendha to identify useful ter'angreal from their extensive cache, and the Tower will probably train any of their members with ter'angreal making abilities too. And the Sea Folk will simply be able to wreck the weather in Seanchan lands. Add the Asha'man and mixed gender circles to this mix, as well as Dreamwalking, and the Seanchan will stand no chance.

 

Really, if the Seanchan want to have any hope, they need to strike now. Which they won't.

If the Seanchan in Randland strike now, everyone else will unite against them, and they will be quickly destroyed.  There are almost certainly angreal in Seanchan, which the Seanchan could use, and male damane can be trained into using the OP properly.  As to violence, the AS wouldn't be able to initiate a OP conflict due to the 3 Oaths; they could only react.  Wrecking the weather in Seanchan will have consequences elsewhere, so I doubt the Sea Folk would do this.

Edited by Lord D

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Aes Sedai are only 1/3 of the potential LS female channeler forces that would be brought to bear against the Seanchan.  And Aes Sedai can fight if they're in danger.  We've seen them purposefully put themselves in danger, just so they could fight.  The 3 Oaths wouldn't be much of a hindrance.  The longer the Seanchan wait to break the Dragon's Peace, the more their disadvantage in channelers will manifest itself.  And I don't think we know whether it's possible for damane to use angreal/sa'angreal while restrained by the a'dam.  It might not be, the leash already prevents larger circles from being formed with those leashed.

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It probably wouldn't work too well as channeling ability is both genetic and a function of the wheel. There can only be as many channelers as there are channeling souls after all and the wheel will allocate them as they are needed according to the pattern.

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For one thing, I doubt it would be enough to overcome the advantage that having both sparkers and learners becoming channelers that the rest of Randland would have.  For another thing, compounding rape on top of their moral transgressions with channelers is unlikely to make them look like a good place for channelers to be and unlikely to earn them any respite from the outrage and condemnation that keeping people as if they were animals brings.  Lastly, it's not like channies in the rest of Randland won't be hooking up and having babies with each other, especially now that saidin is cleansed and Ashaman are an established institution with provisions for families.  I doubt another year goes by before Pevara and Androl start making babies, for example. 

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Thrasymachus, your assumption that what the rest of the world thinks will matter to the Seanchan is wrong.  Look at North Korea in the real world.  The rest of the world might grind its teeth, and threaten sanctions, but will they actually invade Seanchan to enforce the rights of channellers, especially given the Dragon's Peace.  In all probability, Seanchan will be ignored until it actually invades Randland again.

 

However, I think there's a good chance that the male damane will get some revenge on the sul'dam, given the feedback flaw in the male a'dam.  I may write a fan fiction story about such a scenario.

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I very much doubt there's a realistic scenario where North Korea somehow emerges from their isolation to take over the world, no matter how much some North Koreans think otherwise.  North Korea may well be a decent analogy to the Seanchan, but if so, it's hardly one that supports long-term survival.  And what the rest of Randland thinks of the Seanchan, specifically what the Aiel think of the Seanchan, will matter very much to them, or else they'll simply have to abandon their Randland holdings, retreat to the Seanchan continent, and prepare for a war they can't win.  If they do abandon Randland, it won't be long before Altara, Amadicia, Tarabon and Almoth are back under more "traditional" rulers, likely through internal pressures alone.  And if they do, the rest of Randland won't sit on their hands hoping they don't come back, they'll prepare and build up to defend themselves, if not press the attack against the Seanchan themselves.  With the Aiel to back the Dragon's Peace, I very much doubt any other than the Seanchan would have the nerve to abandon it, and the Aiel would quickly punish any who tried.  The Dragon's Peace doesn't forbid from warring with any who are not signatories to it, and positively obliges them to war against any who sign it, then abandon it.

 

And don't kid yourself about North Korea.  They care very much what the rest of the world thinks of them.  They wouldn't act so childishly towards the rest of the world otherwise.  Now, the USA, they don't care what the rest of the world thinks of them.  But the Seanchan aren't like the USA either.

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Thrasymachus, the Seanchan continent is a LOT bigger than North Korea.  Maybe a better comparison would be to the Soviet Union, who had their KGB and Siberia for dissidents.

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Because things turned out so much better for the Soviets?  You're digging the hole deeper and deeper here.

 

Look, I can understand why, from a literary perspective, people want to hear more about the future of the Seanchan, and even hope for a good outcome for that Empire.  As a society and culture, it's much more interesting than the other Randland cultures, even the Aiel.  It's rife with internal conflict and contradictions, and ripe for stories about how it overcomes its own shortcomings and rises above its moral transgressions.  That would be an awesome story.  But it's not a very realistic story, even, and perhaps especially limiting ourselves to Randland "realism." 

Edited by Thrasymachus

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Actually I don't want the Seanchan to do anything about the damane by themselves.  I want the male damane to do something about the sul'dam using the backwash effect.  As they say, God helps those who help themselves.  And maybe the male damane who leads the rebellion will name himself Emperor of Seanchan.

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Back to the "how many suldam per damane?" discussion.

 

Considering that sul'dam are tested for at the same age as damane, then assuming that each was chosen around 20 years of age (16-21, but rounded for simplicity), they would likely only spend 50-60 years (we'll also round up to 60 here for simplicity) with an a'dam. Damane should live somewhere between 500 and 600 years. On average, channelers in the age of legends lived between 600 and 700, but considering that the highest we have heard of  in the modern era has been 606(I believe?) during one of Elayne's comments to Nynaeve about the Kin's longevity, and considering that it wasn't uncommon in the Age of Legends for non-channellers to live between 150 and 200 years, I think that 500-600 might be an adequate number. We can just call it 560 for convenience. Assuming the numbers above, each da'mane will be leashed for approximately 540 years, while each sul'dam will only hold the leash for 60 years. This leaves us at 1 da'mane per every 9 sul'dam, assuming that the numbers were even at all times. We know, however, that they are not, and it is implied throughout the novels that there are between 4 and 5 sul'dam per da'mane. At this ratio, we can determine that there should be between 36 and 45 sul'dam born for every da'mane.

 

However, any estimation such as this fails to take into account that the consolidation of the Seanchan empire occurred less than 200 years prior to the story. The death tolls from that would result in a population of da'mane today that would be lower than normal conditions, while the sul'dam population would be unharmed. I would redact about 10% of the sul'dam population as compensation, calling the normal ratio as existing between 32 and 41 sul'dam per da'mane.

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Can someone help me with this! Where did all of these A'DAM come from? There hasn't been a person who can create terangreal in sometime and I thought that talent was somewhat rare. So, are we to believe the seanchan produced these or they all came from the forsaken or what? Is this explained and I missed it. Seems like these things grow on trees back home.

The Seanchan know how to replicate the female a'dam(they all come from copies of the orginal made by a female channeler who was trying to curry favor with Luthair). Per RJ that is the only thing they know how to make.

Thanks Suts, you always have such great info!

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Can someone help me with this! Where did all of these A'DAM come from? There hasn't been a person who can create terangreal in sometime and I thought that talent was somewhat rare. So, are we to believe the seanchan produced these or they all came from the forsaken or what? Is this explained and I missed it. Seems like these things grow on trees back home.

The Seanchan know how to replicate the female a'dam(they all come from copies of the orginal made by a female channeler who was trying to curry favor with Luthair). Per RJ that is the only thing they know how to make.
Thanks Suts, you always have such great info!

No worries mate!

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Back to the "how many suldam per damane?" discussion.

 

Considering that sul'dam are tested for at the same age as damane, then assuming that each was chosen around 20 years of age (16-21, but rounded for simplicity), they would likely only spend 50-60 years (we'll also round up to 60 here for simplicity) with an a'dam. Damane should live somewhere between 500 and 600 years. On average, channelers in the age of legends lived between 600 and 700, but considering that the highest we have heard of  in the modern era has been 606(I believe?) during one of Elayne's comments to Nynaeve about the Kin's longevity, and considering that it wasn't uncommon in the Age of Legends for non-channellers to live between 150 and 200 years, I think that 500-600 might be an adequate number. We can just call it 560 for convenience. Assuming the numbers above, each da'mane will be leashed for approximately 540 years, while each sul'dam will only hold the leash for 60 years. This leaves us at 1 da'mane per every 9 sul'dam, assuming that the numbers were even at all times. We know, however, that they are not, and it is implied throughout the novels that there are between 4 and 5 sul'dam per da'mane. At this ratio, we can determine that there should be between 36 and 45 sul'dam born for every da'mane.

 

However, any estimation such as this fails to take into account that the consolidation of the Seanchan empire occurred less than 200 years prior to the story. The death tolls from that would result in a population of da'mane today that would be lower than normal conditions, while the sul'dam population would be unharmed. I would redact about 10% of the sul'dam population as compensation, calling the normal ratio as existing between 32 and 41 sul'dam per da'mane.

In some respects you are on the right track. Overall, you fall short.

 

Strength in the power has an affect on longevity. A channeler such as LTT, Nyneave, Aviendha, Elayne, Eywene and Avi (and a few others) would probably see 500+ yrs. The stronger one is in the one power, the longer one lives. Not many fall into that level of strength though.

 

The oldest of the Kin - a powerful Kin member hits 600. Most are probably hits more inline with 350, maybe. Migrate that to Sul'dam, factor in an abnormally high fatality rate, and you are looking at roughly ~200. The oldest and most powerful damane, (more powerful than Lanfear) we see is Alivia at ~350. There will not be any sul'dam older than Alivia due to not having direct access to the OP.

 

In my opinion a statistically reliable age for damane would be more in the range of 80-150. War, attrition, sickness, torture, death, etc. This was probably drastically decreased following the battles with Rand, the WT, and the Last Battle. These are no easily replaceable pieces.

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