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TheoryMan

Machin Shin, The Ways, And Shadar Logoth

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Someone probably already stated this, but I wanted to point out that the ways were tainted from the waygate in Shadar Logoth, NOT from the taint on Sadin. The question I want to consider is will the ways heal now over time? With all the talk of how the ways are somehow an organic thing, it could regrow right?

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Yeah, sorry theoryman, but I have already brought this one up and it was the taint that caused Machin Shin. I liked the theory at first but oh well.

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Regardless, thats a good question, do you think we'll see the ways begin to heal before the end of the series. Also, maybe a battle scene depicting the destruction of Machin Shin.

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I have a sneaking suspicion that the ways will be one of those loose ends that is left at the end of the series. Unless they play some big role in aMoL, i don't see them being discussed again. And the good guys no longer have need of the ways since everyone can now travel.

I do think there is a strong possibility that Machin Shin is toast. Specifically because it is a product of the taint. Here's my reasoning:

 

1. The taint showed some kind of cohesiveness. One Rand hand pumped enough into SL, the rest got pulled or syphoned in.

 

2. It is likely that MS, was waiting at the SL waygate. It seems to follow Rand around or at least it did. This is more speculation but we have no reason to think the black wind has changed its tactics recently.

 

3. This part is pure speculation. As the taint was pulled into SL and that dome built up, it is impossible to tell what happened inside. It is possible though thaat SL was getting ripped apart as Mashadar and the taint went at it. If the waygate was broken in some way, based on assumption 1, i think the black wind would have been syphoned out of the ways and destroyed with the rest of the taint.

 

Something is definitely up with the black wind to allow all those trollocs through in KoD. Plus the fact that Avi seems to have found a talisman of growing. Seems to me the Ways will be renewed but we may not "see" it happen.

 

Unfortunately, the immediate effect of removing the black wind is bad news for Rand and crew. The good guys don't need the ways as badly as the shadow. The black wind was a good deterrant that seems to have disapeared.

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Why are the Ways bad news for the Forces of Light?

 

(KOD The Golden Crane) Elder Haman offers to visit all the Waygates and block them. Assuming he like Loial will Travel with an Ashaman, all the Waygates will be sealed save for those in the Blight, and the Ways will become a death trap for any Trollocs entering if Machin Sin is still alive.

 

Even if they did not remove the access keys, a handful of Ogier guarding each Waygate would be sufficient to prevent the Trollocs from using the Ways effectively.

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Even if they did not remove the access keys, a handful of Ogier guarding each Waygate would be sufficient to prevent the Trollocs from using the Ways effectively.

 

A "handful"? Myrdraal aren't worried about casualties, they would have a thousand Trollocs swarm that "handful" of Ogier.

 

But a Power-based trap, now that could be VERY effective. Thats why Rand hooked Loial up with an Asha'man to Travel with. It wasn't just to get there faster. It was so that an effective trap could be woven. I don't see why Rand wouldn't do the same with Elder Haman.

 

The Ways will have limited usefullness for the Shadow. There are probably a handful of Waygates they could still use, if they so choose, but the most important ones (major population centers) will all probably be secure.

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I had not considered using a warding. That is a possibility.

 

It does have some drawbacks. A warding is permanent and has to be undone. If the Ways have ben cleansed as speculated by many the Ways would be forever closed unless a male channeler could undo the warding.

 

Removing the access keys would be just as effective since they could not open the Waygate from the inside unless the Myrdraal carried spare sets with them. Do we have any evidence they do? (TSR A Missing Leaf) Loial places removes the access key so no more Trollocs can enter the Two Rivers.

 

How many Trollocs can exit a Waygate at once? In every scene where humans have exited they do so one at a time. (TEoTW Fal Dara) (TSR Within the Ways)

If they egress one at time how many Ogier would it take to lop off their heads as they did. The bodies would pile up and the Waygate would be blocked short of having a bulldozer to clear away the corpses. Or maybe the Trollocs eat their way out, gorging themselves on the bodies in the doorway.

 

The only other possible way the Myrdraal could transport masses of Trollocs would be by Portal Stone. an there is no evidence that they know of its existence except through Lanfear/Cyndane. There is no evidence they can be transported this way. It is pure conjecture. There are enough Portal Stones in major cities to do so. It also requires a channeler to take them from the Blight to the chosen destination. The Dark forces have very limited resources to do this if it can be done.

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It does have some drawbacks. A warding is permanent and has to be undone. If the Ways have ben cleansed as speculated by many the Ways would be forever closed unless a male channeler could undo the warding.

 

Rand has already developed a specifically targeted warding that targets only Shadowspawn, through which humans and Ogier can pass unaffected. He used it on the Shadar Logoth Waygate in LoC, chapter 21. Since Rand didn't send Loial and Karldin out to check on the Waygates until a book later ... well, if Rand didn't teach Karldin how to make the ward, it would be one of the most collosal blunders in these books by any character. Since we never see Rand's order to Karldin either way, I choose to believe that Rand is not a complete moron and told him how to do it.

 

Removing the access keys would be just as effective since they could not open the Waygate from the inside unless the Myrdraal carried spare sets with them. Do we have any evidence they do? (TSR A Missing Leaf) Loial places removes the access key so no more Trollocs can enter the Two Rivers.

 

That would work, and the Waygate could then only be reopened with the Talisman of Growing (the Myrdraal cannot carry "spare sets"). In fact, that seems to be what Elder Haman intends to do to some of the Waygates.

 

How many Trollocs can exit a Waygate at once? In every scene where humans have exited they do so one at a time. (TEoTW Fal Dara) (TSR Within the Ways)

If they egress one at time how many Ogier would it take to lop off their heads as they did. The bodies would pile up and the Waygate would be blocked short of having a bulldozer to clear away the corpses. Or maybe the Trollocs eat their way out, gorging themselves on the bodies in the doorway.

 

The humans leave one at a time for safety reasons. The time-flow differences between the Ways and the outside cause acceleration problems when entering and exiting. But the Myrdraal aren't going to care about that. They'll just keep pushing Trollocs through until by sheer numbers they gain a foothold on the outside.

 

The only other possible way the Myrdraal could transport masses of Trollocs would be by Portal Stone. an there is no evidence that they know of its existence except through Lanfear/Cyndane. There is no evidence they can be transported this way. It is pure conjecture. There are enough Portal Stones in major cities to do so. It also requires a channeler to take them from the Blight to the chosen destination. The Dark forces have very limited resources to do this if it can be done.

 

Myrdraal cannot use portal stones, it would have to be done by one of the Forsaken, and requires huge amounts of the Power. Rand could barely move a couple hundred people through a portal stone even with an angreal. Portal Stones are a very impractical method.

 

The main and only really signifigant thrust will come out of the Blight. The only other practical possibility is that large numbers of Trollocs have already been hidden in remote locations, such as the Mountains of Mist or the Shadow Coast. But the main thrust will be marching from the Blight.

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what makes you think that the shadowspawns would be the main force of darkness?

 

people have always been just as dark as any creature (actually people are creatures).

 

i really like the traps on the waygates though, making it so that shadowspawns only die a few hundred metres away, perfect. :D

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Um, surely most of the 'bad guys' can also travel? The forsaken and dreadlords, who most likely are putting in an appearance soon?

As i understood it, only really ogier and Aes Sedai travelled the ways before they were corrupted anyway.

 

Because the ways are organic it doesn't necessarily mean that they can heal themselves, just because the taint is gone. Machin Shin may possible be weakened but is now basically a living avatar of the DO's malice and hate. If one person gives another a virus they are still infected even after the source of the virus is destroyed in some cases like AIDS it cannot be destroyed. This is what I see happening to Machin Shin unless possibly someone asks the Finn people how to destroy it.

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The idea being that you cannot send shadowspawn through a gateway pretty much limits their spread to areas where they're already hidden or can approach by foot. It also appears that there isn't much of a "evil" human army contingent either, which would be the only possible military force which could be moved at high speed through a gateway.

 

That only leaves the Ways as an option for large scale, high speed, movements of shadowspawn.

 

Yes, there are plenty of dark channelers, but outside of shadow-aligned human servants they only have themselves to move about quickly.

 

I'm truly anxious to see what RJ does with the Ways in he next book.

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Thank you for clarifying the warding and how it only affects Shadowspawn.

 

Can someone give the exact measurements of a Waygate door?

 

From (TEoTW The Dark Along the Ways) The first Waygate was in the basement of a house. It cannot be so big as to accomodate a large force emerging en masse.

(TEoTW Fal Dara) They rush out of the Ways because of Machin Sin yet they still come out in single file.

(TGH Leaving Tar Valon) Egwene and company enter and leave in single file.

(TSR Within the Ways) They leave single file despite being attacked by Trollocs and Machin Sin.

 

The evidence leads us to the conclusion is that Waygate doors are not large enough to allow passage of many people at one time let alone a horde of Trollocs.

 

In (ACOS To Be Alone) Rand asks Loial to visit the steddings and urge the Ogier there to set guards on all the Waygates. There is no evidence he gave instructions to Karldin to put in place the anti Shadowspan Ward he set at Shadar Logoth. Why would he have the Waygates guarded if he gave the ward weave to Karldin? He certainly did not ask them to seal the Waygates the way Loial did at Emonds Field.

 

Why would Rand ask them to set guards. It would not require many Ogier to prevent the Trollocs from exiting. They would be chopped down as they did.

 

Elder Haman would be more successful in convincing Stedding Elders of the danger and possibly destroy the access keys on this trip. To do this he would have to enter the Waygate to retrieve those on the inside door. This may be a quick way how we learn if the Ways were cleansed when the Taint was.

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To protect against smaller Darkfriend incursions. The warding would only protect against Shadowspawn.

 

Can you cite any instances of darkfriends using the Ways other than Liandrin and Padan Fain?

 

By removing the access keys you could prevent anyone for exiting the Waygate Darkfriend or Shadowspawn. This is particularly true for the 20 Waygates that exist in the Steddings that have been abandonned by the Ogier.

 

For Reference here is a list of the known Steddings.

 

Saldeaa: Stedding Shandoon, Stedding Maardon

 

Kandor: Stedding Chiantel

 

Shienar: Stedding Sanshan, Stedding Qichen, Stedding Mafal Dadaranel, Stedding Nurshang

 

Black Hills:(3)Steddings unnamed, Stedding Jentoine

 

 

Tar Valon: Stedding unnamed

 

Caralain Grass: (3)Stedding unnamed, Stedding Taishin

 

 

Arad Doman: (2)Steddings unnamed

 

 

Toman Head: Stedding unnamed

 

Darkwood: Stedding unnamed

 

Mountains of Mist: 5 Steddings unnamed

 

Shadow Coast: Stedding unnamed

 

Emond's Field: Unnamed (Sealed by Loial)

 

Plains of Maredo: Stedding unnamed

 

Caemlyn: Stedding unnamed

 

Shadar Logoth: Stedding unnamed (warded by RaT)

 

Kinslayers Dagger: Stedding Yontiana

 

Cairhien: Stedding Tsofu

 

Spine of the World: 8 Steddings unnamed, Stedding Taijine, Stedding Cantoine, Stedding Daiting, Stedding Shangtai

 

Haddon Mirk: Stedding Jenshin

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ok what was the point of that long list again?

 

and just because something is guarded doesn't mean it's safe, you need failsafes, and you might even need a failsafe for the failsafe and so on and so on.

 

btw, nowhere is it mentioned that they are closing the gateways completely, te gateways are just warded with traps that's all.

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I have a sneaking suspicion that the ways will be one of those loose ends that is left at the end of the series. Unless they play some big role in aMoL' date=' i don't see them being discussed again. And the good guys no longer have need of the ways since everyone can now travel.

I do think there is a strong possibility that Machin Shin is toast. Specifically because it is a product of the taint. Here's my reasoning:

 

1. The taint showed some kind of cohesiveness. One Rand hand pumped enough into SL, the rest got pulled or syphoned in.

 

2. It is likely that MS, was waiting at the SL waygate. It seems to follow Rand around or at least it did. This is more speculation but we have no reason to think the black wind has changed its tactics recently.

 

3. This part is pure speculation. As the taint was pulled into SL and that dome built up, it is impossible to tell what happened inside. It is possible though thaat SL was getting ripped apart as Mashadar and the taint went at it. If the waygate was broken in some way, based on assumption 1, i think the black wind would have been syphoned out of the ways and destroyed with the rest of the taint.

 

Something is definitely up with the black wind to allow all those trollocs through in KoD. Plus the fact that Avi seems to have found a talisman of growing. Seems to me the Ways will be renewed but we may not "see" it happen.

 

Unfortunately, the immediate effect of removing the black wind is bad news for Rand and crew. The good guys don't need the ways as badly as the shadow. The black wind was a good deterrant that seems to have disapeared.[/quote']

 

I think the black wind is there to stay, Because the 'Taint' on Saidin manifests in multiple ways and it is still there hence, Rand's madness is still there and will not dissipate, neither with Machin Shin.

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Can you cite any instances of darkfriends using the Ways other than Liandrin and Padan Fain?

 

Can you cite any other instances of the Last Battle?

 

That probably came off a little snippy, but just because it hasn't been done until now, it would be foolish for Rand to assume that it won't be done in the future.

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The fact that Darkfriends havn't really used the ways makes it more likely that they will try to now, surely? After all they would not expect rand to be prepared for it and so would try to surprise him, Demandred is reckoned to be one of the greatest generals of all time he will see this as a possible reason to use the ways to move darkfriends around if he thinks Rand doesn't expect it.

 

I think the black wind is there to stay, Because the 'Taint' on Saidin manifests in multiple ways and it is still there hence, Rand's madness is still there and will not dissipate, neither with Machin Shin.

 

I think this sums it up well.

 

The idea being that you cannot send shadowspawn through a gateway pretty much limits their spread to areas where they're already hidden or can approach by foot.

 

Where does it say shadow spawn can't travel through a gateway? I was wondering how they got into the Aiel waste to attack rand if they cannot pass through gateways?

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Where does it say shadow spawn can't travel through a gateway?

 

In Knife of Dreams, chapter 19 Vows.

 

I was wondering how they got into the Aiel waste to attack rand if they cannot pass through gateways?

 

They marched south.

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