Tue
Jun 28 2011 1:16pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Knife of Dreams, Part 11

Knife of Dreams by Robert JordanBust out your atlases, Mapquest apps, and GPS devices, WOTers! It’s a Wheel of Time Re-read, and it’s convinced it knows exactly where it is! Whether it does or not!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 15 through 17 of Knife of Dreams, in which everything, oddly, seemed to come down to geography – or rather, the lack thereof. Or something like that. Also, I wrap up a storyline, at least for now, which is awful nice.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general, including the newest release, Towers of Midnight.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 13, Towers of Midnight. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the directionally-challenged post!

 

Chapter 15: A Different Skill

What Happens
Elayne is infuriated when she gets lost on the way to her rooms, assuming her pregnancy is messing with her wits again. She feels Birgitte becoming more and more concerned, before breaking off to go to her own rooms, telling Elayne there’s “nothing to be done” about it now; Elayne is not sure what she means. She finally finds her rooms, and distracts herself by thinking of the additions she plans to make to the Guardswomen’s uniforms.

She had overheard some who were unaware she was near disparage the Guardswomen – mostly women, but including Doilin Mellar, their own commander – yet she had full confidence in their ability to protect her. They were brave and determined, or they would not have been there. Yurith Azeri and others who had been merchants’ guards, a rare trade for women, gave daily lessons in the sword, and one or another of the Warders gave a second lesson every day, too. Sareitha’s Ned Yarman and Vandene’s Jaem were quite laudatory about how quickly they learned. Jaem said it was because they did not think they already knew something of how to use a blade, which seemed silly. How could you believe you already knew something if you needed lessons in it?

Inside, Elayne tries not to be irritated that her maids obviously know everything about what’s been going on. Aviendha pretends to be reluctant to change into silks, and Elayne amusedly lets her. She notices that Aviendha is fondling one of the ter’angreal from the Ebou Dar stash, a dagger, and asks why it fascinates her so much. Aviendha says something confusing about thinking it would do no harm for her to keep it if she’s right, and Elayne doesn’t know what she means.

“This,” Aviendha said, holding up the dagger. “I think that if you have this in your possession, the Shadow cannot see you. Not the Eyeless or the Shadowtwisted, maybe not even Leafblighter. Except that I must be wrong if you did not see it.”

Elayne stares at her a moment, and then drags her into the sitting room where the rest of the unknown ter’angreal are displayed, and tells her to pick another and sees if she knows what it does. Aviendha is reluctant, but at length picks up a flexible black rod. She immediately drops it, and says that it causes pain, and can be adjusted to give different levels of it. Elayne has her go through more, and Aviendha has an answer for every one; many are for communicating with someone far away, one is for dispersing vermin, one is for calling water (Aviendha really likes that one), one is for cutting metal or stone.

A stone carving the size of her hand, all deep blue curves – it felt like stone, at least, though somehow it did not really look carved – was for growing something. Not plants. It made her think of holes, only they were not exactly holes. And she did not believe anyone had to channel to make it work. Only sing the right song! Some ter’angreal did not require channeling, but really! Singing?

The maids are as enthralled as Elayne, and Sephanie picks one (a statue of a man holding a book) and asks what it does. Aviendha tells her he holds thousands of books, and suddenly channels into it, making words in the Old Tongue appear in the air over the statue.

“I think we have proof at last,” Elayne said more calmly than she felt. Her heart was in her throat, and pounding. Lies and Truth, the two words might be translated. Or in context, perhaps Fiction and Not Fiction would be better. It was proof enough for her.

She chastises Aviendha, though, for risking channeling into an unknown ter’angreal. Aviendha is contrite, but suggests that perhaps she can take over studying the cache since Elayne can’t at the moment. They are interrupted, though, by Nadere and Dorindha, who inform Aviendha that they are leaving to go back to the Car’a’carn, and Aviendha must go with them, to finish her training. Aviendha starts to protest, but Dorindha rebukes her sharply, and Aviendha acquiesces and hurries out to change. Elayne asks the Wise Ones where Rand is, but Dorindha says the Car’a’carn instructed them to keep it secret. She tries to pry more info out of them regarding Rand, but instead gets maneuvered into agreeing to hire a midwife. Aviendha returns in Aiel garb, and gives Elayne back the dagger ter’angreal; Elayne runs to her bedroom and brings back the turtle-brooch angreal and the twisted stone dream ring, which she tells Aviendha to use until the Tower needs them back. Aviendha is amazed, and is ashamed she has no gift to give in return.

“You give me your friendship. You gave me a sister.” Elayne felt a tear slide down her cheek. She essayed a laugh, but it was a weak, tremulous thing. “How can you say you have nothing to give? You’ve given me everything.”

Tears glistened in Aviendha’s eyes, too. Despite the others watching, she put her arms around Elayne and hugged her hard. “I will miss you, sister,” she whispered. “My heart is as cold as night.”

“And mine, sister,” Elayne whispered, hugging back equally hard.

Elayne feels very alone once Aviendha is gone, but reminds herself she has a throne to gain and a city to defend.

Commentary
Elayne’s confusion over Jaem’s statement about the Guardswomen, that they learned well because they didn’t assume they knew anything about sword work, was interesting because it highlights the way I think sometimes Jordan let his own cultural truths bleed into his constructed cultures in WOT, especially when it comes to the differences between men and women. Even when it doesn’t necessarily make any sense for that bleedover to be there.

Because while it ought to be (and is) a stereotype, it also happens to be very true that in Jordan’s (and my) still very patriarchal culture here in modern-day America, men are strongly conditioned to believe that admitting to a lack of knowledge in any area, especially one like self-defense where a man is “expected” to be proficient just by dint of being male, is a sign of weakness, and is therefore something to be avoided at nearly all costs.

You can insert the standard joke here about men refusing to ask for directions, but the thing is, that’s funny because of how often it’s the case. I can’t tell you how many men I’ve known who would rather risk botching something completely than admit they have no goddamn clue what they’re doing.

This is an approach that isn’t entirely without merit—after all, often the best way to learn how to do something is to just do it, and learning from your own mistakes is often the most effective teacher—but I do think it also represents a rare advantage that patriarchal mores give women over men in modern Western society. By which I mean that, generally speaking, there is much less social stigma attached for a woman to admit she doesn’t know how to do something, and to openly ask for instruction on how to do it without fear of being ridiculed for doing so. And I would say there are definitely cases, and I’d think sword work is definitely one of them, where swaggering in and assuming you are just so badass that you can magically intuit how to be the next Musashi, is likely the much less effective approach to learning how to do it well.

So, okay, fine. The thing is, though, I wonder if that would still be the case in a Randlandian setting, where supposedly the overall culture is at least egalitarian, if not leaning toward matriarchal. Wouldn’t it logically, then, be the other way around, with women being the ones who assume they know how to do everything, and men being more willing to assume they don’t?

Maybe, logically, and yet, I can’t see it. Elayne’s confusion makes too much sense to me. It’s interesting, and also a little disturbing, because it points up to me how very deeply ingrained certain cultural imperatives really are, because even I can’t really picture the reverse to be true.

Women ask for directions, and men don’t. And trust me, I am really really bothered to discover that I subconsciously believe that.

Something to work on, fo sho.

Blarg. Oh, and also, things happened in this chapter. Well, two things happened, anyway. One, Aviendha discovers she has a new Talent, just in time to be whisked off to where it won’t do any good. Yay?

And secondly, we see the first instance (that I recall, anyway) of the Dark One’s influence really starting to play silly buggers with, er, reality, apparently, because I don’t see how else you can rearrange a building around people without them noticing. I’m going to talk more about this later, but for now I’ll just say this is a concept which is just “eh, whatever, magical shenanigans” on a surface level, but which can really break your brain if you start to think about it too closely.

And lastly, the bit I quoted about the singing growing ter’angreal? Yeah, you know what I was thinking, because you were thinking it too. Where’s a Tinker when you need one, eh?

And really lastly, the “Fiction/Nonfiction” library ter’angreal thing made me laugh out loud. Age of Legends ebook statue reader for the win! So much cooler than a Kindle, too.

 

Chapter 16: The New Follower

What Happens
Elayne goes to the reception room where the mercenary captains (Cordwyn, Gomaisen, and Bakuvun) are waiting, along with Careane, Sareitha, Mellar, Reene, and Norry, and Birgitte enters soon after. Elayne promptly kicks Mellar out, to his poorly concealed fury. Bakuvun makes a mocking comment as he goes, and Elayne asks casually if he knows Mellar; Bakuvun answers that he used to be a mercenary, and Elayne tells him she already knew that. She refrains from pushing further, not wanting it to get back to Mellar that she was asking about him. Bakuvun wants to know if it’s necessary for the Aes Sedai to be there, “browbeating” them; Careane and Sareitha both answer that it is wise for men to be in awe of the Tower.

“The word I hear,” Gomaisen said darkly, “is that Tar Valon is besieged. I hear the White Tower is split, with two Amyrlins. I even hear the Tower itself is held by the Black Ajah.” A brave man, to mention that rumor to Aes Sedai, but he still flinched saying it. Flinched and went right on. “Who is it you want us to be in awe of?”

“Do not believe everything you hear. Captain Gomaisen.” Sareitha’s voice was serene, a woman stating indisputable fact. “Truth has more shadings than you might think, and distance often distorts truth into something very different from the facts. Lies about Darkfriend sisters are dangerous to repeat, however.”

“What you had best believe,” Careane added, just as calmly, “is that the White Tower is the White Tower, now and always. And you stand before three Aes Sedai. You should have a care with your words, Captain.”

Cordwyn interjects that the Tower has nothing to do with them, and Bakuvun agrees, and goes on to make their pitch to Elayne for more money, citing the attrition of their numbers and the dearth of men to replace them. Elayne asks acidly if they expected to lose no men in battle, and Birgitte adds that they have already agreed to a flat rate. Bakuvun blatantly lies about the costs of widow’s fees, and Elayne tells them furiously that they’ll be paid what they signed for, or be thrown out of the city. One of them gooses a maid, and Elayne explodes that if they touch one of her women again, they’ll be thrown out with nothing but the shirts on their backs.

“Think carefully.” Sareitha said suddenly. “Will the White Tower choose to see an Aes Sedai on the Lion Throne, or a fool like Arymilla Marne?”

“Count the Aes Sedai in this palace.” Careane added. “Count the Aes Sedai inside Caemlyn. There are none in Arymilla’s camps. Count and decide where the White Tower’s favor lies.”

“Count,” Sareitha said, “and remember that the White Tower’s displeasure can be fatal.”

It was very hard to believe that one of them must be Black Ajah. yet it must be so. Unless it was Merilille, of course. Elayne hoped that was not so. She liked Merilille. But then, she liked Careane and Sareitha, too. Not as much as she did Merilille. yet still a liking. Any way she looked at it, a woman she liked was a Darkfriend, and already under penalty of death.

The mercenary captains leave, sullenly, and Elayne remarks that she handled that badly, but Norry points out that there really wasn’t much else she could have done. Elayne asks Careane and Sareitha to leave, and they do so reluctantly. Elayne tries to embrace the Source, and to her surprise it comes easily, so she weaves a ward against eavesdropping; immediately she senses someone try to breach it, and wishes she could know who. She does not release saidar, enjoying the calm it brings. Reene reports that one of her spies-turned-double agents, Jon Skellit, has told her that Arymilla seems very confident that she will be riding into Caemlyn within a few days. Reene is worried that Skellit will bolt soon. Norry has better news; he’s found someone he thinks can actually follow Mellar without getting killed, as had the first five men they’ve tried to have tail Mellar. Norry has the man, a former cutpurse named Samwil Hark, brought in in chains. Hark volubly protests his innocence, claiming to be a clerk, but Norry quickly proves this a lie, and tells Elayne that Hark had literally thousands of purses hidden in his house, souvenirs of his victims. Elayne tells him that normally he would be hanged for his crimes, but if he can successfully follow Mellar and report back to her, she will amend his sentence to exile. Hark agrees eagerly.

“You may have heard that I am Aes Sedai.” With the Power already in her, it was a simple matter to weave Spirit. “It is true.” The weave she laid on Hark’s belt buckle, his boots, his coat and breeches, was somewhat akin to that for the Warder bond, though much less complex. It would fade from the clothing and boots in a few weeks, or months at best, but metal would hold a Finder forever. “I’ve laid a weave on you, Master Hark. Now you can be found wherever you are.” In truth, only she would be able to find him – a Finder was attuned to the one who wove it – but there was no reason to tell him that. “Just to be sure that you are indeed loyal.”

Hark seems much less eager now, and Elayne sends him out. Norry is confident of Hark’s chances, pointing out that he’s been at the very dangerous job of cutting purses for over twenty years without getting caught. Birgitte argues that they should just arrest Mellar, but Elayne tells her she will not flout her own laws, and they as yet have no proof that Mellar is up to anything. Birgitte accepts this, rather to Elayne’s surprise. One of the Guardswomen, Deni Coiford, enters to announce that the Lady Dyelin has returned, and Elayne arranges to meet her in the Map Room, hoping for good news.

Commentary
Erm. Where, exactly, did Elayne learn this Finder weave, I wonder? And given its extreme usefulness, why haven’t we seen it used before?

Oh, that’s probably one of those pesky continuity questions I’m not supposed to ask, huh? Sowwy. My bad!

You know, normally I’m rather irritated when the Aes Sedai get all with their PHEAR THE TOWER, YO routine, but in this case I can probably make an exception. Rats deserting a ship before they even have confirmation that it’s sinking deserve a little PHEAR-mongering, if you ask me. Er, so to speak.

*reads that paragraph again* I think that made sense. Yes. Well, we’ll go with it.

And… um. I really… don’t have anything else to say about this chapter. Which is kind of lame. So here, have another!

 

Chapter 17: A Bronze Bear

What Happens
Elayne heads to the Map Room, offering pleasantries to the nobles she encounters. On the way, Birgitte explains to her that it wasn’t Elayne’s fault she got lost on the way to her rooms. The Palace is changing somehow; corridors that were there are gone, and new ones have appeared. Birgitte wonders what will happen if it happens again, if someone wakes up in a room with no doors or windows.

“And what if it’s more than the palace? We need to find out if all the streets still lead where they did. What if the next time, part of the city wall isn’t there anymore?“

”You do think dark thoughts,“ Elayne said bleakly. Even with the Power in her, the possibilities were enough to give her a sour stomach.

Birgitte fingered the four golden knots on the shoulder of her white-collared red coat. ”They came with these.“ Strangely, the worry carried by the bond was less now that she had shared her concerns. Elayne hoped the woman did not think she had answers. No, that really was impossible. Birgitte knew her too well for that.

In the Map Room, Elayne removes the gold falcon that marked the location of the Goshien Aiel; she tells Birgitte that she doesn’t know where they’re going, but they’re leaving, and orders that someone be sent to Bashere’s camp to see whether they have left as well, and to the Black Tower to try to count heads there, though she is doubtful of the usefulness of the attempt.

The map displayed the reasons Arymilla was pressing so hard. For one, to the northeast of Caemlyn, almost off the map, lay the bronze image of a sleeping bear, curled up with its paws over its nose. Two hundred thousand men, near enough, almost as many trained men as all of Andor could field. Four Borderland rulers, accompanied by perhaps a dozen Aes Sedai they tried to keep hidden, searching for Rand, their reasons unstated.

[…] More important, certainly to Arymilla and possibly to herself, a few leagues below the Black Tower stood a tiny silver swordsman with his blade upright in front of him and a silver halberdier, plainly by the same silversmith’s hand, one to the west of the black square, the other to the east. Luan, Ellorien and Abelle, Aemlyn, Arathelle and Pelivar had close to sixty thousand men between them in those two camps. Their estates and those of the nobles tied to them must have been stripped near the bone. Those two camps were where Dyelin had been these past three days, trying to learn their intentions.

Dyelin enters and comments that she just got lost twice; Elayne explains the matter, and is surprised that Dyelin, like Birgitte, is so relieved just that Elayne knows about it. Before Dyelin can make her report, the four young High Seats—Catalyn Haevin, Conail Northan, Branlet Gilyard, and Perival Mantear—barge in and demand to be included. Elayne sighs, but knows she cannot alienate them by kicking them out. Dyelin tells them all that while Luan et al still refuse to throw their allegiance to Elayne, they have also rejected a similar offer from Arymilla. Birgitte and Dyelin snipe at each other until Elayne shuts them up, and Dyelin continues that while Ellorien, Aemlyn, Arathelle and Pelivar persist in trying to convince Dyelin to put in a claim, she thinks that Luan and Abelle may be swaying toward Elayne. Catalyn points out that this makes the Houses evenly divided—six, six, and six—and Branlet wants to know why they are trying to start a three-sided war. Perival tells him that it’s because of the Borderlanders.

“They’re holding back because whoever wins here, the Borderlanders still have to be dealt with.” He picked up the bear, hefting it as if its weight would give him answers. “What I don’t understand is why they’re invading us in the first place. We’re so far from the Borderlands. And why haven’t they marched on and attacked Caemlyn? They could sweep Arymilla aside, and I doubt we could keep them out as easily as we do her. So why are they here?”

Elayne, Dyelin, and Birgitte are all a little amazed that Perival had come so close to figuring out their play regarding the Borderlanders. Dyelin says Luan et al have asked Arymilla for a truce until the Borderlanders are dealt with, and thinks that’s when Arymilla picked up the pace with her efforts at the walls. Catalyn declares this is why Arymilla would make a terrible queen, seeking her own advantage over the good of Andor. Elayne agrees, but privately wonders if she is guilty of as little lack of vision, by not throwing her support to Dyelin and ending the three-way tie.

Except that Dyelin did not want to be queen. She believed that Elayne was the one to wear the Rose Crown. So did Elayne. But what if they were wrong?

That evening, Vandene, Kirstian and Zarya visit Elayne in her rooms to tell her that Reanne Corly has been found dead, smothered by the Power in a way that made it very obvious that saidar had been used. Elayne is deeply upset by this news. The three of them have also uncovered evidence that at least some of the Kinswomen they had assumed ran away were also murdered, Vandene thinks in an effort to induce more of the Kin to flee, ergo stripping Elayne of more channeling support. Elayne doesn’t know why the Black sister among them wants to aid in Arymilla’s campaign particularly, but points out that this at least clears Merilille, meaning it must be either Sareitha or Careane. She instructs that the Kin be told to never go anywhere alone from now on, and hopes that the day doesn’t bring any more dark news.

Arymilla dines with her supporters, watching Nasin leer senilely at Elenia, and makes a mental note to have the cook flogged. Lir Baryn and Karind Anshar are grumbling that they should be making heavier pushes at the walls, but Arymilla tells them tightly that they need to conserve their forces for the Borderlanders. Nasin’s granddaughter Sylvase suddenly pipes up to ask Arymilla what good it will do to take Caemlyn if Luan and the others do not support her, and why not accept their truce? Arymilla is startled by this sudden change from Sylvase’s usual vapidity, and tells her Luan et al will never join Elayne, for they all have grievances against Trakand.

“Once I have the city, they will be mine in any event. Three of Elayne’s supporters are children, and Conail Northan is little more than a child. I trust I can convince them to publish their support of me easily enough.” And if she could not, Master Lounalt surely could. A pity if children had to be handed over to him and his cords. “I will be queen by sunset of the day Caemlyn falls to me.”

Nasin laughs stupidly and agrees, and Sylvase subsides; Arymilla tells herself the sharpness she saw there was her imagination. A servant comes to tell Arymilla her secretary wishes a word, and she heads out to meet him. Her secretary (Hernvil) tells her “they” have agreed, but they want the whole amount of gold first. Arymilla grimaces, but tells Hernvil to arrange for it.

“Tell them a week from tomorrow, to the day.” That should be enough. In a week, Caemlyn would be hers. The throne would be hers. Arymilla, by the Grace of the Light, Queen of Andor, Defender of the Realm, Protector of the People, High Seat of House Marne. Smiling, she went back inside to tell the others the wonderful news.

Commentary
In which we discover that Arymilla sucks! And is Up To Something! News at eleven! Except, you know, not. Pretty much knew that already, thanks. The “being willing to torture children” thing was a nice new low, though. So congrats on that, Ary, except, you know, not.

Although I do confess I have no idea who the “they” are that Arymilla’s paying off here. Like I’ve mentioned, my memory of KOD is sketchy at best. The obvious assumption, of course, given the chapter right before this, is that “they” are Elayne’s disgruntled mercenary captains. Which, naturally, is a big neon sign to the savvy WOT reader that this is almost certainly the wrong assumption. I’d worry about this more if I could, but I don’t care that much so I can’t. I’m getting so jaded in my old age, y’all.

I’m pretty sure that Sylvase (who is obviously not at all the idiot Arymilla assumes her to be, because duh) is destined to do something awesome Real Soon Now, but again, I can’t really remember what it’s supposed to be. Hopefully it’s stabbing Arymilla to death, because that would rock. She says, bloodthirstily, but come ON. If anyone totally deserves to be assassinated, it’s her.

Also, these three chapters really highlight one of Jordan’s mutant superpowers as an author, which was an apparently limitless ability to come up with good (and appropriate-sounding) character names. Seriously, it’s really kind of scary. I’m sure someone somewhere has a tally of all the named characters in WOT thus far, and I’m equally sure the total number is downright breathtaking.

Reanne: Damn. That sucks, truly. Reanne was never one of my favorite characters or anything, but she probably was my favorite of the Kinswomen. And certainly she didn’t deserve to die in such a pointless, horrible way. Man.

So, given what happens in this chapter re: people’s actions being influenced by the Borderlanders, do we think Elayne’s deal with them was a good idea or a bad one? Discuss!

The Map Room was the second-largest ballroom in the palace, and spacious, with four red-streaked marble fireplaces where small fires burned beneath the carved mantels, a domed ceiling worked with gilt and supported by widely spaced columns two spans from white marble walls that had been stripped of tapestries, and sufficient mirrored stand-lamps to light the room as well as if it had windows. The greatest part of its tile floor was a detailed mosaic map of Caemlyn, originally laid down more than a thousand years ago, after the New City had been completed though before Low Caemlyn began growing. Long before there was an Andor, before even Artur Hawkwing. It had been redone several times since, as tiles faded or became worn, so every street was exact – at least, they had been until today; the Light send they still were – and despite many buildings replaced over the years, even some of the alleys were unchanged from what the huge map showed.

Man, that sounds ridiculously cool. I don’t have much interest in maps as maps (which makes me a bit of a freak among fantasy geeks) but I find them absolutely beautiful as art. The intricacy of them, I suppose, and the visual contrast of seeing humankind’s deliberate organization imposed over nature’s lack of it. And the attention to detail and skill that must be necessary to create a giant mosaic map of anything, much less the tangled warren that any city as old as Caemlyn must be… well, that would be a thing to see. Imagine dancing over that.

Incidentally, this is the kind of paragraph I typically skip over entirely when I summarize these things. Just in case you were wondering what you were missing.


Right! And… where were we again? Oh, yeah – ending this post! I knew we’d find it! Bon voy-ah-gee!

125 comments
mrc1ark
1. mrc1ark
We have seen the finder weave before! Its what Moirane puts on the coins in Eye of the World in the begining of it all that she gives to Rand, Matt, and Perin. Why it isn't used more? Who knows.
andrew smith
2. sillyslovene
That map of Caemlyn sounds a lot like the Madaba map, albeit much more detailed...
Dorothy Johnston
3. CloudMist
Re the Finder Weave

This is exactly what Moraine wove on the coins she gave to Rand, Perrin and Mat back in Eye Of The World.
Jason Gruber
4. jmgruber
The Finder weave is what Moiraine puts on the coins she gives to Rand, Perrin, and Mat way back in EotW, isn't it? Granted, I don't think we've seen it mentioned since then.

Is it just me, or is the singing ter'angreal the one that grows the Ways? Reading it, I didn't recall that the Tinkers used to sing with the Ogier. I wonder if that will come up again, or if it's just a neat reference.
Herb Schaltegger
5. LameLefty
Isn't the "singing ter'angreal" something for growing and opening the Ways? At least, that's what I assumed when I read this.
Roger Powell
6. forkroot
Leigh - Sadly I must reinforce the stereotype presented above. We see this all the time at the track (sports cars.) The easiest students to teach are the ones who come in assuming they know little or nothing about driving a car fast. Those "empty vessels" tend to pick up a lot of smoothness and skill and show great improvement. The students who show up and assume they are already pretty good are the toughest to get through to. Invariably their estimation of their own skill is greatly inflated - and too often they just waste their track time and the time of their instructor.

Unfortunately (as you will undoubtedly guess), the "know it alls" tend almost exclusively to be male. (If I may brag, I will tell you that when I started learning I was careful to assume I knew nothing -- I listened intently and would now be considered skillful -- but I still try to learn from my betters.)
mrc1ark
7. wcarter4
No Leigh what I was thinking was 'Where is an Ogier when you need one?' That Terangreal is for growing new ways. Hence the "not plants but holes" And since the Ogier presumably still have most of the growing terangreal, just about any elder should know what the one Avi and Elayne have is just by looking at it.
Sam Mickel
8. Samadai
3 good chapters. It is too bad they didn't get a chance to test those (walkie talkie) ter'angreals out, it would have been a good thing to see them in use.
The ter'angreal for growingholes is one of the talismans of growing, the only question I have is, How did it end up in the KInswoman stash of power items. Robbed from a stedding?
I have seen plenty of speculation that the (dark blocking) dagger will be given to Rand to hide him when he assaults the Dark One.
mrc1ark
9. yocxl
I believe the total as of ToM is 2200 named characters or so.
Marcus W
10. toryx
And really lastly, the “Fiction/Nonfiction” library ter’angreal thing made me laugh out loud. Age of Legends ebook statue reader for the win! So much cooler than a Kindle, too.



Except that anyone can read a Kindle and you kind of have to depend on an Aes Sedai to be able to read one of these.

Still, history geek that I am, I do love the ter'angreal. If I'd discovered one of those things I'd have stopped whatever I was doing immediately and started looking through the books stored there. No question about it.

I hated that Reanne died. The description of that happening was pretty horrifying to me. Whenever I read it, I have to stop for a few minutes as images of these poor women, struggling to break free and failing as they suffocate float through my mind. Awful.
Heidi Byrd
11. sweetlilflower
Hey! We got three chapters this week! Thanks, Leigh!

I agree that the ter'angreal was for growing the Ways... at least that was how I took it.

Do you think Arymilla was plotting with the darkfriends that kidnapped Elayne? Yes, she really is a nasty person whose personality and likeability would definitely improve after death.
mrc1ark
12. Kadere
And really lastly, the “Fiction/Nonfiction” library ter’angreal thing made me laugh out loud. Age of Legends ebook statue reader for the win! So much cooler than a Kindle, too.

And it's shaped like Robert Jordan himself! Which I would totally love my Kindle (and actually use it) if it was.

And yes, we have seen the Follower weave before back in TEotW.
mrc1ark
13. Lurking Canadian
What's strange to me is that Aes Sedai do exactly what Elayne is puzzled about: pretend they always know what's going on. At one point in a previous book, somebody (one of the girls) reflects that a senior Aes Sedai once gave her advice to always pretend that you know everything so that people will instinctively obey your advice in a crisis. It is Aes Sedai policy not to ask for directions.

I think it's supposed to be more of Elayne's inability to see her own prejudices, like when she couldn't figure out why a man of twenty would object to being called a silly boy who hadn't grown into his proper wits, or whatever.
Birgit
14. birgit
Wouldn’t it logically, then, be the other way around, with women being the ones who assume they know how to do everything, and men being more willing to assume they don’t?

AS do believe they know everything. Women are just supposed to know nothing of fighting (even those who worked as merchant guards).

Except that anyone can read a Kindle and you kind of have to depend on an Aes Sedai to be able to read one of these.

With the Standing Flows it might have worked for everyone in the AOL.
mrc1ark
15. Lurking Canadian
Oh, and I meant to say something about the ter'angreal. (1) I don't think the cell phones would work. There is a reference in a previous book to the "standing flows" (I think in reference to weather control, but maybe communication too) that are required. (2) That ebook reader is the single greatest treasure in the known world, but Elayne just ignores it without even considering that a library stored at the end of the Age of Legends might contain some useful information about the Shadow, or the War of Power, or something? I fear it has been forgotten and will not re-appear, which is a damned shame. (3) The scene at least sets up what Aviendha does to the glass columns in the most recent book, so it is not a complete throwaway.
mrc1ark
16. Your name
The finder weave is also, I think, why Moraine made sure the boys had all new clothes at the begining of The Great Hunt.

(back to lurking)
mrc1ark
17. Ryamano
Re: what Sylvase was up to

Sylvase will betray Arymilla at the last moment. Her grandfather will die and she'll become the High Seat of her House (Caeren). Just as Arymilla is being captured, at the end of KOD, in her failed attempt to storm the gates, Sylvase will say she supports Elayne Trakand for the throne.

I still don't know if her grandfather's death is natural or if she caused it somehow. Sylvase is later, in TOM, described as a very cold young woman, almost emotionless. She could be a darkfriend. Also, Jaq Lounalt, the Taraboner torturer who serves Arymilla in these chapters, will later come into Sylvase's service. I don't remember if she uses him on the captured evil noblewomen (Arymilla, Elenia, Naean), but it's possible. It's also possible that Sylvase herself is a darkfriend, considering her employment of Lounalt and her cold behavior. But it's also possible that she's not, since Lounalt has served Arymilla, and from her own POV here it's possible to see she's not a DF.

re: what Arymilla was up to

Yes, it was the mercenaries. Some will be bought, some will not, IIRC. We see that in other KOD chapters. Charlz Guybon, the guy who's named after a fan, will, with the help of a few trustworthy mercenaries, defeat their attempt of betrayal.
Benjamin Moldovan
18. benpmoldovan
Yup, Talisman of Growing, that’s what I was thinking.

I do ask for directions, although I might go on a little bit longer before doing so that women usually do. I have a GPS too, which is awesome.

Sylvase: once we saw even a tiny glimmer of intelligence, I totally knew that she was “playing ‘possum”, so to speak. Playing dumb would be a better way to say it.

Did we ever find out who that other group of soldiers was? We know more or less where the borderlanders are, and where Arymilla’s forces are, and Luan & Co’s forces are. Who does that even leave? I’m not sure if that was in this last chapter, but I think it was. If so, it can’t be Guybon’s forces, I think. I can’t think who it could be.

Ben
mrc1ark
19. dubsub
@ 6 forkroot

I work in computers, and it's something I struggle with. When working with men, I feel that I need to act like I'm an expert. If I don't, then people assume I'm not confident and discount my opinions and the knowledge that I do have.
I try not to do this partially because I know it's mostly a manifestation of my own insecurity, and partially (as others have pointed out) because I don't think it's a useful mode of behavior when learning something new.

It's definitely something I see males, particularly male engineers, doing. More so than normal males, engineers derive status from being smarter than other engineers.

On the other hand, most of the truly knowledgeable experts, the ones with nothing to prove, are the ones who will admit that they don't understand something.
mrc1ark
20. hammerlock
Sylvase--I wouldn't say awesome, per se, but certainly justifiable. Of course, then she goes and ruins it in TOM...but lets be honest, we all saw it coming.

The Finder weave is probably commonly known to AS, but prior to Travelling its utility was likely limited to the very situational or keeping track of your stuff. Most people that AS would be interested in are prominant people whose comings-and-goings are easily tracked with human eyes-and-ears (and with better context/information on intentions).
However, for wayward country bumpkins who are ta'veren/prophesied saviors, or sneaksy cutpurses...it gets a bit more utility. Now that Travelling is rediscovered, it'll likely be used even more since you'll probably be able to gate directly to the target.
Skip Ives
21. Skip
@ jmgruber, LameLefty, et al. – you are correct, it is the talisman used to grow the ways. Loial mentions them when he breaks the gate near the Two Rivers.

@8 Samadai – the horde of power items are the remains of the items of power that the Kin have gathered over the years they operated. Anytime they found anything that might have something to do with the OP they put it in a warehouse. They didn’t get the entire horde, darkfriends got there too and started emptying it out. Most of the things in the warehouse were useless, broken or not items of power, but Elayne was able to sort through most of it before they got to Caemlyn.
mrc1ark
22. johnsr83
The ter angreal is a talisman of growing. It probably ended up in the kinswoman stash because as the Ogier fled from steddings that became unusable they probably lost it. Then someone found and gave it to the kin. This would especially make sense if there are any abandoned stedding in Altara.
Captain Hammer
23. Randalator
re: Dark One's touch

I kinda disagree with you on that. I think that all the happy rearrange-y-ness is a natural indication of the Last Battle drawing near. Picture it as the Pattern saying "Get on with it, already, or horribleness will ensue!". Heh, even the Pattern is starting to get annoyed with the sluggishness of the plot.

Anyway, we have seen it before (or will we have seen it before later in the book? Damn, that's like future present perfect past tense or "headache" for short)...where was I? Oh yeah, there's the ghosts, there is this one instance where reality "rippled", there is the sinking village which took a peddler with it, there is the balescream which resembled the rippling event.

To me, all of that seems to indicate that the Pattern is strained to the point of breaking. It is weaving towards a cataclysmic event, and not your average run-of-the-mill 99ct-store buy-one-get-one-free cataclysm. This time it's serious, as in: the cycle could be broken. So, rotting food, vermin, all that is the Dark One's touch which will soon be mirrored by Zen al'Thor's apple blossom mojo. The shifting reality, however, is a neutral portent of the Last Battle.

Edit: My pet theory is that the Pattern is destabilising momentarily and upon restabilising incorporates aspects of the Portal Stone worlds that are close to the original. Like one, where a building is identical in its outward appearance but differs slightly in its internal structure resulting in the rearrangement of rooms, corridors, etc.
Ben Frey
24. BenPatient
Leigh, I think you're reading waaaay too much into the whole "women learning swordplay faster than expected beacuse they don't know what they're doing" thing.

It's a completely logical and well-understood phenomenon: It's easier to paint on a blank canvas than to try and fix a messed-up one.

Simply put, women with no sword training have no bad habits that need correcting. Any physical trainer for any sport can tell you how bad incorrect or incomplete training can be for someone who is trying to master a physical activity. Tiger's golf swing. Shaq's freethrow follow-through. A karate stance. A runner's breathing pattern.

It's not a gender thing at all, except for the fact that in Randland, women generally don't train for swordfighting.
mrc1ark
25. Ryanus
Knowing you know nothing or having a "I already know it' mentality is also a balancing act beyond and separate from the cultural norms.

You're best to assume you don't know the details of a situation, but if you have relevant knowledge you should not try to ignore it in favor of complete originality.

Specially when you combine something sorta new with the problem or learning multiple ways to do something. (First way works best, second or more ways to do the same thing tend to be glitchy for a person).

Good example being hand to hand and bayonet style training with Marines. I went into that having had ten years of weapons combat training with various instructors, the SCA, ARMA, etc. But I knew it was new and somewhat different so I did my best to be a blank slate.

Where in I got in trouble for not trying hard enough. So I slipped into what I already knew and had down to muscle memory and practice.

Where in I got in trouble for doing it "wrong". This was a balancing act I never quite got into position.

Not sure that that's directly relevant to the book, but just an observation I've made in learning things throughout my life.

As a side note, anyone else think it was wierd that one of the ter'angreal was effectively an agiel?
Jason Gruber
26. jmgruber
Are the Ogier missing all the ter'angreal for growing the Ways, or do they just not remember the song for using them? It's mentioned that they're reluctant to damage the Ways in any way, because they can't grow new ones, I remember that much. If they don't remember the song, it could be the song that the Tinkers are searching for, or part of it.
Kat Blom
27. pro_star
Hope you're feeling fantastically better Leigh!!!!

Hmm, to jmgruber@4 you may be on to something...holes...ways...growing...oooh!
Alice Arneson
28. Wetlandernw
Chapter 15 - Women ask for directions, and men don’t. And trust me, I am really really bothered to discover that I subconsciously believe that.

I found this highly amusing. Why be bothered to discover that you believe something that is demonstrably true as a generalization? Certainly there are exceptions, but as you said, the stereotype is funny because of how often it’s the case. In fact, it’s made funnier by the exceptions who prove the foolishness of the case. Isn’t that what laughable stereotypes are all about?

I don’t see how else you can rearrange a building around people without them noticing. … this is a concept which is just “eh, whatever, magical shenanigans” on a surface level, but which can really break your brain if you start to think about it too closely.

I try not to think too hard about the actual logistics. My brain doesn’t need any breaking today, thankyouverymuch. In fact, the whole thing about buildings rearranging, and whole sections trading places… If I start to look at it in any detail at all, it makes my head start to spin. I’ve learned to just skim that with “magical shenanigans” glasses on and try really, really hard not to let my brain get caught in it. It makes a very swirly, swishy sound…

Age of Legends ebook statue reader for the win! So much cooler than a Kindle, too.

Yes, indeed. That! Want one.

Chapter 16 – Yeah, it had its fun bits, but not a lot to say about it. However... Especially in retrospect, it was weird to watch Sareitha and Careane teaming up on the TowerPower routine. They did it well, and I suppose it’s a dance that you learn when you’ve been AS (in the Tower) for a while, but it was still weird, knowing what will happen soon.

As others have noted, it was probably the Finder weave that Moiraine used on the coins she gave RPM way back in TEotW. Metal, and all that. Seems like it would come in handy, but then again… it has to be laid on a piece of metal that the owner is likely to keep permanently, or it won’t do much good. As with the coins the boys gave to Domon, if Hark were to leave his belt buckle behind there would be no way of finding him. Since he doesn’t know that, it should work okay; in this culture there's no good reason for him to lose his belt, so there you have it. But it’s not a surefire thing, because any piece of metal can be lost or stolen, and then the Finder is pretty much useless.

Chapter 17 – Well, I guess that answers last week’s question, doesn’t it? Arymilla isn’t committing all her forces to an all-out attack because she wants to have something left wherewith to fight the Borderlanders. So in that way, it’s certainly been a good choice for Elayne. Otherwise, Arymilla might have taken the city by now. Or not, but she’d certainly have been more likely to try, and it would have hurt Elayne’s side badly.

I think (without actually looking ahead) that this time the “they” is as obvious as it seems. “They” are some of the mercenary captains currently serving Elayne, who will in a future chapter (very near the end, IIRC) turn coat and try to let Ary & co. in to the city. IIRC, those captains also die… At least I hope they do! Some of you have looked this up; want to share?

On the comments…

@4 & @5 – That’s the general assumption, although we haven’t yet been given proof. It’s reasonable to guess that eventually, the Tinkers will find the Song they’re looking for, and it may be the one that works with this ter’angreal. OTOH, it could well be that Loial will know the song (maybe without knowing he knows it), since it also seems reasonable to guess that the Ogier Treesingers would be the ones who could sing the right song to grow the Ways. Still open for speculation, and it may be resolved in AMoL. Or not.

Other notes on the subject... Elsewhere, it's referred to as a Talisman of Growing, and there's no real info on how many of these there are. When Loial mentions it in TSR, it sounds like there may be only one in possession of the Ogier, but it's not specified clearly. However, we know that the Ogier haven't used it, or even used the Ways much, in the last thousand years or so. Who knows whether they have retained the knowledge of how it's used or not? We may find out in AMoL. Or not.
j p
29. sps49
I interpreted the blue stone to be akin to the Ogier Book of Translation or something Nym related.

And the sword learning merely spoke to me of the new Guards having no bad habits to unlearn wiht the sword, which is more gender-neutral than Leigh's take.

Bye, Aviendha, and wouldn't that dagger have been cool to bring along for Rand?
Stefan Mitev
30. Bergmaniac
Chapter 15 is quite frustrating in retrospect. Aviendha discovered this really useful Talent and right away she was sent away and nothing major came out of it in the next two books. It better proves to be important in the last volume. She spent weeks doing nothing but useless work in Arad Doman instead of, for example, going through the huge Ter'angreal collection which Moiraine brought to Cairhien from the Aiel Waste.
John Skotnik
31. ShooneSprings
@15 Lurking Canadian - Exactly! She just found a kindle from the time of legends and she can't be bothered to take a look at some of the Non-Fiction books? Perhaps see if anyone bothered to include a chronicle of the war against the Shadow? Or some treatise on channelling? Maybe an encyclopedia of ter'angreals (since this is something that only an Aes Sedai could read)?
Captain Hammer
32. Randalator
ShooneSprings @31

To be fair, she would have had to find an Old Tongue expert first. As we know the OT is excruciatingly complex and nuanced and only a handful of scholars are able to make sense of it beyond piecing together some of its meaning.

Obviously finding an expert is exactely what she should have done but, with all the chaos and allegiance issues in Randland right now, that would have taken a considerable amount of time and immediate results were not to be expected, anyway.

So yeah, still a big oversight but probably not as problematic in the short term as one might think at first...
mrc1ark
33. Wortmauer
Agreed that it was very odd to discover what appears to be a huge library of Golden Age texts that had been mostly or completely lost to history, and not at the very least deputize someone to leaf through it and see what you've got.

Agreed that Elayne thinking it odd that some people assume they know more than they do was supposed to be humorous irony. This is one of the Supergirls that have the habit of never wading into the shallow end if there's a deep end. Elayne's thought was along the same lines as Nynaeve opining loudly that shouting at people is a stupid tactic.

The Finder weave: Yes, Moiraine used it right at the top of TEOTW. Interestingly, remember when Perrin and Egwene were captured? When Perrin's pockets were emptied by the Whitecloaks, Moiraine could no longer find him. Then Bornhald gave him his stuff back, and Moiraine tells Nynaeve something like "All will be well, the boy has regained the coin." Thus the weave must be tied to both the item and the subject, and quits working when they aren't in close proximity. And now we have, from Elayne:
It would fade from the clothing and boots in a few weeks, or months at best, but metal would hold a Finder forever.
The passage doesn't say she laid the weave on the man himself, just on his personal effects, but she must've. (That, or Moiraine's Finder really was of a different kind.)

Also, Elayne should have phrased it in her mind as "for anything not set in metal cannot be trusted."
Birgit
34. birgit
To be fair, she would have had to find an Old Tongue expert first.

She could ask Mat to translate (if she can get him to read and work with a channeler) or Birgitte.
mrc1ark
35. sleepinghour
Randalator @ 32: If Elayne needs an Old Tongue expert, Birgitte would probably qualify. She was still fluent in the Old Tongue in ACoS.
mrc1ark
36. Slurpy
@32 Randalator - An Old Tongue expert in Caemlyn, and one that would be interested in ancient methods of war? I can't think of anyone who would possibly fit that description.
mrc1ark
37. Tesla_Sunburn
28. Wetlandernw
The reason is quite clear. Esspecially as she explained it in her post. Is the act men often play of knowing more than they really do a trait inherent to the gender? Maybe, but it seems unlikely. More likely its a product of men's position in society. It is troubling to notice that you have a prejudice.
Sorcha O
38. sushisushi
WetlanderNW@28 Thinking about the whole 'putting a Finder on a metal possession' thing - it's probably just as well that Randland hasn't really gotten to the point of widespread spectacle use yet, because I could see them ending up as a Finder-favourite.

I'm voting for the ter'angreal being the Talisman of Growing, also. I do seem to remember that Loial's speech implying that there was only one. Wasn't there a lot of speculation at one point about Aram and the talisman meeting up?

ShooneSprings@31 I know, I totally agree! Although I think the maxim about not channelling into unknown ter'angreal might have actually stuck in Elayne's head, rather than being ignored, like she normally does with 'inconvenient' rules. Mind you, it *is* Aviendha she is giving out to - I bet Miss Iron Confidence would be poking at them all, given half a chance…

I'd say that the library ter'angreal would provide an entire cottage industry with work for several years, transcribing and reprinting even just the non-fiction. I'm reminded of one of Ken McLeod's books, where an entire civilization is involved in transcribing the contents of a starship's library and publishing it bit by bit (it was in either 'Dark Light' or 'Engine City', possibly the latter).
John Massey
39. subwoofer
Whew! Sorry I'm late but I stopped to ask for directions and this lady had me going in circles... *grumbles*- damn skippy we don't like asking for directions- that's why we invented GPS;)

The DO's touch- frankly, I don't see what the big deal is, buildings don't move really fast so if the DO wants to do some jiggery pokery with 'em, its not like they're going anywhere. I was really boggled by the DO touching the weather over the whole world, that took some serious juice, hiding the loo is peanuts.

I'd be all over that dagger like a fat kid on a smarty. Lemme see, we're fighting against the baddies and we have a virtual "nah nah you can't see me" tool and we sluff it? Really? Gah!

Talisman of Growing... how exactly would an Ogier use this? I'm still unclear cause as far as I can tell, Ogier cannot channel. I though some Aes Sedai would be the ones to use this for the Ogier, so it is where it belongs. Edit- I see the bit about Ogier singing and stuff- and I remember the great Broadway musical that Rand saw back in the day, but to grow that Ways... that has to take some serious Power. Like the circle of channelers with the BotW and they only changed the weather a little- the Ways... big stuff there.

The Aes Sedai Kindle. Well if Elayne needs the Old Tongue, look no further than Cadsuane, the woman's hundreds of years old. I figure her tongue is old enough... ;)

*calmly steps over to the bunker*

Woof™.
Captain Hammer
40. Randalator
re: Birgitte/Mat as translators

Trouble is that Elayne would most of all be interested in stuff relating to the One Power, weaves and *angreal. All of those texts are very much out of Birgitte's and Mat's area of expertise.

I don't know the first thing about medicine so if a doctor asked me to translate the contents of a specialised text in any medical journal I would be completely unable to come up with anything that is even remotely right and/or helpful to anyone with a medical degree. Simply because I wouldn't know or understand the terminology (both in source and target language) and therefore would not be able to catch even the basic context.

So Birgitte and Mat would be competely useless for Elayne's purposes, despite their generally perfect grasp of the Old Tongue. Even in matters of warfare they would be of little use, as warfare then and now mainly differ in the use of the Power. That means whatever there is to know they either know already or couldn't make sense of due to their lack of One Power expertise.
Stefan Mitev
41. Bergmaniac
I am pretty sure Elayne knows the Old Tongue well herself - she's had the benefits of an excellent education by Randland standards, and knowledge of the Old Tongue is expected from both nobles and Aes Sedai. Plus there's a mention in TSR when she and Egwene came to Rand to help him with channelling, when he asked them whether they can help him translate some prophesies, and Egwene gave Elayne a warning look not to admit her knowledge of it. I've read these books way too many times since I remember such details without having to check... ;)

But I guess Jordan mentioned this channelling Kindle just as a minor detail and didnt intend it to be a major plot point, that's why it was never mentioned again despite its obvious usefulness. Or maybe it will prove important in the last volume, who knows...
Captain Hammer
42. Randalator
Bergmaniac@41

Actually, it is mentioned in the glossaries that most nobles hardly know more than the odd phrase or two. And the exact quote in TSR is " shot a look at Elayne, warning her not to admit to any such knowledge." which leaves the extent of Elayne's knowledge or even its very existence highly ambiguous.
T C
43. Freelancer
So, as usual, a different take on an Elayne bit...
Sareitha’s Ned Yarman and Vandene’s Jaem were quite laudatory about how quickly they learned. Jaem said it was because they did not think they already knew something of how to use a blade, which seemed silly. How could you believe you already knew something if you needed lessons in it?

While I am usually defending Elayne for being less simple-minded than many readers believe her to be, she frustrates that task in this case, for her deduction is indeed quite simple-minded. Also, it was misread/misunderstood by Leigh. Permit me to elaborate...

Elayne is claiming something to be silly. What is that? Is it Jaem's statement, that the reason the women are learning the sword more quickly than expected is because they don't already think they know how? On the surface, it seems like that's what Elayne is calling silly. But it isn't so, Joe. Examine the next sentence:

How could you believe you already knew something if you needed lessons in it?
It is Jaem's analysis of why the women learn quickly, that she finds silly. He is right, of course, it is easier to learn than to unlearn/relearn a skill. But Elayne has no grasp of that concept. Yet her semi-blinded worldview on this flies in the face of her own reality, because she did have to attend Novice channeling classes, which meant lessons in something she already knew something about. She also knows of the stigma associated with Wilders, which would be a channeler-appropriate analogy to someone who was self-taught at swordfighting, and needed a professional instructor to undo many bad habits (read: Block) before teaching them the preferred forms.

The included suggestion that men tend to presume too much on their own knowledge or skill is a valid, if not universal, generality, and not one for Leigh to feel bad about sharing. But it isn't really the crux of this passage. Somehow, Elayne fails to recognize that it is possible to know something of a skill, and still require lessons in that skill. Did she never watch Rand practicing the sword? Clearly he began to know something about it once Lan started to teach him, but he always felt he had more to learn.

Oh well.
mrc1ark
44. AndrewB
jmgruber @4 said: "I didn't recall that the Tinkers used to sing with the Ogier."

Tinkers did sing with the Aiel in the AoL. In Rand's journey through the Aiel time way back machine in we see the scene where some of the pre-Waste Aiel empty out wagons and leave the caravan. The group who left became the forerunners of the Traveling People.

Samadai @8 asked how the Growing Tailsman ended up in the Kinswomen's stash of power-related items.

I think that over time people stole items from the pre-Waste Aiel. This was when they continued to follow the Way of the Leaf. Those items were then collected in Ebu Dar (or whatever name that city first had). Eventually, the Kin became the guardians of this treasure.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
mrc1ark
45. narlock
I always thought the men thinking they know how to sword fight was a lot less complicated than you are macking it out to be. Rand mentions in TEotW that he used to pretend to sword fight when he was a kid. My friends and I did and although I don't actually know anything about the practice of sword fighting I know if I took really leasons it would be hard for me to forget all the times I flailed around with a sword making it harder for me to learn the proper way to do it. Like the AS say the first way you learn a weave sticks with you.
Tina Pierce
46. scissorrunner
Love the fact that Aviendha has discovered one of her talents here. And she takes it so calmly.
Is it possible that her talent to read ter'angreal somehow linked to Elayne's talent to create ter'angreal? they are linked as sisters now...
Tina Pierce
47. scissorrunner
and not asking for directions isn't always a guy thing.....
and maps are useless cuz who ever can figure out where they are on a map anyway?
thank goodness for tomtom
Joel Salomon
48. jcsalomon
Regarding name generation: See abooks.com/alien for the most recent incarnation of a tool SF&F writers have found useful for a long while. I don’t know if RJ used it, but Jerry Pournelle has mentioned using the older versions of the program.
Katie McNeal
49. Katiya
Re: the Talisman of Growing, didn't someone somewhere say that the ter'angreal in their stash couldn't be the Talisman? I no longer remember the reasons, but I do remember someone saying that either RJ said it, or BS, or someone, because I remember being very confused, then, about what it was when the description seemed to fit so perfectly. Anyone got any thoughts on that?
Lee VanDyke
50. Cloric
RE: the ter'angreal for growing something....

Loial twice mentions the Talisman of Growing, once when the last remaining male Aes Sedai left the sanctuary offered by the stedding and present it to the Ogier, and again when expressing regret over removing both leaves from the Manetheren waygate, thus requiring that the Elders bring the Talisman to open the waygate again. He didn't use the article "a," indicating one of a group or set, and he didn't say the Elders were given Talismans or whatever the proper plural form would be. And given the Ogier propensity for historic accuracy, and Loial's noted lack of brevity, I think he would have known and mentioned if there were some out there that may have been lost.

However, we have been given mention, fairly shortly before this, of something that I immediately assumed this ter'agreal was used for.

vac·u·ole\ –noun Biology . 1. a membrane-bound cavity within a cell, often containing a watery liquid or secretion.

And since I most remember talking about this in basic biology as a common feature in floral cell construction, the shape of a plant was a instant connect for me.

My 2 cents.


oh, and I call the communication pieces Cell-Phone Ter'angreal, or CPTs for short.

Edit to fix a minor grammatical error.
Kimani Rogers
51. KiManiak
Thanks again, Leigh. Hope you’re feeling better. Too bad you had Elayne chapters awaiting you, but I do appreciate the fact that we get 3 today!

I’ve always found Jaem’s comment about learning quickly “because they did not think they already knew something,” kind of funny, based upon who he said it to. I could see him giving that as a subtle dig to the unusually-raised Aes Sedai newbie who is currently bossing his Aes Sedai and her cohorts around. Personally, I think this advice about how best to learn could apply to Elayne and Egwene (and for a good portion of the series, to Rand as well), although necessity did dictate a lot of on-the-job training. Oh, and yes, men do tend to ask for help (when an objective party may feel they need it) far less than women. Whether it’s directions, proper sword-form, etc.

I really hope Aviendha’s Talent with ter’angreal comes up again (and not just with the ter’angreal in Rhiudean in ToM) in the series. I doubt this will happen on-screen, but assuming Avi and Elayne make it through TG, Elayne needs to take Avi to the ter’angreal storeroom in the Tower with some Brown Sisters and have her go at it.

(Also, it’s funny to me that Elayne chastises Aviendha for acting rashly. Notice also, that Aviendha thinks about the impact of her actions on others and is contrite immediately, and compare that with Elayne, especially later on in KoD with the BA.)

(I could also pick on Elayne for wanting to know all about what Rand is up to while conversely not wanting Rand to know about her, but that would bring me dangerously close to one of my “Elayne rants,” and these aren’t the chapters in KoD that are most suited for them. Let’s just say that RJ wrote such wonderful characters, full of very realistic flaws like arrogance, hypocrisy, and lack of self-awareness.)

I’m sure that several folks have probably mentioned by now that we first see the Finder weave in TEoTW, so I won’t expand on that. Maybe it could’ve been used more (on Mat in TDR when he’s a “guest” of Tar Valon, for instance), but then you have to assume that the AS would think that their quarry would easily elude or escape them. Overconfidence appears to be a flaw of almost every main character, as well as almost any character with the Power in this series…

And, yes, another reminder that Arymilla would not make a good queen. Hey, she doesn’t even seem to make a good High Seat, since her claim for the throne has her placing her House in a vulnerable position with a potentially huge debt.

Leigh, I respect your sense of honor when it comes to fair treatment for the less powerful, the oppressed and mistreated, and the potentially vulnerable (in this case, the 4 young High Seats) in this series, but maybe you shouldn’t be so surprised that Ary would probably not share that view. As you said, we already knew Arymilla sucked and has kidnapped and blackmailed 2 of her fellow High Seats, so it’s not really all that surprising that she would stoop to torturing somewhat-little kids, as she would see it as a means to the end of her becoming Queen.

Again, I’m sure that as I work my way down to the comments a few folks will have probably reminded you that Sylvase doesn’t stab/kill Arymilla, but she does betray her and switch her support to Elayne later on in KoD.
Kimani Rogers
52. KiManiak
As for the comments:

The Finder weave – Ok, 3 of the first 4 comments addressed that, already. So, yeah, add me to the masses…

toryx@10 – re: the AoL “Ebook Statue Reader” – I’m with you on wanting to check that thing out, more. I respect that AS have learned the hard way to not fool around with unknown ter’angreal, but Avi did show Elayne how to jump start that bad boy, and there’s the potential for all kinds of potential knowledge in there. I see@15 and @31 have similar opinions.

Ryamano@17 – re: Sylvase – I know that folks are suggesting she may be a DF due to her “acquiring” Herault (who ended up being a DF), but I’m not sold on that. Yes, she is cold, aloof, distant, etc. But to my recollection, her grandfather pretty much chased away all suitors and isolated her for awhile. She probably did not experience the warmest and most nurturing of home environments. RJ has introduced many minor characters who aren’t the nicest of folks, but aren’t necessarily bad guys. I guess we’ll have to wait until Rand2.0 meets the Andoran High Seats in AMoL.

hammerlock@20 –re: Sylvase – refresh my memory; what exactly did Sylvase ruin? I admit I haven’t read certain sections in awhile, but I don’t recall Sylvase doing anything too bad.

Berg@30 – re: Aviendha – I completely agree. I really feel that Aviendha was basically wasted for most of KoD, TGS (yes, she got the cover, but she didn’t do much) and ToM, except for 2 or 3 chapters. It would have been nice if she could have been involved in more. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a lot of Avi in AMoL.

Wortmauer@33 – Actually, that’s a good comparison between Elayne’s thought and Nynaeve’s observation about shouting at people. I did find it humorous, and I suspect that Jaem chose his words very carefully and had a slight dig in there for Elayne. Old, grizzled Warders could probably discover multiple “innocent” ways to depart “wisdom” to younger, inexperienced Aes Sedai.

@32, 34-36, 40 – To be fair, does Elayne even know that Birgitte is fluent in the Old Tongue? Yes, she knows that Birgitte has her memories (which are slowly decreasing), but did Birgitte ever clearly state that she still speaks and understands the Old Tongue? I’m as hard on Elayne as anyone, but it’s possible that that little nugget of info wouldn’t be in the forefront of Elayne’s mind. Assuming she used “lack of an Old Tongue” translator as an excuse to not explore the Ebook terangreal further. To my recollection, we’re given no indication one way or the other. Of course, our respective opinions of Elayne probably color our view of whether or not she did…

scissorrunner@46 – I agree that Elayne and Avi’s Talents obviously complement one another. I guess the possibilities of how these Talents can be used in the future are limited to our (Ok, RJ’s and BWS’s) imaginations. It would be nice to see the development of that in some outrigger type novel, but I wouldn’t be surprised if any future developments of the Elayne and Avi Talent combination occurs only in our imaginations.

Cloric@50 – Great theory about the vacuole. I admit my mind never went there. I’ll doublecheck the text next time I get a chance, but I think you may make a good argument, there.
Tyler Durden
53. Balance
The Tailsman(s) of Growing use Saidin, but must be able to be activated by Ogier alone. Ogier singing has a "magical" ability already. Seems logical to tie it to that.

Mat could translate word for word to Elayne. If she could make him stay still to do it. So could Brig. Rand could later. Other than the Forsaken and Ogier not many other choices. A Latin scholar would suck compared to a Roman brought through time.
mrc1ark
54. Alfvaen
With the shifting corridors etc., I used to think it was more like the Pattern was becoming...nonflat. Non-Euclidean, if you prefer. So distances between points would change, and conceivably connections between points in space could change, with Klein bottle-like "cuts".
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
Tesla_Sunburn @37 – Whether it’s a product of our society or not, the fact remains that the stereotype is generally applicable. Prejudice has nothing to do with it. Finding that you expect the stereotype to hold true isn’t really a problem unless you find yourself treating a particular man a particular (negative) way because you expect him to do a particular thing before he has done it. There’s no shame in allowing your expectations to be shaped by your experience; what else should you use for a basis? It only becomes “prejudicial” in a negative sense if you refuse to acknowledge either real or potential exceptions.

subwoofer @39 – Aviendha specifically noted that “she did not believe anyone had to channel to make it work. Only sing the right song!” If they know the song… Ogier, Tinker, whatever. Non-channelers okay, as long as they can sing. (I wonder if you have to have perfect pitch to make it work? Or at least an accurate singing voice?)

AndrewB @44 – Doesn’t make a lot of sense that people stole the Talisman (if that’s what it is) from the pre-Waste Aiel. It/they were only made during the Breaking, a gift to the Ogier from the male Aes Sedai who took refuge in the stedding. The Aiel would have had no knowledge of them/it; nor would the female AS who (apparently) were the ones to charge them with caring for the *greal stash have had possession of a Talisman. More likely, IMO, as someone already suggested, it was retrieved from one of the lost stedding.

Alfvaen @54 – Was that supposed to make my head not spin? ‘Cause it didn’t work… ;)
Captain Hammer
56. Randalator
Wetlandernw @55

Was that supposed to make my head not spin? ‘Cause it didn’t work… ;)

Well, it was a theory based on non-euclidian geometry so it wasn't meant so much to make your head not spin as to make it fold in on itself...

Try my "destabilisation/portal stone world"-approach @23 for added non-spinny, non-foldy appeal.
mrc1ark
57. Wortmauer
KiManiak@52: To be fair, does Elayne even know that Birgitte is fluent in the Old Tongue? Yes, she knows that Birgitte has her memories (which are slowly decreasing), but did Birgitte ever clearly state that she still speaks and understands the Old Tongue?
Elayne, as both a noble and Accepted of the White Tower, should have had at least a little training in the Old Tongue. Enough to know when it was spoken historically: up until some time after the Trolloc Wars, as I understand. She also knows Birgitte remembers her past lives going back well before then. If I had a close friend who for some reason claimed to remember past lives going back to the days of Octavian, and I suddenly had a need for a fluent speaker of Latin, you can bet I'd at least ask her about it.

Of course, we also know Birgitte is stretched kinda thin, filling in for Gawyn, who is too busy hanging around Tar Valon seeing how many times Elaida tries to get him killed, and being angsty about his impotent love for Egwene and even more impotent hatred for Rand. Plus, she kinda hates how much of a desk job it turns out to be - all those reports to read and write instead of being out there with the Guardswomen, wearing low-cut dresses in circus acts, getting wasted with Mat, etc. So, on Birgitte's behalf, I'm glad Elayne didn't think to press her into duty figuring out if the Statue Kindle had short story anthologies in it to compare with The Flame, the Blade and the Heart.

Really, though, the best bet would have been to ship the Kindle off to Tar Valon, or the rebel camp. Lots of Brown Ajah would be well equipped to transcribe and translate it all, and would in fact love to do it. The only reason not to is if Elayne is thinking with her coronet instead of her ring, i.e., she sees some possible future advantage to Andor in hoarding the ter'angreal stash they stole from Ebou Dar. But I thought the (ostensible) point of hauling the things off was to put them in the Tower where, according to Aes Sedai received wisdom, all ter'angreal belong.
mrc1ark
58. Tesla_Sunburn
55. Wetlandernw

I agree on all points. I believe we inturpreted leighs thoughts on that differently. I viewed it as her being suprised by the fact that she would largely expect a behaviour from someone based on their gender. She then expresses the need to be aware of that fact because she could treat people negitivly for it.

I take it you inturpreted her words morestrongly?
John Massey
59. subwoofer
How about asking your local Ogier? I'm sure a fair chunk of them still know the Old Tongue, heck, I think Loial even has more than a working knowledge.

I wonder if the Tinker's know the words to "Patti- cake"?

Woof™.
Jonathan Levy
60. JonathanLevy
24. BenPatient
45. narlock

Agreed. It's funny how Leigh immediately concluded that this was a result of male posturing, as opposed to bad habits from poor training or play-acting.

This is not to say that the stereotype she quoted isn't valid, but there is a converse side to it, too. When a man is working to accomplish something, a woman will often interpret the fact that a visible effort is required as a sign that he "doesn't know what he's doing" and she will then suggest that he ask someone for help. Every task must be either effortless, or require help.

You can explain until you're blue in the face that some jobs require hard work; that being repeatedly interrupted while concentrating is very irritating; that it is better to learn how to do something once than have to ask for help every time; and that there is a real pleasure in overcoming unexpected difficulties to accomplish something for the first time. It won't help you. Next time you need to do a bit of jury-rigging because you don't have the right size drill bit, she'll still say "why don't you ask my brother to help you" as soon as you break a sweat or your brow furrows in concentration.

*looks at his GPS, opens mapquest, pulls out his compass and walks into a wall because he doesn't need directions to the bunker*

44. AndrewB
I think that over time people stole items from the pre-Waste Aiel. This was when they continued to follow the Way of the Leaf. Those items were then collected in Ebou Dar (or whatever name that city first had). Eventually, the Kin became the guardians of this treasure.

The Aiel were given their *angreal at the beginning of the breaking. The Ways were grown by male Aes Sedai as a gift to the Ogier for letting them stay in the Stedding, and to help them cope with difficulties of travel as a result of the breaking. The Breaking was about 300 years long, if I'm not mistaken, so chronologically speaking it would be unlikely that a ter'angreal created in the middle of it would have been given to the Aiel at the beginning of it.

Och, 55. Wetlandernw has addressed that already. I should be used to this by now :)
Anthony Pero
61. anthonypero
Ch 15:

Couple of thoughts. First off Leigh, I would ask if your statement about "directions" is truly a cultural imperative, or if, by now, it is a biological imperative that is now being bred out of man through natural selection.

Secondly, I think the singing ter'angreal is for growing waygates. And I think ogier do the singing, not tinkers, who no longer really have any Aiel blood, anyway. The tinkers finding the song is truly meaningless to the tinkers, since a big part of the way they replenish their bloodlines is through convincing young people to join them. After 2500 years of these, I'm sure the bloodline has been sufficiently diluted as for their to be almost no genetic commonality with the the Aiel by now, other than what all humans share. So, for them, ultimately, the Song is just a song.
Captain Hammer
62. Randalator
subwoofer @59

Apart from the general problem to get Ogier moving and the still unsolved problem that OP/*angreal-texts would be mostly gibberish even to OT-speaking non-channelers there is the even bigger problem that at this point in the story they are isolating themselves from the outside world and are holding a Great Stump. No visitors aloud, all holidays and potential contracts cancelled until further notice...
Anthony Pero
63. anthonypero
Oh, yeah, and I'm such a man, that I don't even like asking my GPS for directions, which drives my wife as nutso as anything else about me. But I really don't get lost! Which drives her even more nutso ;)
Anthony Pero
64. anthonypero
Also, we are making assumptions about ter'angreals. They weren't all made in the age of legends. They were still being made for 500 years or so after the Breaking. Maybe even longer. All we know for sure is that after the Trolloc Wars, no one knew how to do it anymore. Much was lost in the Breaking, but it seems like even more knowledge was lost in the Trolloc Wars.
Charles Gaston
65. parrothead
Randalator @ 62

Good point. Plus note WHERE they are isolating themselves: the one place *angrael won't work. Probably. Unless they're all Wells or something. And considering Loial is "hasty", I think the last thing I'd want to show an Ogier is an ancient Kindle... (Four years later: "And that concludes my thumbnail sketch of the first chapter. Feel free to ask any questions you might have, as I skipped over many of the smaller details.")

I want my own Map Room. Of course, I also want an Angry Dome and one of those gigantass Beauty & the Beast style libraries...
Anthony Pero
66. anthonypero
Oh yeah, and obviously, even in Artur Hawkwing's time, ter'angreal were still being made in Seanchan. And are still currently being made (at least one). Who knows what's being made in Shara.
Captain Hammer
67. Randalator
Who knows what's being made in Shara.

Red Silk. Which is green. And made from cotton. How dare you try get a refund, you never even paid me. In fact, I didn't even sell it to you. Who are you anyway? I've never seen you before. No, I'm not a silk merchant, I'm selling these fine leather jackets. Yes, I know the sign above my shop says "silk merchant" but it's pronounced "seller of fine leather jackets". No, those balls of silk on the table over there are not for sale. We use it to make the goats we are selling here. What? I never said I was selling leather jackets, on my mother's honour I did not! Us Sharan wine merchants are known for always speaking the truth! Are you calling me a liar? GUARDS!!!
Rajesh Vaidya
68. Buddhacat
Cloric @50: Aes Sedai and others have been saying throughout the books "the Oath Rod", but clearly theirs is not the only one in existence or use. So it can be with the Talisman.
mrc1ark
69. Wortmauer
Randalator@67 for the win.

That is all.
mrc1ark
70. itsjustme
I'm pretty sure the "Kindle" ter’angreal is the great treasure that was to be found with the Bowl of the Winds. I can't remember the exact wording, but I think it was Aviendha relaying info on the wise one's dreams to Rand in which she mentioned a treasure greater than the Bowl of the Winds being found with the bowl. If the right person found it, it could save everything, etc. Don't remember the exact wording. Anyway, I think the ter’angreal is that treasure. And it'll end up being part of the reason why Rand is tied to the 3 girls he is. Aviendha to figure out how it works, and make it work; Elayne to translate; and Min to figure out what it means Rand needs to do. This Kindle is going to be what gives Min the missing pieces of the puzzle.
Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
@several, regarding Elayne, the StatueKindle, the ter’angreal stash, etc. Have you ever heard the concept of “the tyranny of the urgent” before? It’s where the urgent things – things that have consequences right now if they aren’t dealt with – take precedence over the significant things – things that are more important in the long run. (Trivial example: finishing my daughter’s beautiful birthday cake, which is significant (to her, anyway), has to be delayed while I use the restroom, which is URGENT to me!) In this case, while the consequences of anything having to do with Tarmon Gai’don and the war against Team Dark is definitely significant, Elayne is stuck with the urgent facts: she’s holding a besieged city; her country is leaderless and in turmoil; she’s got a BA roaming her own halls, killing her people; too much of her army is made up of mercenaries who are making discontented noises; her position (and her life) are threatened by greedy, power-hungry tyrant wannabees; the DO’s effect on the world is rearranging her palace and possibly her city; that same effect is causing widespread food spoilage and general fear; the White Tower (which is the logical place to which the *greals should be passed) is split and at war with itself, as well as being thoroughly infiltrated by Team Dark; the list goes on and on. These are the things Elayne is juggling on a daily basis, along with “simpler” things like reports from her housekeeper/bookkeeper/spymasters/captains etc. Add in the Kin and the Windfinders, with the associated responsibilities and issues they bring. And she’s first-trimester pregnant.

Come on, are you really surprised that, in spite of the momentary wonderful distraction of discovering Aviendha’s Talent and the potential use of some of the *greals, she chooses to set aside those possibilities (and they are only possibilities) for the sake of dealing with those urgent things she faces? It would be lovely to take the time to search through the StatueKindle, on the chance of finding weave ideas or info on the Forsaken, but who’s got the time? Birgitte can’t be Prince of the Sword (defacto) and Captain of the Daughter-Hier’s Guard and become the new Head Librarian of the StatueKindle. She’s already running on half-sleep. Elayne probably speaks OT as well as anyone else in the palace (with a couple possible exceptions), but she’s busy with … all that. (BTW, she obviously reads the OT well enough to get “Lies and Truth” and the more relevant “Fiction and Not Fiction” translations right away.) Vandene is Green AS, so while she might have some expertise after all her years in retirement with Adeleas, it’s not her first area, and she’s a bit distracted with her murderer-hunt and her novices. Sareitha is Brown AS, but she’s still under suspicion of being BA, so, no. Careane is Green AS and under the same suspicion, so again, no. The problem is, to explore the StatueKindle, you need someone who can: channel to turn the thing on and make it work, understand the Old Tongue, know what kind of thing to look for and recognize it when it comes – and besides all that, you can only use people you trust implicitly, and Elayne has precious few of those.

Even after all the above juggling settles down, though, I’m sure glad Elayne didn’t send the StatueKindle (or anything else) off to the WT yet. We did NOT need Mesaana to get her grubby little mitts on the SK, and as a Brown she’d have had a good chance. Whether she could get anything new out of it, or merely keep it away from Team Light, it wouldn’t have been a good thing. In AMoL, with the BA and Mesaana rooted out of the WT, it should be safe to bring the *greal stashes from Cairhien (Rhuidean), Caemlyn (Ebou Dar), and maybe even Tear and Tanchico to the WT (or at least, under its jurisdiction) for sorting and appropriate distribution. It’s a nice idea, that they could go through it all and make use of things during TG, but I just don’t see them having time to do it. The timeline wasn’t looking much like allowing a few months rest for Team Light…

Tesla @58 – Not really, I was just amused by the idea of being “really, really bothered” to the point of feeling that it was wrong and needed to be “worked on,” particularly after noting that the stereotype was, in general, a true thing. ;) On a deeper level, though, and not directed at Leigh (or you) in particular, I’ll admit that my amusement is much more cynical regarding our cultural notion that stereotyping is inherently wrong. Many stereotypes are superficially true – that’s why they develop in the first place, and I see nothing wrong with accepting them as general truth and finding amusement in them. The reasons behind the stereotypical behavior are another issue altogether, of course. If I were to assume that all men refuse to ask for directions solely because they are stubborn, arrogant, and unwilling to admit there is something they don’t know, and I therefore treat them like stubborn, ignorant children in that regard, I would be doing many of them a grave injustice. Quite likely, that is exactly the reason for some; OTOH, some men find it much easier to figure out where they’re going from a map and a compass (or the sun) than by attempting to follow some stranger’s directions. (I’m not a man, but this is overwhelmingly true for me. I often refuse directions to someone’s house, because it’s much easier for me to look it up on googlemaps and figure out my own directions. Here’s another stereotype: women tend to give lousy directions.) And of course there are many other reasons not to ask for directions; the point is that accepting the surface truth of a stereotype is not quite the same as presuming the reasons for it, but it’s a very subtle difference, and definitely one to be wary of crossing. Which, of course, may be part of what Leigh was thinking at the time. I just get philosophical sometimes… (in case you hadn’t noticed).

And… Jonathan Levy @60 already said some of that. ::waves:: Great minds, and all that.

Randalator @67 – LOL!! Thanks – I needed the chuckles this morning.

Itsjustme @70 – That’s a pretty cool theory. Would love to see it happen.

And on an almost irrelevant note… I was just remembering Nynaeve and her TAR search in Tanchico, when she first found the Domination Band and the Mercedes symbol. (Pride and vanity. Heh. I can’t ever see a Mercedes without thinking that.) Was her sensitivity to the items there just an artifact of the TAR-Need search, or does Nynaeve have a latent Talent like Aviendha’s? Any thoughts?
Charles Gaston
72. parrothead
Wetlandernw @ 71 re: Nynaeve - Huh. Initially I would have just ascribed her identifying to T'A'R, but then that's also how they found this current stash...I suppose you could fudge it and say that she didn't look at any of these devices, but that almost seems like cheating. Did she herself discover the functions of any of her current jewelry?
T C
73. Freelancer
Alfvaen @54

Ahh, yes, the infamous Klein Bottle, the very epitome of a boundary-free manifold, the ultimate utility for non-orientability. Just beware to never fill a Klein Bottle with Di-hydrogen Monoxide (DHMO), the most deadly (and least reported) hazardous material on Earth.


WetlanderNW @71
Here’s another stereotype: women tend to give lousy directions.)
There is something worse. Getting directions second-hand from a woman who doesn't actually know the route. Even if the directions were delivered flawlessly from the originator, the intermediary, if she doesn't understand a step, will manufacture her own version rather than quote what she was given. I honestly cannot think of an example of this situation that ended without a problem. Get the directions "from the horse's mouth", or prepare for the worst.
Katie McNeal
74. Katiya
itjustme @ 70, I was always under the impression that the "greater treasure" found with the Bowl was the Kin itself. I once read an outline on why this was so, which is basically the discovery of an organized, incredibly experienced (and in some cases, extremely talented) group of channelers that the Dark Side had no knowledge of, and therefore no organized attempt to penetrate. So you get a pretty pure well of channelers, some of whom are very strong, and toss in the discovery of the Oath Rod life-shortening thing, and you get a way to continue to influence, help, and protect the world for 600 or 700 years instead of just 300. I never paid much attention to the Kindle-greal, honestly, I thought it was a throw-away fun thing for the fans...but I'm notoriously bad at this stuff, so. ;)
Alice Arneson
75. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @73 – Ouch. That would be truly painful. Had some experience with this lately, have we? I’m sorry. :p

Katiya @74 – That’s the interpretation I’ve heard the most, but it’s based on what we know this far. That’s why I thought the theory @70 was interesting. If we never learn more, I’ll fall back to the idea that the Kin were the “greater treasure” but it’s possible that in AMoL, something will come of this stash (maybe the SK) that will prove to be so valuable to Team Light that we’ll realize it was indeed a greater treasure than the means to straighten out the weather. Color me “eager to find out” when that day comes.

I wonder what it takes to get an ARC…
T C
76. Freelancer
RE: The greater treasure...

On the one hand:

You have found hundred of objects of the power, several potentially of substantial significance for the Last Battle. That is, once they are identified, tested, and placed in the hands of a channeler capable of properly employing each.

On the other hand:

You have found hundreds of channelers, who have for centuries maintained a self-governing heirarchy; a multi-layered, remarkably strict code of behavior and ethics; a method of operating mostly unnoticed for centuries while contributing untold benefits to those around them. They have done so humbly, with the attitudes of excellent White Tower novices, because for the most part, that was who they were when either they were expelled or ran away.


To make this simple, let's say you can have the 'greal stash, or you can have the Kin, but you cannot have both. Choose.
Jobert Rordan
77. Jobert Rordan
If there's one thing I've learned we can all count on in the Wheel of Time, it's that there will be lots and lots and lots and lots of words. Which I suppose makes sense considering it's awfully hard to tell a story with just one or two of them. But regardless of the fact that words are in fact the key ingredient in a book (along with paper and ink) I still feel like we WoT fans are missing something. I have pondered long and hard about this fact, and after hundreds of seconds (at least) I have finally puzzled out what is probably the greatest mystery in the history of the prophecies of the dragon. But first, let me cite a passage as found on an obscure piece of paper in a random barn in a random field in a random country so far south of the island of Madmen that it has literally circled back around to the Blight and back down to the Two Rivers. Which I suppose isn't really a random country, since I just said it. Anyway, the passage is as follows:

For he shall be born and he shall die.
But before he dies, he shall ride on the winds of time,
and command a mighty forklift to traverse the Ways.
And he shall pilot the metal beast with precision and accuracy.
And the Black Wind shall fall upon him and then recoil in fear.
For the Black Wind knows that his name shall be Dragon, and
His forklift is a dangerous piece of machinery which should not
Be approached while being operated and that injuries may occur.
This is the very reason that they block off isles at home supply stores
When 'ere there is one being used.

And in the Third Age, the Age some call The Age After The Second or
The Age Before The Fourth, or even
The Age That is Two Ages Before the Fifth Age,
There shall be a giant light in the sky, and it shall be a beacon to all
Who pilot aircraft of some sort, that they may be able to see.
Because flying an aircraft in the dark is not easy to do unless
One has proper navigation instruments which they probably don't.
Because once again, it's only the Third Age.
And electronic aircraft don't exist until at least the Sixth or Seventh.

And the Dragon shall drive the forklift back to the warehouse.
And then he shall punch out his timecard and return to his home.
And maybe go out for drinks with some of his buddies.
And they shall drink wine and joke about the Dark One and
Make jokes at his expense.

And they shall call him Dragon, the best forklift driver evar.

As you can see, there's a very obvious reference in the above prophecy about cats. Cats will play a large role in the defeat of the Dark One, but we won't see this until book 19 or so. Now, at first glance you might say "But wait, there isn't any mention of cats in there!" To which I say "Yes, but are you SURE??" And you'll say "Yes, I'm positive, no mention of cats, buddy." And believe me when I say that I completely understand where you're coming from, but I'll let you think on it some more while I come up with a reply that makes it look like I'm not backtracking because obviously, there's no mention of cats in that prophecy. And speaking of prophecies, when are we ever going to see if Mat hooks up with Elaida? We all know that she's pretty much had a thing for him ever since he bought her those chocolate-covered ter'angreal. Coincidentally, the ter'angreal very closely resembled almonds and peanuts, but I suppose they'll still work even if she did eat them.

Anyway, in response to Wetlandernw (which I must ask, what's with the w? It's very hard to pronounce. It's like Wet Lander Noouhh is how it always comes out in my brain.) An ARC is a simple thing. It's typically made of wood, floats on water, and houses many species of animals. So really the best way to get one would be to ask the Sea Folk. No wait, that's an ARK. An ARC is a tool used by sound engineers to correct the EQ of a recording space. It stands for Automatic Room Correction and can be purchased from IK Multimedia. But I hardly see what that has to do with the WoT. It's ok though, it's easy to get side-tracked when talking about such deep issues as these.... Oh hey, a butterfly just flew past my head, I'm going to go catch it and see if I can teach it to channel the One Power.

Off I go, I love you guys!

-JR
mrc1ark
78. Lsana
@76,

Under your hypothetical scenario, do we assume that if we don't choose the Kin, they simply vanish into the ether? Because I'm willing to agree that the Kin as an institution are quite valuable, but the Kin-under-Aes-Sedai may be less so. Just as the *greal must be identified, tested, and given to an appropriate channeler, the Kin need to be identified, figure out their place in the grand scheme, and decide whether they intend to follow the White Tower and to what extent. Then get the Aes Sedai to accept them as fellow channelers rather than merely Wilders or runaways. Trying to sort out that friction could be as much trouble as testing the *greal.

If you want to be totally cold-blooded about it, it may be that the best thing for the Light might have been for the Seanchan to take the Kin while the Aes Sedai got the stash. Assuming that they fight for the Light (and I think they will), several hundred damane could make a huge impact in what's to come. No politics, no personal feelings, just extra firepower for Team Light.

Note that I said "IF" in that last paragraph. I'm glad it didn't happen that way.
mrc1ark
79. Wortmauer
Freelancer: To make this simple, let's say you can have the 'greal stash, or you can have the Kin, but you cannot have both. Choose.
"He chose ... poorly." — An 800-year-old monk talking to Indiana Jones. Yes, it's on topic. The context involved the Holy 'Greal.

I'd say the Kin are more valuable than the Kindle and its kin. Now maybe you kin say I'm not taking this very seriously, perhaps I'm even Wise-cracking a little, but that's just knit-picking. In the Altaranate scenario where they find only the storeroom, how would they find enough channelers to use them all, and put them to good use, on such short notice? Surely that would take longer than six stories. I could go on, but my writing has certainly begun to PLOD; perhaps it's best if this paragraph is one that is no longer.

In short: "They chose ... Corly."
Valentin M
80. ValMar
Hi All. You'll be pleased to know that I survived the Great Heat Wave (the whole 2-3 days of it).

Just piping in to say that as Avi was testing the Power gizmos, we are all going: oooh Kindle, aaaah Phones.

I think it's a fair stretch to assume that WOT-ians have the same perspective as we do. They simply don't have the base from which to imagine potential uses. And as people already mentioned- Elayne's got plenty on her own plate, anyway. Stuff which, if not done, would lead to plenty of restroom metaphors- as Wetlander said.
Alice Arneson
81. Wetlandernw
JR @77 – ROFL!!

A brief history: Before I went gray, although now it’s black, I was Wetlander in red. But when I reached that stage, which we all reach eventually, where the need to edit my responses and not have to bow to the captcha beast overwhelmed my laziness, Lo and Behold! Some lame dude who never ever uses it had already used “Wetlander” for his account name. Being shocked and stymied by this turn of affairs, my brain went slightly mushy for a few minutes, and the best I could come up with was to add the “nw” (being, after all, from the Pacific NorthWest) as a distinguishing mark. I have since come up with several other ideas that would have been much better – and more pronounceable – but a screen name is forever and always unchangeable here on tordotcom. Personally, I ignore the nw when I identify myself to others, but you could make it “endub” if you feel the desperate need to pronounce all the letters.

Butterflies FTW!

Wortmauer @79 – Well done! ::applauds::

ValMar @80 – or a lot of pee on the carpet for Reene & co. to clean up…

Okay, speaking of brains going mushy... Yikes! I'm outa here.
Valentin M
82. ValMar
Wow Wetlander, from a Champion of Propriety to... well, giving your handle a different meaning :)

Just to make sure, I was referring to the urgent vs significant point, which I liked a lot as a very plausible reason (along with my own) why as of TOM there ain't Mobile Network in Randland or Erinin.an is not selling Kindles.
Alice Arneson
83. Wetlandernw
ValMar - well, if you don't take care of the urgent because you're too focused on the significant, that's what you get. Literally and figuratively. Especially when pregnant. ;p

So... any snickerdoodles in the bunker today? Oh, rats, Lannis has been busy elsewhere... Tiramisu? Cheesecake? Bowl of the Winds? Come on, folks, I need a distraction here!
Valentin M
84. ValMar
I might as well offer my choc icecream and beer. I really fancy these right now but my tonsils are being trouble again. Bugger!
Roger Powell
85. forkroot
Well ... I guess it's time for a CONFESSION ...

Years ago, when I started dating the woman who would become my wife, she introduced me to her best friend (hereafter referred to as "BF") and BF's husband. As our relationship progressed, wife-to-be told me that it was a package deal. If I married her, the other couple came in the package as best friends. It was a deal I was happy to accept and those two have indeed been our best friends for years.

But something has changed now because BF and I have a little something going on.

Oh, it started innocently enough ... a little over a year ago she gave me a birthday present. Not a big deal, but it was the seed of things to come.

Now we look for every chance we can get away privately from my wife and BF's husband so we can ....
now
a
whole
bunch
of
white
space
to
make
sure
you
have
to
scroll
down
to
read
the
next
line
Talk about Wheel of Time (Of course! You were thinking something else? For shame!)

Some of you might even remember that I posted about this a year ago. BF gave me a hard copy of TEoTW - I'd been bugging her to try the series, as she has enjoyed other fantasy literature (wife does not read fantasy.)

Anyway, I loaned TEoTW right back to her ... it took almost a year, but she finally got going with it (with a little badgering from me) when the four of us were relaxing up in a mountain cabin last May.

She finally got hooked then and wanted to talk about the book (a lot) ... to the point where her husband and my wife starting giving us grief about all the WOT talk (that's why we do it privately now :-) )

This year's birthday gift was TFoH in hardback (I need hardbacks until PoD). She'll be borrowing that back in a while :-)
Tricia Irish
86. Tektonica
You all are so funny. Even when I have nothing to add, it's fun to read all this! Thanks!
Captain Hammer
87. Randalator
@79

"They chose ... Corly."

Teehee, nice...
James Hogan
88. Sonofthunder
Wort @79...I almost died. Thanks for that.

*still chuckling*

And I'm a male, and I don't *mind* asking for directions. But I like to see if I can figure out where I am on my own first! Hm, yeah, guess I'm a "typical" male.

Also, off topic, I'm probably behind everyone else on this, but I'm re-reading Rothfuss right now(Wise Man's Fear, to be precise), and it's just such lovely reading! Any of you who haven't tried him, do so. I wonder why I waited so long...
Wesley Parish
89. Aladdin_Sane
FWLIW, I do think that Sylvase assassinted her grandfather once it became obvious that Arymilla's cause was doomed. If I was around her, I think I would be very, very cautious, if not fearful - RJ's succeeded in writing a character who's so successful in maintaining such a facade that you can't even begin to guess what's going on in her mind - and given the circumstances, she'd be utterly ruthless and highly skilled at long-term-planning. She was probably a recipient of her grandfather's "kind attentions" at one stage. I doubt she'd be a DF herself - she doesn't strike me as that selfish - but she'd be utterly vengeful.

I wonder when that dagger angreal will turn up at the White Tower and get mass-produced by our busy little proto-industrialist Eggy. Stealth angreal for the Light side ... it would be something to behold, except that would defeat the purpose, wouldn't it?
mrc1ark
90. Jeff Dougan
Finally getting to read this on Thursday AM after an all-day interview on Wednesday, but I have to call out that I LOVE the Phantom Tollbooth quote for the cut!!!!
Marcus W
91. toryx
I will persist in believing that Elayne's casual dismissal of the Ter'angreal Kindle was a bad freaking move.

Wetlander's point about the issues of urgency aside, part of being a leader is knowing when to recognize priorities and delegating authority appropriately.

Immediately after finding the Kindle she learns that Aviendha has to leave. To return to Rand. Who has far more Aes Sedai and resources at his command than she does. Who has, more to the point, the responsibility of saving the world, which includes trying to figure out how to fight the greatest evil the world has ever known.

And she doesn't consider giving the kindle to Aviendha to take to Rand who might be able to make use of it?* Or having Aviendha take it to the Aes Sedai with Rand who might be able to make use to it?

She just doesn't give it a second's thought. Of course, there's a lot on her mind. She's pregnant and hormonal as all hell, and as Wetlander points out, she's got a kingdom to win. Of course, said kingdom will be worth less than nothing if Rand doesn't actually win the final battle.

*sigh*

Actually, as much as I want to blame Elayne for being flighty and foolhardy as usual, I think this was a writer's error. I think RJ just thought it'd be amusing to throw a treasure like that out without giving much thought to the full potential value of said treasure. Maybe I'll be wrong and we'll find out more in the future, but this strikes me more as the kind of throwaway like the Mercedes emblem way back in The Shadow Rising (I think) than anything else.

* I am also well aware that given Rand's state at the time of this book, he's every bit as likely to have dismissed the kindle as Elayne. On the other hand, if Min happened to find out about it...who knows what might have come of such a priceless device?
Alice Arneson
92. Wetlandernw
Jeff @90 - Agree! Bummed that I forgot to mention it earlier.

SonofThunder @88 - Agree with that, too. I really enjoyed NotW (very recently, for the first time), and hope to have my mitts on WMF soon. Then I can finally go to the reread and enjoy it as well. :)
Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw
toryx @91 - In truth, I partially agree with you on the SK - I suspect RJ tossed it in for fun, with no intent to make it significant. I wouldn't call it an error, though; it could only be significant if it contained information that would actually help in the big showdown. Seriously, what are the chances?

If (as I think quite likely) it was made before the Bore, it wouldn't contain anything directly relevant to fighting the DO. It wouldn't contain anything about taint or taint-madness. It wouldn't contain anything about battle, at least not on the scale they're facing. It wouldn't contain anything about Shadowspawn. Most importantly, it wouldn't contain anything about resealing the Bore. If this is indeed the case, a whole bunch of Aes Sedai could spend months going through this thing, essentially wasting time that would have been better spent trying to locate and decipher manuscripts from during the Breaking. In other words, their efforts would be worse than useless, as it relates to the Last Battle.

But suppose it was updated during the Breaking, before things went completely down the big swirly. There would still be nothing on the actual sealing of the Bore, since everyone there was either dead or instantly insane. There might be some theorizing about it, and maybe even a little info on the Choedan Kal - but that's meaningless now anyway. The very best that we could possibly hope for is that at the last minute, someone quickly dumped in all the specs, manufacturing history etc. of Callandor, so that between them Cadsuane and Min could figure out what Rand needs to do with it. If so, then we'll see it in AMoL.

Without knowing when it was made or what exactly it contains, there's no way to say it's "wasted" by not being sent to AS who could research the contents. It's at least even odds that the "waste" would be their time and effort, which might be better spent otherwise. If there was any "error" on RJ's part, it would be in assuming that fans would accept it as a throwaway. Then again, from what I know of him, he might have had fun with a throwaway that he knew some fans would never be willing to accept as such. Or... maybe we'll see it again. RAFO, I guess.
Sam Mickel
94. Samadai
We don't know that the "Kindle" ter'angreal isn't being studied. It is like when everyone complained that Egwene isn't doing anything to get the Tower ready to fight in TG, we assume she isn't because the book doesn't specifically say so, but how much of what RJ/BWS writes leaves us with the questions we like to ask. This is the kind of things that lead to ?'s like Who killed Asmodean, the unwritten details of the plot. I believe that not only is Egwene getting the tower ready in every way possible, Elayne has one of the Kin(since all of the AS are dead) studying what she can of the "kindle". Obviously I could be wrong, but Just like with Asmodean, when we found out for certain Graendal killed him( I knew she had done it when she told Sammael that Asmodean was dead), I can just say I was right all along.

Hello to all my friends out there, I know I have been pretty quiet for a long time, but I am still here reading along.
mrc1ark
95. Wortmauer
Man, rereading the passage of Aviendha decoding all those ter'angreal, a few other little details beyond the Robert Jordan Statue Kindle stand out.

- The dagger, the one that "if you have this in your possession, the Shadow cannot see you." Aviendha explains: "So I decided to keep it. That way, if I am right, at least I could protect you, and if I am wrong, it does no harm." She was keeping it in her belt pouch. But then, at the end of the scene, she gives it back to Elayne, who puts it in her jewelry chest. I doubt that counts as "in your possession". So the dagger was protecting Aviendha. Now it is protecting nobody. Smart move there, Elayne.

Maybe at least she can start mass-producing these Shadow-Warding daggers, if she can get past her channeling difficulties related to pregnancy. Would it help her to link with another channeler? Many channeling problems can be overcome that way. I wonder if she'll ever think to try that. You'd think these things would be immensely useful in Tarmon Gai'don, though maybe not in the actual pitched battles. Would one make your horse invisible too, or just you? Anyway, it's better than fancloth, which, come to think of it, I hope the Green Ajah has been stockpiling for the Last Battle too.

- The flexible black rod: "I think one blow can feel like one, or a hundred." ...Is for spanking!

- The metal cap that's too heavy, feels oily, and "allows you to direct a ... a device of some sort. A machine." It's a prop from a bad sci-fi movie! The converse of a tinfoil hat!

- The "flattish white bowl almost a pace across was for looking at things that were far away". I.e., scrying? Huh. Though I suppose if it needed water, Aviendha would have said so. Girl does tend to notice anything to do with water. Also, this is a reminder that a Randland "pace" is only 3 "feet", not like in the real world, where it's nearly twice that (two walking steps = 1/1000 mile = 5.28 feet).

- The "small hinged box, apparently ivory and covered with rippling red and green stripes, held music, hundreds of tunes, perhaps thousands." They're thinking like a tinny music box, and to be sure, the shape suggests that, but imagine their surprise if they'd actually tried to operate it. They'd get the MP3 collection of some Age of Legends hipster with garish taste in gadget skins.

- Min had said nothing beyond them being born healthy. Min had said nothing about her not being burned out, either, but she had no intention of bringing that up with already feeling guilty. So. Elayne does realize, at least to some small extent, the limitations on her Pattern-Protected Pregnancy. How can she be so idiotically confident that she can't come to harm, then?

- Channelers don't get morning sickness. How does Elayne know this? Did she hear it from the Aiel Wise Ones at some point? Or did the Sea Folk volunteer this information? (But they're pretty close-mouthed in general.) Neither the Aes Sedai nor the Kin have much personal experience with pregnancy, so I doubt they would know it, and most other channelers are wilders who aren't really aware of what they're doing. But then again, maybe even close-mouthed Wise Ones or Sea Folk are like all other women in one respect: they cannot resist the urge to give unsolicited information and advice to anyone who is showing.

- "Strange," mused, shaking her head, "to speak casually of visiting them from so far. To cover leagues, hundreds of leagues, in a step. Strange things we have learned in the wetlands." Do the Aiel know that the wetlanders only recently rediscovered Travelling? Or do they think this is something the Aes Sedai have always been able to do? Sounds like the latter, though I suppose they must know it's recent.
mrc1ark
96. Louis Theodore Tellman
I don't know if anyone's addressed this yet or not as I didn't have time to run through the entire list of comments, but does it seem to any of you that the ter'angreal "Kindle" could be used to recreate history lost in the Breaking? Is there a chance that Rand (or one of his people) could start reading through the "Truth" section of the library and gain information on the previous attack on Shayol Ghul?

Knowledge is power, after all, n'est pas?
Roger Powell
97. forkroot
@96

Knowledge is power, after all, n'est pas?

Um yeah ... and reading the other comments first would have increased your knowledge. The subject has been addressed.
Alice Arneson
98. Wetlandernw
Samadai @94 – ::waves:: We think of you and miss you! Glad you’re still around, even if you are quiet. Also, good point about the fact that we don’t always see things while they’re happening; can you imagine reading the chapters where some random Kin is poking through the SK? We’re often not told that something is happening; we just get the results when they matter. Like, “Well, I may have the answer to that. While (fill in the random Kin name) was looking though this library ter’angreal, she found a book that addressed this situation.” That way we don’t have to slog through it, but we already know about the item so it’s not totally out of left field.

Wortmauer @95 – Good list! I don’t necessarily agree with all your conclusions, but it’s a very good list and good thoughts on the items. I did a double-take on “in the real world a pace is two walking steps.” I’d never heard that before – I’d only met the one-step version where a pace is 30 to 36 inches. Hunh.

Good point on the dagger; I’m wondering if Elayne really left it in her stash, or if she’s figured out an unobtrusive way to carry it with her. Gotta say that would be easier for Aviendha than Elayne. But it certainly does no good sitting in someone’s rooms. IIRC, we aren’t told whether or not Elayne has since been working on reproducing any ter’angreal other than Mat’s medallion, with which she had mixed success. We know she did that, though.

The hinged box… yeah, I always see an iPod with a funky case.

Reflections on Min’s viewing – yes, Elayne does (and has) considered that it’s not entirely proof of invulnerability. I suspect that her confidence about physical injury has to do with (as others have mentioned, I think) the knowledge that any serious physical harm to her probably would harm the babies, given their medical technology. (She’s proven wrong later, of course, when she’s badly wounded and (with the babes) is only saved from major harm by the almost-immediate Healing of a skilled AS. (And was that creepy, being Healed by a BA you’ve been hunting for months, so that your foul DF Captain of the Guard can have his fun with you alive? Eeewwwww.)) Still, as things generally would work in Randland, the loss of blood from a serious injury – say, the loss of a limb – would be enough to harm the little ones, so she thought she could safely consider herself invulnerable to major injury. OTOH, I don’t recall that Min’s viewing actually said they would be born healthy; did she clarify this later, or does Elayne just assume that’s what it meant? The original statement from the text was “She'll get with child from this. Two of them; a boy and a girl; both healthy and strong.” The fact that they are healthy and strong at, say, 6 months, doesn’t mean that they’ll reach term that way; they could be healthy and strong in the womb right up until Elayne gets her throat slit. I don’t think that’s likely, but it did cross my mind…

Re: “Channelers don’t get morning sickness” – She got it from Monaelle, the Wise One who was her “midwife” for a while and did the “Caressing the Child” weave. Elayne asks how she knows, and she says “from bearing seven children and having three husbands.” So it was in a valid context, coming from a Wise One who had plenty of experience. (CoT, Chapter 14, What Wise Ones Know)
Sorcha O
99. sushisushi
Freelancer@73 The getting directions second-hand thing is not gender-specific, believe me :) The problem in parts near me tends to be complicated by directions like 'around that big bend with the trees' and 'take the second left after the field where that big flood was', etc.

Jobert Rordan@77 An ARC is also an Anomaly Research Centre, but then you don't want to know about the dinosaurs, really…

One thing about the discussion on the angreal stash that has been niggling at me during this discussion - are we totally sure that the stash is entirely of objects attuned to women? How do they know there aren't male *angreal in there, given that the Kin collect 'objects associated with the Power'? Were they just focussed on female ones, or would they take possible male-attuned objects out of circulation as well, in order to keep them out of the hands of madmen? Or is that a step too far outside of the low-profile novice-like role they played for centuries? It's just that the volume of female-attuned *angreal showing up makes me wonder if there is an equal quantity of male ones floating about, or was there a campaign of destroying them carried out at any point, either during the Breaking of afterwards? I don't think there is enough information in the series to say for certain, but the speculation is diverting. We know that Rand found the little fat man in the Tear hoard, which is a similar sort of collection - I wonder how close the Kin collecting policy was to the Lords of Tear?
Roger Powell
100. forkroot
Asking for directions carries it's own risks, at least according to the story of the traveler in Maine.

He was heading for Bangor, and reached a fork in the road. The sign to Bangor had fallen over so he was unsure how to proceed. He saw a nearby farmer in the field so he enquired "Does it matter which road I take to Bangor?"

The farmer replied "Not to me it don't!"
mrc1ark
101. Wortmauer
Wetlandernw@98: I did a double-take on “in the real world a pace is two walking steps.” I’d never heard that before – I’d only met the one-step version where a pace is 30 to 36 inches. Hunh.
My usually trust Merriam-Webster's 10th isn't helpful, it just says "any of various units of distance based on the length of a human step". Wikipedia knows what I was getting at, though it seems I got the length wrong; the Roman pace was apparently "about 58.1 inches". I didn't know the Roman mile was that short. Anyway, I've always paced off distances by counting only my left foot.
Still, as things generally would work in Randland, the loss of blood from a serious injury – say, the loss of a limb – would be enough to harm the little ones, so she thought she could safely consider herself invulnerable to major injury.
I'm still hanging on to a thin thread of hope that Elayne will, at some point, sustain some sort of serious non-Healable injury such as loss of a limb. Might teach her a little respect for Fate. And it wouldn't ruin the Pattern or the plot: she can still carry to term, can still be an effective queen, without e.g. a right arm. (Just like Seanchan policy as related by Renna back in TGH, Ch. 40: "Damane are too valuable to be killed out of hand, but you might find yourself not only soundly punished, but absent a tongue to speak or hands to write. Damane can do what they must without these things.")
She got it from Monaelle, the Wise One who was her “midwife” for a while and did the “Caressing the Child” weave. Elayne asks how she knows, and she says “from bearing seven children and having three husbands.”
Makes perfect sense. I'd forgotten.
sushisushi@99: are we totally sure that the stash is entirely of objects attuned to women? How do they know there aren't male *angreal in there, given that the Kin collect 'objects associated with the Power'?
Given the sorting process the Supergirls did, to lighten the packhorse loads ... I doubt the process they used to detect angreal would detect male-only angreal, so they probably threw those away at the Kin farm in Altara. Obviously we can't be certain of that, but neither can the Supergirls. Or is it said or implied otherwise? We know that it's possible for a saidar user to test for saidin residues, somehow, but that's not at all the same thing as detecting an angreal.
Sam Mickel
102. Samadai
Forkroot @ 100
walks away slowly shaking head, not going to say it
Hugh Arai
103. HArai
sushisushi@99: The White Tower certainly appears to believe that all things related to the Power fall under their authority. Since the Kin drink the same kool-aid, they likely grab everything they can. The question would be how they identify items as *angreal if they're not female attuned and don't do anything obvious. None of the AS or Kin seem to be able to tell Mat's medallion is anything special until it's actually in operation for example.
Alice Arneson
104. Wetlandernw
FWIW, in the first sorting the girls only threw out stuff that was obvious junk - old shoes and the like. (Unlike Harry Potter, where any useless object can be turned into a port key, it seems that *greal usually look like something.) Later, Elayne used the trick of holding saidar while sorting, to see if things had a resonance; at that point, she may have started dumping things that might have resonated for an Asha'man, but we aren't really told what she did with them. OTOH, the Kin wouldn't have any way (that we know of) to identify male *greal either, so the chances are that there wouldn't be as many in the stash they acquired. For that matter, how did the Tairens know "objects of Power" when they found them? They collected quite a haul, but forbid channeling... and there's no real indication that the stuff they collected was a mishmash like the Tanchico or Ebou Dar collections.
Rob Munnelly
105. RobMRobM
Wet @92. Yes, read WMF and come on in. Jo's re-read is truly fascinating. Rothfuss has built his world with multiple, very subtle, levels and it takes a village to pull out all the fascinating stuff he introduced in both books. The books are filled with puns, riddles, language games (in multiple languages), mythology, folklore, metallurgy - many of which turn out to be meaningful to the story and its narrator.

P.s. I found a free e-copy of GRRM's The Hedge Knight on line. You need to read this - GRRM in excellent form and content is no more than PG rated. Dunk and Egg are both wonderful characters and, knowing you, you will love them. There are two additional similar stories out there - the latest one was a finalist for a Hugo award this year.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/7387197/A-Song-of-Ice-and-Fire-Prequel-The-Hedge-Knight
Sorcha O
106. sushisushi
HArai@103 Wetlandernw@104 That's pretty much along the lines I was thinking - the Kin wouldn't be able to identify a male *angreal any more than any female channeler would, which is as about as likely as a non-channelling Lord of Tear in these circumstances. I guess that there would be a certain common methodology for instances like the fall of a false Dragon, where any brooches, statues or carved objects on his person would be 'quarantined' into the hoard, as well as any larger pieces which the hypothetical Dragon would have demonstrated affinity for.

Maybe the reason that the Kin's hoard is full of junk is because they chucked in the entire personal effects of anyone suspected to be a rogue channeler, male or female? The Kin are hardly likely to have had much experience with *angreals as novices or even occasional Accepted, as the Tower *angreal hoard seems not to be in common 'training' usage. I'd guess it to be one of the things only taught after becoming Aes Sedai (like the Warder bond), given the As attitude to anyone but a full sister handling an *angreal.

The Lords of Tear are more likely to have an idea what an *angreal is like (usually small, usually looks like stone, metal or glass, statues and jewelry, etc.), particularly if their protocols go back to the end of the Breaking. The Great Hold is described in TSR as being full of things packed into caskets and barrels, with figurines and 'smaller things' wrapped up, so it sounds a tad more organised. Presumably it comes from centuries of confiscating *angreals from indiscreet Aes Sedai and the occasional false Dragon caught channelling. That's still more likely to give female-attuned *angreal, though, given the relative numbers of Aes Sedai/false Dragons.

It's such a pity that Elayne didn't have an Asha'man or two to look through the 'junk' before it got trashed, although that's hardly likely, given the state of Andor's relations with the Black Tower. Maybe if Rand had hung around longer than that one night...
Alice Arneson
107. Wetlandernw
sushisushi - On the other hand, aren't you glad she didn't take them to the Black Tower? Can you just imagine the fun if Taim and his inner circle had a bunch of angreal? :{
Roger Powell
108. forkroot
Now that Rand/LTT's memories are integrated, I suspect that he would be able to review the stash quickly and pull out some useful items. I wonder if anyone would think to mention it during the presumed upcoming summit meeting at the Field of Merrilor.

Of course if Elayne left the stash behind in Caemlyn ... who knows if Team Light will be able to get to it? The TOM Epilogue left a large amount of uncertainity regarding Caemlyn's status.
L M
109. srEDIT
@Jeff Dougan 90 and Wet 92

Aaaagh! There was a Phantom Toolbooth allusion and I missed it? I went back but still don't remember . . . Help!
Sorcha O
110. sushisushi
Wetlandernw@107 Heh, I could just imagine Taim being all 'why thank you, Elayne, for giving me and my minions of dubious sanity the chance to paw through your collection in case we find any magical objects of exponential power. Go Team Light.'

forkroot@108 It would be handy to be able to pull out a few dozen extra superchargers for the Last Battle, alright, but I suspect that perusing Elayne's erm, collection, may be well down Rand's priority list at this point. One would hope that she had the sense to bring Items of Usefulness to the Field of Merrilor with her, but you wouldn't know with Elayne. Actually... maybe *that's* how Caemlyn gets saved - nothing to do with Mat and the Band, Elayne realises she left the dagger behind and travels back to get it! I think I have a fresh Looney Theory about the Last Battle right here :)
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
RobM @105 – Well, that was almost depressing. It’s a good story, and proves that he’s capable of excellent writing without overly graphic obscenity and violence. Too bad he wrote his epic in a style I can't and won’t read; I expect I would enjoy it, otherwise. As it is, though… oh well.

s'rEDIT @109 – To see the Phantom Tollbooth quote, you have go by way of the Tor home page, where all the latest posts show up with a picture, a couple of paragraphs, and a link to the rest of the post. FWIW, I always go that way to the new reread posts, because Leigh has a habit of using some pretty entertaining snippets for the links. Unfortunately, this one is now halfway down the third page; so here’s what she used as the link this time, right after “And now, the directionally challenged post!"

“Whether or not you find your own way, you’re bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it’s quite rusty.”
Captain Hammer
112. Randalator
Wortmauer @95

The "flattish white bowl almost a pace across was for looking at things that were far away". I.e., scrying?

Scrying? More like AoL TV/Skype/Webcam-thingy...
Joseph Blaidd
113. SteelBlaidd
Why does everyone keep calling it a Kindle Statue? It's obviousy an Artistic Nook.

Joking aside I wish to regester as one of the people who actually enjoys the Sucession plot line. As iritating as some of the parts(cough*SeaFolk*) can be I find following Elayne around to be generaly just hilarious. Especialy with her skizoid mix of political astutenes and teenage invinceability complex.

Now if I was there I would be all over the ArtNook like ducks on a beatle but I agree with Wetlander. To much other stuff goin down and no way to know if there is even anything worth looking for till after the manuere settles.
Jonathan Levy
114. JonathanLevy
Re: Kindle Ter'angreal

Didn't Min have a viewing that Nesune would found a library?

Maybe she's the one who gets her hands on the Kindle Ter'angreal... :)
Richard Boye
115. sarcastro
Steelblaid @ 113

"Why does everyone keep calling it a Kindle Statue? It's obviousy an Artistic Nook."

I think we should just go with a generalized name that would appease Nook readers and mollify Kindle owners: ergo, it's a ter'blet.
Alice Arneson
116. Wetlandernw
sarcastro - I like it! Takes more typing, what with the apostrophe and italics, but I definitely like it. :)
Valentin M
117. ValMar
I also enjoyed the Succession plotline- taken in isolation. This type of politicking mixed with warfare is a type of story which I appreciate. Add to it RJ's writing style. One of the main problems I had with it is too little politicking and fighting and too much pregnancy and vase/dress description stuff ;)

BTW, Happy 1st/4th of July to the North Americans!
Hugh Arai
119. HArai
Wetlandernw@111: Was going to ask you why you felt you couldn't read Rothfuss's epic, went back and realized you still meant Martin. Let me second RobMRobM, the Rothfuss re-read here on Tor.com is very insightful but is (as advertised) definitely full-on spoilers right from the start so you want that first WMF read completed first.
Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
HArai @119 - I got the impression from a single peek that the Rothfuss reread would be totally spoilerific, so I determined that I would finish both books before I peeked again! Wish I could have done it a lot sooner, but life gets in the way of my reading sometimes. (You read correctly - it's Martin I can't read. Rothfuss is great fun!)
T C
121. Freelancer
Hail all patriots and friends. Happy Independence Day.
Rob Munnelly
122. RobMRobM
Wet @111. I'm glad you enjoyed Dunk and Egg. I like the dialog between the two (e.g., "If you steal my things, I will hunt you down. With dogs." "But you don't have any dogs." "I will get some just for you") and Dunk's back and forth discussions with nearly everyone he encounters, especially the one with M at the very end where he shows precisely how sharp the wits are behind his gentle exterior.)

There are two more stories, each similarly enjoyable. The Sworn Sword can be found in the collection Legends II (Silverberg ed.); and the Mystery Knight is located in the recent collection Warriors (Dozois and Martin eds.) I searched but did not find free e-copies. The latter was just nominated for, but didn't win, a Hugo. Grab them from the library or Kindle them. They alao remain at what amounts to a PG rating level.

Also, second Harai's thought that you should finish WMF before joining the Rothfuss re-read. It's not necessarily that you would be excessively spoiled (though you would) but so much happens that advances understanding in WMF you would likely be so lost that you'd lose enjoyment of the reread. So better to wait and then dive in with both feet.

Returning to WoT - I too like the succession plot line but, as I have stated in earlier threads, the many annoying folk around Elayne diminish enjoyment (annoying Kin, annoying Seafolk, annoying Aes Sedai, annoying Black Ajah, annoying recovering damanes and sul'dams, annoying pregnant Elayne, annoying stressed out Birgitte, annoying freaking Mellar, annoying mercanaries, annoying members of friendly houses (except for Mantear, who kicks butt), annoying members of opposition houses, etc. ) Cumulatively, it is just too much.
Jonathan - really like the idea of Nesune getting the Nookie.

Rob
L M
123. srEDIT
@ Wet 111: Ah, now I understand. It's just been way too long since I reread PT.

New post coming today?
mrc1ark
124. Louis Theodore Tellman
@97 - Hey, buddy. Thanks for making a guy feel welcome to the table. Awesome!
William McDaniel
125. willmcd
Once we got past the extended descriptions of women getting dressed in Ch15, I enjoyed these chapters. The mercenary captains were good background characters (it helps, I thought, to read their lines out loud with the appropriate English, French and Indian accents for the Andoran, Cairhienin and Domani respecitvely).

I was a little disappointed that no one had any comments on one of my favorite WoT bit players, Samwil Hark, the Dickensian Grotesque ne'er-do-well with infinitely evolving backup excuses as to why none of it is his fault. Very funny character, I thought.

For all the time the series spends talking about Elayne's pregnancy, I find that I can't even remember whether we even get to see the babies in AMoL (which I read in about a week right after it came out, and remember very little about).

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