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Weekly Topic: Future of the Borderlands


The future of the borderlands  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the Borderlands has the brightest future?

  2. 2. Will the Borderlands be united as one nation?

    • Yes, all of them
    • Yes, some of them
    • No, none of them
  3. 3. Which nation or organisation do you see the Borderlands allying with in some manner?

    • Arad Doman
    • Andor and Cairhien
    • The Two Rivers
    • Ghealdan
    • Tear
      0
    • Illian
      0
    • Murandy
      0
    • The Aiel
    • The Seanchan (including their conquered territories)
      0
    • The White Tower
    • The Black Tower
    • The Kin
    • Mayene
    • The Sea Folk
    • Far Madding
    • Shara (hey you never know)
      0


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In this weeks topic I thought we should discuss the future of people who though always respected, have held the most unforgiving duty in the world, and who have suffered greatly for their valor: the Borderlands.

 

The Borderlands have existed for 3000 years under various forms and banners. Always they have been the first shield against the Shadow. None have suffered as much as they.

 

Malkier was wiped out half a century before the Last Battle. Saldaea's capital has been left in ruins. Kandor's has been left a ruin in it's entirety, and Shienar as well was ravaged during the retreat from the Gap.

 

The death toll is undoubtebly enormous and a further strain upon these nations. The period immediately following the Last Battle promises to be one of great difficulty for the Borderlands.

 

In light of this, the wisest course for the Borderlands may well be to unite under one banner. They have already long been the most tightly knit nations in the Westlands, obliged to cooperate in the face of a common foe. But with this foe defeated and imprisoned, they now have greater freedom in their actions. This might lead to conflict between. On the other hand, though the enemy is defeated, the memory of him endures and so do the lessons learned from their long and unforgiving fight against him: there is strength in unity. But would the various monarchs accept to lose their independence? And who would lead them? Lan and Nyneave at the head of an inevitably rebuilt Malkier? Faile and Perrin who possess a powerful alliance with Andor, Cairhien, and Ghealdan?

 

The opportunity for expansion to the north exists, as the Blight recedes without the Dark One's influence. But enemies may still exist there. If the shadowspawn that remain are united in some manner, they could make recovery difficult. Once the Borderlands have fully recovered though their future may be brighter than any. With great swaths of land to settle to the north, and a mindset that tends to protect from infighting, their future is promising.

 

There may well be alliances to be made beyond the Borderlands. The domani are nearest and defended Saldaea in Tenobia and Bashere's place, and they too are recovering in the aftermath of Graendal's actions. Another that should be considered is the Black Tower. As fellow defenders against the Shadow whose duty has always been their first and only acceptable objective, we saw a sense of comaradery between them during the fight on the Shienar front of the Last Battle. Borderlanders have a mindset that fits quite well with the purpose of the Asha'man. Furthermore, the Asha'man are probably the channelling group most willing to use the power for mundane means, something that could be very useful for the rebuilding of the Borderlands. Closer relations between the two is both logical and desirable.

 

So what do you think the future has in store for the Borderlands?

Edited by Master Ablar
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I think that Malkier has the brightest future. The King and Queen are heroes and have gone through so much with accepting death and longing for peace. With Malkier basically non-existent, it can be rebuilt with the old warrior culture as rememberance fortified by a new outlook as they rebuild in the new age. Without pre-existing customs and mindsets holding back growth like the other nations, Malkier can start fresh and may be the first to actively change the world. For example, they may be more accepting of male channelers. Nynaeve's influence will certainly help - her ideas that developed about how Aes Sedai should act, and how she generally treats the world (again, an acceptance of Male Channelers) will definitely help Malkier to move onto a new golden age. 

 

As for the rest of the Borderlanders, I think that rebuilding will be their main focus. Saldaea - through Faile and Perrin - will have the most comfortable change as the Southern influences will help them adjust to life without an enemy. 

 

I'm not certain that Arafel and Sheinar will exist. Most of the two nations were scoured, there will be little left to go to - and I doubt they would want to, I can see Shienar being consumed by a new Malkier, and parts of Arafel. The rest of Arafel I feel would be divided up between the border nations and Arafellin will be refugees. 

 

I can't say much of Kandor, I didn't get a clear picture of what happened to them. We know Arafel was totally wiped out, and while Kandor was certainly invaded, that's really the last we heard of them. The extent of the damage is unknown. I can't see Kandor existing too much longer on it's own. Perhaps it might be united with parts of Arafel to create a combined nation, or even join Saldaea in the Two Rivers alliance. Multiple ways Kandor could go, but I think it will definitely disappear if they try to rebuild. It doesn't have the strength nor the purpose with no Shadowspawn. 

 

If there are Shadowspawn left, I can see the Borderlanders giving up their land to pursue the remaining Shadowspawn. After that, I'd say they would work to re-populate the Blight under one nation. 

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I think Malkier and Saldaea probably have the brightest futures, largely due to their leadership.  I think Lan's reputation, and his actions in the LB will have been a massive inspiration to many of the Borderlanders, and I think the idea of reclaiming and resurrecting Malkier will appeal to a lot of them.  I agree that Nynaeve's views towards other channelers will also be beneficial as Malkier grows in the New Age.  Not only is she open to male channelers, but she is also a 'better' Aes Sedai - she cares about people, she's not mysterious and aloof, and she won't pull strings for the WT so people won't be left guessing at what her real goals are.  I would imagine they would also have the support of Andor (through Nynaeve's ties, and her friendship with Elayne), the White Tower (through Nynaeve's status), and the Black Tower (through Nynaeve's acceptance of male channelers, and her ability to heal their madness).

 

Saldaea also has a good chance at a hopeful future, largely because they have a good succession secured - Faile, as a legitimate heir to the throne, and Perrin is one of three ta'veren who were instrumental in the defeat of the DO.  Not sure how Saldaeans would take to the wolves though - I seem to recall a couple of mentions that Borderlander's sometimes have problems with them, so that may cause some conflict.  Hopefully Perrin would be able to sort something out though.  Furthermore, Saldaea would have support from the Two Rivers (through Perrin's stewardship), and this could possibly be extended to Andor as a whole, as well as Murandy and Ghealdan.

 

I don't see the Borderlands being united as one nation.  I think they each have pride in their individual cultures and skills, and would prefer to remain as separate countries.  However, I do see them being tied together more formally, and more strongly than the rest of the countries are under the Dragon's Peace.  Maybe in some kind of relationship like the countries of the UK, where some aspects of government cover the whole region, and others are specific to the individual countries.

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I voted Malkier - partly because I like Nyn and Lan so much, but also because symbolically reclaiming land from the blight is going to be viewed as 'a good thing to do'.  

 

I think Barid makes a good argument - borders are going to change, significantly in some cases in the immediate aftermath of the war, but I don't see them becoming one nation, there are some significant cultural differences between them.  I also think that in the future they may actually start some conflict, the driving force between their 'alliance' has gone.  They no longer need to defend against the Blight, Faile seems aware of the importance of borders, I can see over time the normal conflicts arising over borders.

 

Saldea is already allied with several nations south of teh Borderlands, I also see possibilities with the Aiel, out of all of the cultures they're the most warrior centred, there are more similarities there than there are between the Borderlands and the southern coastal countries.

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Well Sheinar at least should not have been scoured and I'm not sure how they will fix this one. As was pointed out by Dom:

 

Elayne gives the order to burn several cities in Shienar which were in the path of the Trollocs as Lan retreated, incl. Medo, Ankor Dal and Fal Moran. That's not a list of the cities in the Trollocs's path, it's just a lazy list of known cities of Shienar... Fal Moran and Ankor Dal were nowhere in the path of the Shadowspawn,

 

I do agree with Barid however in terms of borders changing. I think Saldea with it's ties to the south/Andor will do very well. I see Malkier as being a bit more removed from the rest of the world.

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Forgot to mention Nyns testing as another sign that Malkier will rebuild. 

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Malkier  will revive, probably including Shienar and parts of Arafel, it will need those lands as only the southern strip will be freed of the Blight, which is by no means sufficient for a state. Does anyone recall any details about what happened to the Borderland royal families? The only thing I can recall is what happened to the Saldaeans.

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We have some information about the future of Malkier from RJ's notes, courtesy of Brandon (emphasis mine).

 

Brandon: And, because I have more leeway with such things now, here are some nice quotes from you directly from RJ's notes regarding what happens to Lan and the Borderlands following the Last Battle.

"Malkier might have a lot of uniting to do with the western end of the Borderlands under Lan, who will find himself made king out there..."

"The Blight recedes to some extent, I'm not sure how far, it recedes a good bit, though. And they can reclaim some, I'm not sure they can reclaim all of Malkier at this point, but the Blight has visibly retreated so they can go down there and check the towers on the Blight Border. And they are miles inside the Borderland now, instead of being right on the Border, towers sitting right on the edge of the Blight. They're not on the Blight anymore."


So, talk that the Blight is completely gone isn't true, though it does retreat. (And there are other pockets of land in the north where it is not present.)

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I think Malkier and Saldaea probably have the brightest futures, largely due to their leadership.  I think Lan's reputation, and his actions in the LB will have been a massive inspiration to many of the Borderlanders, and I think the idea of reclaiming and resurrecting Malkier will appeal to a lot of them.  I agree that Nynaeve's views towards other channelers will also be beneficial as Malkier grows in the New Age.  Not only is she open to male channelers, but she is also a 'better' Aes Sedai - she cares about people, she's not mysterious and aloof, and she won't pull strings for the WT so people won't be left guessing at what her real goals are.  I would imagine they would also have the support of Andor (through Nynaeve's ties, and her friendship with Elayne), the White Tower (through Nynaeve's status), and the Black Tower (through Nynaeve's acceptance of male channelers, and her ability to heal their madness).

 

Saldaea also has a good chance at a hopeful future, largely because they have a good succession secured - Faile, as a legitimate heir to the throne, and Perrin is one of three ta'veren who were instrumental in the defeat of the DO.  Not sure how Saldaeans would take to the wolves though - I seem to recall a couple of mentions that Borderlander's sometimes have problems with them, so that may cause some conflict.  Hopefully Perrin would be able to sort something out though.  Furthermore, Saldaea would have support from the Two Rivers (through Perrin's stewardship), and this could possibly be extended to Andor as a whole, as well as Murandy and Ghealdan.

 

I don't see the Borderlands being united as one nation.  I think they each have pride in their individual cultures and skills, and would prefer to remain as separate countries.  However, I do see them being tied together more formally, and more strongly than the rest of the countries are under the Dragon's Peace.  Maybe in some kind of relationship like the countries of the UK, where some aspects of government cover the whole region, and others are specific to the individual countries.

This basically covers my thoughts as well to the future ofthe Borderlands. Also the retreating blight from the mountains will probably open up proserous valleys that could be farmed. I really however doubt that Perrin will be doing much with the two rivers. It jsut would create problems with Andor.

Edited by Raven Servant
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Malkier for sure, but I think the Borderlands are doomed short term... you have problems: Most of all, depopulation. Arafel was completely depopulated from what we can tell, Kandor got beat up bad, and Shinear was literally burned to the ground. We know that the borderlander army lost two-thirds of it's men BEFORE the battle of Merrilor. While Southern nations were  still heavily populated during the entirety of the last battle, the only Borderlander kingdom that seemed tp escape massive population reduction was Saldea. The Last Battle was a Borderland genocide.

 This will make it nearly impossible for the Borderlands to have much influence on the world stage. In reality there are no Borderlands at this point. It's not a convenient stopping point for all the refugees out of the East, and it serves no vital defensive or economic function like it used to. I just don't see people making an effort to build it back up.

 

 So, unless Lan really inspires mass immigration to Malkier because he's so awesome, I see the Borderlands fading into obscurity for the next hundred years.

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Malkier for sure, but I think the Borderlands are doomed short term... you have problems: Most of all, depopulation. Arafel was completely depopulated from what we can tell, Kandor got beat up bad, and Shinear was literally burned to the ground. We know that the borderlander army lost two-thirds of it's men BEFORE the battle of Merrilor. While Southern nations were  still heavily populated during the entirety of the last battle, the only Borderlander kingdom that seemed tp escape massive population reduction was Saldea. The Last Battle was a Borderland genocide.

 This will make it nearly impossible for the Borderlands to have much influence on the world stage. In reality there are no Borderlands at this point. It's not a convenient stopping point for all the refugees out of the East, and it serves no vital defensive or economic function like it used to. I just don't see people making an effort to build it back up.

 

 So, unless Lan really inspires mass immigration to Malkier because he's so awesome, I see the Borderlands fading into obscurity for the next hundred years.

this, so unless they find minerals up there or something else to promote immigration they will eventually be conquered be the southern lands.

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tEotW

 


   "But the price was high for Manetheren. Eldrene had drawn to herself more of the One Power than any human could ever hope to wield unaided. As the enemy generals died, so did she die, and the fires that consumed her consumed the empty city of Manetheren, even the stones of it, down to the living rock of the mountains. Yet the people had been saved."
   "Nothing was left of their farms, their villages, or their great city. Some would say there was nothing left for them, nothing but to flee to other lands, where they could begin anew. They did not say so. They had paid such a price in blood and hope for their land as had never been paid before, and now they were bound to that soil by ties stronger than steel. Other wars would wrack them in years to come, until at last their corner of the world was forgotten and at last they had forgotten wars and the ways of war. Never again did Manetheren rise. Its soaring spires and splashing fountains became as a dream that slowly faded from the minds of its people. But they, and their children, and their children's children, held the land that was theirs. They held it when the long centuries had washed the why of it from their memories. They held it until, today, there is you. Weep for Manetheren. Weep for what is lost forever."

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My guess?

 

Swords to plowshares.

 

With the ruination of crops, foodstores, and the like everywhere else in Randland, Rand's final act of decimating the Blight and replacing it with plants, trees, and all other manner of flourishing growth just turned the surviving Borderlands into the world's breadbasket.

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Doesn't the Dragons Peace forbid the changing of borders?

 

It does, but as far as we know, not being privy to the wording of the treaty, there's nothing in that fixation of borders as they currently stand that prevents creating a new nation where one did not exist before. Or in the case of Malkieri, restoring the borders of a dead nation that has a living king and queen, and many willing residents willing to farm the land, to everyone's benefit.

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Is Malkier part of the Dragon's peace?  Lan wasn't present at the Fields of Merrilor meeting.  I'm sure Nynaeve could have signed for him, but I don't think it was mentioned whether she did.

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I was thinking that he had Lan, Nyneave, Perrin, Faile and anyone else he thought might be running a kingdom sign it, but I haven't found that part again.

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The signing progressed. Some did it with great flourish, others in more casual fashion. Rand had Perrin, Gawyn, Faile and Gareth Bryne sign as well. He seemed to want anyone here who might rise to a position of leadership to have their names on the document.

 

Nynaeve isn't mentioned, but she was present, and her signature would probably suffice. The ToM glossary mentioned that "the husband or wife of a Saldaean ruler is not simply a consort, but an almost co-equal ruler," so we know Perrin will be almost equal to Faile. Tenobia wasn't married, so she didn't have to share the throne with anyone.

 

Nynaeve's Accepted test suggested something similar goes for Malkier (Lan: “As my wife, how could you not be Queen? We are Malkieri here, not southlanders. You were crowned in the Seven Towers at the same time we exchanged rings.”) Of course, we don't know how accurate the Accepted test was, but I think it's most likely to be true.

Edited by sleepinghour
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Well, I could see the argument of whether Malkier is signed in or not going either way - Nynaeve is technically "queen" if in title only, and Rand would no doubt sign her if he had any real reason to believe at that point that Malkieri was going to be a living nation again... yet on the other hand, he's not privy to the results of her Accepted run, has no reason to know much of a dead nation's customs, and Lan never showed any inclination to kingship, just avenging his dead nation. I don't see Nynaeve being an offscreen signing, but I think the whole argument's kind of moot - if someone were inclined to challenge the petition for reinstatement of Malkier, they'd have a very real point  in the fact that Malkier ceased to exist when the Blight ate it.

 

I'm guessing that the restoration of Malkier and any other new nations on unclaimed lands would be the first issues facing an embassy of nations in the face of starvation and other fallout from the Last Battle. In politics, self-preservation and money tend to win out over everything else, so I'd expect they'd let some fledgling nations claim the resources of the former Blight than break the Dragon's Peace further and fight among themselves over it.

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Yeah, there is also the prospect of further colonization of the Blight. It's a pretty big place and AFAIK nobody has claimed it. 

 

Also,  I'm not sure how it would work in terms of Kandor. The royal family was practically destroyed and the entire nation literally burned to the ground. 

 

Arafel and Shienar are in a similar state. What would happen if the nation doesn't have the ability to sustain itself? I don't think the Dragon Peace mentions anything about other nations being forced to commit aid to struggling nations, just they can't invade. 

 

I can't see that the nations will remain as they are for more than a century or two, kingdoms rise and fall without invasion. Then there is the threat of rebellion. The fourth age might be without the Shadow, but people can still be jerks. Although I suppose the Aiel will mediate that- however, what about systematic changes in the government. Andor may decide it wants to become a democratic nation at one point. Is it still Andor? If the royal family isn't too keen to let go of power, then technically it's no longer Andor. 

 

I think the Dragon's Peace only prevents fighting and mainly stops the Seanchan from taking over the entire continent. I don't see how borders can remain as they are for any extended period of time. 

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The Dragon's Peace is like so many other famous agreements and treaties held throughout time. It stands only as long as people respect, uphold and remember it. We only have to look at our own history to see that, or Aviendha's path in the books. Without the Dragon himself around to remind people, the chiseling and undermining probably begins within the lifetime of the youngest, those that do not remember the Last Battle.

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Well, I could see the argument of whether Malkier is signed in or not going either way - Nynaeve is technically "queen" if in title only, and Rand would no doubt sign her if he had any real reason to believe at that point that Malkieri was going to be a living nation again... yet on the other hand, he's not privy to the results of her Accepted run, has no reason to know much of a dead nation's customs, and Lan never showed any inclination to kingship, just avenging his dead nation. I don't see Nynaeve being an offscreen signing, but I think the whole argument's kind of moot - if someone were inclined to challenge the petition for reinstatement of Malkier, they'd have a very real point  in the fact that Malkier ceased to exist when the Blight ate it.

 

Like the quote said, "[Rand] seemed to want anyone here who might rise to a position of leadership to have their names on the document." Leadership doesn't require a country or throne, only followers. Rand was aware of Lan's army at that point, so it'd be odd to have someone like Gawyn sign but no one to represent the Malkieri. According to Brandon, RJ's notes placed Dobraine at Merrilor when Rand and Egwene clashed, but Brandon never mentioned Dobraine anywhere in AMoL. So it's hard to say whether Malkier was intentionally left out of the treaty or it's just another detail that Brandon neglected to add.

Edited by sleepinghour
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