The Wheel of Time Reread

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 5

Hey, kids, and welcome to another Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s post covers Chapters 5-6 of Lord of Chaos, in which things happen, sort of.

Previous entries are here, and as always there are spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, so watch it!

And that’s about the size of that, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Chapter 5: A Different Dance

What Happens
Mat drinks wine in the second-best inn in Maerone, trying to ignore the heat, and wincing at the mistakes the musicians are making with the two-thousand-year-old tune he’d tried to teach them. Talmanes is pretending to be upset at the amount of money he’s lost to Mat at cards; Mat protests that he doesn’t always win at cards, though he knows Talmanes and the rest of the Band take his luck as a talisman. Daerid points out that the same cannot be said of dice, so they need to find an alternative, something Mat has no control over directly. Nalesean suggests horses, and Mat grins and agrees; his luck might not help with racing, but he’d grown up watching his father trade horses. They are interrupted by the serving girl Betse, who Mat has had his eye on. He invites her to join them while the other men pretend they are not there, but Betse immediately puts him off balance, peppering him with questions about whether he was a lord and why does he wear that scarf and what’s that scar and did he steal that medallion and etc. Nalesean and Daerid and Talmanes all start snickering. Mat tries to recover, but Betse is either a complete airhead or clever enough to keep tripping him up.

Daerid and Nalesean seemed to be choking to death. Talmanes was humming “A Frog on the Ice.” So he was skidding about with his feet in the air, was he?

Mat put down his winecup and rose, bowing over Betse’s hand. “I am who I am and no more, but your face drives words right out my head.” That made her blink; whatever they said, women always like flowery talk. “Will you dance?”

Mat leads her to the floor and teaches her a pattern dance that hasn’t been seen since the Trolloc Wars, and gets lost in memories of dancing it with an Atha’an Miere Wavemistress in Coremanda, one of the Ten Nations.

It had been true, what he told her about the scar on his neck. Hanged for knowledge, and for lack of it […] Slices of other men’s lives packed his head now, thousands of them, sometimes only a few hours, sometimes years altogether though in patches, memories of courts and combats stretching for well over a thousand years, from long before the Trolloc Wars to the final battle of Artur Hawkwing’s rise. All his now, or they might as well be.

Mat wishes he didn’t have the memories, but acknowledges that without them, he would be tied to the Dragon Reborn with nothing to protect him, and instead he has over six thousand soldiers personally loyal to him. He still hopes Moiraine had been wrong about his importance in the Last Battle, though. He and Betse finish the dance, and she laughs that it was wonderful. Mat asks her if “Daughter of the Nine Moons” means anything to her, but it doesn’t. They are interrupted by Edorion, who reminds Mat that he wanted to do inspections. He takes his leave of Betse (who seems to sense how smug he is about the dancing), and goes with Edorion to inspect the drinking rooms. The town is stuffed with refugees and soldiers and merchants; the soldiers cheer him as they recognize his distinctive hat and spear, and Mat thinks of the outlandish stories that have circulated about them. He and Edorion visit a number of inns, and Mat sees several Hunters of the Horn at some, which grimly amuses him. He notes with bemusement the young men following around a group of pikemen singing about how awful military life is, and knows more than a few will be signing up to join by the end of the day.

At least the pikes were not singing “Dance with Jak o’ the Shadows.” Mat hated that song. Once the lads realized Jak o’ the Shadows was death, they started panting to find a bannerman.

Edorion casually digs for information about when they’re moving south, and mentions a rumor that the Lord Dragon had been in town the day before. Mat denies it, and remembers Rand popping right into his bedroom in the middle of the night, scaring him half to death. The conversation had been unnerving, too, with Rand asking him how to know you’re in love with a woman (when it was Rand and Perrin who had always had a way with women), and going on about uniting the entire world for the Last Battle, and talking about Sammael as if he knew him personally.

“No man should have another man’s voice in his head, “ Rand muttered, and Mat’s hands froze […] Rand knew something of what had happened inside that ter’angreal in Rhuidean—knew he had somehow gained knowledge of soldiering, anyway—but not the whole of it. Mat thought not the whole of it. Not about other men’s memories.

He worries about Rand going mad, not to mention Taim and “those fools” he is teaching, and worries more that he will probably still be in the vicinity if and when it happens. Mat grimly continues his inspection until he hears shouting from in front of another inn and runs to it, wanting an excuse to punch somebody. He finds two Murandians shaking a small boy for touching their horses. One of them declares he’s going to break the kid’s neck, and Mat promptly smacks him in the balls, then takes out the other one when he attacks. The Redarms (Mat’s version of MPs) arrive, and Mat tells them to run the Murandians out of town. Edorion is holding onto the boy, who is the ugliest child Mat’s ever seen. He quickly finds out that the boy’s name is Olver, and he claims to be nine; his father was killed by Shaido and his mother died of an illness after. Olver says he “buried her where there were some flowers”, and starts crying and kicking at Edorion to let him go. Mat tells Edorion to bathe and feed him, to Edorion’s dismay.

“You talk to me,” Olver shouted, rubbing at his face. The tears helped him rearrange the dirt. “You talk to me, not over my head!”

Mat blinked, then bent down. “I’m sorry, Olver. I always hated people doing that to me, too. Now, this is how it is. You smell bad, so Edorion here is going to take you to The Golden Stag, where Mistress Daelvin is going to let you have a bath.” The sulkiness on Olver’s face grew. “If she says anything, you tell her I said you could have one. She can’t stop you.” Mat held in a grin at the boy’s sudden stare; that would have spoiled it. Olver might not like the idea of a bath, but if someone might try to stop him from having one…

He continues that Edorion is “a real Tairen lord” who will get him some clothes and shoes, while Edorion mutters to himself. They are interrupted by Estean, who tells him there’s a big ship at the river, he thinks Sea Folk. Mat thinks this unlikely, but leaves Olver with Edorion and goes with Estean to see. To his surprise, it is a Sea Folk ship, and he sends Estean to get a boat, but before Estean returns, he observes a delegation of Sea Folk landing on the Andor side, at Aringill. Mat also notes by the parasols that the party includes a Wavemistress and her Swordmaster, who would only be outranked by the Mistress of the Ships and the Master of the Blades, respectively, at least going by ancient memories of the Sea Folk. Mat can’t imagine what they are doing nine hundred miles from sea, but decides it’s not his problem. He goes back and finishes his inspection, then spends the evening dancing with Betse again, who he still can’t decide whether she is putting him on or not. Much later, Mat goes to Daerid, Talmanes and Nalesean’s table and tells them, to their dismay, that the Band moves out in just a few hours, at first light. They are astonished, but obey, and by dawn the whole Band is on the move, making enough noise “to rouse the dead”, with drums and trumpeters and the works. Mat reflects on the difficulties he’d had in convincing them that all the squadrons should be the same size and equally mixed between nationalities, and still can’t figure out why none of them left over it. He rides to the head of the column and tells his officers to send out scouts as soon as they’re out of sight of the town, and to “shut that bloody noise up”. He also adds that he expects the Band to do thirty-five miles a day, which makes the others all gape at him.

“Comadrin wrote, ‘Attack on ground where your enemy believes you will not, from an unexpected direction at an unexpected time. Defend where your enemy believes you are not, and when he believes you will run. Surprise is the key to victory, and speed is the key to surprise. For the soldier, speed is life.’ ”

Talmanes asks who Comadrin is, and Mat pauses and then answers, a general whose book he read once. He remembers reading it, true, but he’d also met the man after losing a battle to him, six hundred years before Hawkwing.

Those memories did creep up on him. At least he had not delivered that little speech in the Old Tongue; he usually managed to avoid that sort of thing now.

He thinks he can relax a little now that his part of it was started; his hasty departure seemingly to the south will throw off spies and make him seem a fool besides, and with any luck Sammael would be “cracked like a louse between two rocks” before Mat had to get anywhere near him. For once, he thinks, everything is going as expected.

Jeez, does nobody know the rule about tempting fate? Mat and Min and Rand! Quit talking! Sheesh.

I always do love me a Mat POV, and this one is one of the best ones. “Slice of life” chapters are always interesting when done well, and it’s extremely cool to see how Mat’s become a great general in every way, not just in the thick of battle. This is because the memories are telling him how to be one, of course, but I maintain that they wouldn’t do Mat a lick of good if he didn’t have the innate sense of responsibility – however much he may not believe that he has one – that makes him live up to those memories’ standards. And as usual, Mat again demonstrates his extreme lack of self-introspection by being mystified about the Band’s willingness to follow him. He so silly.

Betse: I get the feeling that I am supposed to be irritated with Mat here – not by Jordan, but by… uh, I dunno, some invisible consortium – for viewing Betse (and women in general) as prizes to be won, but… well, I’m just not. Mat is a player, yes, and there are a lot of ways guys like him can have very unpleasant subtextual (and sometimes not so subtextual) implications, but the thing about Mat (which I’ve said before) is that he’s pretty much an idealized version of the “likeable rogue” character.

So, yes, women are conquests to him, but only to the point to which they are willing to be “conquered”, and Jordan makes a frequent point of noting that Mat adheres scrupulously to an also-idealized version of the rules of “courtly love” – which boil down to the fact that ultimately, the woman is in control of what does and does not happen. Or, to put it another way, Mat never (or hardly ever) conflates his pursuit of women with an inability to view them as human beings possessed of free will. He never fails to acknowledge their right to turn him down – and even more importantly, he does not resent this fact.

(That last is the ultimate pitfall of the Nice Guy. Anyone who hasn’t read that link, male or female, do yourself a favor and do so. And guys? Don’t be that guy. Really. And girls? Don’t be the female version of that guy, either. Really.)

I’m aware that all this could be construed as hypocritical of me, in light of my stance on chivalry, but see, what it really comes down to is respect. Specifically, respect for the opposite party’s choices. Rand’s version of chivalry (in my view) attempts, with the best of intentions of course, to take choices away from the women in his life; Mat, while suffering to a certain degree from the same programming re: women in life-threatening situations, in general values freedom of choice over almost anything else, not only for himself but for others, including women. In Mat’s view, he should be free to go after what (or who) he wants, but if who he wants does not want him, well, that’s the end of that as far as he’s concerned. Mutually consenting parties only. It’s not freedom unless everyone involved has it.

And you know, that’s a version of playerization I can get behind. If all players thought like this the world would have a lot fewer problems.

(Mat’s love of freedom, incidentally, is why I think he finds the whole ta’veren thing so much more galling than Rand or Perrin do; he sees it as taking away his choices, and is deeply resentful of that, while Rand (and Perrin to a lesser extent) got that out of their systems earlier on, and are now a great deal more sanguine about it than Mat. More or less, anyway.)

Speaking of Rand, I love how Mat completely misinterprets Rand’s muttering about a voice in his head. I remember, though, when I first read this I was very annoyed, as at the time I was rooting for someone to figure out what was going on with Rand so that someone could help him. (In fact I was very surprised at how long it went on without anyone guessing the deal; the first time around I really expected the Lews Therin thing to end up more or less out in the open by the end of LOC. Boy, was I wrong.)

On reflection, of course, I think we can agree that Mat is not exactly the best person for said realization. He’s close enough to running for the hills as it is.

Last and kinda least, enter Olver! Who is not Gaidal Cain, do not even go there. I guess I kind of get why everyone was so het up about Olver and the Gaidal thing for so long, but personally he’s never interested me much, except as a fun bit of comic relief re: his relationship with (and shameless imitation of) Mat. So… yeah.

Chapter 6: Threads Woven of Shadow

What Happens
Sammael steps out into Graendal’s palace in Arad Doman; he watches her Compelled acrobats and musicians below in the display pit, and thinks it an idiotic waste. Graendal joins him and asks how he likes her pets, and Sammael thinks of how she had been a famous ascetic and mind-Healer before joining the Shadow, and now seems to have made herself the exact opposite of what she had been before.

On the surface her total fixation was her own pleasure, nearly obscuring a desire to pull down everyone who had a particle of power. And that in turn almost hid her own thirst for power, very seldom exercised openly. Graendal had always been very good at hiding things in plain sight. He thought he knew her better than any of the other Chosen did—she had accompanied him to Shayol Ghul to make his obeisance—but even he did not know all the layers of her.

She points out some of her new acquisitions: most of the Domani king’s immediate family, and the Sh’boan and Sh’Botay (sort of temporary empress and emperor) from “lands beyond the Aiel Waste”. Sammael wonders if there is some hidden message in the fact that she took prizes from so far away, but ignores it in favor of commenting that he’s surprised that she didn’t take King Alsalam himself. Graendal replies that Alsalam “isn’t up to her standards”. Sammael, trying to needle her, says that one day she will slip up and someone will recognize one of her “pets”, but she laughs this off merrily, and replies no one would ever suspect her cover, and momentarily shows him her Illusion disguise, of a frail and sickly Domani woman. He’s still surprised at her choice of location, considering the turmoil in Arad Doman, and wary that she has allowed him to know where it is.

Sammael would not be surprised if every Domani who visited here left believing that this land had been handed down in her family since the Breaking. She used Compulsion so often like a hammer that one might forget that she could wield the weaker forms of it with great delicacy, twisting a mind’s path so subtly that even the closest examination might miss every trace of her. In fact, she might have been the best at that who ever lived.

He let the gateway vanish but held on to saidin; those tricks did not work on someone wrapped in the Source.

She comments on Lews Therin, opining that he would make a wonderful pet; he’s not quite handsome enough, but who he is makes up for that. And, she adds, she “does like them tall”. Irritated, Sammael counters that Lews Therin is dead, and Rand al’Thor is a “jumped-up farmboy” with a lot of luck, but Graendal doesn’t think he could have gotten this far on solely luck. Sammael thinks about Ishamael’s theories about the continuous rebirth of that one soul, and how he claimed it was part of the unending battle between the Creator and the Great Lord, using human surrogates. The thing that disturbs him most is Ishamael’s claim that sometimes the Creator’s champion had been turned, and had served as the Shadow’s champion instead; Sammael worries that the Great Lord’s plan might be to make al’Thor Nae’blis. He asks Graendal if she has any news on the whereabouts of Asmodean, Lanfear, or Moghedien. Graendal thinks al’Thor killed them, pointing out the rumors about Lanfear’s demise at the docks in Cairhien.

“Rumors! Lanfear has been aiding al’Thor since the beginning, if you ask me. I would have had his head in the Stone of Tear except that someone sent Myrddraal and Trollocs to save him! That was Lanfear; I am certain. I’m done with her. The next time I see her, I’ll kill her! And why would he kill Asmodean? I would if I could find him, but he has gone over to al’Thor. He’s teaching him!”

Graendal is like, whatever you say, but the fact remains that the Forsaken are being picked off one by one. Sammael tries to get his fury under control, and Graendal continues that it seems clear that Sammael is next on Lews Therin’s list, and hopes he has a place to run when that giant army comes after him. Infuriated, Sammael replies that if he destroys al’Thor then, he won’t have violated the Great Lord’s command – if Graendal told him the truth about what Demandred said, anyway. Sammael is also still suspicious of the lack of detail she’s given him on what Demandred, Semirhage, and Mesaana are planning, and she sighs irritably that she’s told him everything she knows and everything Demandred said. Sammael reiterates his opinion that al’Thor is an ignorant boy, but Graendal, seeming shaken, thinks he is just as dangerous in this time as Lews Therin was in his. He suggests that if she is so frightened of al’Thor, then she should link with Sammael, and smiles at her obvious rejection of the idea. He asks what other news; she glares at him, and tells him that Semirhage missed their last meeting, and no one seems to know why. She also says Demandred warns Sammael to be careful.

He cut in sharply. “You deliver a message to Demandred from me. Tell him I know what he is up to.” Events to the south had Demandred’s mark all over them. Demandred had always liked using proxies. “Tell him to be careful. I won’t have him or his friends interfering in my plans.” Perhaps he could direct al’Thor’s attention there; that would likely put an end to him. If other means did not work. “So long as they steer clear of me, his lackeys can carve out what he wants, but they will steer clear or he will answer for it.”

Graendal agrees reluctantly to pass on the message, and returns to talking about her new acquisitions’ traditions regarding channelers. Sammael asks if they “bind themselves like criminals”, and is amused that this seems to confuse her. He concludes that she is trying to distract him, and goes to take his leave. Graendal hopes he is being careful not to disturb the Great Lord’s plan, and Sammael replies that he has done everything but surrender to convince al’Thor he is no threat to him, but “the man seems obsessed with me”. Graendal suggests abandoning Illian, but Sammael rejects that harshly, and pretends to frown worriedly at her Sh’boan and Sh’botay before opening a gateway back to Illian, slicing one her pets in half.

Graendal pursed her lips peevishly at the loss of one of her pets.

“If you want to help us stay alive,” Sammael told her, “find out how Demandred and the others mean to carry out the Great Lord’s instructions.” He stepped through the gateway, never taking his eyes from her face.

After Sammael is gone, Graendal wonders whether the effort of acquiring the far-off pets just for this meeting with Sammael was worth it. She thinks Sammael is dangerous enough when he has something to fight directly, but he is a transparent fool when it comes to subtlety, and is also no doubt frantic at the trap he’s in. As for al’Thor, she’s not certain whether she believes he is a rustic farmboy or Lews Therin truly come back, but she does not intend to die facing him, no matter what the Great Lord’s orders. Al’Thor would be removed, but Sammael would take the blame. Graendal wonders, though, how he found out about the binding; she only knew because of a slip Mesaana made while ranting about Semirhage absence. She wonders how long Mesaana had been hidden in the Tower, and wishes she could discover where Demandred and Semirhage were, too, for she had never yet discovered a wedge to split the three of them apart. A servant approaches and tells her Ituralde is here, and Graendal changes to the frail “Lady Basene” and goes to meet him.

…only she herself knew that she had made her own journey to Shayol Ghul and down to the lake of fire. Only she knew that the Great Lord had all but promised to name her Nae’blis, a promise sure to be fulfilled with al’Thor out of the way. She would be the most obedient of the Great Lord’s servants. She would sow chaos till the harvest made Demandred’s lungs explode.

Semirhage enters the dungeon, which is not to her tastes, and regards the Aes Sedai held prisoner there. The Aes Sedai demands to know who she is, but Semirhage ignores her and slices all the woman’s clothes off with Fire and Wind, noting the prisoner’s incredulous look at the feat, and begins to stimulate the woman’s pain centers directly. As she waits patiently for the effect to build, she reflects on her hatred of Aes Sedai. She had once been one, famed all over the world for her ability to Heal.

And a delegation from the Hall of the Servants had offered her a choice that was no choice: to be bound never to know her pleasures again, and with that binding be able to see the end of life approach; or else to be severed, and cast out as Aes Sedai. They had expected her to accept binding; that was the rational, proper thing to do, and they were rational, proper men and women. They never expected her to flee. She had been one of the first to go to Shayol Ghul.

She thinks it was jealousy, and that the “price” she extracted from her patients was small enough compared to what they received in return, and that she had earned the right to do so. She thinks with pleasure that some of those who had tried to pull her down fell into her hands during the War, and what she had done to them could not even be matched by Compulsion in some ways, for Compulsion can be reversed. The Aes Sedai’s sobs grow to a howl and then screams before Semirhage cuts off the flows and asks for the woman’s name.

The question did not matter as long as it was one the woman would answer. It could have been “Do you still defy me?”—it was often pleasant to keep on with that one until they pleaded to prove they no longer did—but she needed to make every question count this time.

The woman finally tells her her name is Cabriana Mecandes. Semirhage stimulates Cabriana’s pleasure centers for a moment as a reward, and warmly praises her and gives her water to drink. Cabriana hurls insults at her, and Semirhage resets the pain weaves and knots them off, leaving her there.

Despite herself Semirhage made a vexed sound. There was no finesse in this. She did not like having to hurry. And to be called away from her charge; the girl was willful and obdurate, the circumstances difficult.

She meets Shaidar Haran in the corridor, who she had been warned by the Great Lord to obey as she would him. It asks what she’s learned, and she replies, the woman’s name, and that she could not be expected to learn more yet. The Fade commands her to “squeeze her dry” as soon as possible, and Semirhage agrees coldly. It disappears (she wishes she knew how Fades did that – even they did not know), and she realizes she had been afraid in its presence. She decides to examine that later, and goes to her second and less important patient, Cabriana’s Warder.

Pausing, Semirhage studied him. There was something . . . a tightness around the mouth and eyes. As if he already fought pain. Of course. That peculiar bond between Aes Sedai and Warder. Strange that these primitives should have come up with something that none of the Chosen understood, yet it was so.

She starts with pleasure on him first, instead, and notes that she had in the past broken patients with nothing more than this, though it does not give her much enjoyment. She muses on the oddity of Shaidar Haran, and al’Thor’s blind focus on Sammael, and Graendal’s efforts to keep Sammael similarly focused, and the troubling number of Forsaken who had vanished. Demandred insists they are dead, but she and Mesaana were not as certain, and Semirhage hopes Lanfear is not, so that she may deal with the woman herself.

The Chosen were no more than pieces on the board; they might be Counselors and Spires, but they were still pieces. If the Great Lord moved her here secretly, might he not be moving Moghedien or Lanfear, or even Asmodean? Might Shaidar Haran not be sent to deliver covert commands to Graendal or Sammael? Or for that matter, to Demandred or Mesaana?

She thinks that if the Great Lord meant to make al’Thor Naeblis, she would kneel to him – and wait for the opportune moment. It’s Shaidar Haran, the unknown quantity, that bothers her. Suddenly she is pulled from her reverie to realize that she let the process go on too long, and the Warder is dead. Semirhage is exasperated, but has a sudden thought, and goes to check on Cabriana. The Aes Sedai is screaming, and Semirhage smiles.

Lordy, but the Forsaken make me tired. They talk and think in Celtic knots. Which makes our shiny new Forsaken icon quite appropriate, n’est-ce pas?

Tons and tons of new info here, most of which is pretty self-explanatory, particularly at this late date, but I’ll pick out a few highlights. First, however, there’s this quote:

“Rand al’Thor is a jumped-up farmboy, a choss-hauler who has been lucky.”

Okay, that is FREAKY. And hilarious! I swear I hadn’t read that ahead of time, you guys. Too funny. I wonder what Sammael thinks “choss” is??


So, the dialogue between Sammael and Graendal is generally clear as mud (and it gets worse later), but I infer from it that Graendal did lie to him about the prohibition on killing Rand. Although, it seems that she told him something related to it, just not the whole thing, perhaps. It sounds like she made out that there were provisos or exceptions to the prohibition – specifically, that they were allowed to kill Rand in self-defense, which would explain his statement to her about Rand attacking him in Illian.

I think, anyway. It’s all very confusing – as it was meant to be, naturally.

And then, of course, we have Sammael’s infamous statement about Demandred and his “proxies” to “the south”, which has caused many a wrangle among the fanbase, especially before the Taimandred thing was debunked. The problem, of course, is what Sammael meant by “south”. I have to assume he meant south of Arad Doman (where he was at the moment), because there is nothing south of his base in Illian – unless you suppose he’s talking about the Sea Folk.

Which I suppose he might be, because God knows we haven’t turned Demandred up anywhere on Randland proper. It can’t be the Seanchan, because first of all Semirhage (as we now know) is with them, and secondly by coming across the Aryth Ocean, wouldn’t they be considered as being to the west? Yeah, I know the second time they come in to Altara, but – aargh.

South of Arad Doman on the mainland is Tarabon, Falme, and Almoth Plain. After that, I contend that it’s stretching it to justify anything east of the Mountains of Mist as being “south” of Arad Doman, but who knows. However, I will point out that Andor – which is where Taim and his proto Asha’man are hanging out – can in no sane way be considered “south” of Arad Doman. “Southwest”, I’ll give you, but surely – aargh.

To sum up, I have no frickin’ clue. I’m not even sure if there’s one possibility more generally favored over the others, so I’ll let you guys duke it out in the comments. (Hey, at least we know he’s not in the Borderlands, eh?)

MOVING ON. We get some nice background and character development on Graendal here, for what it’s worth. Though intellectually I know I should be horrified by her, somehow she just never induces the level of squickery I get from Semirhage. Perhaps because we’ve never really seen her in action the way we have the latter – actually brain-frying these people, I mean. Everything we know she did, we’ve only gotten secondhand. Maybe secondhand should be enough, but, well, it isn’t. Not for me, anway.

Graendal thus far, actually, has been something of a nonentity of a villain; we’ve hardly seen her do anything on screen except be manipulative and… well, be manipulative. Which is fine, I guess, but it’s not really the sort of thing to induce nightmares.

Unlike SOME PEOPLE. This was the chapter that cemented Semirhage’s position as Scariest WOT Villain Evar in my brain. She is so very, very creepy, y’all. It’s kind of a shame we don’t get to see more of her.

I know there was some theory connected to Cabriana and what Semirhage needed her for, but damn if I can remember at the moment what it was, or if we ever found out for sure. Something separate from the other various Forsaken Evil Plots, judging from Shaidar Haran’s involvement. But what? Commenters? Enlighten moi!

Oh, and the other big thing here is the info we get on “binding”, and the true origins of the Oath Rod – which was, put together with various other clues, that it was originally used as a kind of free-range prison sentence for naughty channelers. Ah, irony. I consider this to be entirely self-evident by now, but it precipitated a HUGE amount of confusion and argument among the fans at the time, as the length of the FAQ section associated with it attests, so feel free to bone up on that if you’ve still got doubts.

(I’ve noticed that the amount of linking to the FAQ I’ve done has gone up exponentially once we got to LOC, which should tell you something about the point at which the series started to get seriously… complex. Some would apply less kind adjectives, actually, but I’ll stick with that one for now.)

All right, I’m spent. I probably didn’t cover everything of interest in the latter chapter, but me no want typy anymore, y’all, so we’ll stop here. Enjoy your Monday, and I’ll catch you on the humpy section of the week!

(That did not sound right at ALL. Oh well!)


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