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Forsaken and Dreadlord Blunders at the Last Battle


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I'm aware this thread has been done before but I just wanted to add my two coppers. 
 
The Forces of Darkness (FOD) did have their coup d'état moments during Tarmon Gai'don, such as subverting the Great Captains via compulsion and by gaining complete strategic surprise attacking/over-running Kandor in short order. In Caemlyn, the Dreadlords established a Waygate-head in a single stroke; negating the security precautions by having well placed Darkfriends in the Queen's Guard and Palace.  They also simultaneously assassinated enough channeling Kinswoman to prevent an SOS message to Elayne that would have alerted her in a timely manner.  The Dreadlords and Trollocs had Caemlyn at their mercy and what did they do to consolidate their hold on the city?  Logic should have dictated mopping up the defenders outside the Palace stronghold and immediately seizing the warehouse storing the Dragons; but the Dreadlords and Myrddraal allowed the Trollocs to give into their pyromaniac and vandalistic tendencies. The subsequent result was that an organized surprise attack descended into chaos.  I do not buy the excuse that FOD S-2 / High Command were unaware of the Dragons, there were way to many Darkfriend spys in the Palace and the Dragon concept was tested publicly.  It should have been very easy for the spys to figure out the location of the warehouse.  Once the FOD CINC-Caemlyn became aware of the Dragons he should have made their capture a priority rather then attacking the walled Palace and allowing the Trollocs to continue to burn and pillage.

To say this was a monumental screw-up is the understatement of the Third Age, those Dragons bled FOD heavily during Elayne's retreat from Caemlyn and later played a critical part at the closing moments of the Last Battle. If the Dreadlords and Fades had managed to capture the Dragons and man them with hastily trained Darkfriend crews; it might have turned the battle just by the blow to Forces of Light (FOL) morale. Imagine if you're a foot soldier or pike man and you suddenly find out that the Super Duper Wonder Weapons that your officers have hinted at have been co-opted and are now pointed at you from across the battlefield. Wouldn't you hastily rethink the prospect of dying gloriously at Tarmon Gai'don as long as the Light was victorious?

Edited by Cuendillar-88!
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From my understanding, Tarmon Gaidon could not have been prevented by either side.

 

about the dragons/cannons, my understanding was that only one group was trained in the use of them:: Mat's Band.

and my understanding was that few were told the location of them.  Mat's Band being one of the few.

The chances the Shadow could have had of seizing the dragons/cannons depended on at least Mat's Band.  A portion of Mat's Band were military before joining the Band; and Mat's military knowledge made them more skilled.

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RE  mb's post

 

Mat's Band were the most proficient with Dragons, unquestionably. But if a Dreadlord with uncommon initiative for a Darkfriend had managed to seize some or all of the Dragons with the accompanying supplies of powder and ammo that could have spelled trouble for the Light. The Dreadlord didn't even have to attempt use the captured Dragons.  He could simply order Darkfriends or captured Andorans supervised by Fades to haul them thru a Gateway to an obscure location in the Blight, thus denying the Band the use of their secret weapon.  My question is, after capturing the Waygate cellar, why didn't the Dreadlords and Fades march their Trollocs straight to the warehouse and overwhelm whatever security Aludra had set up?  It defies logic that the Commander of the Dark Army invading Caemlyn was completely unaware of the existence of the Dragons, not after it was demonstrated he had key insiders in the Palace and Queen's Guard that were used to massacre the existing cellar guard before they became suspicious.  The "inside" Palace Darkfriends were also knowledgeable enough to know about Elayne's message relays and managed to kill the minimum number of Kinswoman to prevent courier Gateways from being opened.  The weapon was also tested very publicly, it denies belief that some Darkfriend didn't report it by carrier pigeon or directly to a Myrddraal that could have infiltrated Caemlyn at night thru a dark alley or shadowed cubbyhole.  To find out the location of the warehouse the inside Darkfriends would only need to kidnap and torture a bellfounder or simply observe and follow all wagons exiting the foundries.  

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Darkfriends in the Palace; there was for sure Daved Halon ("Doilin Mellar") and several Black Ajah, but they were arrested before Mat's & Thom's meeting with Elayne (when the dragons were first discussed).  And they seemed to get no info about any of Elayne's plans during or after their imprisonment in the dungeons.

I am not sure about any other Darkfriends besides them.

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They couldn't simply march there, after all their was a rather big fight for the city.  Also how much time happened between the dragon test fire and the invasion?  So the power of these devices might not of been fully realized and was  a forsaken really paying attention to the dragons?  They all were pretty busy by this time  But in the end I doubt a few darkfriends really had much of a clue about the power of the dragons yet. The dragons themselves weren't potent, its how Mat used them with gateways.  For most a channeler would still be superior then a dragon since a channeler doesn't need to reload and a circle could  do a lot more damage then a dragon could of.    It does take awhile before everyone  understands how a new weapon can change things.  On a battlefield full  of channlers, most probably would discount the dragons.  Just look at real life  during the civil war the gatling gun was  developed, the Union passed on it saying it was  a waste of ammunition.  Only towards the end of the war did they finally realize how powerful a weapon it could be and finally started using it. 

Edited by Sabio
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All of the miraculous wonders of the Age of Legends were driven by the One Power. Many of the discoveries of the current Age were of man. Steam engines and cannons being just two. The arrogance and divisions between the Foresaken and Dreadlords are the real answer to your question. Whether true or not, it's commonly accepted that the bad guys fail because their petty goals and schemes get in the way of any unified assault. They're too busy looking over their shoulders too coordinate for a common goal, therefore they fail.

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Exactly just look at how many times a darkfriend was sent on a task by a Forsaken only to have another forsaken show up and have them do something else.  Even darkfriends sho up and send folk to do other tasks.  Look at the dark sisters when they used that whitecloak to take the palace.  The showed up, didn't care what he was suppose to do and started giving him orders.  Slayer even complained about that in the last book.  They really didn't care if they were ruining another forsaken's plan.  Even if a darkfriend knew of the power of the dragon would they of had a quick way to even notify a Forsaken?  I just don't think there was much time from the test firing to the last battle for the bad guys to truly understand their power.

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The main Forsaken/Dreadlord that seemed to blunder to me seems to be Demandred.  He wanted to be the one to face "Lews Therin"; yet he seemed to discredit the actual location.

To face Rand, one of these actions could have made that happen::

-personally check each location

-use enough forces to kidnap & transport

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Dem's thinking it was simple, he was thinking about LTT rather then Rand.  To him LTT would never give control of the army to  someone else, LTT would be on the field of battle doing it all wanting to be the hero.  Rand had been seen at every location then vanished so there was no guarantee if Dem went to one of these locations he would still find Rand.  Not to mention traveling to Shayol Ghul was becoming increasingly difficult till at the end making a gateway anywhere near there was impossible.  The other main thing I think people are forgetting is I believe Dem was at least partially inane towards the end.  He was using the TP a lot as he pretended to be the dragon slayer, He was suppose to do this great stuff yet not be suppose to channel.  When Mogi tried to impersonate Dem and killed that Sharran she said did any of you sense me channeling.  I think he was suffering the side effects from using the TP so much and almost exclusively. 

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The thing to understand is Darkfriends and Forsaken all have their own plans. 

 

The 'Light' all have the same goal = seal the DO and survive. It made the Last Battle simple for them. Fight or die. 

 

The Forsaken didn't care. Demandred didn't blunder, because he didn't WANT to win. He wanted to fight Lews Therin. 

 

He could have used Sarkernen and obliterated everything, but he didn't want to. 

 

Atop of what Sabio said, Demandred was thinking of Rand as Lews Therin. It was actually very logical, he wanted to draw Lews Therin to his turf, not go hunting him. Lews Therin would never have left the armies under someone elses control, he would have fought to protect everyone. That was one of Rand's key moments in aMoL, he couldn't let go. It wasn't until Egwene died and 'spoke' to him and told him to stop being over-protective that he let go and defeated the DO. 

 

Remember also that Demandred - with Taim - had the Seals. Without them, going to Shayol Ghul was insane. So even though there were reports of Rand at Shayol Ghul, Demandred thought Rand HAD to come to retrieve the Seals. As it was, Rand's plan to leave that to others and go to Shayol Ghul before they had retrieved them was extremely risky. One that Lews Therin would never had taken. Demandred always said he Lews Therin didn't take necessary risks. His goal was to make Lews Therin mad enough to come to take him out personally. 

 

Demandred's problem was he thought Rand as purely Lews Therin. He didn't think that he would trust others to command their armies or retrieve the Seals. For his personal goals it was a good plan. For the Shadow as a whole - which he really didn't care about - it wasn't. 

 

The Dragons weren't a problem for the Forsaken. They came from a society with far greater weapons, and the OP. The Shadow had enough confidence in their fire-power that they didn't care. However, it is worth noting that they did attempt to take out the Dragons. They would have succeeded if it wasn't for Talmanes and the Band's heroics rather than any blunder. True, Graendal or Moghedien could have accompanied the army at Caemyln to make sure, but I don't think they really cared about the Dragons. As it was, I don't think they warranted the attention of 'critical mission'. They certainly helped, but I don't think they were that important. There were several other targets much more worthy of taking out. The Bowl of the Winds, Aes Sedai, Rand himself with Mat and Perrin. Egwene, Tuon. Destroying or killing them would have been much more detrimental than losing the Dragons. 

 

As for the other Forsaken, they all contributed to the failure of the Shadow, but not because they blundered, simply because they didn't have the same plans as the 'Shadow'. 

 

Moghedien was only out to save herself, she wouldn't have done any more than she was forced to. 

 

Lanfear basically went AWOL and didn't care about much but Rand and Perrin. 

 

Moridin was already broken, but he did at least put up a 'defence' of the DO. 

 

Graendal surprisingly was the most dedicated in the end. She did extremely well, but the difference between her and Aviendha was Aviendha was ready to die to win. Graendal didn't want to win if she was dead. 

 

In the end, that's what it came down to, the Shadow didn't have humans willing to die (except for Moridin) for their cause. The lengths that Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve and of course Rand went to, putting their lives in danger, or in some cases even sacrificing themselves to win, made all the difference. 

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The Dragons weren't a problem for the Forsaken. They came from a society with far greater weapons, and the OP.

 

 

This is an interesting point actually. Any one of the Forsaken, but especially someone like Demandred or Sammael, could have put Thakan'Dar to work producing advanced weaponry the moment they woke up. Maybe what they produced wouldn't be on par with what they'd fought with in the War of Power, without the technological infrastructure and engineering expertise, but I'm sure they could have whipped up something that would have blown swords and crossbows, or even Mat's cannons, out of the water.

 

eg. as someone for whom weaponry generally isn't an interest, let alone something I have experience or a professional expertise with, I'm reasonably sure if I was dropped into the WOT setting in the place of one of the Forsaken (so with the resources of the Shadow at my disposal to do the actual work) I could have some basic cannons put together in a month or two just from what I've picked up reading and in the media. The only hard part would be gunpowder, but I'm sure even the Illuminator's Guild has darkfriends in it. With some time and experimentation I'd imagine I could manage basic wheel-lock/flint-lock rifles, and of course explosives wouldn't even be an effort. By the time Tarmon Gai'don came around I'd have the forces of the Shadow 200 years ahead of the Light in terms of just weaponry, and I'm just some guy from the 21st century. Most of the Forsaken are either military leaders or scientists from a civilization far in advance of our current one, imagine the stuff they could have achieved? Instead they just lowered themselves down to the standards of the late 3rd age.

 

Kinda ties into what I was saying in the IWW thread lats time I was here about Lanfear being a knowledgeable scientist and researcher, not just a jealous ex with with superpowers.

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It is a good point that has been brought up before, but it is like trying to mass produce a machine gun in the middle ages within 2 years. They just didn't have the facilities. Agnior had the knowledge, but without anyone able to actually produce the materials, construct the facilities then mass produce something like a shock-lance (an energy discharge weapon) they had nothing but their power. Which actually worked to their disadvantage. They didn't have the things they were used to, so they couldn't be at their peak, whereas the people of the 3rd Age grew up with these things, they were at home. 

 

I mean, could you imagine living in the middle ages? It is a 'lesser' society, but most of us would struggle to survive. (Putting aside we'd likely die of disease within the year. Our natural resistance against the things that were around back then is nill.) I highly doubt you could do anything within 2 years. You might know how, but they just didn't have the ability to craft the metal. Would you know how to build the forge, mine the metal and shape it precisely to fit the cannon's specs within two years? Sorry, but historically speaking, it is a fantasy that anyone would be able to do anything meaningful within 2 years, unless you could give them every single step in the process (without having the internet to check).Technically though, in terms of the most basic cannon, you probably could do it, because they were created quite early in the middle ages compared to your average guns, but that's because they already had the foundations set in Ancient Rome, and even then it would take a long time to get them produced enough to do anything in a real war. (specially against people who can throw fire at you with their minds.)

 

However, as you said, the AoL was vastly superior to the 21st century. Their guns were 'energy discharge weapons' (plasma weapons I believe it was said to be). Considering that the meaning of war was forgotten, and Demandred was literally the one that re-discovered tactics, they wouldn't know anything about creating a flintlock rifle or even a cannon. That knowledge had been obtuse for a long time before they were around. 

 

If they knew how, perhaps they could have created a few simple rifles, but their weapons were plasma guns, the One Power and highly advanced planes/cars. 

 

Funnily enough, Balthamael would have been the one best suited to advance technology. Agnior's expertise were too advanced to translate, Balthamael studied 'primitive cultures' he might have had the closest knowledge to a realistic creation. However, he died early on, then was set other tasks by the DO. And the study might not have meant he could reproduce weapons. As a historian, I'd need to actually study for a few years how to create say, a ballista without the aid of modern technology to be able to explain it to someone who didn't know what it was and get it done right. If I was suddenly frozen and dropped into it, I wouldn't be able to do it, even though I knew some 500 years of advancements. (since we went back a long way in the middle ages, we are probably only that far from Rome's technological level. 

 

 

Now, there could be an argument that Ishamael while being periodically spun out should/could have set up the facilities, but it is highly unlikely. He was a philosopher, he probably had no idea how to build most of it, much less teach medieval people to do so. 

 

They did try to recover something though. They searched for stasis boxes which helped with certain advanced gadgets, but stasis boxes are hard to find, and evidently they didn't find one with anything that could really do something big. Moridin had his stash of AoL stuff, but likely most of it was useless without the ability to maintain it. 

 

However, I think the biggest thing that hindered any progress at all was the One Power. With it, they didn't need to look into non-magical devices. People in general neglected 'science' for a long time, relying on the One Power for a lot of things. Ironically, it wasn't until the Aes Sedai were so incapacitated that the normal people started looking for their own, non-Aes Sedai methods.They could not rely on the Aes Sedai as they could in Hawkwing's era, or the Trolloc Wars That's why we see a surge in technology in the books.  (That and ta'veren/ Pattern.) 

 

In a way you could thank the Aes Sedai for being diminished, because it made people think science and paved the way for the creation of things like the Dragons. 

 

RJ has replied to the same question with pretty much what I just said in a condensed "They didn't have the facilities". Sorry, I can't pull up the quote atm, I'm on the go, but you can find it on Terez's interview compilation page on theoryland. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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It is a good point that has been brought up before, but it is like trying to mass produce a machine gun in the middle ages within 2 years. They just didn't have the facilities. Agnior had the knowledge, but without anyone able to actually produce the materials, construct the facilities then mass produce something like a shock-lance (an energy discharge weapon) they had nothing but their power. Which actually worked to their disadvantage. They didn't have the things they were used to, so they couldn't be at their peak, whereas the people of the 3rd Age grew up with these things, they were at home. 

 

I mean, could you imagine living in the middle ages? It is a 'lesser' society, but most of us would struggle to survive. (Putting aside we'd likely die of disease within the year. Our natural resistance against the things that were around back then is nill.) I highly doubt you could do anything within 2 years. You might know how, but they just didn't have the ability to craft the metal. Would you know how to build the forge, mine the metal and shape it precisely to fit the cannon's specs within two years? Sorry, but historically speaking, it is a fantasy that anyone would be able to do anything meaningful within 2 years, unless you could give them every single step in the process (without having the internet to check).Technically though, in terms of the most basic cannon, you probably could do it, because they were created quite early in the middle ages compared to your average guns, but that's because they already had the foundations set in Ancient Rome, and even then it would take a long time to get them produced enough to do anything in a real war. (specially against people who can throw fire at you with their minds.)

 

However, as you said, the AoL was vastly superior to the 21st century. Their guns were 'energy discharge weapons' (plasma weapons I believe it was said to be). Considering that the meaning of war was forgotten, and Demandred was literally the one that re-discovered tactics, they wouldn't know anything about creating a flintlock rifle or even a cannon. That knowledge had been obtuse for a long time before they were around. 

 

If they knew how, perhaps they could have created a few simple rifles, but their weapons were plasma guns, the One Power and highly advanced planes/cars. 

 

Funnily enough, Balthamael would have been the one best suited to advance technology. Agnior's expertise were too advanced to translate, Balthamael studied 'primitive cultures' he might have had the closest knowledge to a realistic creation. However, he died early on, then was set other tasks by the DO. And the study might not have meant he could reproduce weapons. As a historian, I'd need to actually study for a few years how to create say, a ballista without the aid of modern technology to be able to explain it to someone who didn't know what it was and get it done right. If I was suddenly frozen and dropped into it, I wouldn't be able to do it, even though I knew some 500 years of advancements. (since we went back a long way in the middle ages, we are probably only that far from Rome's technological level. 

 

 

Now, there could be an argument that Ishamael while being periodically spun out should/could have set up the facilities, but it is highly unlikely. He was a philosopher, he probably had no idea how to build most of it, much less teach medieval people to do so. 

 

They did try to recover something though. They searched for stasis boxes which helped with certain advanced gadgets, but stasis boxes are hard to find, and evidently they didn't find one with anything that could really do something big. Moridin had his stash of AoL stuff, but likely most of it was useless without the ability to maintain it. 

 

However, I think the biggest thing that hindered any progress at all was the One Power. With it, they didn't need to look into non-magical devices. People in general neglected 'science' for a long time, relying on the One Power for a lot of things. Ironically, it wasn't until the Aes Sedai were so incapacitated that the normal people started looking for their own, non-Aes Sedai methods.They could not rely on the Aes Sedai as they could in Hawkwing's era, or the Trolloc Wars That's why we see a surge in technology in the books.  (That and ta'veren/ Pattern.) 

 

In a way you could thank the Aes Sedai for being diminished, because it made people think science and paved the way for the creation of things like the Dragons. 

 

RJ has replied to the same question with pretty much what I just said in a condensed "They didn't have the facilities". Sorry, I can't pull up the quote atm, I'm on the go, but you can find it on Terez's interview compilation page on theoryland. 

 

I don't really buy it. They had the entire forces of the Shadow at their disposal, the darkfriends and the Black Ajah, anyone they could grab up with compulsion. Of course they wouldn't be able to mass produce shock lances and the likes (at least it doesn't seem likely), and what they do end up making would be different to our conception of weaponry, given that their technological development had a significantly different basis than ours, but I still think they could have come up with something to give them an extreme advantage if even one of them had sat down and put their minds to it. Of course we know that in the end they didn't, they decided to carve out power in the existing socio-political infrastructure for the most part, and then Rand popped up much sooner and stronger than they expected and started tearing them down, but I find it hard to believe that someone like Sammael or Demandred wouldn't have tried it. It would have been the ultimate base of power - the Forsaken scheme and backstab, but if, say, Sammael, decided to industrialize Thakan'Dar in preparation for the Final Battle, I doubt the Dark One would look kindly on any of the others attacking and destroying it to take him down. He would have had at least a tentative degree of protection and possible perceived authority, especially if he was close enough to the Bore that the stricture against channeling without permission remained.

 

Anyway obviously RJ didn't want to roll that way with it and I don't really intend to debate back and forward about it, I just think it would have made the story more interesting and realistic if there'd been more technological crossover between the AoL and the end of the Third Age via. the Forsaken and all their power and knowledge. Certainly would have created more tension, given more insight into neglected aspects of the setting. It's nice to wonder about. In the end what it boils down to is that the Good Guys won by definition. That's what the Good Guys do in a series like this, and RJ never planned to deviate from that, but he could have made it more interesting and realistic by exploring this stuff instead of wasting so much time on snooze inducing subplots.

Edited by Azrayne
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Well, they didn't go down the path you describe, but they didn't waste their time, they just chose a different option, which was just as realistic considering their personalities and tendencies. I wouldn't have complained if they did do it, but I wouldn't say that it was unrealistic that they didn't. It made sense. 

 

They also were somewhat stifled by the Dark One, who made many errors. The Dark Ones orders were to 'let the lord of chaos rule.' To create chaos and sow dissent and misery. As we learn, the DO's goal didn't have anything to do with fighting, the DO wanted humans to be so miserable as to give up and let him win. Going against the Dark One was a bad idea, so perhaps some of them would have wanted to do something similar, but were ordered to do otherwise. 

 

The Shadow is about destruction and dominance, I think it is a part of the whole philosophy of the people who join the Shadow. Specifically the Forsaken who believe the world will be re-made when the DO wins, their goal was to destroy, not create. Their arrogance - and the DO's own arrogance - turned them in different directions. 

 

Rather than try and build, Sammael decided it was far better to take advantage of the primitives and rule over a nation himself. He did collect things, but the problem with the Forsaken is that they don't like sharing. Sammael kept all of the things he found to himself, to give him personal power and advantage over the other Forsaken. He thought if his rule over a nation was secure, and he had secrets up his sleeve, he was safe. Rand and Moridin proved just how disposable he was, but he did think about it, just did the wrong thing as it turned out.  

 

Graendal and Moghedien were never interested in overt power. They knew their strengths, and caused chaos as ordered to keep in good with the DO, but didn't want to risk anything enough to do something that would put them in the spotlight. Again, they were arrogant and thought that all they had to do was wait until the Last Battle, and the DO would win easily. They would stay safe and come out on top. 

 

Mesaana I think was one of the most practical of the Forsaken and did the best job. She saw the major power against the DO, and subverted it, all the while in the centre of power where she could learn almost everything. I think if she could have, she would have taken the White Tower's store of ter'angreal and angreal, but they were well protected. Her defeat was more Egwene's triumph than her failure. When you come up against an opponent that's better than you, you just get outplayed. 

 

Semirhage did a nice job. The Seanchan were the biggest threat to the DO. If they had their full force fight the Last Battle, they could win. Slaughtering the royal family and plunging them into chaos was one of the more effective Forsaken schemes. The collaring of Rand was also a huge blow that nearly ended it, and that wasn't her fault. She was either betrayed by the DO, or Rand gained TP access accidentally, which nobody could have foreseen. 

 

Rhavin had the same idea as Sammael, but liked manipulating people and pretty women. He thought the primitives were easy to control, and they were. Too bad Rand got really angry and luckily Nynaeve turned up to save the day. Otherwise it was quite successful in messing up Andor. 

 

Be'lal wanted Callandor, which is understandable enough. Killing Rand and taking Callandor is a shortcut to the top. Again, he just got unlucky with Moiraine's sneak attack. 

 

Ishamael messed with a lot. He created the 'Town' in the Blight, created full on killing machines. Messed with the Seanchan to create that whole mess with Hawkwing and his descendants and generally screwed people around. He also had his cache of stuff and handed them out to his Darkfriend minions like Slayer and the ones that captured Elayne got a plasma pistol of some kind. But Moridin was a strange one to begin with, he only thought of ending the world. Instead of building a better army, he preferred to destroy the opposition before the battle even began. 

 

Demandred went about his business quite well at first. He set up Taim in the Black Tower, making sure the Light didn't get a bunch of male channelers all for themselves. He then went to the effort of subverting a continent, retrieving one of the most powerful sa'angreal and got an army full of channelers and warriors. It made him invaluable to the DO, the same way it would have if he did industrialise Thak'andar. While everyone was being stomped on by Moridin, Demandred was left to do his thing. True, he could have done something different, but the end result was the same, in that he secured a great power both personally and for the Shadow. 

 

So I'm not totally disagreeing with you, and I'm not trying to argue that you are wrong. Perhaps one of them could have done something like you said. All I am saying is that a lot of the options that the Forsaken did choose achieved the same thing, so for me it was just a difference in planning, not a mistake as such. I mean, if Demandred had industrialized Thak'andar instead of the whole Shara thing, or Sammael had chosen to do so, would it have turned out better? It could have, it might not have. The plans they had gained the Shadow a lot. In retrospect it is easy to say Sammael would have been better to do something else, but he was surprised by Rand, and there are risks associated with any plans. 

 

(Although I admit, doing something at Thak'andar would have been much safer. It's not like Rand could have stormed Shayol Ghul like he did Illian. But at the same time, Illian would not have been fighting against Rand for all that time, and perhaps Rand would have had an easier time uniting the world under his banner so that he COULD overpower Sammael at Thak'andar when the time to fight came.) 

 

Basically all I'm saying is I think that these 'blunders' aren't blunders, but just a difference of plans. Doing what you suggest might have turned out well, I don't know, but weighing the odds as a Forsaken, the best path to power is to take over a nation, which cuts down your enemies and boosts your own forces. I can't say they were wrong either, Sammael, Be'lal and Rhavin all took over their respective nations very easily. It was the 'good guys' who foiled their plans. 

 

They get a lot of retrospective criticism just because in the end it didn't work out. I just point out that they had some good plans. Others - like Agnior and Balthamael Asmodean and Lanfear just dropped the ball because they were either incompetent at what they were supposed to be doing or in Lanfear's case, just didn't care to do so. 

 

Edit: I just found what I wanted. The Shadow was apparently innovating, we just didn't get to see much of it. So they were working on things, as much as the Light was. 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW: Apr, 2012 LUCKERS
Do the Forsaken know the weaves Elza used to break the warding Cadsuane placed on the Domination Band?
BRANDON SANDERSON

Yes.

LUCKERS
So, why didn’t they use it on wardings Rand placed on Callandor, and the other things they’ve wanted that were warded earlier in the series?   BRANDON SANDERSON

*stares at me for a long moment, thoughtfully* They may not have know them then. The thing is... we don’t see a lot of the Shadow innovating with the Power, unlike with the Light, but they have been. As much as the Light. But they know, now. The notes definitely say this.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Again as Barid said The forsaken was mostly out for themselves, there was no incentive for them to help all the other Forsaken.  If you found a new cool weave, you would keep it to yourself to give yourself an advantage not share it.  Yes they had knowledge but not the way to make anything useful in a short time.  Imagine waking up in Roman times with todays knowledge.  You might have the knowledge to make a gun but are there the resources there to actually make them?  Also I am sure they felt even a shocklance was a poor substitute for being able to channel.  These are a group of people who thought channeling was the ultimate power.  So what if trollocs and humans died because they are using primitive weapons.  They went out looking for object of power to help themselves not to help the cause.  This was why Rand was pointing out to the DO why he never achieves the ultimate victory.  He went on about how that no matter what the DO does his enemies never lose hope or give up fighting.  Its foreign to the DO and the forsaken to willingly die for a cause.  To do something for the benefit of everyone not just themselves.  Verin even said the forsaken were like children battling for their masters attention, they were self centered and selfish.  In the end I think it was simply time, there just wasn't the time from when they woke up to the last battle to really build anything very useful even if they had the desire to.  They assumed their "superior" knowledge with the power would be enough.  One of the reasons they were shocked when the "primitives" came up with something new with the one power.  The Forsaken were blinded to there might be new ways of doing things.  They stuck with the "they are gods" and are all powerful mentality.

 

I always wondered if the weave Elza used Semirhage taught her, it could of been a weave Semi knew and kept to herself.  Its possible since the wards protecting callandor were made by a male that maybe she couldn't undo those.  Could be since a female made the wards around the domination band Semi could teach someone to undo those.  Just a thought.

 

I still wonder about the blacktower, when did Dem convert Taim, and when did Dem take control.  Still no clues on if Taim went to Rand as a DF or became one after.  After all he had a lot of the same traits as Dem or Samm, envy, dislike of having to take orders from someone you thought was inferior to you, anger at someone else getting the glory, etc..  So sure he was not difficult to convince to change sides.   After all Osan'gar was there first, so like Mes in the WT was it his task to manipulate the BT?  Did Dem take over when Osan'gar was selected by Rand to accompany him?  Hope the new reference book deals with some of that.

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I think there's a point being overlooked by some here regarding the Foresaken. They were arrogant of course, and lamented the loss of Shocklances and other weapons from the Age of Legends, but none of them knew the making of these things! That was 'below them' even during the War of Power. Imagine if you will, being sent to an age that was basically medieval. You 'know' all about jets and tanks and iPhones, but could you build any? The Foresaken couldn't even make ter'angreal on their own, needing to find stashes laying around.

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Sammael (or Demandred) having Thankandar (or Shayol Ghul) produce weapons for Tarmon Gaidon?  Ishamael's/Moridin's place I take was not far from there.  Not sure if Ishamael/Moridin would have allowed that.

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Sammael (or Demandred) having Thankandar (or Shayol Ghul) produce weapons for Tarmon Gaidon?  Ishamael's/Moridin's place I take was not far from there.  Not sure if Ishamael/Moridin would have allowed that.

 

You're not sure if the guy who's goal is the destruction of the Universe would be ok with increasing the chance of the Dark One winning the Last Battle?

Edited by Azrayne
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No, Ishamael would not allow Demandred or Sammael setting up in Thakan dar. It would mean Nae blis would pass to one of them. Demandred 's motives and actions were all spot on with his personality. One other fact is that LTT was as bad as Demandred in the Age of Legends. In ToM, even Rand commented on that. The fact is that LTT would have lost the Last Battle because he WOULD face Demandred on the battlefeild. Because he was as arrogant as the Forsaken themselves in addition to being a good man with the elements that Rand could be even better.

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They could have set up shop somewhere else. The Blight is big. Hell, the world is big, and they have an endless supply of servants/workers. Hell, Sammael could have set up shop somewhere on-site in Illian - not as convenient, but he obviously had plenty of darkfriends working for them, and the influnce of ruling in all but name. Demandred certainly could have gotten something going in Shara once he fulfilled their prophecies.

 

It's just not realistic that not a single one of them tried to utilize their knowledge from the AoL, especially when they're complaining about how primitive the current age is and how insufficient the tools they have to work with are. And it's certainly not as interesting as it would have been if they had.

 

Personally, as far as Ishamael goes, I always got the impression he never cared about jockeying for power and position in and of itself. That discussion he has with Rand after they forge their bond is very telling. He just wants it all to be over. No wheel, no rebirth. If Balefire stopped someone from reincarnating, I'm sure he'd blast himself into oblivion. But he can't, he's trapped forever and he hates it, all he can do is try and ensure the Dark One wins and hope he's right about the DO's motive.

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Sammael (or Demandred) having Thankandar (or Shayol Ghul) produce weapons for Tarmon Gaidon?  Ishamael's/Moridin's place I take was not far from there.  Not sure if Ishamael/Moridin would have allowed that.

 

You're not sure if the guy who's goal is the destruction of the Universe would be ok with increasing the chance of the Dark One winning the Last Battle?

 

Ishamael/Moridin seemed to be the most obedient and/or most faithful to the Dark One.  That seemed to be the main reason he became Naeblis.  He would have done what the Dark One would have commanded.

And for some reason, Moridin seemed willing to help Rand kill Sammael.  Maybe something similar would have happened if Sammael had set up at Thankandar.

 

edit::

a question to consider:

would more weapons have increased the Dark One's chances of winning Tarmon Gaidon (or any battle/conflict/etc)?

Edited by mb
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