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where were the wise ones?


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The Shaido had 4 hundred wise ones in their clan alone, it is remarked in CoT i think by, Masuri? That they had half the white tower in one clan.

As there is no reason, to think which i know of,the Shaido had more channelers than the other clans, it stands to reason the Aiel should have had a overwhelming amount of channelers at the last battle, but apart from avi, amys and some others fighting at SG we dont see them. Worse its suggested that the channelers for the light are if not outnumbered at least matched by the ones for the DO. At roughly 4000 going from the amount of shaido channelers, that should be the combined numbers of WO who could channel, exceeding any other group by a country mile.

Unless ive missed something. Where were they?

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Their last on screen appearance was in Knife of Dreams.

A portion of their channelers were captured by the Seanchan during the battle shortly before that scene.  Do not remember how many.

The remaining Shaido I take were planing to go to the Waste.

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You've not missed anything, damandred. It's an oft-cited criticism of the last book that great swathes of channelers apparently decided to have a holiday or something.

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Those 400 were those all the WO's or just the WO's that could channel because not every WO could channel. 

 

Again I think it just comes down to too many characters, too many different groups, so some had to get let out.  I think only the main WO's got any last battle screen time. Some wise ones might of kept to the they don't take part in a battle, but I am guessing that had the Aiel channlers been included, then the Kin would of got tossed into things not to mention the Sea Folk who seemed to of just rode things out and did nothing in the last battle. So BS and RJ really would of had to of upped the number of Sharran channelers to balance things out.  Guess its just assumed they were out and about being productive. 

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The Wise Ones of Rand's Aiel, I take the channeling ones were with Aviendha during Tarmon Gaidon.  Not sure about the non-channeling ones.

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The simple fact is AMoL was riddled with mistakes and retcons, this was certainly one of them. Good breakdown here:

 

Dom

IMO it's pretty much inexcusable. When you take into account the other channeling groups that were missing it drastically changes the very nature of the LB.

>>The first time around this bugged me, but I brushed it off believing I must have misread or lost track of a mention of where they were or something, as between Maria and the betas, Brandon could not possibly have done such a mistake.

But on my reread I've reached the point where Aviendha is briefly captured by red veils and she asks for circles, gets two small ones, that had to include AS sworn to Rand and two WO - and Sorilea speaks of going to find a few more and then asking off-duty Windfinders to join manage to get a third circle. Huh, what? It's all the WO channelers Aviendha had?

Brandon really made a huge error. The Shaido clan alone had over 400 WO who could channel at Malden - about 200 hundred of them got captured by the Seanchan. It's a big clan, but still... with eleven clans involved in the LB the total number of WO who can channel has to be above 2500 and it's probably conservative. Brandon gave Aviendha a pathetic skeleton crew of WO at Shayol Ghul. Elayne has but a handful (the six with Perrin plus a few extras.. and they're forgotten in nearly all Elayne's tallies of her channelers in the book), Egwene has none, Lan has none, a few like Melaine went to lend their strength to Yellows in Mayene. Where the heck have the thousands of WO channelers gone? Brandon just went and deprived the Light of its biggest group of female channelers. There's no helping that now, but that's a really big error. None of the battles Brandon designed would have gone as they do with these extra 2000-3000 or more female channelers... that could easily double the number of women with Egwene, and added 500 for both Lan and Elayne and still leave 1000 with Aviendha! And if they were all with Aviendha, the battle at Shayol Ghul, the scale of it, the tactics etc. would have been nothing like it is in the

book.

Edited by Suttree
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The simple fact is AMoL was riddled with mistakes and retcons, this was certainly one of them. Good breakdown here:

 

Dom

IMO it's pretty much inexcusable. When you take into account the other channeling groups that were missing it drastically changes the very nature of the LB.

>>The first time around this bugged me, but I brushed it off believing I must have misread or lost track of a mention of where they were or something, as between Maria and the betas, Brandon could not possibly have done such a mistake.

 

But on my reread I've reached the point where Aviendha is briefly captured by red veils and she asks for circles, gets two small ones, that had to include AS sworn to Rand and two WO - and Sorilea speaks of going to find a few more and then asking off-duty Windfinders to join manage to get a third circle. Huh, what? It's all the WO channelers Aviendha had?

 

Brandon really made a huge error. The Shaido clan alone had over 400 WO who could channel at Malden - about 200 hundred of them got captured by the Seanchan. It's a big clan, but still... with eleven clans involved in the LB the total number of WO who can channel has to be above 2500 and it's probably conservative. Brandon gave Aviendha a pathetic skeleton crew of WO at Shayol Ghul. Elayne has but a handful (the six with Perrin plus a few extras.. and they're forgotten in nearly all Elayne's tallies of her channelers in the book), Egwene has none, Lan has none, a few like Melaine went to lend their strength to Yellows in Mayene. Where the heck have the thousands of WO channelers gone? Brandon just went and deprived the Light of its biggest group of female channelers. There's no helping that now, but that's a really big error. None of the battles Brandon designed would have gone as they do with these extra 2000-3000 or more female channelers... that could easily double the number of women with Egwene, and added 500 for both Lan and Elayne and still leave 1000 with Aviendha! And if they were all with Aviendha, the battle at Shayol Ghul, the scale of it, the tactics etc. would have been nothing like it is in the

book.

 

Nailed it.

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You are forgetting that most of those missing WOs even in circles of thirteen would have been cannon fodder in the battles. We know through the previous books that they all consider the wonder girls to be extraordinary because of most other channellers were not considered strong enough to fight off one fist of shadowspawn, let alone the massive numbers that came in that book.

 

The same is true of the Sea Folk; their numbers had mostly weak levels. Their abilities were tied to the weather which meant they would have been limited only to the Bowl of the Winds. Do not forget that they would have brought in the Aiel male channellers much sooner if they had been present, as the Dark One would have noticed much sooner that something was going on, not to mention Fain. He would have rushed in as well. It pretty much would have forced a loss for the Light, since their presence would have allowed the Shadow to destroy the battle lines sooner and much easier. It is a basic rule of warfare; target your weakest enemies and leave your toughest for last. 

 

It is pretty much how the Light lost in the AoL; Demandred, Sammael and the others all targetting the weakest channellers and leaving the strongest till last, while learning the art of command on the battlefield. How many times have we heard of these tactics? How many of you have used them in your games? I have; it is how I completed my missions since I play RTS games like Age of Kings.

Edited by wotfan4472
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Wait what?

 

No one is forgetting any thing about channeler strength. May not understand where you are going here but are you suggesting that the missing Ash'a's, WO's, and WF's(no they didn't have mostly weak levels, they merely sent their weakest to the WT) were not actually mistakes, but potentially left out on purpose as their presence would have assured defeat for the light? Further you are basing this on a strategy from the AoL that is never stated in the books and some random video games you play?

 

The breakdown above is spot on, the errors fundamentally changed the nature of the last battle.

Edited by Suttree
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You are forgetting that most of those missing WOs even in circles of thirteen would have been cannon fodder in the battles. We know through the previous books that they all consider the wonder girls to be extraordinary because of most other channellers were not considered strong enough to fight off one fist of shadowspawn, let alone the massive numbers that came in that book.

You are forgetting the number of times it's said that a circle of thirteen could cut Rand off from the Source. A circle of even thirteen weak channelers still packs a hell of a punch - mix in some of your stronger channelers, and it's even more devastating. And that's not overlooking that we're talking about 200 circles of 13 (using Dom's conservative estimate of 2500 Wise Ones, we get 192 full circles). That's a hell of a lot of power. While individually they wouldn't be a match for the big hitters, they should still have enough strength to really bleed the Trollocs at any front they were present on.

 

The same is true of the Sea Folk; their numbers had mostly weak levels. Their abilities were tied to the weather which meant they would have been limited only to the Bowl of the Winds.

No. Weather is their strongest point, but it's not the only thing they know. They fought the Seanchan, after all. And giving them basic instruction in making fireballs and suchlike shouldn't take too long. It's also misleading to say they had "mostly weak levels". The bottom third of the bell curve is channelers who are too weak to be AS, which means the average AS is probably stronger than an average from other groups, but there's still a way between Morgase or Sorilea levels and bottom level AS - they should be easily capable of fielding circles that are near Rand in strength. Lots of them. You don't think that 200+ Nynaeves or Egwenes or Alivias would have made a significant difference?

Do not forget that they would have brought in the Aiel male channellers much sooner if they had been present, as the Dark One would have noticed much sooner that something was going on, not to mention Fain. He would have rushed in as well. It pretty much would have forced a loss for the Light, since their presence would have allowed the Shadow to destroy the battle lines sooner and much easier. It is a basic rule of warfare; target your weakest enemies and leave your toughest for last.

Why is it a problem if the enemy is forced to commit their forces? How would it have been a disaster for the Light? The forces of the Shadow would have been much more hard pressed, suffered greater losses. If they are forced to commit, and have nothing left in reserve, that's an advantage for the Light, because it makes the Shadow less able to react and bring more force to bear on weak parts of the enemy lines. If the Light's worst channelers can bog down the Shadow's forces, especially their best channelers, that allows the Light's other forces to bring greater power to bear - the Light then brings their best to bear on the Shadow's worst and destroys them in detail. Even if the Windfinders and Wise Ones only serve as cannon fodder, that's still more useful than them taking a holiday.

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Small point here, captured channelers almost immediately become 'new" channellers for the Seanchan.

 

Edit: Spelling

Edited by jradnut
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Small point here, captured channelers almost immediately become 'new" channellers for the Seanchan.

 

Think everyone is pretty clear on that...just not sure where you are going in the context of this discussion?

Edited by Suttree
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  • 2 months later...

Ah. Good. Should of known the DM community wouldnt of missed, ,such a obvious absence.

There was a lot that was missed in regards to channelers and channeling.  The hundreds of captured Shaido channelers being absent could be explained by a limitation of Suldam to handle and train them all.  But then the Seanchan should have been recruiting new Suldam much as they were leashing hundreds of women within their new borders.  Oops, forgot those too!  Then the thousands of Aiel Wise Ones that could Channel on team Rand.  They had a select and minuscule showing at the bore.  The accepted and the novices, all thousands of new ones, were only mentioned as lending their strength for healing.  Which, by the way, was a little underplayed.  All the new methods of healing where people are getting healed only to the point of surviving?  We see healing progress from kabam! instantly healed requiring a lot of strength from the channeler with the healed party also robbed of strength, needing to recover to new healing where the strength comes from the OP itself rather than tiring the sister extensively.  Yet with thousands of Novices and some accepted linked the sisters are run ragged by healing a few thousand soldiers.  How many yellows were there?  Two hundred, a little more?  That's only 10-20 requiring healing per sister, and being stingy with the OP as they were, I think they wasted power and strength always going back later.  I can see a handful out on the battlefield doing some EMT trauma going through a hundred or so of the worst off being tired and run ragged, but if things were bad off, there had to be a handful of Accepted that were close to being sisters that could handle the flows, and not a few among the accepted.  I mean...there were a bunch of Kin that joined the ranks of the Accepted and Novices.

 

One thing about channeling that I missed seeing were all the new weaves that Logain learned from Rand along with the other Ashamen.  Blossoms of fire, red fillaments, death gates...I mean, get smart.  Protect your flank against shadowspawn with walls of gateways that opened into the air above the trolloc hordes.  Then you insult their mothers and they come pouring on down, a slight hiss and wisp of smoke as they pass through then not only are they dead but plummeting hundreds of feet at terminal velocity into their own lines killing and wounding others.  Or fix the red filaments in place and it's Fruit Ninja time as they come running at your lines.  And where were the lethal wardings we heard so much about in the early books?  The ones Moiraine wouldn't make due to the power required being able to be sensed by things chasing them?  The ones that can kill shadowspawn?  A lot of cool tools the forces of light had weren't used.       

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It was not only the channelers, the Aiel as a whole were a bit of a let down. We kept hearing through the series of the great prowess of the Aiel and the fact that 4 clans shattered the wetlands, it would of been nice to of seen a bit more of that prowess by the full might of the Aiel.

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It was not only the channelers, the Aiel as a whole were a bit of a let down. We kept hearing through the series of the great prowess of the Aiel and the fact that 4 clans shattered the wetlands, it would of been nice to of seen a bit more of that prowess by the full might of the Aiel.

 

You are not alone.

 

 

 

Let me tell you my biggest issue with the Last Battle. It is not any of the following, although they are all legitimate and extremely annoying:

 

 

 - Army numbers and strength off by a large margin

 - Channeler numbers and strength off by a large margin

 - Stupid tactics

 - Seanchan lowered to a regular army power level despite being a lot better than anyone in Randland (except Aiel)

 - insignificant and small units like the Mayen Guards or the Two River bowmen given much more spotlight, mention and ability. When did the Mayners turn into superheroes and since when are 500 people more important to the battle than 5000 or 50 000? Realistically they cannot do anything. The Legion of the Dragon, Wolfguard and regular army are much more capable due to their numbers. The Mayeners are not channelers or super soldiers and couldn't have had as alrge an impact as was implied. 

- Lack of destruction, no one south of Andor even knew or felt the Last Battle, except a month of bad weather. Where is the destruction we saw in the Age of Legends flashbacks? The Forsaken, shadowpsan and darkfriends were pathetic.

 - Shara way underpowered for a continent sized nation that is supposed to breed channelers.

 - Lack of death of characters. The Last Battle leaves all the main and most of the side characters alive. One Egwene doesn't suffice.

- etc., etc., etc.

 

BUT THOSE ARE NOT WHAT BOTHERS ME THE MOST.

 

The biggest, most appaling and downright criminal mistake Sanderson made was to ignore the Aiel. The Aiel forces that we know of would be able to SOLO  the number of shadowspan we saw at the last battle. The clans that came from the Waste would have been able to march to Shayol Gul while laughing and telling jokes and kill a couple of million shadowspan on the side as a distraction on the way. Yes, they were hyped up for a dozen books, but there is a reason for that.

 

Why make them the best soldiers and then not use them? Maybe Sanderson realized he would have needed ridiculous amounts of shadowspan in order to threaten the Aiel? Anyway, nerfing them was a bad decision. He turned the most powerful force into another Andoran or Gheladanin squad. Exremely disappointing.

 

Please, do not point me about the Aiel who fell to the Belakness as a reason for the nerf. Their numbers were not that great.

Also, only the Miadens and the Brotherless went to Shayol Guyl, as mentioned in the text several times, that's why Rhuarc resigned as clan chief in order to go there and the rest of the clan chiefs were dead on Merillor, so the "all Aiel went to Shayol Gul" has no foundation in reality.

 

Where are my 250 000 to 500 000 invincible Aiel Sanderson? I could have accepted everything else in the books, but not this. This is an insult.

Edited by udbabor520
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It was not only the channelers, the Aiel as a whole were a bit of a let down. We kept hearing through the series of the great prowess of the Aiel and the fact that 4 clans shattered the wetlands, it would of been nice to of seen a bit more of that prowess by the full might of the Aiel.

You are not alone.

 

 

Let me tell you my biggest issue with the Last Battle. It is not any of the following, although they are all legitimate and extremely annoying:

 

 

- Army numbers and strength off by a large margin

- Channeler numbers and strength off by a large margin

- Stupid tactics

- Seanchan lowered to a regular army power level despite being a lot better than anyone in Randland (except Aiel)

- insignificant and small units like the Mayen Guards or the Two River bowmen given much more spotlight, mention and ability. When did the Mayners turn into superheroes and since when are 500 people more important to the battle than 5000 or 50 000? Realistically they cannot do anything. The Legion of the Dragon, Wolfguard and regular army are much more capable due to their numbers. The Mayeners are not channelers or super soldiers and couldn't have had as alrge an impact as was implied.

- Lack of destruction, no one south of Andor even knew or felt the Last Battle, except a month of bad weather. Where is the destruction we saw in the Age of Legends flashbacks? The Forsaken, shadowpsan and darkfriends were pathetic.

- Shara way underpowered for a continent sized nation that is supposed to breed channelers.

- Lack of death of characters. The Last Battle leaves all the main and most of the side characters alive. One Egwene doesn't suffice.

- etc., etc., etc.

 

BUT THOSE ARE NOT WHAT BOTHERS ME THE MOST.

 

The biggest, most appaling and downright criminal mistake Sanderson made was to ignore the Aiel. The Aiel forces that we know of would be able to SOLO the number of shadowspan we saw at the last battle. The clans that came from the Waste would have been able to march to Shayol Gul while laughing and telling jokes and kill a couple of million shadowspan on the side as a distraction on the way. Yes, they were hyped up for a dozen books, but there is a reason for that.

 

Why make them the best soldiers and then not use them? Maybe Sanderson realized he would have needed ridiculous amounts of shadowspan in order to threaten the Aiel? Anyway, nerfing them was a bad decision. He turned the most powerful force into another Andoran or Gheladanin squad. Exremely disappointing.

 

Please, do not point me about the Aiel who fell to the Belakness as a reason for the nerf. Their numbers were not that great.

Also, only the Miadens and the Brotherless went to Shayol Guyl, as mentioned in the text several times, that's why Rhuarc resigned as clan chief in order to go there and the rest of the clan chiefs were dead on Merillor, so the "all Aiel went to Shayol Gul" has no foundation in reality.

 

Where are my 250 000 to 500 000 invincible Aiel Sanderson? I could have accepted everything else in the books, but not this. This is an insult.

Yeah that sums it up pretty well.

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You know, it does not matter anymore. Like many people, I don't consider them canon too.

 

But it hurts. It hurts so much because this my favourite series ever.

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Not just the Wise Ones who got shortchanged. Egwene had about 800 Aes Sedai left after the Black Ajah purge. Sure, some were with Rand, others with Logain, etc. but that still leaves about 700. Then in ToM, Gawyn says she was raising as many women as possible to AS from the stronger Novices and Accepted. So the numbers should have been even higher. Take away the 100 or so Yellows and you're left with at least 800 Aes Sedai, with a healthy percentage of them equipped with angreal, and some rare few with sa'angreal. Never really got the feeling that there were so many in Kandor, and it made no sense that they didn't send some with Lan and Elayne so that there would be channelers to take care of enemy channelers.

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According to Egwene in LoC, there are less than a 1000 Aes Sedai, which is also what Taim told Rand. Seeing as there were around 210-220 black ajah, that 50 were bonded to Ash'aman, 30 who swore allegiance to Rand, at least 25 who were captured by the Seanchan, and then however many died, or who are still out in the world, I'd say there were about 600 AS at the White Tower after tGS. There were probably 700 Aes Sedai still alive as of aMoL, not counting those captured by the Seanchan, or any who might have been raised by Egwene, something she doesn't seem to have done anyway.

 

Regardless of the exact number, there definitely seemed to be fewer than there should have been.

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But at the beginning of the series it was made clear there weren't that many novices or accepted.  

 

@Fion, not sure why you think a healthy percentage of the Aes Sedai would be equipped with angreal.  Did I miss somehting in reading?

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Not just the Wise Ones who got shortchanged. Egwene had about 800 Aes Sedai left after the Black Ajah purge. Sure, some were with Rand, others with Logain, etc. but that still leaves about 700. Then in ToM, Gawyn says she was raising as many women as possible to AS from the stronger Novices and Accepted. So the numbers should have been even higher. Take away the 100 or so Yellows and you're left with at least 800 Aes Sedai, with a healthy percentage of them equipped with angreal, and some rare few with sa'angreal. Never really got the feeling that there were so many in Kandor, and it made no sense that they didn't send some with Lan and Elayne so that there would be channelers to take care of enemy channelers.

 

Yes, I remember that you had many posts about the military blunders. There are geography errors too:

 

Originally Posted by Davian93

 

Okay, so here's a bothersome error. Now, the battle at Merrilor took place right next to the Mora River (a tributary of the Erinin that forms the border of Arafel & Shienar). Now there's an easily fordable section right there by the battlfield. Problem: The AS in TGH somehow sailed four boats down through that very ford when they left Fal Dara to go to Tar Valon. If there's a ford like that, there's zero chance of those boats being able to get that far up river. Geography fail.

 

 

Dom

Wow... you're right.

 

It's one of many, and easy to avoid as Brandon just had to move the heights and the ford south, on the Erinin (the eastern affluent of the Erinin, there's a western one as well) instead of the Mora. It's fordable area is well north, beyond Medo. The rest of river, up to its source, is not accessible to ships and it's where the road to Arafel is,

that's why Siuan's ships stopped at Medo and the delegation rode through woods to Fal Dara.

 

And how is a company of masons, without the OP to help, was supposed to build briges over a river as wide as the Erinin in a few days. Closer to the bank there are mudflats, so around Cairhien/Andor the river isn't as deep it is north and south, but it's still not fordable, for bridges to be built so easily without modern resources. Again, easy to avoid, Brandon just had to use barges/ferries instead... but wait... oh yeah.. of course there's no way the Shadowspawn could cross the Erinin, no more

than those that crossed it south to come take Elayne in a pincer (those from the north could easily have come through the PS at Kinslayer dagger).. unless Dreadlords made bridges of Air. The whole thing is a complete mess.

 

Then, in TOM the minuscule village of Dorlan (a few buildings, dixit RJ) gets described as a town, a city and a village in different chapters. To top it, Brandon moved it from the eastern bank (from which the AS reached it from Dumai's Wells) to the western bank, to have Gawyn "ride to the rebel camp". *sight*.

 

There were also gross errors with the layout of Caemlyn. The wide boulevards etc. are in the New City, and Old Caemlyn is a labyrinth of

very narrow streets laid out around a hill. The only open area is the Queen's Plaza on the summit, facing the palace. Brandon inverted it, making Talmanes fight on wide streets near the palace, and on narrow ones in the New City.

 

I haven't checked yet if he put the Waygate in the right area of the city.

 

In TGS Mat traveled in mountainous country on a broken road about 3 times faster than the the best time the Band could make on the good road from Cairhien to Tear.

 

Another "geographic fail" in AMOL is that he got Lan stay close to the Mora. First, he placed its source much to far north. Then, he completely forgot the string of forts guarding the Blight, them he forgot the Mora is in a valley, surrounded by high hills/low mountains. There's no way Lan could retreat following the bank of the Mora without

placing his army between Shadowspawn and hills/mountains, but Brandon conveniently turned the area into a plain. Let's not even mention the fact that between Medo and Fal Dara, it's supposed to be Woods.

 

Another geographic fail: 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, if as described they followed Lan's army, and Lan was staying close to the Mora as he retreated east and south!

 

Edited by udbabor520
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