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The Tainted Times - June 2015


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Tainted Times - June 2015


Another month has already passed, and we're over halfway through the year. Last month, we had a mafia game played, got several new and returning members, didn't get any submissions for anything related to the Tainted Times and celebrated my birthday. Okay that's not actually that related to the other things, is it?




Balwer, ThePowerOfSaidin, welcome to the Black Tower!


lord of the dawn and (oficially) Mawthtex, welcome back to the Black Tower!




None yet, though I know there are four upcoming very very shortly, most likely within a few days.




I'm going to keep the "This month" header here for now, as no one has taken the time to attempt to earn 40 points and create new ones, which also means they're still up for grabs.




Csarmi's Mass Effect 2 mafia has seen it's full play last month. Despite a bad start for town, with four ending up dead at the start of day 2, they managed to pull a win out of the fire. The next mafia game, wheeloftime13's British Monarchy, is currently in sign-ups.


Despite what I said last month, the Wheel of Time scene Elimination game has not yet come to a close, though it is now down to two scenes. Perrin rallying the wolves at Dumai's Wells or Noal coming for Olver, which scene is better?




Longest thread of the month: I need ideas ! from Chaelca.

Posts in the 300k post thread: Leyrann



Leyrann 50

Crimson_Ayla 43

Nikon 30

dawnflower8 9

lord of the dawn 8

Nyanna al'Meara 6

wheeloftime13 1


It should be noted that 8 posts are not in this count, but they are from members with a total of less than 8 posts, which means they are in a huge group that I don't really want to look through.

Also, I am not yet awarding points, because I forgot to bring it up with the staff. I may add them later this month or I may start next month, I'm not sure yet.


Tainted Times Headers: Last month I got zero submissions for the headers of the different parts of the Tainted Times, so those points (10 each) are still up for grabs. Also, I've even added a fifth one, member contributions. Even more pointses.


Food For Thought


(warning: this Food For Thought contains major spoilers for A Memory of Light. Don't read this (or any replies) if you haven't finished the series yet)


We have the Prophecies of the Dragon, which essentially make Rand the "Chosen One" destined to save the world and bla bla bla. He fullfills the prophecies, sometimes by explicitly trying to, sometimes on accident. So, obviously, Rand is the good guy and everyone who opposes him is evil or misguided. The evil needs to be killed, the misguided will see the truth. I mean, look at the Forsaken: Semirhage is a sadist, Moridin wants the cessation of existence, Mesaana teaches children to hate one another, Sammael, Be'lal and Demandred command ranks and ranks of ravaging beasts and...


Wait, Demandred? Is he really that evil? On first sight, he turned to the Shadow because he was always the second to Lews Therin, and he is his main opposing commander on the battlefield, even being better than Lews Therin there. But he doesn't see himself as evil. Moridin, Semirhage, Mesaana, etc all know they're "evil" and they don't care anymore. But Demandred, despite giving himself to the Dark One, doesn't consider himself evil. In fact, he considers himself the savior of the world, just like the Dragon, or maybe even more than/instead of the Dragon.


And he can even back it up. While giving himself to the Shadow is of course a terrible act, it could very well be he realized Lews Therin's flaws on the battlefield and understood that, even though Lews Therin surely wasn't a bad general, he could not win the war. It is not unreasonable to argue that Demandred turned to the Shadow in an attempt to become Nae'blis. Why I will explain on later. He was also, just like Rand, prophesized, but in Shara, where he did indeed gain control. Now, I don't know how much of it is known exactly (I haven't read River of Souls), but as we can see in A Memory of Light, he did not align himself with the Shadow in the open until the Last Battle, as he asks his crush (don't deny it) what she thinks of them fighting on the side of the Shadow.


And he also didn't want total destruction of the world. Oh, yes, he wanted the Shadow to be victorious, but he didn't want a bad ending. He assumed, though he is wrong here, that if he managed to become Nae'blis, the Dark One would allow him to reshape the world in his vision, thereby allowing him to save the world. So is he really evil, even if only a well-intentioned extremist, or is he a savior?


Also, do not forget, you can earn points by sending in a Food For Thought. Just remember, it needs to be Wheel of Time or fantasy related and meant to invoke discussion. I will post how many points exactly in a few days, as it still has to be discussed, as I already said.


Member contributions




Remember, these are worth points too, and got a wider range of topics and writing goals. Anything that will interest even part of the Black Tower membership is okay (on the condition it meets the PG-13 guidelines of course).




Goal: 300 000 replies

Current: 230 760 replies

This month: 155 replies. Pointses, remember.


General Discussion: 814 095 replies (11 121 this month)

Black Tower: 662 032 replies (2875 this month)

On one hand, General Discussion is going faster than ever, on another, we had less posts the last 30 days than the 20 before that, and that wasn't too much already. Come on people! Remember the goal we set.


And that's it for this month. Sorry for being a day late, but after I lost the full post (that was a few minutes from done) yesterday, I didn't have the time to spend another hour on it, and when I finally did I was already too tired from the extremely hot weather.

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Thanks, Ley!


You should ask Barid Bel Medar what he thinks about Demandred. I have seen him writing a lot about (what I think) is his favourite character. I liked River of Souls even though it´s not considered canon. We got to see a little more of Demandred in there. I didn´t like him very much in the books. He was absent for most of the time and when he came back in the end he was a madman who didn´t realise that Rand would of course be at Shayol Ghul. He could have become a more interesting character if more had been written about him. (That goes for most of the forsaken, but especially him.) 

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Thanks, Ley!


You should ask Barid Bel Medar what he thinks about Demandred. I have seen him writing a lot about (what I think) is his favourite character. I liked River of Souls even though it´s not considered canon. We got to see a little more of Demandred in there. I didn´t like him very much in the books. He was absent for most of the time and when he came back in the end he was a madman who didn´t realise that Rand would of course be at Shayol Ghul. He could have become a more interesting character if more had been written about him. (That goes for most of the forsaken, but especially him.) 


Well, he knew Rand mostly as Lews Therin, and as both Rand and Demandred knew, Lews Therin would not have been able to leave his people behind to fight without him while he was off attacking Shayol Ghul.

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I have to agree with Tina in general. I liked the idea of Demandred, the possibilities, but like many of the Forsaken, RJ didn't invest enough time in him to really make the character a great one. Brandon/RJ gave us glimpses of Demandred's potential. Unfortunately it was all left to the last book and the Last Battle. 


It's hard to say whether he was evil or not. It depends on what each person thinks is 'evil'. On actions alone, he committed evil atrocities. However, personally I don't view him as 'evil'. He was terribly messed up, but not overtly evil. Take Asmodean for example. His rule as a Forsaken was comparitively mild considering the stuff that Semirhage did. He didn't torture and terrorise as many people as her, but personally, I think he committed one of the most evil deeds in the series. He Severed his own mother from the OP. Killing 10,000 random people may be larger in scale, but psychologically I think it takes far more evil to do that to your own mother. 


Demandred's main crime listed is feeding 2 cities to Trollocs. That's pretty bad, no doubt. However, for him, it was a matter of honour. They apparently slighted his honour. To me, that is mental instability, not evil. Considering that his rule was less sadistic than Semirhage, who liked torturing people, and Lanfear, who caused so many people to commit suicide through dreams, and the fact that he took no pleasure in war, nor does he go out of his way to inflict pointless pain on people and actually shows some -however small - integrity with his Sharan allies suggests he didn't have an evil mind. 


It's also good to remember that the Dark One was a new force in the Age of Legends that people didn't know about. Rand and co. grew up, even in the Two Rivers knowing the Dark One was an ultimate evil. In the Age of Legends, however, they had only just re-discovered the Dark One. In the War of Power, many, many more people fought for the Dark One than in the 3rd Age. Almost half the world went over to the Shadow. I don't think that the people in the AoL really knew what they were getting into when they fought for the Shadow. So, from Demandred's perspective, he thinks that there is no way to win against the Dark One with Lews Therin in control (a fact that turns out to be true, they got pretty much destroyed and barely managed to survive). The gravity of swearing loyalty to the Dark One wasn't the same as it was for Darkfriends in the 3rd Age. Everyone knows the Dark One is evil, it is in their culture, so allying with the DO was basically admitting you were evil. In the War of Power, they didn't really figure that out until the end. Unfortunately, the Dark One doesn't take kindly to traitors, and I believe that many regretted their decision when they found out how bad it was, but they were stuck. 


I don't think this is exactly the case for Demandred. What with Trollocs and such, people knew the Dark One was shady when he turned, but I don't think he considered it to be betraying everything good and allying with ultimate Evil. We do see some signs that he wasn't too fond of the Dark One's methods and he promised the Sharan's that he would protect them in the 'new world'. He even considers just giving the whole thing up, but is unable to get passed his hatred of Lews Therin in the end. 


I think he was driven by a compulsive need to prove his worth. Some 400 years of being just short, being great, but not good enough, could really mess a person up. I also think Lews Therin as Ta'veren messed with him. As Mesaana recalls him saying, Lews Therin was lucky. Ta'veren no doubt helped him out. So even when he did something stupid, luck turned the tide. Seeing that, thinking you could do a better job, but this other guy manages to scrap through being lucky, I can see as infuriating. Of course, just because someone is better at something doesn't warrant that anger. However, when it happens all your 400 odd years of life, it builds up, becoming something else. Thus Demandred is born. 


So I don't think he was evil, his story is tragic in my mind, as Rand says, he should have been a hero. It was a fall that could have been prevented, and once he did fall, he didn't abandon all morality and go fully evil, he still held to some shred of goodness, as we see in his interactions with the Sharans. 

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I just read about Rand´s journey through the ter´angreal in Rhuidean.  Mierin and the other Aes Sedai had no idea that they would free Shai´tan and that the power that both male and female could use belonged to the Shadow. I wonder when they realised what it was and how early people knew that they actually turned to the Shadow. It must have been clear that it was something evil once the shadowspawn arrived at least. 

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  • 1 month later...

The way I read it, Rand was the prophesized individual for the Sharan's as well. It was somebody who can channel without using weaves, which is a power he gets after the Last Battle. We see that the Forsaken were using the True Power to fake this skill, but that doesn't mean the prophesy was meant for Demanded, just that he knew of it and took advantage of that fact. More interestingly if Rand was not ready to fulfill the prophesy until AFTER the last battle, then I wonder what the true purpose of the Saharan people was.

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Actually I don't believe it anywhere states that the prophesized one for the Sharans can channel without weaves. That's just something Moghedien does to strenghten her position. I'm also pretty sure that BS has said that indeed, Demandred was the prophesized one.

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I kind of assumed that they all knew from the beginning, or at least the other forsaken did, since that was the whole reason he joined the shadow. So that he could do human/animal experimentations.


Well, it wasn't the same for all Forsaken, of course. Demandred and Sammael went because their hatred for Lews Therin, Ishamael went to break the cycle, Graendal went because others could never live up to her moral standards (after which she abandoned them too...), Moghedien was probably afraid of them, Aginor went because he wanted more freedom with experiments. I think not all, maybe not even Aginor, realized what they were getting into. Also because I recently (though second-hand) heard that RJ once described Aginor as "he could create a deadly virus and release it without thinking of the consequences", which, to me, feels like he just wanted to experiment and wasn't good at thinking of what would happen if he'd do it.

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Was Bao the Wyld part of Sharan prophecy? If so, was Demandred co-opting their Dragon prophecies?


"The Wyld" was part of Sharan prophecy; Demandred thinks he co-opted the Sharan version of the "dragon prophecies" but it was actually about him all along.





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That is very interesting indeed. He thinks he finally beat LT but really he is just fulfilling his own prophecy. That certainly fixes the potential plot hole. I still would like to know a lot more about Sharans. Can't wait for the encyclopedia.

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